Greg Horton

Greg Horton
Greg Horton is a Product Marketing Director for OpenText Business Network. Greg is responsible for sharing how OpenText B2B Integration services and Active Applications can impact business agility, profitability and growth. Greg brings more than 20 years of enterprise software experience. Prior to joining OpenText, he held positions in marketing, product planning and product management at Microsoft, Relex Software, M*Modal, Epicor Software and Serena Software.

Enterprise Challenge #41 Only 182 of my 360 Degrees are in Focus

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Like so many words in the English language, the word visibility can mean different things depending on the context. The Oxford Dictionary defines visibility as the “state of being able to see or be seen.” For example, when we see a weather report, visibility is the distance at which objects can clearly be seen. But what does it mean when discussing the supply chain? In the supply chain context, we can “see” visibility in a couple of ways to support the goal of driving a more efficient supply chain. Supply chain visibility is the ability to see what is happening now—to know the status of each and every order, shipment and invoice—especially when the status is ‘red’ and needs risk mitigation, or if there is an untapped opportunity to pursue. This visibility allows an enterprise to make quick adjustments to keep their supply chain moving. For instance, a manufacturer in Detroit, Michigan can send a purchase order to its supplier in Japan, receive an electronic document that the item is out-of-stock, and immediately react by sending the purchase order to an alternative supplier in Brazil – all in just minutes. Armed with this information, businesses can effectively manage bottlenecks, plan for delays, and proactively manage customer expectations. In short, they can resolve issues before they have a negative impact on business performance. Without this visibility, it could take days to realize your stock of an item is about to be depleted with no replacement on order – resulting in lost sales because of disrupted production schedules or failure to meet customer demand. This scenario assumes digital exchange of information to speed transaction flow and enable automation. That is what OpenText does. We provide solutions that enable the digital exchange of information between buyers, suppliers and other supply chain partners. OpenText B2B Managed Services handles the complexity of connecting to trading partners of all sizes and digital capabilities. And OpenText Trading Grid—the largest B2B network in the world—provides the Cloud foundation for global information exchange. Supply Chain Visibility is also the ability to look back and analyze performance over time (which, in turn, provides the foundation to look forward and predict). Buying organizations need visibility into frequency of order errors or late deliveries by suppliers. These metrics provide the information needed to help identify potential problems in the supply chain and make adjustments. For example, consider a reliable supplier who has more recently been missing delivery deadlines and sending incomplete orders. The supplier’s change in behavior may indicate a need to change terms with the supplier or, if the behavior continues, may indicate the need to consider alternative suppliers. Without this visibility, you could miss a seasonal sales opportunity – again resulting in lost sales – because you are relying on a supplier who has trouble meeting deadlines. To help with this visibility, OpenText has added supplier performance metrics to OpenText Active Orders. Active Orders enables digitizing and automating supply chain processes with small and medium-size suppliers that are not ready or able to implement traditional EDI or B2B integration through a simple, intuitive web portal. Data from digital trading partners can also be captured, giving you a complete view of all suppliers. With metrics on supplier performance, manufacturers are able to manage underperforming trading partners—ultimately mitigating risk to business performance—and determine the most strategic trading partners to do more business with.  

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Drop Shipping Creates Opportunities and Challenges for Retailers

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It is the busiest time of year for retailers as they focus on the final holiday shopping push.  To offer their customers a unique and wide assortment many retailers are expanding their drop ship/vendor direct channel to grow sales. This popular business model offers customers products that the retailer doesn’t stock, but can order from a distributor or manufacturer (supplier) and have it shipped direct to the consumer. This model helps the retailer because it doesn’t need to pre-order stock or store and manage items in their distribution/fulfillment centers. As you can imagine, retailers see a large increase in drop-ship orders during the holiday season. One OpenText customer is experiencing a 4x increase in these orders this holiday season. Drop ship, while a great business model, puts additional burden on the retailer and supplier to ensure transactions flow smoothly. Once the customer places the order on the retailer’s Web site, the retailer must place a corresponding order with the supplier with all the shipping information. And because the customer will want to know exactly when their order will be delivered, the supplier must provide all the necessary information so their customer knows the status of their order including tracking information that allows the customer to know exactly when their package is going to arrive. This is particularly important because the customer is placing the order with the retailer and it is the retailer’s responsibility to make sure the customer package arrives on-time and with the correct merchandise. OpenText provides retailers a complete solution for B2B integration that supports drop shipping – even supporting this process with non-digitally enabled suppliers through a web portal. With B2B integration, an online order from a customer can automatically generate an electronic order to the supplier, which the supplier can electronically acknowledge and accept. It should be noted that these are small individual orders – meaning that the value of the orders do not support manual processes for fulfillment. When the supplier ships the order to the customer, they can automatically generate and send the shipment information to the retailer, who can immediately use that information to update the customer confirming shipment and providing tracking information. In addition, OpenText provides visibility and proactive alerting that allows the retailer and supplier to be notified and take immediate action to correct any problems with a customer order.  This assures a smooth transaction flow from the retailer to supplier to their mutual customer. To learn more about B2B integration in Retail, you can read the whitepaper, Key Omnichannel Considerations for the Purchase Order Process.

