Recent Posts

OpenText STP for Funds – the Funds Operations Dream

I feel like one of the lucky ones…..but let me explain!  Several years ago I moved roles to support a new Funds & Custody related product in a large global bank. It was a big challenge as the product and related process was in its infancy. But we had high hopes for expansion and a great team around us. However, like a lot of long-established companies, there were a lot of ‘legacy’ applications in place which brought challenges as to how we could mould and fit a new process in. (Somewhat a ‘square peg in the round hole’ type of situation). This was when I was first introduced to the OpenText™ Business Network Straight Through Processing for Funds platform. What a game changer it was for our team. Easily integrated with a slick dynamic user interface….it was the stuff of Operations dreams! Proven, robust, secure Over time the platform matured and evolved, with greater functionality and enhancements to make life easier for our operations teams, but most importantly our underlying clients. They loved the level of transparency that it gave them in to the life-cycle on their trades…..real time updates either via the intuitive web-based portal that they could access anytime anywhere, or a complete suite of messaging that would be fired directly into their internal dealing platform or OMS. In the blink of an eye! FIX, FTP, Swift, email, fax….it can do it all. Take in messaging, translate it, enhance it, add data, and forward it on to Transfer Agents, Fund Accountants, Custody System, Finance Providers, Payment System and the list goes on…..all in the blink of an eye. It was such a pleasure to be able to go into new client meetings and show them what we could do for them. It gave our team a new energy and love for the product, and it really showed in our client satisfaction ratings. MIFID II incoming! With banks and asset managers needing technical solutions which can give them an enhanced client portal, with full transparency and powerful reporting to meet MIFID II requirements, OpenText STP for Funds is ready and waiting to help. But I digress…. Anyway, to get back to my original point of being one of the lucky ones….as you can see above, I built up an attachment to the platform.  But now I get to work with the users of the platform every day, and help new clients overcome those same challenges that I experienced myself in previous years. Finally remove the manual processing, reduce processing costs, increase risk and control, and provide your underlying client with access to the best Funds platform on the street. Welcome to OpenText STP for Funds Reach out Therefore if you are looking for a market leading solution for your Funds order capture, routing, settlement and more, please add a comment below or complete the form on this page as I would love to discuss further.

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OpenText & SAP: 10 Years and Still Growing

Each May, the OpenText team enjoys the fantastic opportunity to support our long-time partner SAP at the SAPPHIRE NOW conference. Few companies can stage an event the size and scope of SAPPHIRE NOW with as much style as SAP, and It is a phenomenal experience and gives OpenText and SAP get the chance to spotlight the deep relationship we have built over the years. This year, however, the celebration of our alliance reached unprecedented heights. During SAPPHIRE NOW, we announced both the 10th anniversary of our partnership and also our 10th straight win of a prestigious SAP Pinnacle Award. This year’s honors came for both Solution Extension Partner of the Year and SAP Database and Data Management Partner of the Year. These are milestones in which we take great pride, yet in many ways they only show the tip of the iceberg in the relationship between our two companies. It truly has been a banner year for the SAP-OpenText partnership, crossing the 1.1 billion Euro mark for revenue over the history of our relationship, and surpassing the 100 million Euro total in a fiscal year for first time. These are the kind of substantial and increasing results every partnership strives to achieve and we are ready to enthusiastically pursue even more collaboration opportunities to bring exciting innovations that keep our customers successful. The most recent path to great opportunity for our joint efforts comes through a just announced overarching cloud resale agreement between the two companies. With this newest expansion of the relationship, OpenText will become the first Canadian organization to go active and be fully engaged in the SAP Cloud. We now offer extended ECM for SuccessFactors, Digital Asset Management for Hybris and Vendor Invoice Management as our first cloud solutions. In other words, SAP’s largest partner is now also in lock step in supporting the S4HANA platform and the push to the cloud. On the Ground in Orlando At the SAPPHIRE NOW conference we have the opportunity to see first-hand how OpenText, working in tandem with SAP, is able to match the demands of the customers in the marketplace- and we saw just that! Traffic to the OpenText booth was among the strongest we had ever seen—giving us an opportunity to show more joint customer the solutions that will enable them to maximize the emerging technologies of machine learning and cognitive computing to drive their digital agenda forward. More than ever, businesses view gleaning insight from their storehouses of data of paramount importance, and this is a central part of the value that OpenText brings to the SAP channel. At our booth, we were able to demonstrate OpenText’s solutions that allow customers to optimize, automate, and gain efficiencies and control over the upwards of 90 percent of their information that is unstructured or semi-structured. Conversations with our customers serve to validate the OpenText roadmap and motivate us to reach higher heights in providing solutions for customer’s increased control and insight of their information. Our journey continues as SAP, as well as many partners and customers from our own ecosystem, will join us at our featured Enterprise World 2017 event in July. We invite you to join us in Toronto as well as we continue to make news that will change the face of business.

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How Will We Measure the Golden Age?

Industrial revolutions tend to benefit the rich more than the poor, initially. They all begin with great inequality. In unequal societies, life expectancies and trust levels are lowered. They tend to be more violent, experience greater levels of mental illness, and have higher rates of incarceration. In the U.S., one in 50 adults are on community supervision, probation, or parole. One in 50! As it stands today, the future is not evenly divided. The richest 1% of the population now owns 75% of all household wealth and 8 individuals control more assets than the poorest 3.6 billion people combined—or half of the world’s population. The anxiety over automation, the growing digital divide, is real, is present, and is the greatest moral question of our time. Reports vary in their quantum, with some at the low end (25%) and others at the high end (47%), but they all agree that the human workforce of the future is shrinking as more and more jobs are automated out of existence. This increasing anxiety, divide, and inequality will create instability and security concerns for both citizens and states—a general state of unrest. The unrest can manifest itself from within—witness the BREXIT vote—or externally, with bad state-sponsored actors. The transformation is real and it will impact jobs and equality. The strategic space for conflict is changing and new battlegrounds are emerging. In the future, power plants will not be bombed, they will be turned off. Leaders will not be assassinated, they will be toppled by propaganda, data leaks, and fake news. This has already happened in Iran with Stuxnet when Hackers made Iran’s nuclear computers blast AC/DC’s song Thunderstruck in the middle of the night, and even with the 2016 United States Presidential election. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) also goes deeply into who we are as a people, as a species, and speaks directly to our identity and our communities. Beyond the transformation of all industries, beyond the new winners and losers and the creation of new “Kodak Moments,” how will we measure our new Golden Age of Innovation? I have a series of modest proposals: Personal Responsibility: We each need to take personal responsibility and be a driving force for positive change. We choose and instigate our own actions and we each need to be morally accountable, and thus, drive a common purpose of humanity in our new world, one leader at a time. Education: Education is a game-changer. It creates a happier and more stable life, raises income levels, and creates more equality. It has the power to create independence. A more educated world is more tolerant, safer, peaceful, and surely, more economically prosperous. Educational equality is a dual-track system, supporting vocational and academic advancement, and ultimately, equality. The world needs skilled electricians, plumbers, roofers, carpenters as much as we need doctors, programmers, and lawyers. Youth Sports: I am a product of public education and youth sports. Athletics have a positive, life-long impact. They instill in children the value of teamwork, personal discipline and healthy competition, and teach youths how to recover from setbacks. Sports help children to develop their cognitive and motor skills, provide positive influences and inspiration, and keep kids out of trouble. There is no other activity that affords the opportunity to impart so many positive qualities in children. There is a direct correlation between youth sport participants and a more productive future, but in the U.S. youth sport participation is declining. Roughly 40% of American youth participates in a regular team sport. We must increase participation to ensure a better future. Technology Everywhere: Technology needs to find its way into the poorest communities and countries. Getting fees for a smartphone and rural connectivity down to $150 USD a year is still too expensive. For many, this represents a large portion of their annual income. A billion smartphones in underdeveloped regions like Africa would raise not just a community or a country, it would carry the entire continent into the 4IR. Raising Humanity Out of Poverty: Technological conveniences are meaningless when you consider that much of the world is still living in poverty. Circa 1800, 95% of the world lived in poverty. Today, 50% of the world still lives in poverty. Fifty percent!!! While many view this as an improvement, I believe we can do better. The greatest injustice in this world is poverty. There is no structural reason why we cannot radically change the world— and technology can be the enabler for this. Our Age of Innovation will be truly golden if we can raise the world’s citizens above the poverty line in our lifetimes and perfect conscious capitalism. Testing, one, two, three. Is this microphone working? Can you hear me? Thank you for joining me on this journey to explore the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Find out more about The Golden Age of Innovation and digital transformation at Enterprise World 2017 in Toronto, Canada.

