Adam Howatson

Adam Howatson
Adam is OpenText's CMO and in the last 14 years has served in Product Management, Marketing, Engineering, Information Technology, Office of The President/PMO, Partner Development, and Mergers & Acquisitions. He has developed an extensive awareness of OpenText and its customers, people, culture, products, and markets.

Are Neo-Luddites Giving Digital Transformation a Pass?

A feature does battle with a smartphone

At the beginning of the 19th century, English textile workers called Luddites destroyed weaving machinery to protest “the fraudulent and deceitful manner” in which the “modern” machinery was bypassing standard labor practices.  Their fear that technology was threatening their jobs has made Luddites synonymous with an opposition to industrialization and technological progress. Today, some of these Luddite-inspired trends are alive and well in the “neo-Luddites” who resist the pull towards a world where digital is the norm, rather than the exception. While they are not destroying the modern equivalent of weaving machines, they still show a resistance to technology. New Luddites and their turn away from the latest tech When it comes to technology adoption, only 28% of Americans hold strong preferences for being early adopters of new technology products, with 26% placing themselves at the opposite end of the spectrum, indicating a stronger preference for familiar technology products. These statistics confirm that certain segments of the population will always hang on to older technology, requiring businesses to offer customers the experience they desire, regardless of how they choose to interact. The latest tablet with high-resolution display is simply not for everyone, and those less inclined to adopt new tech won’t change just to engage with your company. Across the marketplace, lower-tech trends are surfacing. Recently, Nokia rebooted its 3310 in Europe, 17 years after its first launch. At around $51, its battery lasts an amazing 31 days but its features are designed for the customer who basically just wants their phone to make calls and not much more. Even in the workplace, the trend of lower adoption of new technology is evident, with one study saying that “old-school” methods of emails, phone calls, and texts still make up 75% of all communications with co-workers. The voices of those craving a less digital path are definitely out there. An omni-channel customer experience that includes everyone For this reason, organizations are wise to implement the full breadth of omni-channel capabilities, to accommodate customers whether on the company website, via mobile devices, or through more direct, potentially less digitized, communications. Catering to customers who prefer a super-rich, perfectly orchestrated website experience, as well as those who prefer a lower tech interaction, requires organizations to take an omni-channel approach that is mindful of each group’s unique needs. A truly omni-channel solution will allow you to deliver personalized experiences that give each user what they’re looking for at every point of interaction—physical or digital, direct or on any device—across every phase of the customer lifecycle. This approach allows businesses to maintain the high-touch, customer-centric service that all your customer deserve, whether neo-Luddite or early adopter. Digital transformation is happening everywhere, and though it is an imperative to remaining competitive, it doesn’t always track exactly with the personal technology choices and preferences of customers. Every business needs to capture information across multiple channels, whether data comes in from a call center as a voice file, or in clickstreams from online orders. Businesses have to be able to understand it all; structured and unstructured. Customers are in control, so your business has to be ready to handle those preferences. So when you encounter a modern-day Luddite, be sure not to bury your head in the sand; remain agile as you cater to the younger generations, and don’t ignore the preferences of your existing base. Remember that information is everything, and providing a unified and consistent experience for all customers will determine your success. Find out how your organization can get more value across the customer lifecycle. Check out OpenText Experience Suite 16.

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Celebrating Our Customers, Celebrating Your Success

