Salesforce and HPE Content Management: better together

By Terry Humphris, CEO, FuseIT

The clever use of integration products to unify best-of-breed systems is widely preferred over creating bespoke products from scratch to solve business problems. This discussion focuses on the benefits of integrating HPE Content Manager with Salesforce.

Fuse Information Technologies Ltd (FuseIT) offer a range of scalable, flexible, and affordable software integration solutions for enterprises and Government agencies. FuseIT has strong partnerships with Salesforce.com, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Sitecore.

HPE Content Manager (aka HP TRIM or Records Manager) is highly scalable and helps businesses and agencies meet regulatory compliance requirements and organisational mandates. Critical documents are securely managed according to policy from creation through to disposal (classically, cradle to grave). This includes control over the record creation, access, fragmentation, versioning, contextual data, change control, retrieval, misuse, and destruction.

Salesforce.com is a software company whose primary offering is a cloud-based enterprise customer relationship management (CRM) system. CRMs store prospect and customer information while providing an interface for case and task management, and utilities to automatically route and escalate important events.

The Salesforce platform can be easily customised to meet individual business requirements. There is also a multitude of extensions available off the shelf from the AppExchange.

Salesforce.com is now on the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD)’s Certified Cloud Services List (CCSL) which certifies Salesforce to store Unclassified DLM information (unclassified information, which is possibly sensitive, and not intended for public release). Unclassified DLM includes the unclassified category “Sensitive: Personal” information defined in the Privacy Act 1988, Part II, Section 6 as, “… information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable”. It is expected that CCSL certification will create a stronger demand for Salesforce in enterprises and the public sector so the need for robust document management in Salesforce will also grow.

Salesforce already has strong document handling capabilities with Files, Salesforce CRM Content, Salesforce Knowledge, Documents, and Attachments. However, it is not always possible (typically for legal, contractual, financial, or physical reasons) to map and move large volumes of documents from HPE Content Manager to the Salesforce cloud.

As a result, it makes sense to provide mechanisms to enable access to key documents in HPE Content Manager from Salesforce. It turns out that there are many benefits in doing this, including contextual processing, ease of access, increased security, and cost savings.

Superior document handling is having documents available to you immediately, with all permissions respected, in the correct context, and in the application, you are using. The concept of separately logging into an EDRMS should be cast into history in much the same way as physical document filing itself.

Consider, as part of your daily work, you log in to Salesforce and begin working with a contact record, say, your client of the hour. The primary directive of all data is that it is complete, relevant, accurate, timely, and accessible (CRATA) and, for that matter, understandable and objective, the latter meaning, “not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice”. So in your contact record, you would expect to see all you need to know about your customer and be assured the data quality is robust.

But “all you need” includes the documentation associated with the client. This may come in the form of regular Salesforce attachments, or more important documents in the EDRMS. Making operators exit Salesforce to retrieve matching EDRMS documents introduces risk and inefficiencies where operators:

  • need to know both Salesforce and the EDRMS.
  • need to login to the EDRMS and lose focus and context.
  • need to search the EDRMS for a record that may not exist.
  • may retrieve a document for the wrong “John Smith” and not be aware.

The next leap in record management is to seamlessly and securely surface key documents on- demand, from multiple devices, and within the context, they are needed. Since Salesforce is usually where the work is done, this is the system that provides the context. When I look at a Salesforce contact record, I want to see all the documents (permissions withstanding) associated with this client, like their CV, medical certificate or other related records in the ERDMS.

FuseIT’s T4S integration securely surfaces contextually accurate HPE Content Manager documents as attachments in Salesforce leads or contact records (or any other Salesforce object for that matter).

For example, when dealing with an account record in Salesforce, the sales team can select an associated file, perhaps a company registration document, and if suitably privileged, T4S retrieves the document from HPE Content Manager and seamlessly displays it in Salesforce. This achieves transparent and contextual record availability without needing to deal with, or even being aware of, the ERDMS. The operator is therefore separated from the remote system.

Let’s consider ease of use! The ability to process information in realtime and from multiple devices is a must have in today’s digital workplace. According to Gartner, employees “use an average of three different devices in their daily routine, which will increase to five or six devices as technologies such as wearable devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) eventually become “mainstream” (see http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3076817).

By design, Salesforce delivers information on-demand and from multiple devices so the T4S integration with HPE Content Manager provides the sales team with access to documents normally encapsulated in the records management system. This increased access to documents does not come at the cost of security which is reinforced by imposing the additional layer of Salesforce authentication.

Integration makes sense for data quality as well. The T4S integration solution can be configured so documents only exist in the EDRMS and therefore remain onshore. Salesforce operators use links in Salesforce records to pull the information from HPE Content Manager on demand. Having a single source of truth is a primary goal of any good data architect as it reduces the likelihood of duplicate records, conflict and ensures the data is more likely to be CRATA. On a technical level, having a single document source removes the complexity of data synchronisation, polling and ETL processes.

The T4S integration can move documents between Salesforce and HPE Content Manager in the correct context in both directions. T4S can be configured to map selected objects like Salesforce contacts, accounts, opportunities, and cases to locations in HPE Content Manager. Transacting large volumes of data with Salesforce is best done from an external source so T4S has a software engine on a network server, typically adjacent to the EDRMS, that moves documents between the systems based on requests from Salesforce.

Having an intermediary server opens up a world of other opportunities like using T4S to create a snapshot of Salesforce data so enterprises can continue their business largely uninterrupted during Salesforce outages - but that is another story.

In conclusion, this discussion suggests the next leap in record management is to surface important documents in their correct context and within the environment, they are used. This turns out to be very rewarding for users and achievable with EDRMS integrations such as to Salesforce, which makes the rigors of discrete document management for the majority of users, go away.

This “disappearing” of the EDRMS, comes at little expense and presents a number of new opportunities such as contextual processing, improved security, data sharing, and the potential for Salesforce backup.

For more information or a demo of how this works contact FuseIT at info@fuseit.com.

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