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Why Migrate to Documentum D2?

Like many of our long-time Documentum customers, you may be considering the idea of moving your applications to Documentum D2 from an established, highly customized, Webtop platform. It could be that you’ve considered this option in the past, and come to the decision to stay put, or continued upgrading Webtop versions to keep pace with Documentum Content Server upgrades, but otherwise making as few changes as possible. If any of this applies to you and your organization, here are a few key thoughts for your considerations. D2 Changes the Total Cost of Ownership Game One of the striking advantages of a D2 application versus a Webtop application is that upgrades become much easier, and keeping up to date with product development and patches becomes so much easier, because D2 applications are constructed in the configuration framework, and upgrade of the D2 platform does not require ANY work on the configuration. Customers choose their products based on complex weighted matrices of technical considerations, comparing functional details, platform characteristics and implementation approaches before establishing a platform standard within the organization for Enterprise Content Management (ECM). The goal is to standardize on platforms to seamlessly integrate information from different areas of the organization. A noble intent, no doubt. In practical terms, however, this leads more often than not to shelfware – products purchased but never implemented. These days, the goal is more likely to be user acceptance, or better put – user adoption – making users happy and productive. The business side now typically drives decisions about which products and solutions will be implemented, and this makes total sense: Users must derive a business benefit from any implementation, otherwise, why implement? So the focus now is more on User Experience in terms of ease of adoption (including level of training needed), ease of use, speed of use – essentially, does the solution drive productivity or hinder it? Webtop is a fully-functional ECM client – but most users are focused on specific tasks. Too often, the complexity of the tool gets in the way of what the user is really trying to achieve. OpenText™ Documentum D2 allows the customer to build a task-oriented workspace with a best possible user experience, driving productivity for end users and the organization. Overall – Documentum D2 can help to change the game of ECM in your organization from a burden to IT into a boon for business productivity. Why wait? Migrate! OpenText’s Professional Services team are veterans of many, many customer migrations and can provide the support and guidance you need to make a success of your migration project, talk to the experts to get the best possible advice about why to migrate, what to migrate, and most importantly, how to migrate.

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Can AI Adoption be Catalyzed?

AI adoption

At the World Economic Forum 2017 in Davos, business leaders and technologists met to discuss the impact of the fourth industrial revolution on various aspects of industries. Many, multi-faceted, issues were brought to panel discussions – ranging from efficacy of AI to ethics, and even the impact on the workforce. One thing is clear – the most important driver for the 4th industrial revolution is the data or the ability to extract information from the data overload presented to us today. Leaders across the globe are sharing their viewpoints on this phenomenon and a common consensus is being sought. At the same time, there is a lot of focus on learning from each other. In such an interesting time, the OpenText CEO Blog is apt. Mark Barrenechea in his book “The Golden Age of Innovation” points out items that have time and again become the bedrock for the future. Whether it’s the skills or ethical practices or the intent – everything is of importance when we look at AI and its implementation in the industry. Mark’s cogent points are synonymous with the business leaders across the globe and across the industries. At the WEF 2017, in an interesting panel discussion with Ginni Rommety (CEO – IBM), Satya Nadella (CEO – Microsoft), Joi Ito (Director, MIT Media Lab) and Ron Gutman (Founder & CEO, HealthTap) were asked to share views on their learnings from the revolution fueled by AI. This discussion was thought provoking and well moderated by Robert F. Smith (Chairman & CEO, Vista Equity Partners). Some of the key takeaways from this panel discussion are summarized here – Element of trust – Every new technology or a change is successful when it can generate trust in the stakeholders. This trust can only be gained through transparency and practices that synchronize with the team. Knowledge of the business domain – Making sense of the vast datasets and an ability to extract information is crucial in the validation of the technology. Unless the information provides meaningful insight to the end user, the system will be treated as noise and the acceptance level will be low. Users will have more confidence in a solution when trained using data from their own domain and so proven. Understanding of the purpose – During the planning or inception of the solution, one must ask and understand the question – “What is the purpose of my solution?” or “What problem do I want to resolve?” The purpose or the intent provides a clear direction to the efforts. This also helps in boosting the trust and confidence of the stakeholders involved. Redevelopment of skills – An interesting comment was made that at a macro level there are billions of jobs available across the globe and there is a lack of working population in many countries. But what hurts is when one’s job is moved. As Mark points out in his series of articles, skills need to be redeveloped. Everyone is required to re-skill themselves as needed with the advent of new technologies. Even though some jobs may lose their value, new jobs will take their place. Sense of ownership – Joi Ito pointed out an outcome from a survey about autonomous cars. During the survey, people were asked should the car compromise its riders while avoiding a major accident involving many others or should it save the riders at the cost of others? The survey answers – the car should compromise the riders to save others, but the survey takers would never buy this car! The example here shows that technology will experience a better adoption rate when there is an ownership behind the same. When the outcomes are tied to responsibilities and ownership, the trust factor would improve tremendously. Yet, the AI technology that enables a machine to control other machines and provide algorithms beyond the human mind, still has a long way to go when it comes to wide adoption. Given the challenges and responsibilities, some have started to call AI as “Augmentative Intelligence” than “Artificial Intelligence”. EIM providers today stand at an interesting juncture wherein they can help the users understand their own data, augment their decisions, help them make better models and train their models. This is a time not just to look at AI, but your own EIM strategy! After all, the industry is undergoing a revolution.

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Digital Culture, Digital Capability and Digital Influence

digital capability

Invest in Digital Capability to build a Digital Culture and be rewarded with Digital Influence – with social media, video blogs, photo sharing platforms we are all well aware of how digital media is a big part of our daily lives. In the business environment many of the challenges faced today find their roots in the question of how to attract and engage with customers, a necessity to remain competitive and grow market share. The primary strategy to do so is to improve the quality of customer facing content. Or put simply, organisations now recognize the power of digital media as a stimulus beyond that of the written word to grab our attention and entice us into making a transaction. Say No to Silo’s The traditional approach for companies to try to manage this explosive growth in media is to create repositories behind their business systems. These repositories cater for the basic need to search for reuse, repurpose, to distribute and control media within the scope of that business system. The classic example is that of a repository for value marketing material or a repository behind the customer facing ecommerce web sites and so on. However this approach is a bit like asking your water company to provide a new pipe for every tap in your house – it is a tactical solution to what should be regarded as an infrastructure issue. This explains why many companies who when asked whether they have a digital asset management system, will probably reply with a yes, we have many and we are still not sure where to find the most recent version of our content. Say Yes to Innovation without Barriers The concept of a digital culture in the workplace is becoming mainstream with the growth in employment of Millennials. A digital culture ensures that organisations maximize the talent of their employees to drive ideas and innovation with tools and techniques that are already common in social media. A Digital Capability ensures that these new ideas can be captured and applied faster. In order for companies to truly embrace a digital culture across their organisations they need a unified Digital Capability – a business-driven content strategy that enhances the efficiency of media used; it needs to deliver automation, project based collaboration and support the content lifecycle to ensure that material is relevant and valuable to all.

