Recent Posts

Forget on-premises: InfoArchive, Docker and Amazon AWS


There are two buzzwords that we have heard in the IT world for some time now: Cloud and Containerization. For me, 2016 proved that these two topics have changed from hype to reality, even in the biggest enterprises, and a lot of customers were asking for our solutions, like OpenText™ InfoArchive,  in public clouds and/or running as Docker containers. While our engineering and PS teams are doing a great job in providing these solutions, I decided to walk this route myself. Follow me  on the journey if you’re interested. I started my tests by creating a Docker hub account. The account private repository will be used to store the InfoArchive Docker images and automatically deploy from there. It is very easy to create a Docker container from InfoArchive – talk to me if you want to know more. It takes just a couple of steps and you’ll have your InfoArchive Docker container image ready. What’s next? Now let’s run this image in Amazon EC2 Container Services (ECS). Welcome to the “cloud world” If you’re new to the Amazon world you might have difficulty understanding some of the terminology around Amazon ECS. I hope this post will help you with this. ECS cluster In the first step we need an ECS Cluster. ECS Cluster of EC2 instances and services. EC2 instances are our “good old” virtual machines and represent our available compute resources. The work that you assign to the cluster is described as “services”. The picture below shows that our InfoArchive cluster started with 3 micro servers (each of them automatically initiated by ECS from the below amzn-ami… VM image): Within a minute your cluster compute resources are running and waiting for you to assign them some work. Ignore the memory values in the below screenshot – I took the screenshot with 3 running tasks occupying the memory already. InfoArchive is a “classic” three-tiered architecture product: Native XML database xDB at the backend, InfoArchive server as middleware and InfoArchive web UI. To prepare for scalability requirements of our deployment we’ll run each of the tiers as dedicated containers. We’ll “front-end” each of the tiers with an EC2 load balancer. This approach will also simplify the configuration of the container instances, since each container instance will have to connect to the underlying load balancer only (with known static hostname/IP) instead of trying to connect with the constantly changing IP addresses of the container instances. On a very high level the architecture can be depicted as shown below: EC2 load balancers are set up quickly  – my list (shown below) contains 4 instances since I’ve also configured a dedicated public load balancer for xDB connectivity. With this step completed the ECS cluster, its compute resources and the cluster load balancers are prepared. Let’s put InfoArchive on the cluster now.

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WFO Video Series: Driving Contact Center Awareness

WFO video series

I have had the pleasure of speaking with Donna Fluss, President of DMG Consulting, on numerous occasions, and she often ends her sessions with a very compelling illustration – a boardroom table with one empty seat. She then asks the audience, “How do you earn your seat at the table?” Then, with the right amount of poise and firmness, she challenges the audience to align their day-to-day lives with the quarter-by-quarter business objectives of their organization. “It is up to you,” she says, “to establish the importance of the contact center in helping the enterprise achieve its strategic goals.” In much the same way, I often see the normal cast of characters:  CEO, CFO, CMO, COO, CIO, CTO…involved in strategy, but painfully unaware of the role that their contact center plays in driving corporate customer experience goals. So to help you drive contact center awareness, OpenText WFO Software is launching a new video series with your journey in mind. Our 2017 video series is now online and features a great line-up of industry veterans and analysts. We asked each speaker their view on questions such as: What defines a positive customer experience with your company? How do you align your contact center with top priorities of your executive leadership? How do you align your goals with these other business units? And the list goes on! Visit the Video Series where you can easily navigate from question to question and  from speaker to speaker, then listen to video commentaries from each panelist. We encourage you to share the insights. Each video clip is very short, and as they are published over the coming weeks you can share a specific video with your colleagues or via social media by clicking on the blue “share” box under each video. Use the hashtag #CCTRImpact. Finally, I want to extend my sincere thanks to Donna, Jason, Keith, Kate and Roger for their time in helping us to bring this series to you. Their individual expertise is highly respected in our industry, and we all hope the advice they have offered in each video will help you get closer to having your place at the table.

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What are the key Strategic Initiatives for 2017 for OpenText and SAP?


As always in early January a few of us attend the SAP FKOM (sales kick off) event in either Barcelona, Singapore or Orlando. This is a great opportunity to meet with SAP Sales teams and introduce people to our joint solutions. As we prepared and attended this year, we defined a number of key strategies for 2017 and beyond – Journey to S/4HANA, Cloud and IoT. Journey to S/4HANA At a recent UK conference, the number of customers who had migrated to SAP was only 5% meaning that there are a lot of customers who are planning, or yet to start their migration to S/4HANA. The solutions we offer can both speed up the migration and reduce the costs of the migration. When migrating to S/4HANA organisations should ask themselves “Do I need to move all my content from all these systems?” and “As part of my migration, can I decommission some of these applications” and to save time, the answers are No and Yes respectively. With our solutions a customer can store all non-live data in a fully compliant archive, before migrating only the live enterprise data into the S/4HANA Platform. This will save money when purchasing S/4HANA Appliances up front. And, of course, since all the content that is archived can be accessed from the S/4HANA applications, customers can safely decommission their legacy applications, saving money on hardware, software and support costs as well as reducing their carbon footprint and helping the environment. Finally, by maintaining an effective archive strategy, customers can also keep the growth of the S/4HANA platform controlled and predictable. The graphic above is an indication of the savings over 3 years that can be achieved for an average-sized SAP implementation. Cloud We are committed to offering our solutions in both the OpenText and SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud (HEC)  as well as certification for other clouds such as Azure; and offering the correct cloud pricing structures, and quick start solutions. Our latest cloud release is Extended ECM for SuccessFactors. This solution allows SuccessFactors users to view the employee file within the SuccessFactors UI, rather than having it in two separate applications or in extreme cases, archived in a paper file somewhere. As with the example provided above, time and cost savings can be impressive. In addition, not only does xECM For SuccessFactors allow for viewing the employee file, it also supports the automatic generation of employee letters (for example, in response to employee queries, performance reviews, etc.) thus automating the process whilst delivering personalised letters in paper and electronic format. Other OpenText for SAP solutions will be certified and released for the cloud over the coming months, so keep watching for more announcements. IoT In the EcoSystem world of OpenText and SAP the IoT is one of the most discussed topics. It is probably the largest industry buzz-word over the last 12 / 18 months and could enable new business models for almost every organisation. With over 5 million devices being registered each day the relevance of ‘Things’ is increasing. A lot of ‘Things’ are generating structured data, which means a massive increase in structured data storage is coming for SAP customers. Machine learning and AI are key topics when dealing with unstructured data – how to interpret, decide and respond to the new data correctly. But what about the content? I recently watched a great whiteboard session detailing an entire data-driven scenario around the IoT Fridge, reporting faults, that lead to repair cycles, supplier interaction, billing, shipping of parts and a lot more scenarios. This was a great example of the SAP Digital Core but at no point was content mentioned, even though a large amount of the process above was automated, content is still being generated – in the form of employee work orders, billing, invoicing, customer warranty information, guarantees, receipts and supplier invoices for example. So, as the IoT and associated topics continue to be delivered and new use cases are invented, there is also going to be more and more content generated, and that needs to be managed effectively by OpenText. We will be attending the SAP Innovation Forums all across EMEA in the coming months and I will be in Dubai in 2 weeks at the Gartner Symposium. If you are also attending feel free to reach out to me for a chat about the above, or anything related to OpenText and SAP.

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What a Difference a Year Makes, Here and in IoT

Internet of Things (IoT)

