Enterprise Information Management: What, Why, Where, and How

  • by Mike Keilen, Senior Director, Solution Management, Enterprise Information Management, SAP Labs
  • Ginger Gatling, Solution Management, Enterprise Information Management, SAP Labs
  • June 27, 2011
Understand how SAP solutions for enterprise information management (EIM) cover all types of information. This includes data that is structured, semi-structured, or unstructured, as well as many content forms such as documents, emails, and PDFs. It also supports business processing and analytical applications, and evolves into information governance to ensure data and information are managed as an asset. Key capabilities of EIM include data integration and quality management, complex event processing, content management, and master data management.
Key Concept
Enterprise information management (EIM) solutions serve a crucial role in ensuring the right information is available for various business and analytical applications. Information can take on many forms, such as trusted data used in a business process or decision to documents that provide context. EIM solutions perform many functions, including extracting, transforming, loading, and converting data; managing and governing data; managing unstructured content; and correlating data for key business intelligence events.

SAP is probably best known for business processing and applications such as the SAP Business Suite. However, over the past several years SAP’s portfolio offering has extended beyond the Business Suite. One important extension includes the business of managing data and information, referred to as enterprise information management (EIM). We’ll provide insight into EIM including what it is, why it’s important to business, and how it fits into SAP’s strategy.

We’ll start by explaining what EIM is and then move into some example use cases to help you understand how it applies to different industries and situations.

What Is Enterprise Information Management?

Simply stated, EIM is the management and governance of data and information from its creation through its active use and eventual retirement. This could be information or data that is used within a single application or leveraged across an organization. SAP solutions for EIM cover all types of information:

  • Structured data
  • Semi-structured data
  • Unstructured data
  • Documents
  • Emails
  • PDFs
  • Audio
  • Video

The management of information with the understanding of its life cycle yields the best results for use and cost. 

As illustrated in Figure 1, there is an associated cost in bringing information into an organization, using the information, and hopefully retiring the information once it is no longer producing value. The idea that organizations really just do three things with information — on-board, actively use, and then off-board — is powerful when thinking about EIM solutions.

SAP solutions for EIM allow for trusted information to be brought into an organization, whether initially created, imported, or migrated from another information source. Once information is brought into your organization, it is desired for many uses beyond its original purpose. Hence, it is advantageous to prepare it for these manifold uses. That way, the effort to repurpose information during the active-use phase is greatly reduced. Once information is no longer required, it should be off-boarded or retired in a manner that meets your specific organization’s legal and business requirements. The truth is most organizations do not proactively consider off-boarding information, which ends up costing millions in IT resources due to maintaining systems that are no longer used. SAP solutions for EIM are designed to manage information through its natural life cycle.

Mike Keilen

Mike Keilen is a senior director of solution management for SAP solutions for EIM. He has been with SAP BusinessObjects since 1991. Mike has provided leadership across EIM and enterprise content management (ECM) topics in various engineering, product, solution, and partner management roles. He is currently responsible for SAP’s information governance, migration, cloud/SaaS, and enterprise content management solutions. You can follow him on Twitter @MikeKeilen.

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Ginger Gatling

Ginger Gatling works in solution management covering information management topics, focused on data migration. Prior to this, she covered business process management topics (including SAP Business Workflow, Universal Worklist, and SAP NetWeaver Business Process Management), integration topics (SAP NetWeaver Process Integration), and other SAP NetWeaver topics. She coauthored the second edition of Practical Workflow for SAP and has delivered a series of workshops on workflow for SAPinsider.

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