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Where Have all the Millennials Gone? Adapting the Customer Experience

adapting customer experience

My wife and I recently stopped at the local branch of a chain restaurant that was a regular family eating spot when our girls still lived at home. The food was just as good as we remembered it, and reasonably priced. The staff were engaged, fun, and friendly. But, there was something missing – other customers. The restaurant was about quarter-full during prime dining hours. We remembered the place as always being full of families and having a bustling atmosphere, but those days seemed to have passed. As it happens, we had both independently read a couple of articles earlier in the day about how Millennials were abandoning the traditional family-dining restaurants their parents had taken them to. Although neither article had mentioned this particular chain, it definitely fit the description, and what we were seeing seemed to confirm the articles’ supposition. We spent a fair amount of time over our meal discussing the articles, and why we thought the change had happened. Was it bad customer experience? As far as my wife and I were concerned nothing had changed, the in-restaurant experience and service was just as we expected, and in fact I’d say it had improved slightly. So we asked our own “millennials” – our eldest daughter (a small business owner), and her husband (a copywriter) if they ever ate out at our former family favorite. The answer was an interesting one. They don’t eat out the way we did (or still do). They don’t go out just for a meal anymore. They, and most of their friends, eat out as part of an overall evening when they will grab something to eat before heading to a concert or event. They prefer to eat at places close to the venue that will be their final destination for the evening, and they prefer to be able to eat quickly and move on. When they do want a restaurant style meal, they prefer to have a date at home and have the food delivered. Their first choice will be restaurants affiliated with delivery services like UberEATS, where they can look at menus, create meals, order and pay online and have it turn up at their doorstep. So it was a customer experience issue, but not a tactical micro-experience one, such as the level of service in the restaurant itself, but more of a strategic macro-level one. The behaviors of a sector of the customer demographics has changed, and any restaurant that isn’t either physically located near other entertainment venues, or offers a delivery service, isn’t even considered. Within Customer Experience Management we use tools such as website optimization, analytics, surveys, and more to capture the voice of the customers so we can deliver better more engaging experiences. However, these are based on the activities and experiences of the customers we have. Can we use these same tools to capture information about the experiences we don’t supply that potential customers may be looking for? How do we track the changes in behavior for a target demographic and how do we use that to make strategic decisions about the evolving customer experience? I don’t have any immediate answers, but it makes for an interesting discussion; and it’s a topic I’ll be returning to during my session on “Ten Trends in Customer Experience for 2017” at the upcoming OpenText™ Enterprise World conference.

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Enterprise World 2017 Offers “Everything ECM” for OpenText and Documentum Customers

Enterprise World

Regardless of whether you’re an OpenText or a Documentum ECM customer, Enterprise World 2017 is the place to maximize your current investment and prepare for the future of content management. It starts with learning. As is the case at every Enterprise World, a full slate of training, breakout, and interactive opportunities will let you explore the latest product updates and discover how to make your existing infrastructure more productive. Whatever your area of interest, there will be a session or expert here to help you be better at it. It’s tangible insight you just can’t get anywhere else, but it’s also just part of the Enterprise World experience. The other key benefit of Enterprise World comes from hearing first-hand from thought leaders and fellow customers about how this technology can drive real-world transformation. This year, we’re once again including a variety of panels, success stories, and keynotes to give experts and progressive organizations a chance to talk about what ECM success looks like today and tomorrow. Here are a few thought provoking sessions you won’t want to miss: Content Track Keynote: OpenText Content Suite, Documentum, and the Future of ECM Join OpenText ECM leadership as they welcome Gartner Research Director Karen A. Hobert and the CIOs of Hydro One and the County of Los Angeles for an insightful discussion on the current ECM landscape, the future of content management, and a path to success built on leveraging today’s investments in Content Suite, Documentum, Extended ECM, and LEAP. ECD-215 Customer Panel: The Role of ECM in Building a Digital Transformation Program ECM-218: Customer Story: The Government of Canada’s Journey from ECM to EIM ECD-214 Customer Story: The Delta ECM Journey Accelerates Forward Thanks to a Firm Foundation ECM-216 Customer Story: BSTDB discusses Upgrade to OpenText Content Suite 16 & Smart User Interface ECM-214 Customer Story: Bank of America uses Content Intelligence to Enhance User Adoption and RM ECM-219 Customer Panel: Implementing RM Best Practices with OpenText Records Management Solutions The Documentum Customer’s Guide to Enterprise World Welcoming Documentum customers into the OpenText family is one of the most exciting aspects of this year’s Enterprise World! Not only are we looking forward to connecting and hearing about what you want and need to ensure success, we’re also working hard to make sure Enterprise World provides value that applies directly to your Documentum solutions. In addition to our usual wide-ranging agenda of ECM breakouts, we’re introducing a comprehensive series of Documentum-focused sessions covering everything from optimizing existing installs to discovering complementary solutions to future convergence strategies and product roadmaps. And we’re inviting a number of Documentum customers to the stage to share the learnings, challenges, and results of their ECM journeys. To help navigate your first Enterprise World, we’ve put together a Documentum-dedicated Map Your Path guide that highlights the Documentum, InfoArchive, Captiva, and LEAP sessions most rewarding and relevant to you. We invite you to use it as a start, but, by all means, please introduce yourself as soon as you hit the floor at Toronto Convention Centre. Connections are what Enterprise World is all about. We’re looking forward to helping make your first Enterprise World a truly rewarding experience. There is still time to register to attend.

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Stop Sending Bad Surveys – Webinar Invite

When your mother told you to “listen twice as much as you speak” she was right! With survey fatigue at an all-time high, common sense will prevail to stop “asking” for feedback in bad surveys and start “listening” more to what our customers are saying with the right survey techniques. The OpenText™ Qfiniti 16.2 launch last month was the starting point to teach professionals like you about the cost of sending bad surveys and what you can do about it. On June 20th, in cooperation with the Call Center Network Group (CCNG), we will tackle this topic and answer questions like: Am I surveying the right people? Why do people take surveys? Do we survey too much? What are the best questions to ask and how many? If we have low response rates, what more can be done? Why does my survey vendor charge me to change the survey questions? Who should receive NPS (Net Promoter Score) and survey data on a regular basis? How can I use survey results during coaching sessions? When should we playback interactions attached to customer surveys? Join Roger “Dr. WFO” Lee from OpenText Qfiniti and David Hadobas the CCNG President for this live webinar. They will discuss the alarming upsurge in bad surveys and the best practices for collecting feedback that requires more “listening” than “asking”. The live version of the webinar is on Tuesday, June 20th, at 10am Pacific / 12pm Central / 1pm Eastern. To register, click here.  If the time for this webinar does not work with your schedule, please still register.  You will get notified when the webinar is available to view on demand. Can’t wait until the 20th?  I have an idea… View what Keith Dawson has to say below about the customer feedback tools that demonstrate impact to executives.  

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Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Insurance Industry

Artificial Intelligence

At the RiskMinds Insurance convention, Tony Young, National Clinical Director for Innovation NHS England in a discussion with Rick Morley, Managing Director, Accenture Finance & Risk, mentioned a number of interesting points:  Global Healthcare is about $7 Trillion and the Global Insurance Industry is around $3 Trillion  A large startup sector is springing up in both insurance and healthcare sectors  There is a lot of commonalities and overlap in these two different industries  Technology plays an important role in being a disrupter in both sectors With all the health tracking gadgets – pedometers, calorimeters, fitness pals – something is changing. It’s the health and the longevity of a human being. Diseases or health problems that were once terminal, have become minor but new have surfaced. Tony Young particularly emphasized the use of technology – information technology in particular – as a driver for transformation and growth in future. With all the data collected, analyzed and then made available back to the users of the gadgets, the healthcare and the insurance industries are undergoing a major transformation today. Insurance – general or life, is no longer the focus of the traditional insurance practices. Clients are asking for more visibility and better personalized rules governing their policies. Insurance relies on their policy administration system (PAS) as the sacred engine, and it is often cumbersome to modify the rules in the PAS as it has overarching impacts, and is difficult for policy managers to track. This is precisely where an AI engine could help. “AI’s initial impact primarily relates to improving efficiencies and automating existing customer-facing, underwriting and claims processes,” Price Waterhouse Cooper said in a report about AI in insurance. “Over time, its impact will be more profound; it will identify, assess, and underwrite emerging risks and identify new revenue sources.” While we ponder upon the impact of AI on Insurance firms and their practices, a few have already been early adopters of the technology. See this article on the – Allstate has a chat bot, the Allstate Business Insurance Expert, that leads customers through getting a quote. AIG invested in a company that sticks wearable trackers on workers in order to track safety. Financial insurance provider Manulife is partnering with an AI company to train a system to read news and emails. Chinese giant Baidu said it is already using AI systems to discover patterns that can be used in insurance underwriting. Another area in the Insurance industry that demands a case for AI is the claims process. With the improvements in BPM systems and their integrations with ECM systems (Documentum xCP), the claim processors have become smarter in tracking all the information related to a claim, thus, reducing the claim frauds. This has already been helpful in preventing losses according to the researchers at Insurance Nexis. The mixing of AI in such a process could only enhance the application of the rules and the effectiveness of the process. With the use of AI in policy administration, newer insurance products can be launched quickly and more effectively. They can even integrate with the fast inflow of information coming from various sources and provide a personalized service. Not only this is gratifying to the policyholder, but also rewarding for the policy administrator. Change is coming, though at a smaller pace than perhaps could be expected, given the obvious benefits.

