Author: Andrew Styer
1. WHAT IS SAP ENGINEERING CONTROL CENTER (ECTR)?
SAP ECTR (Engineering Control Center) is a bolt on component of SAP DMS that provides a hub for MS Office and CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) interfaces with a user-friendly experience.
2. WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THE USE OF SAP ECTR?
SAP customers from any industry and of any size with requirements to manage their electronic documents, media, and other digital assets in SAP DMS. ECTR is specifically designed for engineers and drafters using CAD applications. SAP customers currently using CDESK and direct integrations to CAD applications can upgrade and see great benefits from the enhanced automation and user experience.
3. WHAT ARE SAP ECTR’S MAIN CAPABILITIES?
SAP ECTR acts as an integration hub, allowing multiple applications to be integrated in a similar way with the exact same user experience. With ECTR it is possible to integrate SAP with all the major CAD applications including SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDEDGE, Inventor, Auto-CAD, NX, CREO and also MS Office applications, such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. SAP ECTR uses a folder structure similar to windows to present logical paths to locate documents. Enhanced searching capabilities are also available with ECTR and Visual Enterprise Viewer is built in so users can easily view, manipulate, measure and explode models without opening the CAD application.
4. HOW EASY IS IT FOR OCCASIONAL USERS TO EXECUTE THEIR WORK USING SAP ECTR?
ECTR provides a user-friendly experience. Instead of using traditional SAP transactions, processes are completed using easy to understand toolbars, tool tips, and menus. Engineering users love the ability to complete their work in the native CAD application. In the past (with either direct integration or SAP GUI) users would have to log into many different transactions to complete tasks, but now that can all be done within ECTR with ease.
5. MUST SAP ECTR BE DEPLOYED AT THE SAME TIME AS SAP ECC?
No! SAP ECTR can be implemented in parallel with major SAP ECC components such as PP, MM, SD FI or CO, or can be implemented as an add-on (at a later time) to a base SAP ECC implementation.
6. CAN SAP ECTR BE DEPLOYED WITHOUT ANY OTHER SAP SOLUTIONS INSTALLED?
SAP ECTR is a bolt on to SAP DMS (Document Management System). SAP DMS is a component of SAP ECC and therefore could be implemented as the initial deployment of an SAP ECC project. However, in practice, this not typically the case. Most customers either implement SAP ECTR and DMS in parallel to other ECC components or add SAP ECTR to an existing implementation later.
7. CAN CUSTOMERS IMPLEMENT SAP ECTR AS THE FIRST STEP IN A COMPREHENSIVE PLM IMPLEMENTATION ROADMAP?
Yes! You can start with an SAP ECTR implementation with SAP DMS and then build out comprehensive SAP PLM applications in a phase-based approach.
8. CAN SAP DMS SUPPORT A DISTRIBUTED ENVIRONMENT FOR DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT?
Yes! SAP DMS provides robust capabilities to support a distributed document management environment through multiple content servers and cache servers. This capability is based on the KPro technology provided in SAP NetWeaver.
9. WHAT IS THE EFFORT TO IMPLEMENT SAP ECTR?
There are many factors that influence the implementation effort and duration. A full ECTR pilot project can be implemented in just a few weeks. Project experience illustrates that the additional effort to add SAP ECTR to your SAP ECC implementation would average about 4 months, if you are currently using SAP DMS this could be much less effort.
10. HOW CAN CUSTOMERS UNDERSTAND IF SAP ECTR CAPABILITIES MEET THEIR REQUIREMENTS?
LeverX conducts a workshop for SAP customers to investigate their requirements for ECTR, document and content management, then recommend potential scenarios for an SAP ECTR / DMS deployment. Afterwards, LeverX can define with the customer an appropriate SAP ECTR / DMS implementation plan to fit within their current SAP roadmap.