B2B Integration

Digital-First Fridays: The Digital Supply Network

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Digital makes it possible for the smallest company to participate in the global economy. Disruption is lowering barriers to entry, which results in higher levels of competition. Based on stiffer competition, businesses are shifting from a vertically integrated supply chain model to a highly specialized, outsourced network model. In the digital world, these networks will be made up of low-cost suppliers and virtual manufacturers, and will serve niche industries that span the globe. Many products in the future will be built-to-order. Organizations are already realizing the value of customization: you can design your own Goldfish crackers thanks to Pepperidge Farm, NIKEiD invites you to customize Nike running shoes for optimized performance—even Coke bottle labels can be personalized. While this new environment of hyper-differentiation provides exciting ways of engaging customers, it is also requiring companies to radically overhaul their supply chain processes. As companies specialize and outsource, operations need to scale, shift, and contract depending on business and market requirements. New channels need to be leveraged and new markets serviced. To be able to differentiate, organizations need to have agility and flexibility built into their production lines. This calls for the digitalization of end-to-end processes across the supply network. The benefits of digitalizing processes are many: costs can be reduced, turnaround times improved by several orders of magnitude, errors minimized, and new channels and new routes to the customer can be explored. The Digital Supply Network with Customer at the Hub Increased flexibility and agility are the keys to success. Digital leaders are achieving this by digitizing core business processes and adopting emerging technologies. They are automating processes and delivering 24/7 engagement with self-service capabilities. B2B integration is providing the sophisticated synchronization of data and transactions for the automated exchange of goods, commerce, and information. Analytics are giving the enterprise incredible insights for supply chain optimization and end-to-end supply chain visibility. The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to further enhance the richness of supply chain information, creating networks that are intelligent and instrumented. Managing all of this information across a collaborative platform is the key to optimization and B2B integration in efficient, secure, and compliant ways. To meet the challenges of the evolving supply chain, the digital enterprise will depend on digital technology for increased global collaboration, seamless communication, real-time insights, and execution. The digital workplace will have to accommodate these shifts in the market and the technical expertise required to manage disruptive innovations. Supply networks will have to be optimized to satisfy customers and drive competitive advantage. The transformational Digital Workplace is the topic of the next post in this series. Find out how you can capitalize on digital disruption. To learn more, read my book, Digital: Disrupt or Die.

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Streamlining Prescription Fulfillment with Automatic Capture Technology

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Many retail pharmacies utilize fax documents as part of their prescription fulfilment processes. With that, typical processing delays associated with manually handling incoming fax documents and rekeying the embedded information into backend systems arise regularly. Based on the last blog post, we know automatic capture technology can be very beneficial here, particularly in receiving inbound prescription fulfillment forms from various fax input sources in multiple formats. Yet there are other value-added services pharmacy organizations can implement in conjunction with automatic capture to drive automated fax message processing end-to-end. See a sample diagram below: The process flow is a real-world example of a “before and after” scenario in which a major retailer used automatic capture on the front end of a process, and integrated value-added fax messaging services (such as document workflow) throughout. Automating fax processes this way optimized the fulfilment of patient prescriptions. To read the story in its entirety please access this case study outlining the business problem and implemented solution behind the improved process illustrated above. Of course to get an overview of automatic capture technology’s impact on business critical processes involving fax, visit www.opentext.com/campaigns/intelligent-fax-workflow.

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Integrating Automatic Capture with Enterprise Fax Deployment Models

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When it comes to initiating critical business processes, paper based faxing remains a key driver within many industries. Organizations utilize paper based faxing as a simple, ubiquitous mechanism for transacting business. However they’re also experiencing slow business cycle times that are negatively impacting profitability. In the last blog post we discussed automatic capture technology’s ability to turn incoming fax documents into actionable data. Now many organizations are automating paper-based fax processes to gain greater ROI by integrating automatic capture technology with enterprise fax deployments models including: Cloud fax: a deployment that doesn’t require any on-premises fax hardware, software or telephone connections to transmit fax messages. Instead users send faxes directly from their email accounts or common desktop applications. Cloud fax significantly reduces the cost of procuring and maintaining physical fax infrastructure while driving platform flexibility and scalability: On premises fax: a deployment in which a fleet of fax machines, multi-function devices or fax servers reside on premises, using telephony hardware to transmit messages. On-premises fax software connects with virtually any type of telephone network for secure, electronic faxing and supports very robust integrations.   Hybrid is another deployment option that combines an on-premises fax server with cloud-based transmission. Regardless of the chosen deployment model, enterprise fax software and services are well known input sources that organizations integrate automatic capture technology with. To enhance cycle times further organizations also integrate additional value-added services, like business workflow solutions, to help automate fax message processing from end-to-end. Please visit www.opentext.com/campaigns/intelligent-fax-workflow  to learn more about enterprise fax deployment models and their ability to drive automated fax workflow solutions.  

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Data Driven Digest for September 18: Money and Finance

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This week marks the 133 anniversary of the opening of the Pacific Stock Exchange in San Francisco. The establishment was created to serve the interest of businesses that struck it rich mining for gold during the California Gold Rush. Nowadays, businesses mine for data hoping to strike it rich by analyzing that data for clues about how to best serve their customers, streamline their operations, or gain a competitive advantage. In honor of those financial pioneers, this week we offer three different visualizations of financial data. Eureka! U.S. Fiscal Responsibility   In 1789, the United States established its first loan to pay salaries of the existing and future presidents and the Congress. As our friend Katy French (@katyifrench) posted in Visual News this week, bean counters in Washington kept great records and even produced stunning visualizations to represent trends. The graphic above represents the Fiscal Chart of Debt and Expenditures by the U.S. Government between 1789 and 1870. Note the spikes in military spending during the War of 1812 and Civil War as well as the first major accumulation of debt in 1861.   Euro Spending How do Europeans spend their paychecks? That was the premise of a recent data plot developed by The Economist (@TheEconomist). Based on data sets from Eurostat entitled Final consumption expenditure of households by consumption purpose, The Economist found life in the Euro zone is quite diverse. Living in Lithuania? Your budget is dominated by food and clothes. Lithuanians also spend more per capita on alcohol and tobacco than the rest of Europe. Meeting in Malta? Forget about eating at home. Nearly 20 percent of Maltese spending goes toward restaurants and hotels. Spaniards spend the least on their transportation. Germans spend more on their furnishings than their E.U. neighbors   World Population Based on Income Our friends over at Pew Research Center (@PewResearch) have come up with an interactive visualization based around the paradigms of income and how it relates to world population. For example, the map above shows the density of people living under what they term as a middle income. By middle income, that means your daily wages are between $10.01 and $20. According to the map, 13 percent of the 7+ billion people in the world are middle income. The map has a second option that reveals the percentage point change in that population between 2000 and 2011. It’s a fascinating study on both financial statistics as well as data maps. The income groups are defined as follows: The poor live on $2 or less daily, low income on $2.01-10, middle-income on $10.01-20, upper-middle income on $20.01-50, and high income on more than $50; figures expressed in 2011 purchasing power parities in 2011 prices.