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Building Supply Chain Resilience and Compliance

supply chain resilience

As a connected set of companies that form the link between individual component sources and a final product, the supply chain bridges the gap between suppliers and the ultimate end user. When it works, it is an impressive orchestration of many moving parts working in concert to deliver products to customers. But what happens when a critical link in the chain fails due to business disruption, natural disaster, financial issues, or a problem within its own supply chain? In today’s globalized economy, companies’ supply chains are growing bigger and more complex. While these business relationships can deliver gains in productivity and profitability, they can come at the price of taking on additional risk exposure. Third-party risk management is the fastest growing governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) technology market and cited as most challenging aspect of a compliance program [Deloitte-Compliance Week 2015 Compliance Trends Report]. In fact, 77 percent of manufacturing firms report increasing supply chain complexity as the fastest growing risk in business continuity. Organizations are looking to technology to help ensure supply chain resilience, with a fierce focus on protecting their organization’s brand, reputation, assets, and data. Big supply chains call for big data Supply chain executives are placing great store in the potential of big data. In fact, an SCM Chief Supply Chain Officer Report showed that they believe big data analytics to be more valuable than the Internet of Things, cloud computing, and 3D printing. More manufacturing firms are adopting big data strategies to tackle a wide range of risk factors within the supply chain, including, minimizing risk within a global supply chain and managing supplier performance. Tip – Choose a big data analytics solution that is meant for business users and analysts who want an easy, fast way to access, blend, explore, and analyze data quickly without depending on IT or data experts, such as OpenText™ Big Data Analytics. You’re a good corporate citizen. Are your suppliers too? It has been well established that having a clear, effective corporate social responsibility (CSR) program is good for business. Many customers seek out and want to do business with vendors who share their values and compliance culture. For example, by demonstrating that a company’s supply chain is conflict-free, it will reassure stakeholders that the company is compliant and will engender trust among suppliers, consumers, and others. The SEC Dodd-Frank Act, Conflict Minerals rules, and the EU REACH mandate and ROHS Directive are just a few regulations forcing companies to take a hard look at their supplier ecosystems. However, compliance is threatened when suppliers fail to provide needed information. Only 22 percent of companies required to file conflict minerals reports by a June 2014 deadline did so – most stating that their supply chains were too complex, or that suppliers did not respond to questionnaires or did not provide complete or adequate responses. Further, since mandatory reporting in 2014, more than 70 percent of U.S. companies say they still cannot make a determination that their supply chains are free from conflict minerals. Tip – Firms are turning to sophisticated information exchange solutions for supplier self-assessment to ensure compliance in areas such as conflict minerals, anti-slavery, and sustainability, such as OpenText’s Conflict Minerals Reporting solution. Managing risk begins with onboarding process Given the vast amount of supplier data that exists across the enterprise, technology offers an easy way to import, structure, organize, and consolidate this data in one place, and then map it to the associated supplier risks, regulations, controls, locations, and products for better visibility. And a successful supplier information management program starts with the right supplier onboarding process. Tip – For B2B suppliers who use a defined EDI format to send and receive data, these suppliers easily buy into an onboarding system which uses a format they already use (typically high volume and large suppliers), such as OpenText™ B2B Managed Services. When it comes to supply chain disruptions, it is no longer a matter of “if” it will happen, but “when” the next incident will occur. Choosing a proactive approach and the right technology solutions will only improve your organization’s ability to mitigate, adapt, and respond quickly to threats as they arise – thus strengthening resilience in your supply chain.

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Is This Your Year for the Final Upgrade?

shift to cloud

After a decade of testing the waters in cloud deployments, more companies will shift their workloads to the cloud. Seeking enterprise-grade security, seamless integrations, and pain-free upgrades, the shift to cloud will continue in earnest. This will drive careful selection of technology providers, as customers seek a new mix of delivery methods to simplify their IT strategy. According to Forrester’s 2017 predictions, the cloud market will accelerate even faster in 2017, while organizations struggle to connect employees, customers and devices at a rapid rate and remain competitive in the marketplace. It’s expected that more than 80% of all data center traffic will be based in the cloud in the next three years. Cloud agility will increasingly play a role in customers choosing to move to cloud – taking advantage of rapid deployment options, and a wide range of cloud service levels to remove delays associated with capital acquisition and time to provision hardware and operating environments. All of these factors are driving the rapid shift to cloud. What has become more urgent is the need to reduce issues around performance, integration, and security with existing on-premises systems, while offering top-notch customer experience in an age of zero tolerance for digital interruptions. With risk transferred to cloud experts, enterprise leaders hope to focus more on transforming their organizations instead of constantly troubleshooting technology. The ultimate goal? Never face technology upgrade challenges again, yet enjoy ongoing new features as cloud services simply serve up the latest software versions. Could 2017 be the year of this “final upgrade”? What to Look for in Cloud Providers Cloud experts advise that CIOs look for providers that offer enterprise-grade security as well as technology standardization, automation, and a data-centric approach to information security. Seamless migration will afford organizations months of saved time, with a 20 to 50% reduction in operational costs over competitors who choose to self-manage their solutions. Mature data migration services can make this easy for organizations. Providers such as OpenText have a dedicated Cloud Practice who manage the applications, services and solutions in the cloud. Professional Services can help with application upgrade and migration planning, and implementation, and even create customized applications and solutions. Full-service providers can also deliver personalized services based on the enterprise’s specific needs, offering cloud delivery managers and dedicated support teams who can quickly resolve service issues. Every enterprise will need some level of user or administrator training as migrations occur, so look for Education Services to fine-tune education – whether accelerating new user education or helping advanced users and administrators achieve an optimal experience. Since the shift to managed cloud is slated to continue well beyond 2017, plan for cloud and hybrid options in your Enterprise systems. As you select strategic partners for your move to the cloud, consider the package of services your provider can deliver, as well as the technology portfolio. Will this be your year to experience the final upgrade for your Enterprise Information Management system?

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Quality and Innovation From Bench to Clinic – the Role of Data Integrity


According to a recent PwC survey of pharma CEOs, 35% consider strengthening innovation a top priority. At the same time, they are facing increasing challenges from more stringent regulatory requirements and rising standards of quality. The Life Sciences track at this year’s Enterprise World looks at the benefits of building the quality-centric enterprise within Life Sciences. Data integrity is a foundation stone of quality and at the very heart of Digital Transformation. How can organizations gain visibility and control over all their data? Digital Transformation, for me, is not just about replacing paper with digital-based processes. It is about releasing the value that an enterprise has in the data it holds. The challenge is that most organizations have developed as a series of departmental silos. This is certainly true for quality. Separate departments or business units have created their own home-grown or legacy systems – often on Excel spreadsheets – to manage product and process quality. Apart from being hugely expensive to maintain and prone to error, these systems lack any enterprise-wide visibility, ability to share information across the organization and its partners, or to manage by exception. How reliable is your quality data? Despite best efforts, the data held within many of these quality systems must be considered less than reliable. Estimates indicate that bringing a new drug to market costs more than a billion dollars and takes up to 15 years so the effective use of quality data can help drive innovation and reduce costs. For example, a new product submission to the FDA can run to 600,000 pages containing data from a wide range of sources. The proper document management of that submission is essential to remove error and cost from the process. Companies are faced with regulatory requirements such as GxPs, reporting mandates, international quality standards and other compliance issues. This is simply part of daily operations and assuring the integrity of data feeding and driving these systems is paramount. This situation would be challenging enough if it were only internal data that the organization had to worry about – neatly held within enterprise applications and databases. However, every Life Sciences company operates in an ecosystem of customers, supplier and research partners. The amount of data is exploding and most of it is unstructured. According to The Economist, as of 2017, more than 1.7 billion healthcare and fitness apps have been downloaded onto smart phones. These apps are collecting mountains of valuable data that companies can use to improve product development and inform innovation. Towards the quality-centric organization To become a quality-centric organization, you have to be able to effectively many multiple data types from multiple sources. This data has to be reliable and available to drive quality through your entire ecosystem (See figure 1). Figure 1: Key drivers for the end-to-end, quality-centric Life Sciences organization Supplier Enterprise Customer Supplier audit Containment & failure analysis Supplier corrective action Cost recovery Supplier KPI/scorecard Inspection/audits Non-conformance CAPA Containment & failure analysis Document control & records management Change control Digital marketing & communication Training Equipment calibration Safety management Quality scorecard Customer issue & complaint management CAPA Containment & failure analysis Change control Document control & records management Product change notification Quality scorecard   It is difficult – if not impossible – to achieve this level of data integrity without a central platform to manage that data and content. With the Documentum acquisition, OpenText is uniquely positioned to provide the most comprehensive Enterprise Information Management platform to Life Sciences companies. Enterprise application integration, B2B integration and advanced analytics build out the ECM solution to give you new levels of visibility and control of the data across end-to-end business processes. This is the focus for Enterprise World. There will be speakers from some of the world’s largest Life Sciences brands talking about their experiences of driving quality and innovation within their companies. There are still a few spaces available so register today. It would be great to see you there.