This is my first anniversary at OpenText – and what a year it’s been. I’ve travelled the world and met some amazing people doing some amazing things. Special mention has to go to the 2016 Enterprise World, OpenText’s flagship event, and the IDC Manufacturing Summit  in Lisbon where we discussed the role of Digital Transformation in the sector. But, let’s talk about the Internet of Things (IoT). I wrote a blog in early 2016 predicting that it would be the year that IoT went mainstream in manufacturing and I thought it might be good – unlike so many other analyst predictions – to go back and take a look at just how right I was! A year back, my argument was that IoT was beginning the move from theory to practice. Organizations were building IoT ecosystems that would fundamentally change the way they operated. My particular interest is the Industrial Internet of Things – or Industry 4.0 – which is about enabling manufacturers to work smarter and attain business goals such as: Doing more with less by increasing the use of smart data to power business efficiencies Open up new market opportunities that were previously inaccessible before disruptive technology was available Grow their business by increasing to value of their product through full life support by enhancing products with added life long services Increasing quality of product through real time and virtual monitoring and predictive maintenance and thus retain customer loyalty for life. Glance at recent research and my predictions are looking pretty good. According to McKinsey, the economic impact of IoT applications could be as much as $11 trillion by 2025 – up to $3.7 trillion of which will happen within factory environments. By 2019, says IDC, 75% of manufacturing value chains will undergo an operating model transformation, with digitally connected processesthat improve responsiveness and productivity by 15%. More impressively, Tata Consulting has found that manufacturers utilizing IoT solutions in 2014 saw an average 28.5% increase in revenues between 2013 and 2014. Indeed, OpenText’s own 2017 research has shown that 38% of European manufacturers surveyed have already implemented IoT solutions with another 48% planning to within the next twelve months. Look out for more on this in a future blog. One company I highlighted as a great example of how IoT is already beginning to change everything was Tesla. I had the luck to test drive the Tesla S on its introduction to the UK and the motoring and customer experience was like no other. It demonstrated functionality and capability that are real differentiators for the industry. Add to that a very unique go to market, service and ownership model this car is an automotive game changer in so many ways. Now, Tesla says it’s pretty close to having a driverless car that can travel from New York to Los Angeles without any human intervention. This is an incredible example of how quickly things have progressed in such a short period of time – and it’s only one of many. We are now at the stage where it is easy to point to factories that are already moving away from traditional centralized production process to an integrated, highly automated network of devices and machines. Companies are already beginning to create flexible production processes to move from mass production to individual runs that can be achieved cost-effectively and just in time to unique customer demands. So, we’ve made a great start but I’m not sure we can call IoT mainstream just yet. As the World Economic Forum points out, there are still some important challenges to be overcome: How to assure the interoperability of systems How to guarantee real-time control and predictability, when thousands of devices communicate at the same time How to prevent disruptors, or competitors, taking control of highly networked production systems How to determine the benefit or return on investment in IoT technologies This echoes exactly my thoughts. You can watch a webinar here that I held in partnership with The Manufacturer magazine in the UK. At the time, I made the point that organizations had to take much greater control of their data. By adding the technology that collects that data and channeling it through an Enterprise Information Management (EIM) system like OpenText, they have been presented with suites of information on which to base much smarter and faster business decisions. To this I’d add the need to for a powerful and easy-to-use analytics engine  that can deliver both predictive and operational insight into the vast amounts of data created within any IoT ecosystem. Placing IoT at the heart of business strategy is also essential – and companies that have done this are starting to reap the rewards. One of my first engagements when I joined OpenText last year was to take in the inaugural IoTTechExpo Conference in London. Patrick Bass, CEO of ThyssenKrupp NA, gave an excellent presentation of how successful transformation projects need to be part of your business strategy. One year on,  Andreas Schirenbeck, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Elevators spoke about how IoT is now transforming their industry. I’ll come back to this in another blog soon. So, I’m going to take credit for being half right! The trend towards IoT implementation is coming on in leaps and bounds but, while organizations focus on building the interoperability of networks and devices, they must also make sure they have a platform to ensure they mazimise the value in their data and information. And, if you’d like to wish me a happy anniversary, you can send me a tweet!

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Beyond the Tipping Point: The Role of Digital in the Financial Services Customer Journey

financial services

Something very significant happened in late 2015. It happened quietly and I guess many people didn’t even notice. For the first time, there were more mobile-based transactions than from traditional bricks-and-mortar branches. The tipping point had been passed. More importantly, it was the customers and not Financial Services firms that determined when it happened. So if your customers are going to choose how and when to engage with you, you need to be able to offer services at each stage of the digital customer journey. The same trend towards new channel adoption is beginning to play out with mobile and online banking. In 2015, the amount of mobile transactions in retail banking grew by 54% compared with only 2% for online. We’re not yet at parity but we’re not far away. Atom Bank is an excellent example of what mobile-only Financial Services can look like. The success of the new branch-based model of Metro Bank in the UK, however, illustrates something that should be perfectly obvious: customers want to consume services the way that best suits them – often the way they are simply most comfortable with. Financial Services organizations – whether banks, insurance firms or investment houses – need to be aware of this fact. This thought occurred to me as I read a recent report entitled ‘The evolution of Financial Services’.  It mainly looks at the effect that Digital Transformation is having on what it calls “traditional, challenger or disruptor” Financial Services companies. It talks a lot about customer experience but, in the end, it actually focuses on the communication channels. But customers don’t really care about channel – that’s simply a means to an end – they care about simplicity, transparency, fairness and security. And, they expect that from their provider before they have even bought something through to the day they leave – and beyond. Financial Services companies have worked hard to create a single view of the customer – with varying degrees of success – now they need to create a single view of the digital customer journey.  Here are my 4 top tips to building excellent customer experience: The world’s gone digital. It just forgot to tell some important people! There is no doubt that mobile banking and insurance apps are changing the way that many people consume financial products. And the smartphone is the firm favorite of the Millennial. But Forbes has pointed out a small paradox. Although 80% of retail customer transactions were through self-service applications, more than half of US banking customers had visited their branch within the last six months. Incredibly, a lot of people still prefer their statements printed out and mailed to them. So omni-channel isn’t always a process of channel migration and Digital Transformation isn’t always about replacing paper documents with electronic equivalents. For most Financial Services companies, the requirement is for a flexible and agile infrastructure that allows a mix of channels from which customers can select. It requires a means of managing content so that digital data management is combined with traditional document and records management. In this way, firms can deliver the experience customers expect. Simple, secure and satisfactory. The three S’s for Financial Services success It is always tempting to think we should always be looking to ‘surprise’ or ‘exceed expectations’ but customers seem to want something much more grounded. Within Financial Services, they want products that are simple and fair (no hidden fees or unnecessary jargon). More widely, customers simply want to be satisfied with their experience – which can be defined as you doing what you say you’re going to do – and that is also the best way to build loyalty. This is, of course, easier said than done.   I think that an Enterprise Information Management (EIM) platform to collate and coordinate all customer data and gives everyone – including your customer themselves – access to the right information whenever they need it. Personalization is most powerful when it moves beyond marketing Digital marketing has had a major impact in Financial Services. Organizations have begun to maximize the value of the data they have. It allows them to better understand and connect with customers. Being able to personalize and create marketing around their life events leads to much more targeted and successful campaigns. But, here’s an interesting thing: customers are happy to give you permission to use their data for personalized marketing purposes – although most don’t really want to. They do, however, actively want you to personalize their purchase and support experiences. This is something that requires a fresh approach to how Financial Services look at Big Data. There needs to be a move towards real-time data analytics without which one industry expert said: “data warehouses become white elephants that serve a very specific purpose“. It’s not the Channel. It’s the consistency that’s important Here’s a popular myth: People hate contact centers. No, they don’t. What they hate is the poor experience that pretty much everyone has had when dealing with a contact center. If your experiences had been nothing but great then I bet you’d love contact centers. So if you can provide an excellent customer experience – and ensure that it’s consistently great regardless on which channel your customer uses – then the idea of the traditional customer service scenario – Press 1 to descend into a deeper layer of hell – can be consigned to history. Customer Communications Management provides a solid foundation for delivering consistent, targeted and personalized communication whichever channel or channels your customer prefers. Gartner has suggested that 89% of companies will compete mainly on the quality of the customer experience they provide. There’s no doubt that digital is transforming the business processes of Financial Service firms and how they engage with their customers. But successful companies will be the ones that understand that excellent experience is based around customer preference. You’re going to need to know what customers want as they move along their buying journey. Additionally you must deliver the personalized experience that appeals to each of your individual customers – not just the ones that like exciting new technologies!

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GDPR. An Opportunity More Than a Threat for B2B Companies?