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Digital Engagement: A New Business Requirement

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Digital engagement isn’t an option anymore, it’s a requirement. Today’s consumers are savvy and fickle, and companies must work to earn their loyalty. They’re demanding more from the brands they love, and their tolerance for anything but a seamless, engaging, and compelling experience is flagging. In a digital world, organizations must digitize their customer journeys, from initial interest through to purchase and follow-on service or support. The best way to do this is to shift to a digital marketing strategy. One that creates consistent and compelling customer experiences at every touchpoint through omni-channel delivery, responsive design, and targeted communications and information. Digital technologies have introduced new customer touchpoints and increased opportunities to engage. Since consumers often use more than one channel to interact with a brand (in some instances they use five or six), delivering uniform and relevant messages across all channels is crucial for return on marketing investments and customer satisfaction. Omni-channel focuses on meeting consumer needs by pulling together programs to provide a cohesive brand experience across channels, platforms, and devices. To borrow from Bruce Lee, digital design should “be like water”. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. The same holds true for digital experiences. The transition from desktop to device to point-of-sale should be fluid. This is achieved through responsive design. Customers don’t see individual devices or channels; they look for a consistent and familiar brand experience that delivers relevant content. Nirvana on the customer journey is realized when a company anticipates the needs and wants of a customer and serves up targeted and tailored content, products, or services, in the moment of need, wherever the customer is. Organizations that can predict customer behavior have a better chance at fulfilling consumer needs. Analytics—or analyzing data collected across various touchpoints of the customer journey (transactions, interactions, social media sites, and devices) helps organizations discover valuable customer insights so that they can offer more personalized and satisfying experiences. The most effective way to target different audiences is to use messages that focus on products and services with the greatest appeal for each segment. Using dynamically generated customer communications, organizations can create and automate their marketing campaigns. When correspondence is part of a digitized process, end results are gains in efficiency and the ability to create superior customer experiences. As one of the foundational suites for Enterprise Information Management (EIM), Customer Experience Management (CEM) aims to create a richer, more interactive online experience across multiple channels without sacrificing requirements for compliance and information governance. CEM brings together all of the technologies required to re-architect back-office systems, consolidate customer data, and create digitized front-end experiences. Digital engagement starts inside the firewall and extends outside the enterprise and all along the supply chain. In the next post in this series, I’ll explore how the supply chain is being disrupted and how enterprises can digitize key processes for greater collaboration, information exchange, and business agility. Find out how you can capitalize on digital disruption. To learn more, read my book, Digital: Disrupt or Die.

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3 Questions: Content Marketing Expert Robert Rose on the Power of Analytics

Think your organization can tell the difference between good marketing content and great content? Only 36 percent of B2B marketers surveyed in 2014 by the Content Marketing Institute said they were effective at content marketing. To help increase its effectiveness, marketing experts suggest improving content measurement methods. White papers, brochures and blogs get the message out. Analytics illustrates a richer story. Robert Rose is the Chief Strategy Officer for the Content Marketing Institute and a senior contributing consultant for Digital Clarity Group. Robert’s highly anticipated second book – Experiences: The Seventh Era of Marketing is now available. His first book, Managing Content Marketing, spent two weeks as a top ten marketing book on Amazon.com and is generally considered to be the “owner’s manual” of the Content Marketing process. Robert is also the co-host of the podcast PNR’s This Old Marketing, the Number 1 podcast as reviewed by MarketingPodcasts.com We sat down with Robert to discuss the importance of transforming content into digital and the best ways to optimize value from analyzing that content. OpenText: With the world migrating towards a digital-first approach, talk about the importance of content-driven experiences. How should marketing, and other departments, optimize their operations to gain the most value of their digital assets? Robert Rose: The real trend is that content-driven experiences are the differentiation of the entire business these days. Whether you look at this as a layer of product development, an element of marketing – or the new way that you handle customer service, consumers now expect a better experience at any part of their particular journey. This means that marketing – and the development of content-driven experiences – must stretch across the entire customer journey. So, this inherently means that the business has to evolve “content” as a strategic asset.  It can simply no longer be just a byproduct of what people produce as part of their jobs – but must be cohesively created, managed, published, optimized and measured as a function in the business. And, in order to do that – the organization’s first step is to actually look at each of those tasks as a recognized function in the business. It must have actual organization, real responsibility, budget and measurability. OpenText: The intersection of digital content, cloud delivery and Big Data analysis seems like the next step for so many organizations. What recommendations can you give to decision makers in their quest for a digital content supply chain? Robert Rose: The key is to simplify. A great content-as-supply-chain process should actually reduce the amount of content being produced, but optimize its quality and efficacy. This means, ultimately, that the data it produces becomes higher quality and get be used to derive better meaning, and thus greater insight into how to improve the experiences being created.  The classic mistake that most businesses make is they create content in order to facilitate the sales, marketing and service of products – and then simply can’t keep up with the cadence that the product/service requires. Instead, they need to start with the customer, and the experience they’re trying to deliver – then work backwards to see how content can be created to build that experience. OpenText: There are many organizations that are successful in transforming their content and measuring its effectiveness. What are you top favorites and what made them so successful? Robert Rose: I think my current favorite is what Motorola Solutions has done by integrating technology and marketing into one common department. Eduardo Conrado is the Chief Innovation Officer (and wrote the introduction to my newest book). He recognized as the head of marketing and IT that both were truly focused on the same goal; creating a more compelling customer experience. So, he merged both of them together so that they work together. As he says, this really does create an environment where “technology can help you get closer to the customer.” For more insight, Robert’s strategy whitepaper entitled, The Marketing Transformation: From Managing Campaigns to Orchestrating Experiences can be found at OpenText.