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CIO Review Selects OpenText in top 20 Most Promising Supply Chain Providers

OpenText was recently honored by CIOReview in the October issue, where the 20 most promising supply chain technology solution providers were announced. The inclusion of OpenText demonstrates the significant, positive impact that customers are experiencing with B2B integration solutions. To decide on the top 20 providers, CIOReview analyzed literally hundreds of supply chain solution providers and then shortlisted those companies at the forefront of tackling the challenges in the supply chain arena. A distinguished panel comprising of CEOs, CIOs and analysts, including CIOReview’s editorial board, selected the final list of Supply Chain Tech Solution Providers 2015. Their selection was based on the vendor’s capability to offer cutting edge technologies and solutions that add value to the supply chain landscape. The OpenText Trading Grid integration platform and OpenText B2B Managed Services provide a powerful combination of technology, people and processes to transform B2B integration programs in companies around the world. CIOReview interviewed Marco de Vries, Senior Director of Product Marketing, and expert in B2B integration. Marco offers insights in the interview on how B2B integration positively impacts an organization’s agility, profitability and growth. The article also discusses how Alstom Power is using OpenText B2B Managed Services and Active Orders to improve supply chain integration. The full Alstom case study can be viewed here. You can read the full CIOReview article here.  

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Accelerating B2B Managed Services with SAP

For those of you new to OpenText but not new to GXS, you may not know that for twenty years, OpenText has been a close partner of SAP. In fact, SAP awarded OpenText their prestigious SAP Pinnacle Award the last 8 years in a row. OpenText is the established leader in managing unstructured information in context of business processes in a SAP environment. Now, SAP and OpenText have announced an extension to this already successful partnership to include OpenText B2B Managed Services. OpenText B2B Managed Services is an outsourced solution for managing day-to-day B2B operations required when exchanging a wide variety of transactions with trading and business partners. Running on our B2B integration platform known as the OpenText Trading Grid, part of the OpenText Cloud, OpenText extends the SAP Business Network with its reach to the more than 600,000 trading partners currently connected to the OpenText Trading Grid. This partnership is a recognition of OpenText’s leadership in B2B Integration. Of course, supporting SAP with OpenText B2B Managed Services is nothing new. OpenText/GXS has worked with many companies around the world to manage their SAP and B2B integration projects. Whether it is helping companies integrate to multiple global instances of an SAP platform or providing integration to a newly installed instance of SAP, OpenText has a wealth of experience with managing such projects.

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OpenText and SAP team up to provide global B2B Managed Services

For twenty years, OpenText has been a close partner of SAP. In fact, we won an SAP Pinnacle Award the last 8 years in a row. This year, OpenText was recognized as a SAP Pinnacle Awards 2015 Winner “Solution Extension Partner of the Year” in category Value Creation. So with a successful partnership like that – what do you do to improve it? Extend it SAP and OpenText have announced an extension to this already successful partnership to include OpenText B2B Managed Services. OpenText B2B Managed Services is a comprehensive B2B outsourcing solution that provides companies with the people, processes and technologies necessary to maintain complex B2B e-commerce programs. B2B Managed Services operates on the OpenText Trading Grid, part of the OpenText Cloud, a fully hosted integration platform and includes mapping, trading partner on-boarding, data quality and connectivity services. With B2B outsourcing from OpenText, companies can build and grow B2B networks without making additional investment in hardware, software or human resources. OpenText extends the SAP Business Network with its reach to the more than 600,000 trading partners currently connected to the OpenText Trading Grid. Supporting SAP with OpenText B2B Managed Services is nothing new. OpenText has worked with many companies around the world to manage their SAP and B2B integration projects. Whether it is helping companies integrate to multiple global instances of an SAP platform or providing integration to a newly installed instance of SAP, OpenText has a wealth of experience with managing such projects. Read the press release here.