We pride ourselves on many things here at OpenText: we are the undisputed leader in EIM, we are one of Canada’s top 100 employers and hands down; we work with the absolute best customers in the industry. As we mark the one year anniversary of our OpenText Elite™ Customer and Partner loyalty program, it’s important that we take time to say “thank you.” Technology is changing the world and we’re so proud of our customers and the amazing things that are being done with OpenText software: Together we enable doctors to access crucial patient data, pharmaceutical companies to bring lifesaving drugs to market, and keep planes safely maintained and on time, to name a few. Better Together I travel quite often to meet OpenText customers and one thing that always sticks out is the overwhelming number of customers who share their digital journey with us and I can tell you; we deeply value that feedback. I’m continually blown away by our customers’ dedication and excitement. Our customers make us who we are and drive our continued innovation to support their digital transformation. Nothing excites me more than learning how a customer is leveraging OpenText solutions to gain business efficiencies, lead in their markets or transform the world. Here is just one example from our customer, Solenis, a leading global manufacturing company: “…Implementing OpenText has increased our efficiency and helped drive down costs. And we have met our number one goal of helping key staff focus on the business, so we continue to grow, innovate and get our sales teams what they need in the field.” Charles Wallace, Chief Information Officer, Solenis …and here is just a small sampling of our amazing customers from around the world: OpenText Elite™ Celebrates a Big Milestone Thanks to our OpenText Elite™ program, we have a fantastic way to reward our customers for their willingness to share their success with others. Over the last year we have had over 500 members join – a truly incredible testament to our customers’ commitment and support. For those of you who have not joined OpenText Elite™ yet, it’s never too late. Here’s why you should join the OpenText Elite™ Program: 1. Recognition as an industry leader: It brings us great joy as a team to acknowledge the amazing things our customers do with OpenText as they lead the way the technology world changes. “It is a truly humbling experience to be recognized as an OpenText Elite™ winner by an industry leader, OpenText. HEINEKEN has always strived for improvement through innovation in the F&B sector and being acknowledged for our hard work is rewarding.”                                    Sofia Sergeenko                   Functional Consultant at Global Solutions, HEINEKEN 2. Connecting with future customers so they can learn from your success: We want to provide an opportunity for our customers to showcase how we’re changing the software landscape together. “I feel that my contribution makes a big difference when engaging with future customers of OpenText. Regardless of the time it takes out of my busy schedule, sharing how we use OpenText products brings value not only to them but to our organization as an OpenText Elite™ member.” Sonia Diaz-Sotomayor Senior Consultant, IT/IS, Bell Canada 3. Obtaining early access to insight and roadmaps: We value our customers’ input and relish the opportunity to have them help shape our roadmap and the future of OpenText. “By being part of the OpenText Elite™ Customer Loyalty Program, our organization obtains early insight into OpenText roadmaps and has the opportunity to influence the execution of those roadmaps.” Wouter Van Der Heever Enterprise Information and Performance Systems Management, DISTELL 4. Forming connections with like-minded industry leaders: Our customers are thought leaders who are shaping the industry through their innovative and transformative use of OpenText technology. “OpenText Enterprise World allows us to make connections with people in our industry and we help each other by advising on the best ways to implement. It is very valuable.” Clint Wentworth Manager IS Project, NuStar   5. Gain rewards and recognition: We put our money where our mouth is – our customers are the lifeblood of our business and we want to ensure that they know how important they are to us. #LoyaltyRewarded “Abu Dhabi Airports is excited to share how our efforts are recognized and rewarded as an OpenText Elite™ Award winner. This motivates the whole team to develop ways to utilize the features OpenText applications provide us.” Hamed Al Hashemi VP Information Technology, Abu Dhabi Airport   We are thrilled with the progress we’ve made in our first year and look forward to the continued growth of our OpenText Elite™ Loyalty Program. Thank you for your support and partnership, and happy anniversary, Elite! If you’d like to learn more about the program, please reach out to elite@opentext.com.

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Bye-Bye Repetitive Marketing Tasks, Hello Compelling Customer Conversations

For nearly two decades, email has been the main message bearer in marketing. But with tightening regulations, it is becoming less and less viable to simply email your database—not to mention the ‘email fatigue’ we all feel; it’s simply becoming a less effective tactic. As marketers look to uncover alternative ways to get their message out, many organizations are opening deeper, more effective dialogues with customers through compelling content. Today’s customers desire interactive conversations with organizations, to get to know not just the product but the organization behind it. Email as a marketing tool will be dead in 5 years or less, and marketers need to think quickly about what will replace it in the age of the digital customer. Content and conversations, self-service and self-selection will form the epicenter of B2B and B2C marketing. Creating rich, engaging and, most importantly, timely customer interactions from initial contact through to buying takes time, data and a deep understanding of both current and future customer requirements. And while many of today’s marketing leaders recognize this, most would admit that they just don’t have the insight they need to really deliver on a customer-centric approach. But, today’s marketing automation tools can help create digital experiences. These tools nurture close relationships, and engage customers at every step of the decision journey to drive brand loyalty, revenue, and customer lifetime value, freeing up marketers to focus on creating compelling content. The Power of Content Content alone is not enough. It must be compelling. It must be engaging. And, it must be optimized to reach your customers at each touch point. Compelling content draws audiences in to your message. They begin a journey with the brand, from awareness to consideration to decision and advocacy. Unlike email, the ultimate interruption-driven marketing tool that pushes your message, content and experience marketing drives the journey through engagement with your customer, and is more efficient—costing over 60% less (62% less) than traditional campaigns. The Journey There is no single “channel” that today’s marketers can rely on to engage with customers. Customers today interact via multiple avenues, whether through social channels, a brand’s “owned” digital properties or more traditional routes like the media. In each case, the customer must experience a continuous, personalized and authentic digital journey that offers the best experience at every point of interaction and in every phase of the lifecycle. With a lineup of engaging content, customers can delve into the information they are looking for in their preferred medium. For instance, almost 50% of Internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store (Google, 2016). In a recent report on demand generation, 96% of B2B buyers said that they want content with more input from industry thought leaders, and over 50% said they relied on content as they researched buying decisions—from both the vendors and independent third parties. With all roads leading to the power of engaging and personalized content, it’s time to re-focus on the future of marketing. The Freedom to Create More Content Knowing how important content is, it’s time to balance your efforts. The bottom line is this: a big driver of today’s conversion rates is compelling content. The better the content, the better the conversion rate. But with all the technology and touch points and channels in play, there’s no question that marketers are making tough choices on where to spend their time. Automate your marketing processes and free your big thinkers to create the kind of content that speaks to your audiences in personal terms. For more information on how you can automate your marketing operation, check out the OpenText Experience Suite.