The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is definitely a game changer – but perhaps not in the way you think. A great deal has already been written about the stringent obligations – and hefty fines – it places on organizations managing the personal data of EU citizens. Much less has been made of its other stated aim: To facilitate the exchange of information for businesses that operate in the EU. But the GDPR is not limited to only EU companies, so… how best to capture the opportunity within GDPR implementation? An opportunity? Really?!! It’s easy to focus on the amount of change – at an organizational, technical and process level – that every company will need to undertake to get ready for the May 2018 deadline. But, that is to overlook the bigger picture. GDPR is explicitly designed to harmonize data security and privacy laws across Europe. This is, by far, the most far-reaching legislation of its type ever attempted. It represents a single data protection approach for 28 trading countries and, indeed, beyond. As all companies that hold personal data on EU citizens must comply – and let’s face it, today that’s pretty much everyone – the success of GDPR is very likely to make it a global standard by default. To date, organizations have not addressed their data protection and privacy risks in a consistent way. GDPR now makes this essential. The opportunity arises when you see this as more than simply a compliance issue. As PA Consulting suggests, companies “can take a more business- and customer-centric approach that will allow them to explore how they can manage personal data to help make more informed decisions and create a better experience for their customers”. Understanding GDPR There are really two core elements to the obligations of B2B companies under the GDPR. The first is to store and manage personal data in a way that it’s always quickly accessible for the data subject and is removable if required. For B2B organizations, you must remember that, for the GDPR, personal data means data about individuals, including your customers, suppliers and service providers. It also covers how and why you exchange personal data within your supply chain or trading partner network. Secondly, personal data must be defended and secure at all times – in transit or while at rest.  The International Association of Privacy Professionals recommends some of the security actions to undertake include: The pseudonymization and encryption of personal data The ability to ensure the on-going confidentiality, integrity, availability and resilience of processing systems and services The ability to restore the availability and access to personal data in a timely manner in the event of a physical or technical incident A process for regularly testing, assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of technical and organizational measures for ensuring the security of the processing A focus on technical infrastructure It’s clear that the correct technical infrastructure has a key role to play when implementing the GDPR. Organizations will really struggle if they continue to hold silos of information. Instead, they must have a clear end-to-end view of all the personal data they hold. This is both structured and unstructured data – everything from emails and social media behaviors to contracts or service documentation. This does require a significant change in thinking. Organizations will need to introduce Privacy-by-Design and Data Protection-by-Design as core foundations of their infrastructure. These strategies have been at the heart of solution development at OpenText for years. The OpenText™ Business Network portfolio of solutions – including OpenText™ Trading Grid Messaging Service, OpenText™ Active Applications, OpenText™ Managed Services, and OpenText™ Fax Solutions – include the highest security standards, encryption and best practices. These solutions enable the processing and exchange of information with comprehensive encryption to mitigate risks associated with the processing of sensitive data. Rigorously auditing, testing and enforcing compliance with security regulations such as the GDPR across extended and sophisticated supply chains is a fundamental part of OpenText operations. For example, the OpenText™ Cloud Fax network is an environment made up of connectivity protocols that keep customers aligned with the most pertinent regulatory and compliance mandates.  With options including secure web connections via TLS and HTTPS or VPN connections, organizations remain securely connected to the OpenText Cloud and privacy is maintained. With encryption at rest and in transit, content is securely protected where it rests or on the move. Keep calm. Carry on. The good news is that GDPR is not meant to cripple you as a business – quite the opposite. But, it does demand a much more proactive and consistent approach to data protection. For B2B organizations, that really doesn’t have to be a threat. Almost every organization has Digital Transformation at the heart of its business strategy. Almost every organization is looking for ways to optimize the value of the data it holds. In this context, GDPR can be seen as a legal framework to make this happen. Now, there’s an opportunity! Register today for OpenText and Digital Clarity Group GDPR Webinar on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, at 11:00 AM EST.

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How We’re Using Discovery Analytics to Solve GDPR Challenges

discovery analytics

We’re still over a year away from General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR) “go live” date, but the sense of dread at recent conferences is tangible. And understandably so: The GDPR imposes sweeping requirements on organizations to understand and protect the personal data they process and use. While records management and infosec have so far dominated the GDPR discussion, your lawyers and compliance teams are also gearing up with discovery analytics, including machine learning, to help them manage GDPR risk.  The New Cost of Personal Data The GDPR introduces a slew of IG regulations that attach to Personally Identifiable Information (PII), which is defined as any information relating to an individual. If that sounds broad, it’s because it is. Your name, your pictures, your email, your IP address—really anything that could be used to identify you is included. The GDPR creates personal rights in this data, like the right to be forgotten, the right to audit your data, the right to correct it, or transfer it. It also includes enhanced data breach notification and response obligations. Basically, if your organization touches consumer data in some fashion you’re likely covered by the GDPR. And if your organization’s products or services regularly involve personal data, security takes on even more prominence. Failure to comply with the GDPR could incur fines of up to 20 million Euro or an enormous 4% of global turnover.    The dramatic penalties have spurred organizations to conduct Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA) and proactively audit their own data to measure risk & exposure. Understanding how and where you handle personal data is the first challenge, and a significant one since PII can be embedded in nearly all your business documents and some are more important than others. Finding a Needle in a Stack of Needles If a basic component of GDPR is understanding your data, then naturally you need tools to search, identify, categorize, and flag documents. Traditional search methods of manually reviewing contracts one by one for language about PII treatment, processing, or warehousing is unreliable and inefficient. During a breach response or a PII-assessment, triage is key; you need to rapidly identify the most sensitive documents and tag them for special handling (more on that later). To do so, you need discovery analytics and machine learning. Pattern identification is a crucial technology to rapidly identify simple documents containing standardized PII like credit cards, licenses, medical records, and more. But this technology on its own won’t identify all the documents necessary for a PIA because not all PII is pattern-based and is often highly contextual. That’s where concept analysis, an unsupervised machine learning algorithm, comes in. This technology analyzes the co-occurrence of words and clusters them together according to contextual themes—even if they lack specific keywords—and without any human feedback. These tools can, with astounding accuracy, distinguish between different contexts that influence how we interpret words. For instance, if the word “private” appears in a number of documents related to military ranks the engine could group those documents aside from ones that feature the word “private” in relation to personal data.   These automated tools can get you started on a privacy evaluation, but the ultimate analysis is too nuanced to rely exclusively on machine categorization. Human review is an indispensable element, so having document review workflows and administration tools is necessary. This means the ability to batch out documents in related groups to keep legal reviewers engaged with relevant content. And with a continuous machine learning algorithm running in the background, each decision that our legal team makes while eyeballing documents will train a recommendation engine. This algorithm can then evaluate the remaining documents and predict which ones are likely to contain sensitive data (much more on that interesting topic here). In this way, you can start with a known dataset (like your vendor contracts database) and then leverage analytics to identify unknown, risk-prone documents. As you review more documents and find more PII-laden content, the algorithm is constantly learning in the background. It conducts broad sweeps of your remaining data to prioritize batches of content that are likely to contain PII. What’s more, these algorithms can run on an issue-specific basis—a crucial ability since the GDPR distinguishes between “personal data” and “sensitive personal data.” Knowing is Half the Battle The broader impact of GDPR will shake out over years, it’s still unclear how individuals will exercise their rights or how DPAs will enforce the rules. But organizations can take steps today towards understanding their risk exposure and doing what they can to mitigate potential consequences. OpenText™ Discovery combines tools like machine learning, pattern identification, and entity extraction with data visualizations, keywords, and metadata filters to help legal and compliance teams identify any PII-carrying data. All of this is guided by a document review workflow that has been honed over years of litigation projects and layered security. Register today for OpenText and Digital Clarity Group GDPR Webinar on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, at 11:00 AM EST.

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Information-Centric Design Broadens Variety of Use Cases for Low Code Application Platforms

low code

In this post we welcome guest blogger Maureen Fleming, Vice President at IDC and lead analyst of IDC’s IoT analytics and information management practice, and IDC’s research covering process automation, API management and continuous analytics. The use of low code application platforms to build and deploy custom applications is one of the fastest-growing large technology markets. In fact, spending on low code is so fast that, by 2018, we expect enterprises to spend more on low code platforms than they spend for traditional application platforms running developer-written custom code. This is true whether enterprises are running custom applications in their datacenters or on a public cloud. The goal of low code platforms is to speed up development and minimize re-work by making it easy for business teams to work with developers to design and build applications. For smaller, tactical applications, developers may not be involved at all. Low code development evolved from either workflow-oriented tools or from data-centric offerings. Teams had to choose which approach made the most sense for their application. As customers began demanding more capabilities to support a broader and more flexible spectrum of applications, some vendors began to offer both workflow and information-centric capabilities within the same platform. They saw value in not forcing the customer to choose, and also saw value in greater flexibility by separating information-based functionality from workflow. Low Code’s Shift to Information-Centric Design Products embracing information-centric design shift teams from building automation by linking functionality to specific nodes of a workflow to using the information structure as the driver of automation and the basis for functionality development. The foundation of this structure are data entities, which abstract data into subjects and their properties. These properties are then used in the development of rules, in interaction and UI design, forms, in navigation or as parameters that can determine which workflow is called or the flow of a process or the page flow of an application. By contrast, classic workflow automation uses business objects as a building block. Similar to data entities, forms are created from the business object properties and rules can use the same properties. Unlike data entities, the properties of business objects are always associated with the workflow. Information-centric design does not require associated workflow, and in fact, workflow becomes a subordinate function to the information structure. As a result of the shift to information-centric design, there has been a significant expansion in the capabilities and use of low code development with corresponding improvements in ease of use for non-developers. Today, the same platform can automate a process and provide case management as well as deploy browser and mobile apps disassociated from any type of automated workflow. The use of workflow automation tools continues to be important, and with the shift to cloud architecture and the use of APIs, there are ways to access workflow as needed either broadly or discretely in support of a specific purpose. In fact, workflow has become more important in our increasingly distributed way of doing business. But for organizations investing in low code to help forge autonomy for business teams requiring automation or to use a platform to build strategic applications, identifying software that is centered around information design while also supporting workflow provides an optimal choice for use across a broad spectrum of automation use cases. More About Maureen Fleming  With more than 20 years of industry and analyst experience Maureen Fleming is Program Vice President for IDC’s Business Process Management and Middleware research area. In this role, Ms. Fleming examines the products and processes used for building, integrating, and deploying applications within an extended enterprise system.