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Stale Coaching Programs in the Contact Center

Contact Center Coaching

As I travel and speak with contact center leaders around the world, a very vocal set of customers tell me that their call recording and coaching programs have gone stale. Trapped under heavy versions of software applications from the likes of NICE and Verint, these contact center leaders feel stifled by their task to engage employees, drive change and transform their shifting workforce. What can be done? What steps can make coaching fresh and fun? Is upgrading an old legacy system the right option? Here are 4 great resources: Contact Center Pipeline — The 4 Steps to Replacing a Stale Coaching Program – In my recent article for Contact Center Pipeline, I shared 4 fresh innovations that are helping organizations answer these questions and revive stale coaching programs. Expired Coaching Program – a fun and easy way to see why coaching programs go bad and how to bring them back to life! Forrester WFO Wave – OpenText™ Qfiniti and OpenText™ Explore are every bit as robust as and more scalable than competitor offerings, and as an added bonus you may even enjoy working with us! Can you say that about other companies?  And we have proof!  Checkout Forrester’s review and our “Strong Performer” rating in the WFO Wave. Role of the Contact Center – Donna Fluss with DMG Consulting shares her insights into lessons-learned about reporting coaching program success to executive leadership.  Listen to her response here on our recent video series. We know you may not be in the middle of evaluating vendors for your contact center coaching program right now, but it is likely that you will at some point. I’d like to ask that you keep us on your list and let us share with you ways to keep things fresh and fun.  We’d like nothing more than to earn your business over time. We’re here for the long haul and want to partner with you.

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3 Steps to Retail Supply Chain Excellence Using Dynamic Collaboration

Retail supply chain excellence

Digital transformation is the defining reality for today’s retailers. Reorganizing to serve a smartphone-wielding consumer who shops on-the-go with the expectation of receiving their purchase at the time and place of their choosing – that’s digital transformation. It starts with the omnichannel shopping experience and wends through every operational function. The most important of these is supply chain management – which enables a customer-centric purchasing experience through retail supply chain excellence. As we discuss in our whitepaper, Smart Trading Networks Define the Future of Retail Success, retailers have the advantage of digitized B2B integration using EDI and Internet-based messaging to support trading partner communication. Smart trading networks have evolved from these foundational B2B messaging services. By aggregating transactional data using analytical applications you can monitor, analyze, and report on consumer demand, inventory availability, and supply chain performance. 3 Steps to Achieve Retail Supply Chain Excellence Start your digital transformation by taking these 3 steps to manage complex trading partner relationships with dynamic collaboration. Establish a centralized supplier information management system Understand trading partner performance Manage trading partnerships to improve customer fulfillment Step 1: Establish a Centralized Supplier Information Management System Retailers relying on more sophisticated trading relationships to serve customers need to stay current with their trading partners’ capabilities. At the same time, you have to reduce the cost of managing communications while ensuring compliance to their service levels and operating standards. A Gartner study pegged typical supplier management costs in a range from $585 to just under $1,000 per vendor. With an average of 3,000 active trading partner relationships, retailers are spending close to $3 million annually to manage their supply chain partnerships. As you implement more sophisticated supply chain community initiatives like customer drop-ship or vendor managed inventory, the costs to manage trading partner relationships will only increase. And that necessitates implementing a centralized system to support trading partner communication. Step 2: Understand Trading Partner Performance Monitor the service level and compliance performance of vendors, distributors, banks, 3PLs, and transportation providers with dynamic collaboration. Combining transactional data and data from other sources like point-of-sale, retailers and their trading partners can gain visibility into potential service level issues as well as performance trends. Using dynamic collaboration scorecards gives you a clear view of trading partner performance. Dynamic collaboration is supported by monitoring and measuring specific metrics. Transaction metrics – document arrival and acknowledgement timeliness Operational metrics – transaction volume by document or trading partner Business metrics – order, shipment, and invoice accuracy and timeliness Improving vendor compliance has demonstrated benefits like reducing distribution center costs by eliminating manual processing. It also improves customer fulfillment by speeding merchandise flow to meet demand. Step 3: Manage Trading Partnerships to Improve Customer Fulfillment As retailers look to deliver a more convenient omnichannel shopping experience, coordinating their supply chain to ensure inventory availability will define success. For example, retailers increasingly look for vendors to directly service their customers quickly and efficiently. As Retail Systems Research (RSR) noted in Retail Insight: Consumer Expectations Transform the Industry in 2016, retailers prioritize working with vendors who can provide special capabilities, like drop-ship fulfillment, and meet their compliance and lead-time standards. A smart trading network gives you a vendor compliance collaboration platform with the necessary insight to manage complex business requirements more efficiently. For example, Stage Stores, a regional U.S. department store chain, has leveraged dynamic collaboration to increase compliance violation identification by 500%. At the same time, they reduced the time to resolve compliance issues with vendors from 3 months to 72 hours – streamlining merchandise flow while greatly improving trading partner relationships. Get started today Retailers’ focus on leveraging customer-centric supply chain capabilities and ensuring service level execution across multiple trading partners requires a more automated, collaborative communication and standards compliance process. The three steps outlined above are a great way to start transforming your supply chain to be customer centric. To learn more about implementing a customer-centric supply chain, download Smart Trading Networks Define the Future of Retail Success. More blog posts in this series: 3 Priorities for Adopting a Customer-Centric Retail Supply Chain 5 Tips for E-commerce–Ready Item Management 3 Steps to Retail Supply Chain Excellence Using Dynamic Collaboration Next up for retail supply chain: Inventory orchestration

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“It’s all About the Information!”


Chances are you’ve head this before. And if you are a Ben Kingsley or Robert Redford fan you even recognized the line from Sneakers (released in 1992).  Yes 1992. Before the World Wide Web  Remember Netscape didn’t launch the first commercially successful Web browser until 1993. Actually it’s always been about the information, or at least the right information – the information needed to make an informed decision, not just an intuitive one. Now in many ways the information, the data, has always been there; it’s just that until recently, it was not readily accessible in a timely manner. In today’s internetworked business climate we are more aware of how much data is available to us through technology, like the mobile device in your pocket –at 12GB an iPhone 6S is massively more than the 6Mb programs IBM developed to monitor an Apollo spacecraft’s environmental data. Which demonstrates the reality of Moore’s Law, but that’s another topic. Yet because it’s so easy to create and store large amounts of data today, far too often we’re drowning in data and experiencing information overload. Chances are right now you’re reading this in between deleting that last email, before your next Tweet, because the conference call you are on is being dominated by someone repeating the same information you provided yesterday.   Bernard Marr, a contributor to Forbes, notes “that more data has been created in the past two years than in the entire previous history of the human race.”  Marr’s piece has at least 19 other eye-opening facts about how much data is (and is starting to become) available to us but the one that struck me the most was # 20. “At the moment less than 0.5% of all data is ever analysed and used just imagine the potential here.” 0.5%! Imagine the opportunities missed. For example what if the transaction patterns of a customer indicated they were making more and more purchases of auto parts as well as making more  payments to their local garage (or mechanic). Combined with a recent increase in automatic payroll deposits, might that indicate this customer would be a good prospect for a 0.9% new car financing offer? Or imagine the crises which could be avoided. Think back to February 2016 and the now infamous multi-million dollar Bangladesh Bank heist. As you may recall thieves managed to arrange the transfer of $81 million to the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation in the Philippines. While it’s reasonable to expect existing controls might have detected the theft, it turns out that a “printer error” alerted bank staff. The SWIFT interface at the bank is configured to print out a record each time a funds transfer is executed. But on the morning of Feb 5 the print tray was empty. It took until the next day to get the printer restarted. It also turns out the New York Federal Reserve Bank had sent queries to the Bank questioning the transfers. What alerted the Fed? A typo.  Funds to be sent to the Shalika Foundation, were addressed to the “Shalika fandation.” There’s obviously more to this story, but you can look at WIRED Magazine’s story now. Consider the difference if a certain the bank had the toolset able to flag the anomaly of a misspelled beneficiary in time to generate alerts and hold up the transfers for additional verification? As we know the thieves timed their heist to take full advantage of the week-end, it’s only a small step to have these alerts sent as an SMS text, or email to the bank’s compliance management staff. To best extract value from the business data available to you requires two things:  An engine and a network. The engine is one designed to perform the data driven analysis needed.. With OpenText™ Analytics Suite, financial institutions can not only derive data-driven insights to offer value added solutions to clients they can also better manage the risk of fraudulent payment instructions, based on insights derived from a client’s payment behavior, and the correlating fact that the beneficiary accounts had been opened in May 2015 and not been a previously used  beneficiary. But the other equally important tool is the network. As trains need tracks, analytical tools engine needs data (as well as the network to deliver it). Today more and more of this data needed to extract value comes from outside the enterprise. OpenText™ Business Network is one way thousands of organizations exchange the data needed to manage their business, and provide the fuel for their analytical engines. For example, suppose a bank wanted to offer their customers the ability to generate ad-hoc reporting through their banking portal.  With payment, collection, and reporting data flows delivered through Business Network’s Managed Services, the underlying data would be available for the bank’s analytical engine. Obviously much of the data involved in the examples I’ve provided would be sensitive, confidential, and would need robust information security controls to keep it safe.