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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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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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Unlock Unstructured Data and Maximize Success in Your Supply Chain

By any standard, a successful business is one that can find new customers, discover new markets, and pursue new revenue streams. But today, succeeding via digital channels, delivering an excellent customer experience, and embracing the digital transformation is the true benchmark. Going digital can increase your agility, and with analytics you can get the level of insight you need to make better decisions. Advances in analytics and content management software are giving companies more power to cross-examine unstructured content, rather than leaving them to rely on intuition and gut instinct. Now, you can quickly identify patterns and offer a new level of visibility into business operations. Look inside your organization to find the value locked within the information you have today. The unstructured data being generated every day inside and outside your business holds targeted, specific intelligence that is unique to your organization and can be used to find the keys to current and future business drivers. Unstructured data like emails, voicemails, written documents, presentations, social media feeds, surveys, legal depositions, web pages, videos, and more offer a rich mine of information that can inform how you do business. Unstructured content, on its own, or paired with structured data, can be put to work to refine your strategy. Predictive and prescriptive analytics offer unprecedented benefits in the digital world. Consider, for instance, the data collected from a bank’s web chat service. Customer service managers cannot read through millions of lines of free text, but ignoring this wealth of information is not an option either. Sophisticated data analytics allow banks to spot and understand trends, like common product complaints or frequently asked questions. They can see what customers are requesting to identify new product categories or business opportunities. Every exchange, every interaction, and all of your content holds opportunity that you can maximize. Making the most of relevant information is a core principle of modern enterprise information management. This includes analyzing unstructured information that is outside the organization, or passed between the company and trading partners across a supply chain or business network. As more companies use business networks, there is an increase in the types and amounts of information flowing across them; things like orders, invoices, delivery information, partner performance metrics, and more. Imagine the value of understanding the detail behind all that data? Imagine the insight it can provide to future planning? And even better: if you could analyze it fast enough to make a difference in what you do today. Here are two common, yet challenging, scenarios and their solutions. Solving challenges in your enterprise Challenges within the business network – A business network was falling behind in serving its customers. They needed to increase speed and efficiency within their supply chain to provide customers with deeper business process support and rich analytics across their entire trading partner ecosystem. With data analytics, the company learned more from their unstructured data—emails and documents—and was able to gain clearer insights into transactions flowing across the network. The new system allows them to identify issues and exceptions earlier, take corrective action, and avoid problems before they occur. Loss of enterprise visibility – A retail organization was having difficulty supporting automatic machine-to-machine data feeds coming from a large number of connected devices within their business network. With the addition of data analytics across unstructured data sources, they gained extensive visibility into the information flowing across their supply chain. Implementing advanced data analytics allowed them to analyze information coming from all connected devices, which afforded a much deeper view into data trends. This intelligence allowed the retailer to streamline their supply chain processes even further. Want to learn more? Explore how you can 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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GenX or Millennials: Which Generation Truly Leads the Digital Transformation?