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Prepare for e-Invoicing with New 2015 Billentis Report

Billentis 2015 Report sponsored by OpenText

Is your organization still using paper in your invoice processes? Are you aware of new initiatives governing invoicing that may affect your organization? If your organization has yet to implement e-Invoicing then the new 2015 Billentis report on e-Invoicing is a significant first step in learning more about the market, benefits, and best practices for electronic invoicing. OpenText is proud to sponsor the new 2015 Billentis report on e-Invoicing, Entering a new era. The report extensively covers the many facets of e-Invoicing and is a great resource for anyone considering the automation or compliance of their organization’s invoice processes. Even if you’ve seen the report in previous years we encourage you to find out the new research findings for 2015. Some of the topics you find in the report include: Different e-Invoicing models Global landscape and reasons for invoice optimization by region B2B, B2G, and B2C activity in European market Market trends affecting development of e-Invoicing Challenges and solutions for accounts receivable/accounts payable departments Best practices for e-Invoicing projects Whether you are looking to improve the invoice processes of your accounts payable, accounts receivable, or both, OpenText can provide the solutions and expertise to help you reduce manual processes, reduce costs, and move toward profitability. Download the 2015 Billentis report on e-Invoicing now or reach out and contact us today to learn more about OpenText B2B Integration!

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SIBOS 2015 – Our favourite agenda so far

Well, it’s this time of the year again. It feels Boston wasn’t long ago and now we’re looking forward to a great time in Singapore very soon. Last year’s agenda was spot on in terms of Corporate Banking, Real-time payments, standardisation and new distributed instruments; now we see various conference agendas looking at the first real-life examples and use cases. Diaries are filling fast, heads are spinning with the large amount of information to absorb and after that we know there will be that long list of action items to do at the end of the event. So, my recommendation here it let’s get ahead now and structure some best practices to make it all a bit easier. From one regular SIBOS delegate to another… I have tried to pick in advance which conference sessions I will attend, peppered with meetings and impromptu network opportunities in between. Not all sessions are designed for the pragmatic banker – my personal favourites are the ones showing real-life stories and lessons learned from Financial Institutions and Corporates. The key topics I would recommend you focus on are those that are the most relevant for the next couple of years: Enjoy Singapore the day before That’s the rule number one of any smart SIBOS attendee. Not only you can enjoy the prime location (roof of the Bay Sands Hotel anyone?), but also helps reduce jet-lag and assists with a good night of sleep before the event kick-off. Enabling innovation through ISO20022 Beyond SEPA and a couple of other use cases, ISO20022 enables innovation in a number of markets and banking services. The coffee machine That’s my second favourite activity really – especially with jet-lag, early morning briefings and late night events. Impact of real-time payments on banking systems & Straight-Through Processing We hear every week about the benefits of real-time payments for consumers, both existing and up-coming implementations, however we hear little about how Banks turn around their legacy middle and back-office payment processing platforms into true Straight-Through end-to-end machines. Networking Lounge 1 That’s always the best spot to sit down, rest the legs for a few minutes, write down the last few people’s names and key topics in my notes (useful tip – avoid writing on the back of business cards !) Practical examples of real-time payments for corporates Consumers and B2C is the original goal and obvious winner for real-time payments, however we’re not hearing a lot about “what’s in it for corporates and SMBs?”. This subject is slowly converging with the world of Treasury integration through APIs. Wholesale Digital Banking The digital experience is extending from the electronic exchange of information (payments, trade finance, securities) into the reality of client and counterparty communication and relationships. While there are a number of digital initiatives out there for self-service, readiness testing etc, where (and who from) do we see examples of where the industry is going with the biggest lever for revenue: human and social relationships. Come and meet us at SIBOS We are helping 250+ financial services firms as well as 55,000 Corporates and SMBs to meet unique client requirements, mitigate operational risk, and expand into new geographies with 600,000 Counterparties. Our experience in core financial service segments such as securities, cash management, commercial finance, card processing, merchant services and insurance makes for interesting discussions – so come and talk to us. We can discuss and debate how to reduce the cost and complexity of client delivery and accelerate speed-to-market and time-to-revenue with our real world experiences. If you are looking to do any of the following, let’s talk. Decreasing time-to-revenue: differentiate with operational excellence; add value for corporates, increase their business outcomes Regulation: overcoming the challenges of implementation and identifying new opportunities Digital Transformation: digitising transaction services processes; enabling rapid client on-boarding and self-service How to meet us? I and my colleagues are currently filling our diaries with meetings and conference sessions. Natalia Lokhova can arrange an appointment: nlokhova@opentext.com. We are also at the annual AFP conference the following week, so if you are there that is another chance to meet up.

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Fax-to-Capture: Transitioning from Documents to Data

While today’s worker is printing less, paper documents continue to exist within organizations. In fact, many enterprises are still transacting large amounts of business through paper based faxing. As a result they’re employing workers to manually handle inbound fax documents, and it’s costing a lot of money and time. The US, for example, spends $25-35 billion dollars per year filing, storing and retrieving paper*. Coincidently, this is all taking place in an era that’s trying to emphasize paper reduction. However, automatic capture technology is a proven solution that addresses this. It can automatically accept and interpret fax documents from a variety of different sources – such as fax servers, cloud fax accounts, multi-function devices and fax machines – to text documents or structured data: Fax plays the role of receiver to feed automatic capture technology. This sets the stage for automatic capture technology to intelligently extract information embedded within inbound fax documents, and convert it into searchable text documents and actionable data appropriate for starting a business process. This is commonly known as “Fax-to-capture,” indicating that a fax messaging component is the primary document input source to the capture system. In the blog posts to follow, I’ll cover enterprise fax and automatic capture technology to help illustrate how organizations use the two to automate fax messaging workflow end-to-end. In the meantime head over to www.opentext.com/campaigns/intelligent-fax-workflow for more information on OpenText’s enterprise leading fax and automatic capture products and services.

