By Davin Wilfrid, ERP Expert
At this point, Microsoft SharePoint is as ingrained in SAP projects as coffee pots and crossed fingers. Not to badmouth the world's most popular collaboration software, but a recent conversation with Alan Mendel and Eric Stajda of LeverX revealed some interesting things about cFolders as a collaboration option.
Because cFolders is grouped within the cProjects suite of SAP PLM, it's easy to mistake it for a niche solution for repeatable manufacturing product development. However, Mendel and Stajda argue that the flexibility of cFolders makes it a good option for all sorts of SAP projects.
For one thing, cFolders allows you to share all sorts of different object types, including bills of material, CAD data, documents, bookmarks, notes, and conversation threads. Many of these object types would need to be converted to Excel sheets to share with SharePoint. cFolders can also be used without any other SAP technology, meaning customers and partners can get up and running quickly. The training for cFolders is minimal, say Mendel and Stajda.
There are, of course, considerations for using cFolders for collaboration. For one thing, cFolders does pull SAP data outside the company firewall -- a possible red flag depending on your data governance policies. Built-in authorization capabilities ensure
security, but they should be mapped out well in advance of implementation.