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Excellence in Sales Order Entry – From Document to Digital

digital sales orders

Sales orders, the documents with the odor of company success attached to them! Physical (or electronic) proof that your company sells products that your customers like. Proof that you make money and create and retain jobs. So what could there be that is not to like about sales orders? Well, the question here is: Are your sales orders solely creating value and financial success for your company? Or are they also costing you money? Are they slowing down your business? Maybe even creating conflicts with your customers? Fully digital sales order process – why? In a digital world, you should consider automating your sales order entry process from beginning to end. The digital sales order process should start the minute a sales order enters your company, from document to digital. This should be independent from your input channel – whether your sales orders reach you via EDI, email, fax or paper document, make sure to digitize your sales orders when they first touch your company. Many of our customers have EDI in place for 60 – 80% of their sales orders. However, the remaining 20-40% slows down their business, preventing them from having full insight and transparency of the status of ALL sales orders. The impact When our customers started to capture the data also from PDFs, emails and paper documents, they realized how valuable a fully automated a digital process is. With their model from document to digital they turned the sales order process into a fast, customer-friendly and fully transparent process. They now have full insight into the status of any sales order. If a customer has a request referring to a sales order, they can answer it within seconds, independent from its input channel or process status. Reporting and transparency have exponentially improved. Management is now able to track the performance of the sales order process across countries, from month to month or year over year. Now, even the performance tracking task is a simple activity, too. It is fast and it is accurate. Not only for the electronic input channel, but for all sales orders. The information extracted is also proof that with the new integrated sales order automation, customers have been able to cut sales order cycle time in half by also automating the remaining 20-40% of sales orders. Customer relationships have also improved because disputes over orders and invoices or wrong deliveries have reached an all-time low. The analysis of sales orders allows making purchasing recommendations to customers from evaluating other customer orders – those who regularly order specific products in combination with other products. These cross-sell opportunities are well-received by customers as they create value and often help to meet their core business needs. Have you identified a need to further digitize your sales order entry process? Take a look at how OpenText™ Business Center for SAP Solutions helps to improve the sales order process and much more.

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How Digital Transformation is Giving Humans More Time to Really Think

The pace of technological change today is being called the “fourth industrial revolution.” New solutions powered by artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and machine learning are enabling machines to handle processes that once required human decision-making. Just as mechanical muscle lowered the demand for physical labor in the first industrial revolution, today cutting-edge technology is reducing the demand for human intervention. The “migration” of tasks from humans to software and machines has been evident for quite some time. From ATMs to automated check-in at airports, technology has been performing relatively simple and repetitive tasks. Today, this transformation allows much more complex and nuanced tasks to move from human speed to machine speed, across industries that have remained largely untouched by machine intervention. Most recently, AI and cognitive systems have found a place in legal discovery, insurance applications, underwriting and claims processing, and the delivery of financial investment advice. In healthcare, telemedicine allows diagnosis and monitoring without the need to physically see a clinician, and a surgeon can operate from another hospital or country—just more examples of where jobs long understood as “human” are being displaced by technology. The automation option New opportunities for automation will continue to appear, as mechanization, automation, AI, and robotics replace human workers. But it’s not all doom and gloom. As “traditional” roles are replaced, new jobs will be created in the transition—jobs that require creativity, innovation, and strategic thought. As we do away with mundane work, the time gained through automation can be used to innovate, germinate ideas, and conceive new processes fueled by the kind of thinking that only happens when our minds have time to wander. The beginning of a sweeping societal change? The World Economic Forum, economists, analysts, and labor organizations have predicted a wave of job losses due to the surge in AI, robotics, and other technologies. We could see a net loss of 7.1 million jobs over the next five years in the 15 leading countries that make up approximately 65 percent of the world’s total workforce. But two million of the jobs will be offset by the creation of new positions that will support and foster the new wave of innovation, beyond what we see as credible or possible today. But as some roles are automated, others will come online; for instance, individuals who can build, develop and make sense of these sweeping changes. Developers, programmers, scientists, and technologists will—more than ever—be required to drive forward the accelerating pace of change. There will also be a greater need for economists, lawyers, and policy makers who can interpret how governance, intellectual property, and society at large will have to adapt. While algorithms may automate decision-making, it won’t be easy to replace leaders who can navigate this new fast-paced, intense change. At the end of the day, you may wonder if a machine could do your job. And the answer is that it could probably do some of it. And that’s okay, because automation will free us up to do more of the thinking required to come up with what’s next, perhaps with the help of a new robot friend or two.

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How Your Mindset Is Holding You Back…..(And What To Do About It)

Innovation Tour Stockholm

In this blog we welcome guest blogger Fredrik Härén who will be speaking at the Innovation Tour Stockholm in March. Fredrik is an author and keynote speaker on business creativity, change and global business. In our business lives, we’re used to regularly upgrading our IT systems. But when was the last time you upgraded your mindset? I’m guessing your answer is ‘rarely’ or ‘never’. You’re not alone. I spend a lot of time travelling the world delivering keynotes to all sorts of different audiences, and our mindset – as well as our language – is holding most of us back. We’ve grown accustomed to new, disruptive technology, creating new markets and giving us new services and options in ways we’ve never considered or imagined. And that disruption has happened because someone chose to look at a solution or outcome differently. They changed their mindset. I’m not suggesting we all need to become serial entrepreneurs, but our static, fixed mindset and the language we use to refer to the world around us is limiting our potential with new technology and tools. Take the internet for example. Years ago, everyone referred to ‘web pages’ because that’s how we thought of its structure. (Remember WAP?). Today, we just see it as content, which the likes of Netflix, and a host of other companies are monetizing. Likewise, the rise and fall of early mobile phone companies had as much to do with their mindset as it did with their market share. Eriksson and Nokia looked at the mobile phone and thought, ‘how much computing power can we put in a phone’? It was the wrong question. Apple said, ‘how much of a phone can we put into a mini computer?’. The same thing is going on today. Drones would never have gained traction so rapidly if we had referred to them as ‘micro helicopters’ because that kind of language and vocabulary automatically limits the way we think of their potential. By calling them drones (with no pre-existing frame of reference), we haven’t put them into a pigeon-hole. My point in telling you this is to make you aware that you’re doing it. Just having simple awareness of the way we are thinking, the language we are using and the frame of reference we are imposing, can change things. It can help us look at the problems and desired outcomes around us with fresh eyes. There’s so much more I’d like to tell you that I can’t cover in a single blog, but it is something I’ll be covering in greater depth at the upcoming OpenText Innovation Tour in Stockholm on 29 March. If you’re interested in learning how to take the blinders off and apply new ways of thinking to your own work and personal life, I’d love to see you there. You can register here. Fredrik Härén has delivered more than 2,000 presentations in over 60 countries on six continents. He was voted Speaker of The Year in Sweden and selected as one of the “Sweden’s Top Ten Best Speakers Ever”. Fredrik is a Certified Speaking Professional (one of 700 globally) as well as GSP Global (one of only 30 globally). He is the author of nine books, including “The Idea Book”, which was included in “The 100 Best Business Books of All Time”. His latest book, “One World. One Company” discusses what it means to be a truly global organisation. 

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Ovum Names OpenText as a Leader in Web Experience Management

web experience management

The research and analysis firm Ovum has released a report naming two OpenText products as leaders in web experience management – also commonly known as web content management (WCM). The Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a Web Experience Management Solution, 2016-17 report cited OpenText™ TeamSite and OpenText™ Web Experience Management as market leaders because of their strengths in technology and execution. Here are strengths Ovum attributed to OpenText WCM solutions: Top-rated for maturity Strong roadmaps and long-term strategy Ease of use and interoperability Large portfolio of capabilities Ovum considers web experience management as a key element of digital transformation for today’s enterprise organizations, and we at OpenText fully agree. Organizations need to attract, engage, and hold the attention of their customers through round-the-clock, connected digital experiences. While web experience management or WCM initially focused on websites, it now encompasses so much more: WCM, digital asset management (DAM), web analytics, social, mobile experiences, etc. Sophisticated enterprise solutions cover the entire customer journey, and connect with other key platforms for marketing automation, e-commerce, and customer relationship management. Market leaders not only score high in key capabilities but are also widely accepted as best-of-breed. Read more details in the report and take a look at OpenText WCM offerings.