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Digital Transformation Across Supply Chains – IDC Infographic

Digital Transformation

OpenText recently sponsored a new IDC research study relating to digital transformation across the supply chain. I recently posted another blog to highlight some of the key findings from this new study that OpenText™ Business Network sponsored. The study looked at whether digital transformation was driving supply chain restructuring activities. In addition to the white paper which you can download here, I have included an infographic in this blog post which helps to illustrate some of the key findings from our new study. In the next few weeks we will also be launching two webinars and five executive briefs on key findings from some of the verticals we surveyed. You can also click on the infographic below to download our new study. Don’t forget, keep an eye out for the webinars and industry briefs that we will be releasing in the coming weeks.

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Energize Your Customer Experience Strategy at Enterprise World

customer experience strategy

Are you looking to re-energize your Customer Experience strategy? Do you want to know how other companies are approaching it? Are you interested in the latest customer experience trends and how they may impact your business? Do you want to catch up on the full suite of technology solutions that can help you from customer engagement, to business insights, all the way through to capturing customer sentiment? If so, come join us at what will be Canada’s largest technical conference of 2017 – OpenText Enterprise World, taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Center. As part of Enterprise World we will have a wide range of activities specifically catering to attendees interested in Customer Experience. With 40 breakout sessions, that coverage a wide range of topics designed for strategic planners, customer experience practitioners, and solutions developers. These are supplemented by a series of presentations in a dedicated Customer Experience theater on the Expo floor. Close to the theater, you will find dedicated demonstration pods where you can view the latest enhancements in the OpenText Customer Experience Suite portfolio of products and chat with OpenText’s own experts. Better than listening to our experts, is the chance to listen to others who are driving the digital transformation of Customer Experience within their own companies. On Tuesday, July 11 at 4:10pm we are pleased to host one of our customer speakers, from an internationally recognized brand, on the event’s main stage to share their story or how implementing a customer experience strategy helped further promote the brand, encourage customer engagement and retention, and bring real, measurable, business benefit. Throughout the event will also have other customers presenting in various breakout sessions and on customer panels. These are great opportunities for you to learn from your peers, and ask insightful questions that will help you along your own digital transformation journey. Equally, the various breakout sessions presented by the OpenText industry and product experts will help you get the most from solutions implementations, do deeper dives into product features if you want, or just gain a good overall understanding of industry trends and best practices. Add in opportunities to participate in the Innovation and Developer Labs, means there is a lot to choose from. To help you gain the most from your time at Enterprise World we will be sharing a series Map Your Path outlines that recommend the best CEM and related sessions for you whether prime interest is in Digital Asset Management, Web Content Management, Customer Communications Management, or Contact Center Workforce Optimization and Surveys. If this all sounds like a great reason to spend July 10th to the 13th in Toronto, then make sure to register and we’ll see you there.

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5 Tips For Better Digital Marketing in Financial Services

financial services

While Financial Services CEOs and CIOs talk of the importance of digital transformation, many firms have been slower to harness the potential of digital marketing. Whether held back by the regulations governing their activities, or their legacy systems and data, companies understand the importance of digital communication but still find implementation a challenge. This is a major theme for the Financial Services track at this year’s Enterprise World so I thought I’d write a blog to outline five key areas to consider when moving to digital marketing. There is one figure that illustrates the gap between the financial services sector and industries when it comes to digital marketing: almost three quarters of retail and consumer goods companies report acquiring a customer through Facebook. This falls to under one third for banks and financial services companies. Yet digital marketing has proved to be more effective in financial services than elsewhere. Financial services ranks highest in website conversion rates compared to other industries. Sales conversions in financial services are 58% higher on a mobile than a desktop device. How do financial services firms get the most of their investment in digital marketing? Here are five brief pointers. Map content to the customer journey It might come as a surprise to know that research shows that financial services leads the way in content marketing. Research shows that 75% of financial services marketers have separate content strategies in place for each marketing channel, more than any other industry sector. Sadly, few marketers believe their content marketing strategies are as effective they could be though. The idea of providing useful and relevant content to people as they pass along their customer journey is an easy one but it is very challenging to implement. What channels are they using? What level of detail do they want? What are their personal preferences? What did they do when they consumed a piece of content and how should you respond? Content marketing is more than creating great content and distributing it properly. It is about being able to use the information you have available to discern the habits of individuals and being able to quickly – sometimes automatically – create communications based on their preferences and real-world behaviors. A customer communications solution like OpenText™ Exstream moves beyond simple Marketing Automation or Content Marketing solutions to enable you to draw from multiple sources to gain a better picture of the customer and customize communication effectively. Get personalized content right every time Customized communications begins with appropriate personalization. Most financial services firms are well aware of the importance of personalization but 60% of marketers admit they struggle to personalize content in real-time. Financial services marketers are faced with two challenges: they need to access data from a wide range of sources – both internally and externally – to gain the single view of a customer needed to effectively personalize communication. Secondly they need to ensure that they are using the personal data on customers and prospects in ways that comply with industry regulations. This is why a customer communications solution like Exstream is so important. It can dynamically access data and content from multiple sources – both structured and unstructured data – and deliver fully personalized one-to-one communication to virtually any print or electronic channel. Deliver the omni-channel customer experience The Aberdeen Group has found that companies with strong omni-channel capabilities retain on average 89% of their customers, compared to just 33% of companies that are weak in this area. We have moved way beyond the need to be ‘mobile-ready’ or deliver impressive mobile apps – although these are important. This is all about allowing an end-to-end transaction or engagement with customers to happen smoothly on a range of devices. A customer may want to research on their desktop, talk to an agent in the call center and set up their account administration on their mobile. Each time they interact with your brand, the experience should be seamless with the information available so that your customer can complete their transaction at the earliest point possible. For this reason you always need to think of omni-channel not as multiple channels but as channel independence. The service has to be delivered as an end-to-end service that the customer can access at any stage – using any device they want – and receive the exact same experience. OpenText Exstream takes this one step further. For on-demand, real-time and structured communications, if the primary delivery channel is unavailable for any reason, the solution sends the communication through secondary channels to minimize service disruption and increase customer satisfaction. Remember marketing doesn’t just happen in the marketing department It has been a long time since marketing could be considered a simple exercise in outbound communication that ends the moment the lead passes to sales. We talk about the customer journey and that encompasses pre-sales, sales, support and the development of customers as advocates. Marketers today work in collaboration with other departments – every piece of correspondence is the opportunity to upsell and cross-sell. This means knowing the customer as an end-to-end persona across the organization. Your marketing systems require seamless access to other enterprise systems to achieve this objective. They will need to draw data from ERP, CRM, billing and accounts systems and many others to ensure that the messages being to delivered to individuals are targeted, personalized and delivered at just the right time. A customer communications solution like OpenText Exstream will have a comprehensive range of connectors to seamlessly integrate into your enterprise environment to make enterprise data available to marketing for analysis and campaign development. Put governance and compliance front and center The myriad of new social and digital channels offer as great a risk as opportunity for an industry as heavily regulated as the financial services sector. To reap the benefits of digital media means ensuring that personal data and content is protected and used properly in all instances. This requires a customer communications platform that has information governance built-in. With OpenText Exstream, financial services firms can centralize content control and ensure effective governance is placed upon it. There is opportunity here. By taking such a structured approach about how you work with and control content, you can more effectively and cost-efficiently manage the flow of information across a large array of customer engagement points. Digital marketing is a major part of the digital transformation programs now underway at most financial services companies. It offers the potential to cost-effectively reach your customers with messages and content that you know will resonate. During Enterprise World, we’ll be looking at best practices in digital marketing for financial services companies and be hearing from some of the world’s leading financial brands about what they have achieved. It would be great to meet with you there.