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Mapping a Path to the Cloud

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You’ve decided to start solving some business problems with cloud and hybrid-cloud systems.  But where do you start? Like all new business models, cloud computing should be researched, and then a planned and pragmatic approach should be adopted.  There are many benefits such as agility, cost savings, relief of resource pressure and flexibility, but which areas of the business should be the starting point for a major cloud project? Follow the Benefits One of the ways to start thinking about options is to look where your organization can find the greatest value. Consider starting with systems that need attention and business processes that need significant optimization or to be reinvented.  Some systems that have been in place for a while and live on premises may be working just fine and those can be left alone. Where can your business gain the most by making a strategic change in systems?   Are there areas of the business where you want to change processes and/or systems?  These are a good place to start. Where do you need to move quickly – to be innovative and outpace your competition?  More and more often organizations are turning to the cloud to drive agility and innovation. Information Matters It is often said that “information is power”.  That has never been more true than in the age of digital.  As organizations look at what business processes and systems to bring into the cloud, they should consider the information that resides in or flows through those systems.  In many cases this will drive a decision on the type of cloud or hybrid cloud application to embrace for managing this information. Axis of Control How much control does the organization need over this data? Is it subject to a high level of regulation? Do they need to ensure it remains within a given geography? Some types of enterprise information by definition need to be under tighter control by the IT department.   There may be privacy or other regulations that require you to keep strict control of information.  Conversely, there are other types of information that your organization wants to share with the public or at least to share in a controlled way.  Perhaps it is information that needs to be accessed globally and made available on a variety of devices around the world.  There is a broad spectrum of control enterprises need to have for their information – and it is different for each organization. Level of Importance As a corporate asset, consider how important the information is when looking at implementation options. How important is the information to the organization? Is it the“secret sauce” in the organization’s business? Is it mission critical? Whether or not the information is something the organization wants toshare externally, the information asset could be critical to the long-term health of the organization.  Consider the case of a technology provider and the programming code for their applications, or a moviestudio and their investments into media assets.  Those information assets are critical to the organization.  There may be no legislation,data sovereignty or regulation issues related to that information butthey are vital assets to the long term health of the company and must be treated as such. Information Grid Analysis When taking both the Axis of Control and the Level of Importance into consideration, organizations can look at their systems and the information that resides in them and plot them on the axis. Those systems with information that is both low in corporate importance and requires a low level of control are likely candidates to implement in cloud or hybrid cloud. While these use cases vary foreach organization, an example here might be a public website. The organization puts out information that can be openly shared – in fact is meant to be openly shared (or perhaps password protected for amember population), and this type of information is likely not subject to a lot of regulation and control requirements. At the opposite end of the spectrum, on the top right, are systems with information that is both vital to the organization and highly regulated.  Examples of this include patient records in a hospital system or financial records in a publicly traded organization. The level of importance of this information does not prevent the information from being part of a cloud or hybrid cloud implementation but they do help to define a level of vigilance that is required in choosing the cloud provider, the system and the Service Level Agreement for the application.  And they help to indicate which systems and information may be the easiest start points for cloud implementations. Pilot before Plunge Starting with a pilot project makes considerable sense so that staff and all parts of the organization can learn and adapt to new ways of working.  You can measure the benefits and learn before taking more complex or critical workloads into the cloud. Putting in place an overall cloud strategy and a well thought out cloud plan will help you to realize the full benefits of the cloud.Consider key drivers for your organization, review the kinds of information you are managing and what controls it requires, understand the information risk, and develop pilots to test and assess your cloud plan.

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Introducing OpenText Big Data Analytics in the Cloud

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Digital leaders know their data. They convert their information into actionable business insight. Considering that more data is shared online every second today than was stored in the entire Internet 20 years ago, it’s no wonder that differentiating products and services requires advanced tools. With that need in mind, I’m pleased to announce OpenText Big Data Analytics in the Cloud. Combining the power of our OpenText Big Data Analytics product with the accessibility and convenience of the Cloud gives our customers the ability to leverage advanced analytics capabilities quickly and easily, without investing in infrastructure or specialized technical staff. All About the Data To transform data into insights, organizations require a Big Data Analytics solution that is flexible enough to integrate all types of information, including survey results, tweets, purchasing data, campaign response rates, and external market data. An effective solution helps organizations examine all data in a single view, analyze billions of records in seconds, and apply advanced and predictive techniques—all via an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. Applying analytics to information across organizational silos gives businesses the insight they need to improve their performance, optimize their supply chain, and know their customers better. Big Data Analytics gives organizations the agility they need to compete. With benefits like these, my question is “Why haven’t more organizations implemented Big Data Analytics solutions?” The most commonly cited barriers to adoption of Big Data Analytics solutions are difficultly consolidating data sources, a skills gap within the organization, and lack of infrastructure, or difficulty integrating with existing infrastructure.[1] Not every organization has the data scientists, IT experts, and computing resources they need to collect, parse, compare, and extract value from data.   The OpenText Answer The new OpenText Big Data Analytics in the Cloud bypasses all of these barriers, offering implementation and full management in the OpenText Cloud, without requiring the customer to acquire additional IT resources or infrastructure. As our first “Analytics as a Service” (AaaS) offering, OpenText Big Data Analytics in the Cloud brings together the benefits of advanced analytics with the cost-savings and convenience of a managed service, making it even easier to access, blend, explore, and model big data quickly and effectively. The simplicity and flexibility of Big Data Analytics eliminates the need for a data scientist. The power of OpenText Cloud lowers technical and financial barriers to entry. Without lengthy procurement and installation processes, time-to-ROI is realized sooner. Maintenance is simplified and scalability is improved without driving up costs. Using in-memory columnar database technology that delivers 1,000x faster performance than traditional relational databases, OpenText Big Data Analytics in the Cloud reduces the time it takes to prepare and launch campaigns, discover supplier risks, or identify business opportunities from days to just hours or even minutes. It delivers quicker time-to-value because of the proven reliability and expertise of our Enterprise Information Management (EIM) Managed Cloud Services. With OpenText Big Data Analytics in the Cloud business users can uncover cross-sell or upsell opportunities or reduce customer churn, and gain better visibility to detect fraud, analyze risk, and drive operational efficiency. What’s Next? When it comes to analyzing data, many of our customers have made great progress. They have moved from rear-view reflections to near-view observations. But the traditional Business Intelligence (BI) tools that made that move possible have become table stakes. OpenText Big Data Analytics and the advanced and predictive analytics it embodies, represents the future of business and will be the key to continued success in a Digital World as organizations shift from near-view observations to future-view forecasts and analysis to make more informed business decisions. When I look at Analytics as a Service, I see the shape of things to come. I see limitless potential. To find out more about the new OpenText Big Data Analytics in the Cloud, read the Press Release.