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“One Step” to Make Agent Guidance Easier

Agent Guidance

Have you looked at the desktop of the average customer service employee lately?  Even with unified communications and the consolidation of systems such as CRM and ERP, most desktops look more like a NASA command center than a helpful application to deliver a great customer experience. I have good news…and bad news. Let’s start with the bad news – your IT department has a long uphill journey to merge systems, unify the tools in use and reduce the chaos of customer data. The good news is that there are ways to provide agent guidance and overcome desktop application challenges that don’t include a forklift upgrade to a single desktop application. But don’t look for an easy trail to follow with the typical solutions on the market. Tools for guidance and automation are quite common from vendors the likes of OpenSpan (now Pega) and Cicero, but we find that today’s contact centers struggle to prioritize these efforts for several valid reasons — deployment and product complexity. In fact, in the report, “These Overlooked Assistance Tools for Your Customer Service Agents Can Boost Productivity,” Brian Manusama and Jim Davies of Gartner evaluated the complexity, deployment, vendor and ROI level for such tools. Here’s is one of the tables in the report: Table 2. Technology Category Overview In layman’s terms, I believe these tools are hard to configure, hard to use and hard to deploy. But why?  First, most of these tools are designed to be professional-service-revenue-generators and not happy-customers-that-use-it-generators. Second, your IT department doesn’t want to deal with yet ANOTHER thing on the desktop to configure or install. This is exactly why the OpenText™ Qfiniti team has made Qfiniti Optimize, our agent desktop automation and analytics solution, native to the OpenText Qfiniti platform. If you’re using another call recording and quality management solution, then let us show you our integrated WFO suite. If you’re already using Qfiniti today, then most likely you have everything you need to push guidance and automation previously installed and ready to test. To show you exactly what this means, we’re inviting you to see how easy it really is. We call it the Qfiniti Optimize One-Step. One Step. Give us one broken application workflow and let us show you how to message, guide, automate and monitor the agents to better AHT, compliance and accuracy. One Team. Give us one team of agents and let us enable Qfiniti Optimize in a manner of minutes, to try the “One Process” steps to improve their efficiency. One Month. Allow that team to use the automation and guidance during a one month trial. Nothing to install, configured by you, and monitored by us. We think that you’ll like what you see, and the agents in your “One Team” beta group will like it too.  I’ve thrown dozens of pizza parties in my time for call center agents, but perhaps your beta team will throw you and IT a pizza party for a change.

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OpenText ApplicationXtender 8.1 SP1 is Here!


ApplicationXtender is now part of OpenText. Like you, we’ve always known that ApplicationXtender was a jewel within the Dell EMC Enterprise Content Division, but now that we’re part of OpenText, it’s great hearing this validation from our new colleagues as well. If you’d like to know more about the ECD integration, we recommend you read Stephen Ludlow’s recent blog which will also point you to the recording of an interesting AIIM webinar. OpenText invests in products and technologies that have the opportunity to address new markets and opportunities. ApplicationXtender fits into this category, offering a quick-to-implement and easy-to-use solution for companies and departments that don’t have the budget or IT support for a full-scale ECM implementation. As early proof of this commitment, we just launched the first service pack for ApplicationXtender 8.1: Certification / Security for Microsoft Windows Server 2016, SQL Server 2016, and Microsoft Office 2016 Image Capture Supportability update and PDF rendering performance enhancements Microsoft Office Integration Supportability update Cumulative Patches If you are new to ApplicationXtender or haven’t moved to ApplicationXtender 8.x yet, you may want to know that ApplicationXtender is a scalable, cost-efficient document management solution, optimized for line-of-business content. With ApplicationXtender 8, we’ve started our mobile and cloud-first journey, with a long list of enhancements over previous versions. Take a look: Mobile-enabled, with an intuitive user interface, no plugins required Cloud-ready, for public, private or hybrid cloud deployment Easy to learn! Users can stay in their familiar business applications. They can easily view content without invoking the application that created them Rapid to deploy, requiring minimal IT involvement Based on open standards such as RESTful Services and HTML5 Available in English, German, Simplified Chinese, Brazilian Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian We’re excited not only about this release of ApplicationXtender, but its future as well! Learn more about ApplicationXtender here. Existing customers current on maintenance can access the latest release of the software by visiting the Dell EMC Support site.

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How Supply Chains are Embracing Digital Disruption