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The Impact on Government

“Good enough” as a measure for government work is no longer good enough. The changing nature of the citizenry (Millennials and subsequent generations) will massively raise the bar for government. Citizens want to engage with their governments. They want to voice opinions, coordinate their activities, and in some cases, circumnavigate their officials. Citizens want full transparency and automated services. Why do we need to file a tax return? If all of our transactions are digital, we should simply be emailed a check or a bill. If the wallet disappears, will our need for a passport, ID card, or a driver’s license persist? Or will we be provided with a digital identity in the form of a digital fingerprint or retina scanner? The revolutionary wave in 2011 known as Arab Spring highlighted the power of social media; the U.S. election of 2016 weaponized its capabilities. Governments will have more data and massive controls over people via their information and behaviors, obtained through pervasive surveillance. Governments can also do good with their data, and set agendas for Open Data, to unlock the value of data sets to spur innovation and invention. Imagine the emergence of educational institutions using the billion dollar infrastructures of NASA and the Departments of Energy or Agriculture to drive innovation. It will be a battle over privacy and citizens must never relent on the protection of their information. Data corrupts, absolute data corrupts absolutely. The very nature of conflict and war will be redefined in the 4IR. Mobilizing troops, engaging in gunfire, bombing power plants, and blowing up dams will be replaced with hacking systems and shutting down power grids. These will be the new acts of war. A new playbook will be required to counterbalance the black-hats, to protect our way of life, and to ensure the analog version of war is minimized and avoided. Just as the rules of war will change, so too will governments. They will need to conform to the theory of global governance epitomized by transgovernmentalism (G+)—as administrators of the collective good, purveyors of the ultimate surveillance program (such as PRISM), and as power centers competing with other governments. At the end of the day, governments will need to re-think how they protect citizen workers in the 4IR as labor is displaced at scale. As labor is displaced, the economic divide will widen. It will be our responsibility as governments, businesses, and individuals to harness the potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to bridge this divide for the greater good. We are in the midst of a technological revolution known as the Golden Age of Innovation. If technology is an enabler for change, then the 4IR has the potential to raise every citizen of the world out of poverty. To achieve this will be the ultimate measure of success. I will explore this more in my final blog in this series. To read more, download The Golden Age of Innovation. I’ll be taking this message on the road for Enterprise World. Learn more. I’d love to hear your thoughts. To provide feedback, or if you would like to see additional topics covered in future publications, please add your comment below.

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Effective Change Management – Next Step to Operational Excellence for Energy Companies

Change management

In my previous blog, I looked at the need to gain control of your content when creating operational excellence. In this blog I thought I’d cover the role of effective change management. Operational excellence is the main focus of the Energy track at this year’s Enterprise World where some of the world’s largest brands will be discussing industry best practice and their individual approaches. Change management at an operational level provides huge opportunity to drive cost and productivity improvements. The last few years had been tough for energy companies. Low oil prices have seen capital projects cancelled and costs cut to the bone. Wood MacKenzie believes that oil and gas companies, especially, are coming out of survival mode and are set for renewing investment in growth. However, I’d say that the focus on operational efficiency is now ingrained at most energy companies. As Wood MacKenzie points out, one reason that companies can begin to re-invest is that the focus on operations to create revenues has improved cash flow generation. Energy companies are far from out of the woods just yet. The result of years of retrenchment, according to Ernst and Young, is that over 50% of global oil and gas production comes from assets that passed the midpoint of their life cycle. We all know that the older assets get, the less reliable. We may want 100% production and 100% uptime but that is not going to happen. Things go wrong. In fact, Ernst and Young reports an 11% year-on-year decline in E&P operational efficiency between 2008 and 2012. Putting a value on operational change management Delivering a structured approach to change management at an operational level boosts efficiency and productivity by reducing the errors and accelerating workflows and collaboration across the organization and with external parties. It is only one element of operational excellence but it can be highly significant. Ernst and Young predicts that operational costs for major oil and gas suppliers increases at 2.85% per annum – which will see costs rise from just under $250 billion in 2017 to over $280 billion in 2020. The consultancy suggests that there is the potential for $25 billion savings to be made between best-in-class and average operations. In a presentation for Digital Energy Journal, Haliburton discussed the ‘power of the 1%’ – the ability to find a small improvement in operations that brings major benefits. If effective change management can achieve only a 1% improvement – using EY figures – that’s a $250 million saving. In practice, excellent change management offers far greater rewards. Implementing effective change management I define operational change management as the process of improving workflows to minimize the time, effort and cost of delivering peak asset performance. From something that was primarily paper-based, we’re moving to a completely integrated operations and maintenance environment. This means more than digitization. It requires a highly structured approach – underpinned by a central EIM platform – to the capture, management and sharing of information within the change management process. There are five key elements to delivering effective change management: Integrate your Plant Maintenance scheduling system with your critical engineering content: As work orders are issued to the maintenance engineers, links should be generated to lead the engineer to the relevant and up to date documentation required to undertake the task safely and successfully. Capture & coordinate content change: As the plant is modified during a maintenance task, you have to be able to capture all change requests and automatically associate all relevant content to that request. Any necessary revisions to documentation only occur after the changes have been approved. Automate notifications & acknowledgements: All updates to documentation have to be circulated to the people who need them. The process should be fully automated not only to ensure access at the proper time but to also facilitate an audit trail for compliance. Review & approve changes: You require a central system that allows all changes to be managed from a single package. There needs to be stringent version control so all participants know that they are working on correct – and the most up-to-date – information. Share & collaborate: As industry partnerships and cooperation grows, you require an automated and secure means to exchange documents with external parties. The shared information has to be correct and tracked – all changes have to go through exactly the same change and approval process as internal documentation. In this way companies can create a fully end-to-end change management process (see figure 1 below) that has benefits beyond improving the efficiency of operational changes. The energy industry is the midst of a major skills challenge. It’s not just assets that are aging! As people retire or move, essential skills are being lost and are not easy to replace. A digital change management approach lessens that burden on knowledgeable staff and reducing the training overhead for new staff. Figure 1. A structured end-to-end change management platform If you’d like to hear first hand how OpenText is helping the world’s largest energy companies achieve operational excellence, there’s still time to join us at this year’s Enterprise World. There are still a few place left so register today.

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eDOCS at Enterprise World 2017: see our Latest Product Release

eDocs 16.2

We’re looking forward to seeing you at Enterprise World from July 10-13 in Toronto, Canada. Why Attend? eDOCS customers come to Enterprise World for many reasons, to:  Interact with industry peers to understand common problems and solutions  Hear from well-known and respected ECM thought leaders  Return to the office with a better sense for how you’ll evolve your eDOCS system New Product Releases Certainly, one of the best reasons to attend is to learn about recent and upcoming product releases. Earlier this year, the launch of eDOCS 16.1 brought a host of functionality – from FlexFolders and Shared Workspaces to streamlined administration in the DM Management Studio. With Release 16.2 we’re pleased to add InfoCenter to our arsenal of DM interfaces. InfoCenter is a modern “tiled” UI that is highly customizable and easily tailored – providing users with more options and flexibility in how they work. We’re also adding features like “eDOCS Search+” and a RESTful API. Attend our breakout session about these recent product releases or pop by our booth in the tradeshow area to get a live demonstration. You can also read this blog to discover all about the the must-see eDocs sessions that are happening at Enterprise World this year. Click here for more details about attending. See you in Toronto!

