Need to Collaborate? Why cFolders Might Be the Answer

  • by Davin Wilfrid, Former Contributing Editor, SAP Experts
  • May 11, 2010
Collaboration tools are increasingly vital for SAP companies in several industries. While there are many to choose from, Alan Mendel and Eric Stajda of LeverX say SAP’s cFolders is a flexible, full-featured collaboration tool for sharing data quickly and easily with internal and external groups — with minimal implementation effort and user training.

The rise of strategic business networks, globally distributed teams, and outsourcing have increased the need for effective collaboration tools. Sharing key data with your partners, suppliers, contractors, and customers is now a critical part of day-to-day business.

Unfortunately, email is too limited for many types of collaboration, and many third-party collaboration tools offer cumbersome user experiences and limited access to back-end data. However, according to Alan Mendel and Eric Stajda of LeverX, Collaboration Folders (cFolders) from SAP offers unparalleled collaboration options that are secure, relatively painless to implement, and offer great flexibility for sharing multiple types of data via the Web. When implemented correctly, cFolders offer the elusive “single source of truth” for a variety of object types, say Mendel and Stajda.

“When most of your information is stored within an SAP system that’s behind the firewall, it becomes very difficult to define how to share information from your SAP environment that’s critical to the success of your partners or subcontractors without putting your SAP environment or information at risk,” says Mendel, vice president and co-founder of LeverX. “cFolders lives outside the firewall with its own security capabilities that can leverage the security of the SAP environment, yet allows partners, suppliers, and other external entities to access that information easily and securely.”

What Is cFolders?

Because it was designed to support the sharing of computer assisted design (CAD) drawings, bills of material (BOMs), and other product development objects, cFolders is grouped into the Collaboration Projects (cProjects) suite within the program and project management area of SAP Product Lifecycle Management (SAP PLM). However, cFolders offers several advantages that make it an attractive option for a wide range of uses (see sidebars for example scenarios). Those advantages include:

Davin Wilfrid

Davin Wilfrid was a writer and editor for SAPinsider and SAP Experts. He contributed case studies and research projects aimed at helping the SAP ecosystem get the most out of their existing technology investments.

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