Many companies today are beginning to embrace the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ where ‘hyper connected’ production and supply chain environments will transform companies into digital businesses. These latest disruptive technologies can be broadly split into three categories. Firstly, new networks such as 5G mobile networks, Internet of Things related platforms, and other cloud-based network infrastructures. Secondly, new types of devices being connected to these networks, namely 3D printers, advanced robotics, drones and, of course, Internet of Things devices. Thirdly, new types of information coming off of these connected devices, data which can be archived and analyzed to obtain deeper insights into what is happening across an end to end supply chain. To understand how new digital transformation initiatives could affect supply chain operations, OpenText recently commissioned the analyst firm IDC to conduct a survey in this area. We had a great response to the survey with cross industry and cross region insights which I will be sharing via several blogs over the next few months. I am only going to share one key statistic from the new study here, and that is from the 250 companies surveyed, 56% said they had already appointed a Chief Digital Officer.  We asked IDC to test a specific hypothesis to see whether ‘new digital technologies would lead to new supply chain transformation initiatives’. If true, then it presents an opportunity for companies to consider outsourcing their B2B integration requirements while they focus on deploying their new digital projects. As part of the survey, we obtained the latest adoption patterns on new digital technologies, such as drones, IoT and wearable devices and we will share these and other findings from this interesting study over the coming months. There are five disruptive technologies that are gaining more coverage in the industrial media than others at the moment, drone-based technologies, 3D printers, wearable devices, advanced robotics and the Internet of Things. Our new IDC study looked at adoption rates for these technologies and many more technologies such as machine learning, especially in relation to supply chain operations. Why are these five technologies getting more coverage than other disruptive technologies? Well firstly all of the aforementioned technologies are being targeted at both the consumer and enterprise space, so for example you can purchase a 3D printer or robotic hoover for the home, and similar technologies are starting to be introduced to the enterprise. This is not the first time that consumer-based technologies have entered the work environment. Over recent years CIOs have had to adjust their corporate strategies to support ‘bring your own device’ based technologies brought into the enterprise by employees. So how are these five disruptive technology areas being deployed across the enterprise today? Drone Based Technologies – This technology has been getting a lot of coverage in the press in recent years, all for the wrong reasons. The drone device market has been impacted by various lobbying groups concerned by their safety and of course privacy as they fly across city centres. Local governments have been quick to establish no fly ‘drone zones’ over cities around the world, even before the economic benefit of these devices can be properly determined. Companies such as Amazon and their Prime Air drone has got the most press coverage with their drones which can deliver small packages to consumers. This ‘last mile’ delivery of packages is an increasingly important area of development for third party logistics providers. DHL is one of the first 3PL providers to leverage this technology to deliver medicines to remote islands in the Far East where there is not enough space for traditional aircraft runways. There are initiatives underway to define air corridors for air-based drone devices, but of course drones don’t have to be limited to the air. Starship Technologies for example has developed a small autonomous vehicle that has a payload capacity to carry two shopping bags. The intention is that this small vehicle can deliver shopping ordered by a consumer and deliver to their home address. But what if you could use the same technology to deliver small components from automotive suppliers located on a supplier park near to a major automotive OEM? Supplier parks are being established in all the major automotive hubs around the world today and these types of autonomous drone devices could help to streamline the delivery efficiency of parts to car manufacturers in support of their Just-In-Time production environments. Drone based technologies are still relatively new, however they offer some unique capabilities to support today’s production and aftermarket retail sectors. Audi for example are starting factory tests of drones to deliver parts from inventory locations to trackside for fitting to vehicles. 3D Printing Technologies – 3D printing technologies are not new and in fact much of the early research into this area actually started in the early 1990’s. Back then it was known as stereolithography or rapid prototyping, both terms being used to describe the layer by layer curing of plastic based materials to create a 3D object. Today, the technology is being developed at a rapid pace, not just with the printing technology but the materials used as part of the printing process. From an automotive production point of view, extensive research is being undertaken in the use of metal-based 3D printing processes as these offer the greatest advancement in terms of both reducing production times and increasing customer satisfaction in the aftermarket service sector. On the production side, manufacturers such as VW Group are already producing 3D metal parts, initially on concept cars being exhibited at motor shows such as Geneva. 3D printing is actually transforming the design and engineering of tomorrow’s vehicles as more and more parts are being identified for ‘design for replacement’. So for example if a car goes in for a service and a broken support bracket needs to be replaced, rather than ordering a new bracket from a supplier, the replacement bracket can be 3D printed in the dealer service centre and then fitted to the car being repaired. This introduces the concept of the ‘zero length supply chain’, where parts can be 3D printed on demand and no 3PLs are involved in the delivery of replacement parts. This is likely to transform the automotive aftermarket service sector. One manufacturer, Local Motors in North America is pushing 3D printing technologies to its limit by manufacturing an entire vehicle using 3D printing processes. Local Motors could be considered as an automotive industry disruptor in a similar way to Tesla Motors. Whereas Tesla has cornered the market in the premium electric vehicle market, Local Motors looks set to transform the modular construction of vehicles using new 3D printing technologies. Wearable Technologies – In recent years there has been a trend to develop mobile apps for enterprise smart phones and tablet devices however now there is an increasing trend to develop apps for wearable technologies as well. The adoption of wearable technologies in the consumer sector has grown exponentially over the past couple of years. Technologies such as Apple’s Watch, Microsoft HoloLens and Google Glass have been getting the most attention from the enterprise and this has been driven by a need to provide employees with digital product information any time, any place or anywhere. Apple Watch is relatively new to the market and enterprises are still learning how this technology could benefit production and supply chain operations. The ability to view information relating to B2B transactions such as purchase order status or Advanced Ship Notice delivery status could transform the delivery and monitoring of such transactions across a business network. For example being able to act upon an undelivered ASN before it impacts downstream production processes, could be of immense benefit to a company. In addition using mapping apps to track shipment deliveries etc could help to increase the level of end to end visibility across a supply chain. More info on this in an earlier blog. Microsoft HoloLens, using augmented reality technology overlaid across a real world environment, could transform collaborative review processes. For example not just at the design stage of a new project but also across retail distribution networks where advanced features of a new vehicle can be demonstrated to potential buyers. Volvo Cars announced a partnership with Microsoft to install HoloLens across their dealer networks to allow potential buyers of their cars to visualize and ‘experience’ the various safety features of their vehicles. To learn how HoloLens could be used for visualizing information flowing across our Business Network, take a look at this blog. The one piece of technology that obtained the most interest when it was launched two years ago was Google Glass. Even though version one was retired by Google in 2015, Version two is rumoured to be released in the very near future. Glass has the ability to transform how for example production workers access digital assembly information or how service technicians access repair information. VW announced in December 2015 that they were deploying Glass to production workers in one of the factories, providing them with the ability to view assembly drawings, assembly videos and other product specific digital information within the Glass device. This allows workers to access any digital asset related to the assembly of a vehicle. Devices such as Glass will transform the role of the warehouse picker who can be guided to part collection points using maps and other location specific information which can be presented in their Glass device, keeping their hands free at all times. Advanced Robotics Technologies – Over the past few years, Google has acquired eight robotics companies including the infamous Boston Dynamics, a leading developer of advanced robotic devices for the US military. Google has been applying their robotics research towards production environments and in the future it is possible that Google may develop an operating system specifically targeted towards managing production robots. In fact, Google is already working closely with Foxconn, a leading contract manufacturer in the high tech sector, to replace up to a million manual workers across their Chinese production plants with advanced robots known as ‘Foxbots’. One of the key drivers for this robotics research is to try and develop more intelligent robots that can not only think for themselves but also sense their surroundings in a more accurate manner. Another leading robot manufacturer, Rethink Robotics, developed the ‘Baxter’ robot to try and transform production line operations. Traditional single arm robots normally require a safety cell to work within so that workers on the shop floor don’t get injured. Baxter meanwhile has proximity sensors placed in both of its arms so that if anyone approaches Baxter then it can shut down immediately. The area of artificial intelligence is going to further develop the advancement of industrial robots and when combined with the connected nature of the ‘Internet of Things’, production lines are going to become increasingly automated, self-sensing and more responsive to changing production requirements. The Internet of Things – if there is one disruptive technology that is getting the most interest from the industrial manufacturing sector, it is the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT or the Industrial Internet, Internet of Everything, Internet Plus etc all exist to achieve the same thing, namely to provide a way for billions of connected devices to be able to transfer gigabytes of data with Big Data repositories where trends can be analysed and reported upon. The IoT will transform the 360 degree view of information and visibility of physical shipments moving across end to end supply chains. RFID technologies have been used for over twenty years, with mixed success in terms of adoption across the manufacturing industry however the IoT gives RFID a new sense of purpose and further investment in RFID technologies is now taking place to support IoT initiatives. IoT is also driving significant merger and acquisition and consolidation activities across the high tech sector, with a significant amount of M&A activity taking place in the semi-conductor sector. IoT is transforming industries, business processes and providing companies with significant operational benefits. The supply chain stands to benefit considerably from the IoT and there are three immediate areas where IoT can add value to a supply chain environment. To find out more about these three use cases, please take a look at an IoT  webinar with the lead IoT analyst from Gartner late last year. All five technologies that I discussed in this blog post will eventually find their way into more digital supply chains, as depicted by the diagram above. Key to the success of these future digital supply chains will be to establish an end to end ‘digital backbone’. B2B/EDI networks will evolve into more intelligent business networks where connected devices can share structured and unstructured information in a seamless manner with backed enterprise systems and Big Data repositories. OpenText is continually investing in our Business Network and my previous blog post highlighted some of the recent enhancements we have made to our Business Network. I will discuss further enhancements in the near future. OpenText has a broad portfolio of Enterprise Information Management solutions to help enable the digital business. One thing’s for sure, B2B integration will be at the heart of these digital transformation initiatives and I will share some proof points on how this will be achieved in future blog posts along with discussing the type of supply chain transformation initiatives being undertaken. If you would like to learn more about the IDC study then I will be presenting key findings at our series of European Innovation Tour events during the second half of March 2017. If you haven’t registered yet then please click here.

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Who’s ready for OpenText Enterprise World?

2-17 OpenText Enterprise World

For the last 19 years, OpenText Enterprise World has grown to become a major event in the industry. And 2017 marks a new chapter in our premier event’s history. This year’s conference will be unlike any before! We have prepared an extraordinary event that will offer insight into the skills, tools and directions that businesses require to be successful in the age of digital. Homeward Bound We couldn’t be more excited to bring the conference home to Canada. From July 11-13, 2017, we will be at the award-winning Metro Toronto Convention Centre in the heart of downtown Toronto. What’s New at this Year’s Enterprise World This year, we designed an entirely new experience for attendees with four customized conferences under one roof to meet individual business needs: OpenText User Conference addresses specific uses and applications of the OpenText platform, highlighting Customer Experience Management, Business Network, Enterprise Content Management, Business Process Management, Analytics and Discovery. OpenText Industry Conference identifies and explores the trends impacting the Financial Services, Life Sciences, Public Sector and Energy & Engineering industries OpenText Partner and Technology Conference incorporates tracks for both traditional OpenText partners as well as a brand new opportunity for start-up technology companies to showcase their innovations From the onsite expo to the technology pavilion, OpenText Enterprise World 2017 immerses you in the digital trends impacting businesses across the globe: Engage in 175 breakouts, product demos and informational sessions to get the knowledge you need to digitally transform your business Connect with OpenText executives, industry leaders and peers to discuss the best practices that will lead your company to success Discover the strategies, tactics, and tools to digitize you organization Gain insight into the trends and drivers that are transforming business for a competitive advantage Whatever your path to digital transformation, OpenText Enterprise World is the place to be. If you haven’t registered, what are you waiting for? Get to it and Register! We can’t wait to welcome you to the future.

