SAPinsider PLM2014: SAP’s surprising new initiative

With SAP Engineering Control Center, being developed together with DSC Software, SAP wants to push on with the integration of authoring systems

Karlsruhe, April 5, 2014
At SAPinsider PLM2014, from April 1 to 4 in Las Vegas, Graham Conlon, Global VP SAP PLM Solution Management, surprised everyone with news of a new SAP initiative. According to his statement, SAP wants to push on with the integration of authoring systems for mechanics, electronics, software, and simulation. An important part of the initiative is the SAP Engineering Control Center integration platform, part of the SAP Product Lifecycle Management application. SAP Engineering Control Center is being developed together with DSC Software, a longstanding SAP partner. The technology basis is the DSC product ‘Engineering Control Center’ – ECTR – which has been internationally successful on the market for many years.

In the light of this news, the 75-minute common presentation of SAP and DSC, with its slogan “We make engineers want SAP” met with lively interest and was followed with great interest by observers. The speakers emphasized that SAP systems are widely accepted in product development, thanks to ECTR, since ECTR is precisely tailored to the needs of engineers and technicians. How that comes over in practice was demonstrated by the speakers using a live demo of a very realistic change process.

High-performance integration platform for all authoring system
Already with former ECTR versions, numerous different kinds of authoring tools could be integrated seamlessly into the SAP system. And all product-relevant documents and information generated with tools such as MS Office are managed in the SAP-PLM context. For engineers and technicians, this means that they can switch directly to the linked programs and access the data they need fast and easily. Thanks to central data management in the SAP system, they also have a comprehensive view of every product, even in complex structures of mechanics, electronics, and software.

Ideal SAP cockpit for technical company divisions
In the technical area, ECTR is popular above all for its intuitive user interface. The combination of SAP PLM and ECTR makes even complex processes and connections extremely clear and transparent. It also enables CAD users to make effortless use of profitable SAP functions. A few features of the ECTR user interface:
• User-defined desktop design thanks to a freely configurable window
• Structured display of any SAP objects in individual folder structures
• Convenient drag & drop, for example for linking or classifying objects
• Simple navigation in the class tree and easy object selection via context menu

Intelligent process support across departments and locations
On the basis of SAP PLM, Engineering Control Center makes product information available throughout the whole company. A harmonized information model makes sure that all data is readable for consuming applications. Logical structures and process- and customer-specific semantics allow coherences to be mapped and information provided as required. A lot can be automated:
• Clone and mass operations
• Bill-of-material creation
• Release and change processes
• Neutral format generation
• Document dispatch to suppliers
• Generation of digital production portfolios, and much more

For the latest information on SAP strategy and the SAP Engineering Control Center integration platform, see our website.