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How IoT Based Analytics Will Drive Future Supply Chain Operations

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Over the past couple of years we have seen an exponential growth in interest around the Internet of Things (IoT). My interest in this space started at Cisco’s IoT World Forum in Barcelona in late 2013.  Back then many of the software and solution vendors were just starting to define their IoT strategies due to the various estimates that analysts had put out about the expected value of the IoT market over the next decade. There were two interesting IoT related announcements this week, firstly GE placing all their IT and software solutions into a new division called GE Digital. Slight irony here in that this is the second time GE has done this, the first time was when they established and then spun off their former IT division which later became GXS!  The second announcement came yesterday at Salesforce’s annual conference where they announced their own cloud based IoT platform.  So the IoT cloud market is certainly hotting up. In 2013 I posted my first blog discussing where I believed IoT would impact supply chain operations and from what I could tell back then, based on the number of IoT and Supply Chain articles that had been published, I was one of the early thought leaders to predict how IoT would transform tomorrow’s supply chains. Many argue that some components of an IoT environment, such as RFID tags, have been around for many years and in fact IoT has now given RFID tags a stronger sense of purpose.  However other technologies such as Big Data Analytics are really only just starting to be applied in the supply chain space. For me, I see three areas where IoT will add value to supply chain operations, I call these the ‘Three Ps’ of supply chain focused IoT, namely Pervasive Visibility, Proactive Replenishment and Predictive  Maintenance. One common aspect to all three of the above scenarios is big data analytics.  Earlier this year OpenText acquired a leading provider of embedded analytics solutions, Actuate.  Over the past few months we have been busy embracing the world of big data analytics and recently announced a cloud based analytics offering. This is quite a game changer in the big data analytics market as companies look to take their first steps into the world of analytics and OpenText Big Data Analytics in the cloud allows companies to scale their analytics platform over time and align with the size of the analytics project being undertaken. In fact yesterday, OpenText was ranked number three in a new report from the analyst firm called Dresner Advisory Services, they looked at the Business Intelligence market in the context of IoT. It is worth noting that the chart and vendor analysis conducted by Dresner was carried out before the launch of our cloud based analytics solution, so we would probably have been ranked higher than number three out of seventeen vendors.  When you consider the size of the analytics market and the number of vendors in the space, this is quite an achievement for our solution and it puts us in a good position for companies looking to process the huge volumes of data coming off millions of connected devices in the future. OpenText Big Data Analytics is a core component of OpenText’s cloud strategy and early last year OpenText acquired another key cloud solution provider GXS.  OpenText now operates the world’s largest B2B integration network with over 600,000 companies connected to the network and these companies are processing over 16billion transactions per year.  Now wait a minute, 16billion transactions!, now that is a lot of information flowing across our network that could add a lot of value to companies if they had a way of analysing the transactions in real time. As you would imagine we are busy looking at how our Trading Grid platform could leverage the capabilities of our new cloud based analytics solution. I have spent the past two years keeping a close eye on the IoT market and it is great to think that our cloud based analytics solution provides a stepping stone into the ever growing IoT market.  But what happens when you bring the world of IoT and supply chains together?  I wanted to use the following diagram to explain how OpenText Analytics and Trading Grid could in the near future provide support for the three supply chain scenarios that I mentioned earlier, namely pervasive visibility, proactive replenishment and predictive maintenance. The diagram below illustrates a desktop demonstration of how consumption trends from a connected device can help to initiate a ‘purchase to pay’ process.  When I say purchase to pay I am talking about an order being created, goods being delivered and then payment made to the supplier.  Let me now break this diagram down into a few key steps. The first stage is the connected device itself, now it could be any type of connected device, but for this example I have chosen a WiFi enabled coffee machine. In addition, for the purposes of this demonstration, a connected coffee capsule dispenser, so as you remove a capsule this will be recognized by a proximity sensor placed underneath the capsule. The second stage is to then capture the consumption trends from the coffee machine.  So as each capsule is taken from the dispenser, a signal would be sent to OpenText Analytics which will essentially be used in this case to monitor consumption patterns and overtime trend related information and graphs etc can be displayed. The key step in this process is when OpenText Analytics detects that a certain number of capsules have been used and an order can be placed via Trading Grid for replacement capsules to be delivered from an outside supplier. This in essence is Proactive Replenishment, where analytics data is driving the ordering process. Back in January this year I contributed towards an article on Forbes.com that discussed how in the future connected devices would potentially be able to initiate their own procurement process.  Thus taking manual ordering of replacement goods out of the supply chain process.  Now we are some way off achieving this at the moment but the IoT industry is heading in this direction. For now though a trigger from OpenText Analytics would alert a user to create a Purchase Order for ordering replacement coffee capsules. This ordering process would be initiated through one of our SaaS applications on Trading Grid and this application, Active Orders would also monitor the end to end life cycle of the order.  Mobile access to the progress of the order from the supplier to point of delivery would be available via a mobile app. The order for the capsules is received by the supplier, represented below by a robot arm, which selects the replacement capsules from a rotary capsule dispenser and then loads them on transport provided by the 3PL carrier. Now over time sensors on the robot arm would detect any potential failures with its operation.  From a maintenance point of view, the operational information coming from the sensors on the robot arm would be fed into our analytics platform and overtime you would be able to predict when a part of the robot is likely to fail.  In the real world you would then initiate a repair before the robot fails and hence your supply chain operations are not interrupted in anyway.  This is a perfect example, albeit scaled down of how IoT can drive Predictive Maintenance procedures.  In fact predictive maintenance is widely regarded as one of the most important industrial applications for IoT at this moment in time. For the purposes of this example the 3PL carrier is operating a model train!, which will carry the capsules to coffee machine on the other side of the table.  The location of the train would be monitored via an RFID tag attached to the train. The potential for improving end to end supply chain visibility using IoT and connected 3PL providers is huge and Cisco and DHL recently released a white paper discussing this opportunity. The RFID tags in this case are being used for the purposes of this demonstration but in real life a combination of RFID tags and GPS devices would be used to track the shipments. The ability to connect every piece of supply chain equipment, whether fork lift truck, lorry and pallets etc will transform supply chain visibility and will contribute towards the Pervasive Visibility across an end to end supply chain. So there you have it, a very simple example of how IoT could impact future supply chains.  The IoT market is moving incredibly quickly and who knows what new technology will be introduced over the coming years, but one thing is for sure OpenText can now provide two key components of the IoT enabled supply chain, OpenText Big Data Analytics and OpenText Trading Grid.  The world of B2B integration just got exciting If you are looking for a gentle introduction to the world of IoT then take a look at this short video that I recorded, just click on the image below. This blog was posted by Mark Morley