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6 Considerations for Charting Your Digital Course

Today’s digital disruptors make headlines across the sectors with sweeping changes in data management, analytics, and customer experience. A wave of change is rolling in as organizations automate the way customers buy, the way suppliers fulfill orders, the way manufacturing happens, and more. As customers and business professionals, we are witnessing how digital transformation is restructuring the face of business and, ultimately, our world. Jumping the information hurdle An initial challenge for large organizations moving towards a digital future is getting a handle on the terabytes of information and content generated by employees and systems each week, along with the information collected from websites and contact centers. These volumes add up to far more data than any human could read, process, and fully understand. And, on its own, this information is of no use; we have to be able to use it to generate value, improve service, and increase customer satisfaction. Without a doubt, information holds intelligence and your ability to get to that insight is what helps you to compete. To that end, here are six thoughts on charting a digital course for your business: Increase your competitive preparedness. Digital transformation can help your business quickly adapt to shifting customer demands, making it possible to compete with old and new rivals. Use a digital approach for a big win. The ability to go digital can level the playing field for some businesses, allowing them to have a huge impact on established markets, companies, and brands. What you may not have been able to do manually, or at scale, you can launch into with a digital approach. Gain an advantage with analytics. Sticking with out-dated methods of managing and analyzing data, keeping processes manual, and only operating at human speed puts your business at risk of being outperformed by competitors. You can regain your advantage by implementing intelligent systems to detect and analyze predictive trends. Unlock the value of information you already have. By using data and information analytics with content and process management technologies, you can uncover valuable ‘digital breadcrumbs.’ This insight can help your business to make intelligent changes to create products that better suit customer requirements, improve organizational efficiencies, and implement self-regulating business processes that save time and money. Use automation as a differentiator. Automating tasks that previously required human intelligence can now take place using digital processes. Consider the way Tesla Motors releases over-the-air updates to improve the functionality of their electric cars, just as if you were downloading mobile phone software. Not only are owners spared a trip to the garage, but Tesla cuts the expense of scheduling and managing customer visits. Create a digital culture in your organization. Don’t go digital for digital’s sake. Adopt a well-planned strategy to understand where digital can deliver the best benefits for your business, and start there. Let this go hand-in-hand with fostering a cultural change in your organization that acknowledges how employees may view the impact of a digital-first approach on their own roles. To explore how to move forward with your digital transformation, take a look at how OpenText Release 16 enables companies to manage the flow of information in the digital enterprise from engagement to insight.

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Webinar Outlines a Bright Future as OpenText and Documentum Come Together

Documentum webinar

On February 2, I had the good fortune to participate in a very interesting webinar hosted by AIIM. Inspired by the new union of OpenText and Documentum, the event brought together a variety of experts to discuss what the pairing means to customers of both, the partner network, and the industry in general. And the interest was certainly there — registration numbers were some of the highest AIIM has ever seen. Well, we covered what we set out to, and more! The roundtable discussion and subsequent Q&A session were wide-ranging and dynamic, addressing the concerns of the customer base and future product integration plans, but also delving into a wide open sharing of views around the present and future state of ECM and the skills that organizations are going to need in order to be successful. If you didn’t get the chance to attend the webinar, then setting aside some time to listen to the webinar-on-demand would be 60 minutes of your time well spent. Regardless of your current solution provider or your role in ECM, there’s some thought-provoking perspectives on topics like “the difference between ECM and Content Services” and “the kinds of technology and business competencies an organization needs to have – or develop – in order to embrace this shift toward content services.” I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Finally, please join us on February 14 as AIIM Chief Evangelist John Mancini and I connect once again to present Next-Gen Information Management — Succeeding in a New Era. We’ll be examining the emerging age of Content Services and what that means to the traditional concept and practice of ECM. Sit in to gain valuable insight into the changing definition of ECM and learn the next steps that will allow you to prepare for the future while maximizing your current investment. Here’s hoping everything OpenText and Documentum do together in the future is as great as our first webinar!

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Why DAM Isn’t Just Pretty Pictures on the Web Any More

DAM webinar

Why do you purchase and implement a Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform in the first place? If you’re like me when I ran the content management team at another company, it was originally to control the flow of approved images to the company’s online presence. We were revamping the website and eCommerce platform and a key part of the project was to improve the images used, and to make sure that they were both brand and safety compliant. It didn’t take long for the word to spread that we now had a single safe source for brand approved images. Soon we were talking to other groups in the company, and even our dealer network about how they could contribute to, and access, the DAM. Instead of just storing the images selected for use on the website we were soon storing every picture from a product photo shoot, then came interest from the company archives. In the space of eighteen months we had passed one million assets and over eight-thousand users accessing them. But the most interesting part was the way that the DAM became the source for applications and use cases that we had never considered. We had developed a way to create lightweight 3D models of our products, and started storing the source files for those on the DAM too. Suddenly the DAM was the source driving Augmented Reality proof-of-concept innovations, being used to populate digital signage at dealer showrooms, as well as training, facilities planning, trade shows, coffee table art books, calendars, licensed merchandise, and more. At the point where I left the company we had recorded sixteen different use cases for the content stored in the DAM, and I’m sure there’s even more now. The thing is, I was far from alone in witnessing how a good DAM platform can be used in different. powerful ways. Since joining OpenText I’ve seen other uses, such as: Media companies who use their DAM to deliver DVD packaging and advertising banners that automatically resize and place the correct logos and text based on the intended markets and distribution channels. Drinks companies where the DAM is a central component of their high-profile sports sponsorships programs A rail company that uses the DAM to manage rail inspection videos from cameras mounted on the front of locomotives An aerospace engine company that uses its DAM to store and analyze images of parts from any engine involved in an accident So how are you using your DAM platform? Join us on Wednesday February 15th for a webinar on how to Unlock New Potential (and ROI) From Your DAM. Click here to register

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3 Tips to Gain Mindshare for Your Contact Center

Contact Center

One of my favorite discussion topics with OpenText WFO customers and other contact center professionals is about the internal brand perception of the contact center within any organization. Contact center brand perception? Yes, exactly. Every enterprise contact center is perceived differently by other business units and C-level executives depending on how the company approaches its customers and markets. Is the company strictly bottom-line driven, wringing every last dollar out of its budgets in order to maximize profits? Or is the company customer-centric, doing everything it can to improve customer service in order to compete effectively in the marketplace? I love talking about this at customer meetings and industry events because we all know the contact center holds the key to vast and rich customer information, exactly the kind of customer knowledge that every department and every executive should want to understand in some form or another. Better business decisions are made when more is known about customer preferences, behaviors and opinions. So why is it that the contact center is more often perceived as a cost-center rather than a customer experience leader? Why are we constantly tasked with delivering better service, hitting higher sales targets, scoring higher customer satisfaction responses but with ever-tightening personnel resources and budget dollars? Why is the contact center constantly tasked with delivering better service with ever-tightening personnel resources and budget dollars? I invite you to register now for a webinar on February 23 when Ken Landoline, Principal Analyst for Customer Engagement at Ovum, and I will explore this issue that I’m so passionate about. Make no mistake: this is an internal brand perception issue. But we will approach the discussion from a very practical point of view, offering you specific tips on how to secure greater investment and ensure organizational mindshare. In this webinar we will share proven methods about how to get more in order to do more in your contact center: – Learning what KPIs matter most, identify, provide and relay metrics that matter – Setting up your dashboard, quickly identify information to make real time decisions and predict behavior – Becoming an indispensable resource, understand and coordinate contact center goals with others in your organization With this actionable information in hand, you can then manage or influence up and be the agent of change who helps evolve the internal brand perception of your contact center from cost center to value center. I look forward to you joining us at this webinar. Doing More with Less? 3 Tips to Gain Budget and Mindshare for Your Contact Center Webinar Date: Thursday, February 23 Time: 2:00 PM ET / 1:00 PM CT / 12:00 PM MT / 11:00 AM PT Register Now

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Empower Your Mobile Workforce

mobile workforce

Is your mobile workforce integrated into your IT based business processes? Can maintenance engineers look up data, order parts and enter job details directly at maintenance sites? Does your delivery staff need to get signatures for delivered items? Do you need to notify workers about their next task? Do you want your Sales team to submit orders right at the customer site? Do your mobile workers need to take photos of work sites and submit them to headquarters? Do you need to track the GPS position of mobile workers for further processing? There are endless scenarios where organizations can benefit from mobile IT solutions. Mobile infrastructure Mobile network infrastructure is at a point where high speed network access is available everywhere. And mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have internal databases and file storage capabilities that enable developers to create offline capable apps without problems. Technically there is no reason to exclude your mobile workforce in your IT processes today, and create a more efficient organization and a better, more responsive customer experience. Mobile workforce app development best practices All this can be easily done with low effort app development and usage of mobile devices like smartphones, phablets and tablets. The development effort for mobile workforce apps can be kept quite low when using multi-platform development tools like OpenText™ Gupta TD Mobile. Other than Apple and Google’s native development tools which require high effort platform dependent coding, TD Mobile offers development of mobile workforce apps for all mobile platforms from one source code, empowering organizations to develop mobile workforce apps that work on any mobile device at a small budget. Integrate mobile workforce apps into your IT infrastructure TD Mobile workforce apps can easily connect to any of your backend IT systems. Using the no-coding database access feature, developers can configure database access to all SQL and NoSQL databases without actually writing any code. If you are using a Web Service or REST service layer for your business logic, TD Mobile can easily access these services as well. Integrating business logic from SAP, SalesForce and OpenText AppWorks is easy as well. The data communication with the datacenter and the binding of backend-values to visual objects is automatic as well. TD Mobile is built to automate and reduce the development effort of mobile apps as much as possible. Mobile workforce apps require strong security and integration with office security systems. With TD Mobile all data communication between the data-center and the mobile device can be configured as strongly SSL encrypted. At the backend TD Mobile can interact with any security provider as LDAP and Microsoft Active Directory to force sign-on via corporate standards. Smartphones and tablets contain a host of device features like camera, GPS sensor, accelerometer, fingerprint reader and many software features and apps like the contacts database, email, notifications and much more. Developers crafting apps using TD Mobile can easily access the device and software features of smartphones and tablets. The built-in camera can be used to decode barcodes, the GPS feature can be used to detect the current position, notifications can be sent to an app user, to for example send the next work order. The possibilities of integrating device features are endless only limited by a developer’s imagination. Many organizations have grown international and require mobile workforce apps to adopt to local language. Using OpenText Gupta TD Mobile development teams can build multi-lingual apps from scratch. All required UX languages can be provided in one single app source. At application runtime the app chooses the language to use based on the current locale of the device. Native app deployment and Web app deployment TD Mobile apps can be deployed as native Android, iOS and Windows Phone apps. Developers can easily monetize their efforts as native apps can be deployed through the Apple AppStore, Google Play store and the Windows store. Apple and Google enterprise deployment options can be used to deploy internal workforce apps. Additionally or alternatively TD Mobile apps can be deployed as Web apps allowing to run them on any device that hosts a Web browser. This comes in very handy when the app needs to be used on desktop computers that use Windows, Linux or MacOS operating systems. If you are still using paper-based processes for your mobile workforce it is time to rethink and integrate your mobile workforce into your IT systems giving them access to anything they need from anywhere to increase efficiency and speed up internal processes, increase efficiency and such providing a better more responsive customer experience. Download a free trial version of OpenText Gupta TD Mobile 2.1  now.