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Gain Control of Your Content – First Step to Operational Excellence for Energy Companies

operational excellence

There are many notable anniversaries this year. It’s 50 years since the Sergeant Pepper album. JFK was born in 1917 at the same time as the Russians were having a revolution. You may not be aware of another anniversary: the Mechanicville hydro-electric plant  in New York is 120 years old this year – and it’s still going! Aging assets is just one of the challenges that energy companies face as they increase their focus on operational excellence. At this year’s Enterprise World, we’re going to be looking at best practice approaches to achieve effective operations and maintenance. It all starts by gaining control of your content. It’s a demanding business environment for many energy companies. According to US Energy Information Administration, energy consumption fell by 3.5% between its peak in 2007 and 2015. Companies who undertook expensive capital projects while oil prices were high now find that they need to wring every penny of profit out of the assets they have. The average nuclear power station in the US is 36 years old and companies are looking to extend their life for another 20 years or more. Sweating your aging assets Aging assets mean more maintenance activities on your plant or rig to ensure peak performance for the longest period of time. They mean an increasing struggle with the loss of knowledge and skills as personnel leave or retire. And, there’s paper. Lots and lots of paper. In fact, I worked on the transfer of an asset between oil companies a few years back. The documentation from the previous owners arrived at our door on 16 palettes. It took four months to deploy a production solution to manage the asset that satisfied contractual requirements. Energy companies are now well advanced with their Digital Transformation strategies but they are still to properly gain control of their content. I’d suggest that most energy firms, if they were honest, would admit to still being at the stage of trying to understand what content they have, where it is and what tools they need to effectively manage and utilize it. Today, we still have operational management systems driven by silos of information that rely on both paper-based records and the direction of staff that are knowledgeable in how the system works. Recently I helped another US oil company break down its silos of operations and engineering documentation that were costing millions of dollars in regulatory fines. Pressures surrounding regulatory compliance are growing but they still pale against a situation where an engineer arriving to undertake maintenance doesn’t know what the fault is, whether all the documentation is correct, whether they have the right part or, indeed, whether they’re in the right area of the plant! Gain control of your content The ARC Advisory Group suggests that the global process industry loses $20 billion, or 5% of annual production, due to unscheduled downtime. A major contributory factor to this is the inability to effectively use the information and documentation on all aspects of operations. You can’t implement predictive maintenance when you don’t know what’s actually happening with your assets. Rather than operational information being the impediment, it has to become the enabler. There are two key elements to gaining control of your operational content: Centralized information control  – the first step has to be to ensure that all information is held digitally. Beyond this, it has to be held centrally or easily accessible from a central system. That system must be able to enforce data integrity and security. You need to be able to deliver a ‘single version of the truth’ for every piece of content within your operations. Enterprise information access – the second step is to ensure that all documentation is up-to-date, correct and reliable. You have to be able to limit access to only the correct versions. You must be able to ensure that all changes are made in a systematic and structured way. All rights and security has to be rigorously enforced. Finally, the information has to be accessible quickly wherever and whenever it is needed. Secure mobile access becomes a core component of this. The benefits of using centralized information management to drive operational efficiency can be extremely impressive. Deloitte suggests that the US Navy’s ability to coordinate policy, design and maintenance changes within its shipyards has saved it at $2 billion. EIM: The platform for operational excellence Designed specifically for the energy sector, the Extended ECM Solution from OpenText combines an industry-leading EIM, purpose-built interfaces and workflows, and industry best practices. Figure 1. Gain control of content. The central role of Enterprise Information Management It includes all the control and management functionality an energy company needs to gain full control of its content as well as securely sharing the information across enterprise departments and with suppliers and customers. It integrates the content to the operations and maintenance work orders from systems like SAP and Maximo and with the potential to add on data analytics allows for greater insight to the content and data. All together it provides the information foundation to deliver the productivity gain and cost reduction benefits of operational excellence. In my next blog, I’ll discuss how excellent content control will help you achieve operational excellence through intelligent change management.

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Thoughts From Digiruption Indaba South Africa


Digiruption Indaba is our customer day in Africa – Indaba means ‘gathering’. This year, Digiruption was held at the Galleria in Johannesburg. And what a day it was! Fully packed with highlights. I’ve had the privilege of attending this event for the last 2 years and I’m amazed at the number of customers and partners that attend. This year we finished at just under 400 in total which was a great effort. After some energetic drumming to get everyone excited for the day, Country Manager Lenore Kerrigan acting as host gave a welcome address to everyone and thanked them for attending. This included long term customers, partners and the new customers who joined our family from ECD, HP and others. This was followed by a welcome message and video presentation from OpenText CEO and CTO Mark Barrenechea (who was unable to join us this year). Lenore then introduced our first guest speaker. “Exploration drives Innovation” Our first guest speaker was Dr Adriana Marais from SAP. Adriana is Head of Innovation at SAP Africa working on such diverse projects as Quantum Cryptography, Block chain and automated drone delivery. During her presentation one of these points was demonstrated by being joined by a drone on stage! All of which are joined by a common thread of being innovative, leading edge and of global benefits.. but wait.. As if those diverse projects weren’t enough to keep her busy, Adriana is one of the final 100 candidates for the extraordinary Mars One Expedition (you can learn about that here and here). She spoke passionately about how the next step for humans to solve our problems can only be found in Space and specifically on Mars. I think everyone came away with a great appreciation and a sense of ‘awe’ at people like Adriana who are prepared to take on some of the largest problems in the world, and solve them. “The best thing about social media it is allows anyone to be a celebrity, and the worst thing is it allows anyone to become a celebrity” Following that on the keynote was Emma Sadleir, who is a consultant lawyer and author specialising in Social Media Law. In her energetic and informative presentation she gave many examples of how to use Social Media correctly and how both famous and more importantly employees use Social Media incorrectly and what the liabilities are for both the company and the employee. Illustrating each point with examples and she had a fair few number of people quickly checking their Twitter accounts! I have asked Emma for her permission to use her image here (but this proves I was listening as if I had used it without permission I could have broken some laws.) The 4th Industrial Revolution and the OpenText Future Sandwiched between the two guest speakers, we had Thomas Dong, VP of Product Marketing presenting the OpenText keynote on our Strategic Direction, the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution and the new technologies that affect and inspire Digital Transformation. Before that, Detlev Ledger had chaired a panel of our customers, (Capitec, Distell, MediClinic, NHLS and SANBS ) discussing such topics as their use of OpenText (including ECD), their future plans, experiences and their thoughts on the future of EIM. Lunch, Technology, Customers, Public Sector and the Silent Disco… After a nice lunch (including the High Commissioner for Canada saying a few words) everyone was free for some time to mingle with the partners and network. One of the things I’d not seen before was a partner innovation track – similar to a Silent Disco (for those of you not in the know – it’s where you all wear headphones to dance around in silence.. yeah, I wasn’t certain as well!) but in the context of partner day it allowed the partners to give a 15 minute breakout where the audience were not distracted by the background noise of the event. During the afternoon we had breakouts across three tracks and I visited breakouts in all 3 sessions and was pleased to see the partners and customers alike attending and interacting. The 3 tracks were based around OpenText solutions, Customers (all presented by customers) and Public Sector (which makes a sizable part of the African customer base). In the technology track myself, Albert Tay and Arsalan Minhas covered topics such as what’s new in EP2, low Code with Process Suite, where to being with Digital Transformation and AI Implications for the Enterprise. In the Customers track, Distell presented their Release 16 (Distell are a long time customer and are typically one of the first organisations to deploy any new Content Server releases) Capitec Bank (its great to see our new ECD customers already comfortable to talk at an OpenText event) described their approach to Client Centricity. Finally, Mediclinic presented how xECM for SuccessFactors is allowing them to achieve their goal of a central HR functions. Mediclinic are the first customer of OpenText’s to be live on the xECM for SuccessFactors solution and have a great story to tell. In the public sector track we had another ECD customer, the Department for Social Development, presenting their Social Grant Appeals Process, the South African National Blood Service talked about their enterprise wide OpenText and SAP Implementation and finally the National Health Laboratory Service presented their ECM journey. Awards and Final Thoughts Following the event we all adjourned to the roof of the Galleria for food and well deserved cocktails and prize giving to watch the sun go down over Johannesburg. Amongst those receiving prizes were SAP for partner of the year, MediClinic for Go-Live project of the year, Capitec for Customer Visionary, and Engen for Customer of the Year. What really stood out at the event for me was the level of investment and trust that the customers have placed in OpenText and how critical in most cases our solution. Be it from face-to-face discussions or email feedback from various companies, the response to our EIM strategy and acquisitions was overwhelmingly positive. So, from all of us at OpenText attending to all our customers and our partners, Thank you for helping is have a great customer day and hopefully we will all see you each other again next year. Photos by Des Ingham-Brown, Blowfish Productions

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