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Digital-First Fridays: What is a Digital Enterprise?

In my first post in this blog series, I examined how the speed of digital is disrupting market leaders, and determined that the only way for them to keep pace and stay competitive is to transform into a digital business. But what exactly is a digital business and how does an organization transform itself? In a digital business, all major operating functions are empowered by digital technology. This means that the business engages customers and conducts business through digital channels, uses digital assets and/or capabilities, and sells digital products or services. As in the case of startups, the value proposition is keenly focusing on serving digital consumers and is enabled by digital technology. This fundamentally impacts an organization’s “value chain.” The value chain of a digital business is more cyclical than it is linear. The value chain is based on a series of interactions and transactions. From the creation of products and services to their consumption, employees, consumers, partners, and processes rely on digital technology for easy access to goods (whether it be products, services, or information), constant connectivity, and immediacy of insight. The entire customer journey is digitized. As a result, the business works in ways that are open, flexible, and support ongoing collaboration and innovation. The Linear Value Chain is Replaced by an Ecosystem In their transformation to a digital business, organizations should reconceptualise themselves as part of an extended enterprise ecosystem, from which they (or their customers or partners) can assemble products and services according to their needs. A digital business digitizes all of its information and processes for efficiency in the back office and deeper levels of engagement in the front (customer-facing) office. As part of a larger ecosystem, a digital business is better equipped to innovate, pivot their operations, customize their products and services, and deliver new products that satisfy consumer need. They can scale their manufacturing capacity and shift geographies as needed. Ultimately, a digital business gains new ways of working to improve productivity, reduce costs, and accelerate business growth. The benefits of transformation into a digital business move beyond those belonging to digital marketing, or creating consistent consumer experiences across digital channels. Digitizing information and processes results in improved efficiencies, higher productivity levels, and lower operational costs. According to McKinsey, companies that digitize their operations can reduce their costs by 9 percent.[1] As digital technologies transform business operations, all major components of the business will be impacted. The components of the 2020 digital business are already emerging and include the Digital Workplace, Digital Engagement, the Digital Supply Chain, and Digital Governance and Security. This blog series will examine each of these facets in detail. Organizations that want to digitize their operations need to focus on the value that digital brings, develop a strategy, and prioritize projects for transformation. They will need to iterate and realize that iteration is part of the process—a more important aspect than perfection. Their entire ecosystem must be digital, so the business must reconfigure its organizational structure, its technology infrastructure, hire the right resources, and focus on the information systems and standards that enable true transformation. As we move rapidly toward a Digital World, one thing is clear: information lies at the heart of innovation and disruption. No longer considered just the cost of doing business, information is instrumental in driving innovation and growth. When used the right way, information leads to greater customer satisfaction, accelerates time-to-market, helps to create new opportunities, and enables businesses to remain relevant and competitive. Information is a key strategic component for every organization today and critical to enabling transformation. In my next blog, I’ll examine how “Information is the New Currency” in a Digital World. Find out how you can capitalize on digital disruption. Read my book, Digital: Disrupt or Die. [1] “The Digital Enterprise,” McKinsey & Company, November 2013.

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Digital-First Fridays: Operating at the Speed of Digital