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Steel Mill Gains Insight, Makes Better Decisions Through Analytics


When you think of a steel mill, crucibles of glowing molten metal, giant molds and rollers probably come to mind, not complex financial analysis. But like every other industry nowadays, steel mills – especially ones that specialize in scrap metal recycling – have to keep reviewing their material and production costs and the ever-changing demand for their products, so that they can perform efficiently in a competitive global market. That was the case for North Star BlueScope Steel in Delta, Ohio, which produces hot-rolled steel coils, mostly for the automotive and construction industries. Founded in 1997, the company is the largest scrap steel recycler in Ohio, processing nearly 1.5 million tons of metal a year. To operate profitably, North Star BlueScope examines and analyzes its costs and workflow every month, pulling in data from all over the company, plus external market research. But it was hampered by slow and inefficient technology, centered on Microsoft Excel spreadsheets so large and unwieldy, they took up to 10 minutes just to open. Comparing costs for, say, the period of January through May required North Star staffers to open five separate spreadsheets (one for each month) and combine the information manually. Luckily, the company was already using OpenText™ iHub  as a business intelligence platform for its ERP and asset management systems. It quickly realized iHub would be a much more efficient solution for its monthly costing analysis than the Excel-based manual process. Making Insights Actionable In fact, North Star BlueScope Steel ended up adopting the entire OpenText™ Analytics Suite, including OpenText™ Big Data Analytics (BDA),  whose advanced approach to business intelligence lets it easily access, blend, explore, and analyze data. The results were impressive. The steel company can now analyze a much larger range of its data and get better insights to steer decision-making. For example, it can draw on up to five years’ worth of data in a single, big-picture report, or drill down to a cost-per-minute understanding of mill operations. Now it has a better idea of the grades and mixes of steel products most likely to generate higher profits, and the customers most likely to buy those products. To learn more about how North Star BlueScope Steel is using OpenText Analytics to optimize its operations, plus its plans to embrace the Internet of Things by plugging data streams from its instruments about electricity consumption, material usage, steel prices, and even weather directly into Big Data Analytics, click here.

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Drawing Conclusions – A Visual Picture of Our Increasingly Digitized World

Innovation Tour

In this blog we welcome guest blogger Jasmin Deniz Karatas who will be attending Innovation Tour London in March. Jasmin is a Consultant, Digital Interactive for Accenture. As human beings we all interact with the world slightly differently. Some of us understand and digest information best when we hear it. Others remember things better by sight, with pictures and graphics. And some of us are “hands-on” learners who prefer to touch, move, build, or draw what we learn, and perhaps even involve some type of physical activity alongside it. Most of us have an intuitive preference for one of these styles over another, depending on how we’re wired. Regardless of your ‘style’ of absorbing new information, one thing we all have in common is that digitized data now surrounds all of us, and digitized environments are helping to make us smarter and harness our human potential. It’s something my Accenture Interactive colleagues will be outlining at the OpenText Innovation Tour London on 21 March using highlights from the latest Fjords Trends 2017 report, Mixed Reality and Humanizing Artificial Intelligence, which examines the most significant emergent digital trends expected to disrupt organizations and society in the year ahead. For my part, I’ll be painting you a visual picture of what’s being discussed on stage, in parallel with the presentation, as well as the topics and issues raised from audience members in the form of questions. As a Consultant within Accenture’s Digital Interactive, I specialise in a human-centred design approach with a focus on gamification and design thinking. I take what I hear and paint it on a canvas. People often tell me it makes them ‘hear with their eyes’. From my perspective, it’s an exciting thing to do. I tend to go into my own world and visually represent whatever it is that I’m hearing. Once I’ve started, I continue to add to the canvas long after the presentation has ended. Many people often sit in on a session, watch what I do, and then come back a few hours later to see how it’s progressed. In the same way that all of you will be looking at your information strategies more closely over the coming year, I’ll be painting you a visual canvas of the critical new technologies, design considerations and disruptive trends that will shape both your thinking and interaction.Depending on your individual style of engaging with new information, it might help you to better digest what’s being said, or visualise what it would mean for your own organization. My hope is that it will make you think about what this means for your own actionable insights in a rapidly evolving digitized world. I look forward to seeing you at the event. You can register to attend the Innovation Tour London here.

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100,000 Pieces of Content a Day


It often feels like we are being deluged by content, we are exposed to more stories, images, video, and audio than ever before. Yet most of that content (social media aside) has been sorted, indexed, written, edited, managed, and gone through a publication process before it even gets to us, the consumer. How do those who produce the content deal the vast amounts of raw information, text, and images etc., that go to make up the stories that we see? And how do they make their publishing efficient enough to keep up with the unedited real time content streaming across the various social media platforms? These were the sort of problems facing News UK the publisher of some of the biggest and most popular British newspapers. The Times, Britain’s oldest daily national, and The Sunday Times are the world’s best-known quality newspapers. The Sun is the most read British newspaper, with more than four million readers each day. News UK also operates a number of digital channels, including Sun Bingo, Sunday Times Wine Club, and Riviera Travel. News UK receives and generates more than 100,000 new digital assets each day, and manages in excess of 25 million assets in total. The assets including text, images, pages, video, graphics, and audio needed to be captured, indexed, and quickly made available to users across the business. Their existing digital asset management system (DAM) had served the business well, but was more suited to print media, with limited options for moving towards a converged, multichannel solution. It also lacked the ability to be easily integrated to its chosen editorial system. “We need to drive a greater responsiveness for global news coverage, rapidly publishing articles that provide a consistent, rich multimedia experience for readers across all channels and publication brands,” says Simon Pumphrey, Systems Manager at News UK.” Against a backdrop of technical change, we have to ensure we remain at the forefront of how news is delivered, across all channels.” In looking for a replacement for their legacy system the new DAM solution had to be faster, easier to use, and be more cost-effective than our existing system. It should also help us ensure compliance with usage rights of the assets we use, with comprehensive tracking, audit, and reporting. We wanted a browser-based solution, based on open standards, which would be straightforward to integrate to our editorial system. OpenText™ Content Hub for Publishers (CHP) meets all of these criteria and more,” says Pumphrey. CHP has been introduced as part of a large-scale transformation project to increase collaboration across editorial teams. “The business critical deployment of OpenText CHP allows News UK to collect as many as 100,000 or more new digital assets and news feeds submitted each day by multiple journalists, photographers, and agencies into a single system. The OpenText content Analytics engine automatically tags these assets, ensuring content can be quickly found and retrieved across the various editorial desks.” Not only can the assets be easily repurposed across The Times, The Sunday Times, and The Sun, but the solution ensures the correct rights are associated with each asset, helping to mitigate the risk of digital rights infringement. “In today’s connected world, customers are choosing to engage with our newspapers across a growing number of devices and, increasingly, we need to manage the growing types of digital content to create a richer digital experience. We chose OpenText CHP as the scalability of the platform has enabled us to move from a print-centric process to one where journalists can associate multimedia content directly into different channels,” You can find more information about the News UK implementation of CHP here, and download the white paper on Content Hub strategy.

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