Even though we know millennials are connected non-stop to their smartphones, laptops, and social media accounts, it’s Generation X that makes up the main influencers, architects, and drivers of digital transformation in the enterprise. With all the focus on Millennials, it’s actually Generation X—those born between the ‘60s and early ‘80s—that paved the way for their younger colleagues to reap the longer-term rewards of digital business. Here’s how we know. OpenText recently commissioned a study by Forrester Consulting that reveals how businesses can make the most of their digital transformation efforts by tapping certain generational groups for leadership positions. Creating a one-size-fits-all management culture no longer suits today’s workforce, given its diversity. Gen-X Has Greater Clarity on What Drives Transformation To learn how different generations affect digital transformation, Forrester surveyed 240 Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers, and Millennials. Here are some of those findings: When asked about key drivers behind digital transformation, Baby Boomers were most likely to name growing revenue as a motivator, while Gen-Xers put greater emphasis on how digital change can improve the way business itself works. Regarding what drives change, 51% of Gen-Xers said improving time to market is a change driver, compared to 42% of Baby Boomers and just 30% of Millennials. Gen-Xers were also far more likely to believe transformation is driven by a desire to improve innovation and bring new offerings to market at 47%, compared to 32% for Baby Boomers and 37% for Millennials. Regarding the belief that transformation is driven by the need to create a seamless, harmonized customer experience across channels, 49% of Gen-Xers felt this is true, compared to 32% for Baby Boomers and 34% for Millennials. The Takeaway Understanding the workforce can help drive your company’s vision. By moving Gen-Xers with “digital savvy” into more senior leadership positions, while making sure Millennials are involved in decisions affecting the future, enterprises can foster transformational success. But, overall, having a better understanding of different groups’ unique strengths is the first step. It can help boost the chances of a smooth digital transformation to compete today and in the future. And while every part of an organization needs to take part for a digital transformation program to succeed, armed with this research, you can leverage your resources for the biggest impact and position your own business for success. 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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RightFax and OpenText Fax Solutions: The Future is Bright

Rightfax

Here at OpenText, we’re hyper-focused on enabling the digital world and creating a better way for you to leverage information across your entire ecosystem of customers, partners, and stakeholders. OpenText has always been – and always will be – deeply committed to our enterprise-grade fax solutions, including OpenText™ RightFax and OpenText™ Fax2Mail, which provide the secure information exchange backbone for your organization. OpenText is devoted to your organization’s success by helping you improve competitiveness, reduce costs, and boost response times to significantly enhance your overall business performance with our leading fax solutions. Debunking the Myth: The Future of RightFax Despite what you may have heard or read, RightFax is not “going away” or “ending development.” As a matter of fact, the exact opposite is true.  Our most recent release, RightFax 10.6 Feature Pack 3, debuted in June of this year with new product enhancements and innovations that have customers downloading the new release in droves.  And the next release, scheduled for April 2017, will feature even more exciting capabilities, including integration with OpenText™ Analytics to deliver the transactional data intelligence and volume trends needed to improve organizations’ operational efficiencies and drive profitability. With a comprehensive view of system performance, you’ll be able to quickly and easily identify and isolate operational issues to make data-driven decisions based on real-time and historical performance indicators. You’ll be able to improve engagement with stakeholders and provide a culture of performance-driven outcomes with visibility into volume, performance, and deliverability metrics. Continuously Innovating OpenText is resolute in our vision and commitment to the enduring future of RightFax, Fax2Mail, and our entire portfolio of on-premises, cloud, and hybrid fax solutions. With product experts solely focused on the pulse of the market and needs of our customers, each solution’s roadmap is judiciously planned to optimize the reliability, reach, and cost efficiency of secure information exchange. As a market leader in fax solutions with hundreds of fax-focused team members, OpenText is in constant development of new and impactful product innovations and enhancements. OpenText’s recent Release 16 launch represents a $2B investment over three years to support digital transformation and create a better way to work, and fax solutions plays an essential role in the vision and ongoing investment strategy for OpenText with Release 16 and beyond. Recent examples of OpenText’s ongoing investment and innovation are illustrated by the launch of our state-of-the-art healthcare solutions designed specifically for providers in the US, RightFax Healthcare Direct and Fax2Mail for Healthcare. Each revolutionary solution combines electronic fax with multiple methods of electronic exchange to provide an integrated platform for exchanging patient information, streamlining patient care while optimizing clinical workflows to enable the digital transformation of the healthcare industry. OpenText: Your Trusted Partner for Fax and Beyond We are experts at facilitating the efficient, secure, and compliant exchange of information through our enterprise fax and secure messaging solutions. What differentiates OpenText from other “just fax” providers is that we help organizations like yours create a better way to work with the most complete, integrated digital information platform for the enterprise. If you’re ready to digitally transform customer interactions and experiences, information management practices, enterprise processes, and supply chains, while providing integrated big data analysis, insightful reporting, and visualization across all information types, OpenText is here for you.

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