It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change. – Charles Darwin We live in a time of unprecedented change. In every sector, digital technologies are changing the rules of business by enabling new business models. Startups are reshaping entire industries, combining technologies like cloud, social, mobile, and analytics to deliver more targeted customer products and services. These technologies are empowering organizations to bypass the traditional costs associated with barriers to entry and connect directly with consumers to meet their needs. Startups are disintermediating the market leaders. Over the next five years, executives expect digital disruption to displace four out of ten incumbents—or 40 percent of established market leaders.[1] This is a startling prediction. Part of the reason why this will happen is because startups are able to operate and scale at a very fast pace, innovating very quickly—a pace that larger incumbent organizations (with their legacy systems) can’t match. This is the speed of digital and its potential is uncharted. With more people connecting and sharing ideas in a global, digitized marketplace, the pace of innovation will only increase exponentially. The formula is ten times the innovators at one-tenth of the cost and 100 times the power. Digital Disruption is Stronger and Faster[2] In a Digital World, the development of new products will evolve from sprints to hyper-connected dashes. Product features will be crowdsourced and collective. Feedback about consumer experience will be collected to upgrade features, improve delivery, and serve niche markets—in real time—removing the developer “safety net”. Every single disgruntled consumer will tell 1,000 potential customers about a bad customer experience. Brands will be built up and destroyed on social networks. Product ideas will be shared across yottabytes (one trillion terabytes) of data and millions of people, as innovation cycles are faster, compressed, and even approach the spontaneous. Business Models are Advancing Disruptive technologies are fueling a subscription-based economy. As business moves to the Cloud and mobile access becomes pervasive, the requirements for on-demand services are deposing the mainframe in enterprise infrastructure. Digital innovators are focused on creating exceptional experiences for the digital consumer and benefiting from a lifetime of customer value. As product experiences move to new platforms, companies are measuring their value based on recurring metrics over one-time metrics. In a Digital World, organizations will have to embrace digital disruption or they face the risk of losing market share or becoming obsolete. They will have to disrupt or die. To keep pace, organizations will have to reinvent themselves. They’ll have to digitize their information and operations. They’ll have to innovate at the front end to capture the mindshare of digital consumers and modernize their back offices to integrate their operations more efficiently across the supply chain. And they’ll have to restructure their IT departments to support a digital workforce. They’ll have to operate at the speed of digital. All of our customers have embarked on this journey of digital transformation. Here are a few examples of how they are disrupting their business using the Cloud, analytics, process automation, and mobile computing to simplify their volumes of information, digitize their operations, and accelerate opportunities for success: Mitsubishi Motors is outsourcing its B2B e-commerce capabilities to the Cloud and achieves stronger integration with its suppliers in Europe, without making additional investments in headcount or software. Dell Services is setting new standards of excellence within the IT services industry. Using analytics has helped them drive positive change, increase value, and improve engagement with organizations worldwide. First United Bank is using a BPM solution to help it achieve its goal of going paperless. To date, the Company has digitized over 200 processes and converted over 2.5 million documents and images into digital format for considerable business improvements, including overall growth and customer satisfaction. The City of Barcelona has a comprehensive digital strategy that embraces delivering more targeted and mobile services to its constituents, based on the innovative mobile identification system called “mobileID”. Find out how you can capitalize on digital disruption. In my next post in this series, I’ll explore what it means to function as a digital business. Read my book, Digital: Disrupt or Die. [1] “Executives Expect Digital Disruption to Displace 4 in 10 Incumbents by Industry within Next Five Years,” Webwire, June 24, 2015, http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=198501 (accessed July 2015). [2] James McQuivey, “Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation,” Forrester Research, Inc., 2013.

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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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Can You Ensure Attendance to Your e-Invoicing Party?

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What if you could ensure that all of the guests invited to your party would attend? Considering all of the time spent sending invitations, planning the venue, setting up decorations, and gathering or preparing food, it would be nice if you could guarantee the presence of all the friends and family that you want to be there. There would be no last minute cancellations because of babysitters, illnesses at home, or conflicting events. Although OpenText can’t help get guests to your party, it can provide solutions to ensure that your e-Invoicing project is successful in a similar way. OpenText provides B2B enablement to help your company extend its B2B community and invoice processes to small and medium-sized business (SMB) partners with options for fax, email, web form, and Excel integration. By enabling your partners regardless of their size or capability, you can help your company move toward 100% trading partner participation and ensure success of your electronic invoicing project. Considering the resources and investment made in your e-Invoicing initiatives it’s important to not overlook enablement of your trading partners—ensuring that everyone shows up to the party. B2B enablement is just one of the many components to consider for your next e-Invoicing project. Whether you are looking to improve the invoice processes of your accounts payable, accounts receivable, or both, OpenText can provide the solutions and expertise to help you reduce manual processes, reduce costs, and move toward profitability. Look through our collection of e-Invoicing materials to find out more or reach out and contact us today!

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Will Apple’s Watch Transform How Companies Interact With Their Supply Chains?