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Updating a Classic: Top 3 Reasons to Streamline Your Fax Infrastructure

Faxing may seem outdated, but it became popular in the business world for a reason. It allows organizations to quickly and securely exchange information. In fact, fax is used worldwide millions of times each day to send purchase orders, claim forms, supplier quotes, contracts, and a multitude of other documents. Faxing has a long history as a trusted and secure form of communication, and it’s still at the heart of many business processes and workflows today. If any of your business operations rely on fax, it may be time to consider an enterprise fax server solution that can make your fax infrastructure more efficient and productive. Consider these top three reasons to update your fax solution: Increased Productivity: The latest fax solutions turn formerly paper-based faxing into electronic-based faxing, essentially taking the “paper” out of the process wherever possible. Fax servers integrate with desktop environments and email systems, which allows employees to send and receive fax documents directly from their computer. This greatly improves worker efficiency by letting users work from their preferred environments. Reduced Costs: Companies that rely on paper-based fax machines know how time-consuming, costly, and frustrating they can be. By implementing electronic-based faxing and getting rid of physical fax machines and phone lines, you can reduce both the amount of money and IT support your organization will need. The right fax solution helps you accelerate business processes in a cost-effective manner. Improved Compliance: Businesses face serious risks from noncompliance, with both financial and reputational ramifications. Government regulations and standards are constantly evolving, impacting how businesses around the world secure and manage their information. As pressure grows to more closely manage fax communications and document processes, leading organizations are turning to enterprise fax solutions to help them secure, track, and store information for compliance purposes. Faxing may be a classic, but it can be made more efficient and productive by increasing the speed of transmitting, routing, and processing faxed documents. Let the experts guide you through understanding desktop fax, your solution options, and what matters most when selecting a fax solution. Sign up for the Desktop Fax Solution Webinar Series.

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Fax to the rescue!

This coverage of the Asian Games 2014 says that with North Korean websites blocked in South Korea, reporters from there are turning to fax to file their stories. Once again – fax proves to be a ubiquitous technology that comes through in pinch. Go Fax!

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Advantage Technologies blogs about fast, secure faxing

Excerpt: With some industry experts stating that at least 16 billion faxes are sent globally each year, faxing is still a reality in 2014. Faxing is considered to be one of the most secure methods of exchanging information, as it is a secure, point-to-point communication between the sender and the receiver. Also, fax transmissions are immune to viruses and malware. The problem is that traditional faxing is not often considered to be a quick or cost-effective method of exchanging information. Furthermore, there is still a security risk when using a physical fax machines, as a document may be viewed by an unauthorized person. Read More at: http://www.atechnologies.com/component/content/article/17-blogs/rightfax/293-fast,-secure-faxing-via-email-and-rightfax.html

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Still Faxing? Of course you are!

OpenText recently published an infographic on 9 Reasons Businesses Still Fax. You can see the full size version here . The bottom line is that fax still has a unique combination of characteristics that hasn’t fully been replaced. You might find multiple technologies that cover the same 9 reasons – but fax is the one technology that accomplishes all nine. I think my favorite characteristic is that fax transmissions are immune to viruses and malware. Because a fax is an image – you can’t get malware by saving and viewing a fax. Try that with email! Read more about OpenText fax solutions here .

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The History of Fax isn’t what I imagined

OpenText recently published an infographic on the history of fax. You can see the full size version here . What I found most interesting in doing research for the infographic is that while the original fax technology was created over 150 years ago, it really didn’t become ubiquitous until the late 1970s or early 1980’s– a little more than a decade before the widespread use of email. And while many believed email would completely wipe out fax in a short time, fax remains a readily available and reliable technology for exchanging information. While there hasn’t been much innovation in fax machines (plain paper fax machines in 1987?), there has been innovation in fax technology – especially fax software and services. Fax servers, FoIP, and cloud fax services have all been innovations in fax technology that make it easier for businesses and individuals to fax. And because most faxed documents start out as electronic documents, these technologies allow paperless faxing and electronic storage of fax images. Without these innovations, “Paperless faxing” is an oxymoron. The latest innovation in fax technology is hybrid faxing – where companies combine on-premises fax software and cloud-based fax transmission. You can learn more about hybrid faxing at www.futureoffax.com .

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Create data without data entry? Is that even possible?

In any typical trading community profile – where there’s a mix of large, medium and small trading partners – the 80/ 20 rule usually applies. 80% of the business is conducted with 20% of the trading partners. These trading partners are typically those that have already adopted electronic commerce and trading is usually done via EDI, XML or other standardized messages. The remaining 80% of the trading community typically accounts for 20% of the transactions. These trading partners are usually smaller suppliers and customers who may lack the budget, resources or expertise to exchange EDI, XML or other standardized messages and so they often send purchase orders and invoices via fax or email. But manual fax and paper handling, and re-keying of data, create inadvertent but costly data errors. And it is expensive to have staff spend time printing, re-keying and manually tracking documents. For the smaller companies who aren’t ready to adopt an EDI solution it is difficult to know what to do. What if you could use document and character recognition capabilities to turn those inbound fax and email business documents into machine-readable data? That is what a Fax to EDI service does. A Fax to EDI service can receive your fax in a cloud solution as an image and then use leading edge recognition technologies to convert the image to data in the format you need. A great way to automate smaller suppliers and customers with ease, effectively Want to learn more? Register for our on-demand webinar, “Creating Data without the Data Entry with OpenText Fax to EDI” today.

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Healthcare organizations – Isn’t it time get rid of your fax machines?

Each week, healthcare organizations exchange thousands upon thousands of pages of patient- and business-related data. Even with the adoption of electronic medical record (EMR) and other critical health information technology (HIT) systems, the preferred method of information exchange in the healthcare industry remains the fax machine. In the 2012 National Physicians Survey, 63% of respondents stated fax was their primary form of communication. The need for fax, especially within the healthcare community, is not going away any time soon. It is a product that is familiar to most workers, transcends operating and EMR systems and offers more security than email. It is also a communication system that provides a necessary and consistent paper audit trail. With all those benefits, you may think your organization can’t get by without your fax machine. OpenText Fax Solutions offer healthcare organizations elegant on-premises and cloud-based solutions that not only continue the well-known benefits of fax but also provide additional advantages that increase worker productivity, enhance the patient experience and improve your organization’s bottom line. To learn more about how healthcare organizations can replace fax machines with on-premises and cloud-based solutions. – download the whitepaper produced by OpenText in conjunction with Healthcare Informatics. Visit us at HIMSS in February. You can pre-book an appointment to speak to one of our Information Exchange experts, or simply stop by and visit us at booth 3409. See you there!

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How to Fax? New York City wants to know!

Unfortunately, there is no way from the data to understand WHY? But it does tell us that people are still faxing. This 160 year old technology (which took about 130 years to become popular) is still alive and kicking. Of course – OpenText offers a better way to fax than traditional fax machines. Whether it is an on-premises fax appliance, on-premises software, cloud fax, or a hybrid of on-premises and cloud – we have a fax solution for most businesses. So ask us – “How to Fax”.

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OpenText Introduces Exceptional Fax Solution for Small-Medium Businesses

Today OpenText announced RightFax Express, an all-in-one fax solution that allows users to conveniently and cost-effectively fax from their desktop, email, back-end applications and Multi-Function Printer (MFP) devices. Simple to deploy and easy to integrate, RightFax Express offers a broad range of deployment options including appliance, on-premises fax server, or hybrid faxing. Small and medium-sized businesses face many of the same challenges as larger organizations when dealing with Information Exchange via fax. Security, cost and the ability to boost productivity are top of mind in evaluating a suitable solution. With laws increasingly mandating information governance and compliance, it is essential that businesses ensure confidential information remains safe and secure at all times. In addition, standalone fax machines represent costly investments when the efficiency of all employees who fax is taken into consideration. Gary Weiss, our senior vice-president Information Exchange and Cloud describes it this way: “OpenText RightFax Express provides a best-in-class fax solution for small and medium-sized businesses – it’s easy to implement and manage, efficient and versatile. In addition to the convenience factor, embedded security features such as direct delivery to a user’s inbox, automatic notifications, and tracking and reporting capabilities for auditing readiness, make RightFax Express an attractive one-stop shop for SMBs looking to reduce the costs and hassle of information exchange while increasing the productivity and efficiency of their organization.” OpenText RightFax Express offers the following key features: Quick, easy and secure information exchange – users can send and receive faxes right from their desk via email application, a web client or print-to-fax driver. Integration with email, MFPs, and desktop and back-end applications empower employees to fax from their preferred applications. Simplified administration – easily manage all users, devices, printers, cover sheets, reports, and system configuration with a user-friendly web-based interface regardless of deployment model. Comprehensive tracking and reporting – receive printed or emailed notifications of transmission status, track and manage failed faxes, and provide an electronic audit trail of all fax transmissions. The introduction of RightFax Express follows the introduction in November of this year of a fax solution serving large enterprises and mid-sized companies. That product offering, RightFax 10.6, is a new version of OpenText’s flagship on-premises fax solution best suited to larger organizations with strong integration requirements and high fax traffic, and having more complex deployment requirements. Further information on RightFax Express introduced today can be found here: www.opentext.com/rightfaxexpress and information on RightFax 10.6 can be found here: http://faxsolutions.opentext.com/rightfax-whats-new.aspx OpenText RightFax Express is one of the many offerings from the OpenText Information Exchange Suite of products, one of the five key pillars of the OpenText EIM strategy. OpenText’s Information Exchange Suite provides market-leading document exchange, messaging, and notification services for businesses ranging from the smallest offices to the largest enterprises. It can help deliver even the largest files swiftly, securely and reliably in the user’s preferred format, on-premises, or in the cloud. Availability OpenText RightFax Express is available worldwide with software supporting fifteen languages. For more information, please visit: www.opentext.com/rightfaxexpress

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