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If there was one company that has contributed the most towards mobilizing today’s enterprise, from a smart device point of view, I would have to say it is Apple. Interestingly Apple has been able to achieve this with hardly any dollars being spent on enterprise marketing activities, instead, the trend of allowing employees to connect their own devices to corporate resources has allowed Apple to effectively own the Bring Your Own Device, BYOD, market. BYOD has transformed how employees engage with corporate resources and it has also driven the need, in Apple’s case, for the development of IOS specific apps to integrate to back office enterprise applications. Shortly after the original Apple iPhone was launched in 2007 I posted a blog discussing how I thought the iPhone would transform how companies interact with trading partners across a supply chain. Wind the clock forward eight years, no pun intended, and here we are again with yet another device that is set to transform mobile communications, Apple’s Watch. The Apple Watch has received mixed reviews from, consumers, enterprises and analysts and yet the sheer groundswell of companies developing apps for the Apple Watch will certainly make it a success in the near future. For example one of the biggest uses for the Apple Watch will be utilising NFC payments through Apple Pay. A nalysts are already making predictions for the technical specifications of Apple Watch 2 and so enters yet another Apple product that will get consumers excited every year when a new version of the Apple Watch appears. I cannot think of any other high tech brand that has been able to build such an expectation for each product launch. From a wearable device point of view, if last year was the year of Google Glass then 2015 will be remembered as the year of the Apple Watch, a device that is going to be receiving the full muscle of Apple’s marketing department to make it a global success. So given everyone is currently trying to define enterprise level use cases for how the Apple Watch will add value to a business, I thought I would wade in with my own ideas, from a supply chain point of view. I thought it would be interesting to highlight where I believe the Apple Watch could potentially play a part in interacting with B2B platforms and trading partner communities. I will stress that the ideas discussed in this article are mine alone and not the opinions of my company OpenText and we currently do not have an Apple Watch project of this nature being developed, but in the future who knows? So in the future it may be possible to access our Enterprise Information Management (EIM) suite of solutions, albeit in a very simplified capacity through a wearable device such as the Apple Watch. For arguments sake I will call this ‘myEIM’ to imply that these solutions are being accessed via a wearable device. The icons shown on the screen below represent the key EIM solutions that OpenText offers today, the latest one, through our recent acquisition of Actuate, (highlighted for the purposes of this article by the red icon), is related to analytics. From the main screen I will choose the icon representing the Information Exchange (IX) suite, shown in green, you can see that all other icons are hidden to leave just the one that I am interested in viewing. When you select the IX icon you are then taken to the ‘my IX’ suite of tools that relate to B2B and supply chain management. You will notice a number of options from the my IX menu shown below. Let’s briefly review each one in turn.   One of the challenges faced by procurement or purchasing teams is having real time access to contact information relating to every trading partner across their supply chain. Using information pulled from the central B2B platform it will not only display key contact information but also key information relating to a trading partner’s B2B connectivity. For example how many transactions do they process and which communication protocols do they use. This may seem like really basic information to capture, but when you have a trading partner community of 5000 suppliers, the ability to quickly search through trading partner contacts becomes very important. Once you have found your trading partner contact you may want to initiate a chat session with them to help address a specific issue. If I had responsibility for managing a trading partner community of 5000 suppliers then I would like the ability to be able to communicate or broadcast to the entire trading partner community through a simple to use chat tool such as this. The concept here is no different to Apple’s iMessage utility for sending short SMS type messages. OpenText recently announced the launch of Trading Grid Analytics to allow companies to monitor all transactions flowing across our B2B Trading Grid infrastructure. (For the record we process 16 billion transactions across our B2B network each year). But what if you could review these analytics results on an Apple Watch? OK so the presentation of the analytics based information would need to be highly simplified to make it usable on the Apple Watch but it provides a great way of monitoring key analytics such as transactions by trading partner or transactions by document type etc. The next area where the Apple Watch could be of value, for the purposes of this article at least, is in the area of tracking orders. Knowing the status of purchase orders as they go through the approval process and then being able to track by orders shipped, perhaps by customer location, is incredibly valuable to a company. Any exceptions or errors with an order can be immediately highlighted within the app and the user would be notified of a potential problem by simply vibrating the Apple Watch on the user’s wrist. Colour coding of information based on specific criteria or threshold values provides immediate feedback to the user. A clear benefit of a wearable device such as the Apple Watch is having access to a suite of highly graphical apps. For example simply overlaying shipping/distribution information over a standard map application such as Google Maps helps to give a visual location of shipments and Apple Watch could vibrate as and when a shipment reaches its destination. Clearly you may not want the watch to vibrate for every shipment delivered to a customer, but for high value goods such as cars it could help to ‘enhance’ the logistics management experience.   One of the challenges faced by suppliers is ensuring that their customers receive their Advanced Ship Notices (ASNs) on time or within the specific delivery window, for example 15 minutes. Many automotive OEMs rate their key suppliers on their ability to deliver ASNs efficiently as they are critical to the smooth running of Just in Time production systems. In this case you could potentially use the iWatch to highlight when ASNs do not get through to the required destination. The watch would vibrate to highlight a potential problem and then offer options to address the issue, perhaps launching an alternative delivery method for the ASNs. The key thing here is that you have been notified in real time of a potential problem with an ASN and you can take immediate action to rectify the situation before it impacts your customer’s business. So just a few ideas to get the ball rolling but like all forms of new technology I think it will be a while yet before enterprise IT teams start to fully embrace the power of the Apple Watch.

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OpenText Fax Solutions are Off the Hook (Even Hillary Clinton could use it)

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Did you catch this exchange between Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin? Hillary was getting a little frustrated, trying to fax with a fax machine. Huma Abedin: (Subject: can you hang up the fax line, they will call again and try fax) Hillary Clinton: I thought it was supposed to be off hook to work? Huma Abedin: Yes but hang up one more time. So they can reestablish the line. Hillary Clinton: I did. Huma Abedin: Just pick up phone and hang it up. And leave it hung up. Hillary Clinton: I’ve done it twice now. We all hate using fax machines. That’s so old school, Hillary! Electronic faxing is the way to go. Using OpenText fax solutions is so easy, even Hillary Clinton could send a fax from her desktop in less than 60 seconds. Never touch a fax machine again. Someday I will call my son to see why my hover car won’t start. But until then, I’ll be faxing electronically, without fax machines. If Hillary had done the same, the whole world wouldn’t know she doesn’t know how to use a fax machine. Check out the full email exchange here  

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Compliance violations for faxing and Windows Server 2003 users

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If your organization or users are still using Windows Server 2003 after July 14, 2015, be prepared for the consequences. Since Microsoft will end support for Windows Server 2003 this month, anyone still using Windows Server 2003 is at risk of a security and exposure breach. Malware and cyber threats can go undetected in unsupported operating systems, which alone is a huge risk for organizations. However, did you know that these risks also put an organization in danger of non-compliance with several regulations such as HIPAA, PCI, Sarbanes-Oxley and others? Running unsupported operating systems, such as Windows XP, might be enough to make the Federal government take a closer look at organizations which are bound by these important regulations. This non-compliance translates to any fax server infrastructure that may be running on Windows Server 2003. If you have a fax server deployed with Windows Server 2003, take a deep breath, and call OpenText. If you need an on-premises fax server running on either Windows 2008 or Windows 2012, we’ve got you covered. Or eliminate the need for any operating system for your faxing by using OpenText Fax2Mail, an enterprise-grade, 100% cloud fax service. We can do that, too. Either way, don’t let your operating system put your faxing operations at risk of non-compliance. For more about the end of support for Windows Server 2003, find more information here!

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Introducing Digital-First Fridays

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Today, I’m happy to kick-off our “Digital-First Fridays,” a new blog series that describes a Digital-First World, provides strategies for transformation, and shares best practices using real-life examples. The series is based on our recent book, Digital: Disrupt or Die, authored by myself and OpenText Chairman, Tom Jenkins. In every sector, digital technologies are changing the rules of business. Startups and web-based companies are using digital business models to disintermediate the established market leaders. To remain relevant in a Digital-First World and gain a sustainable competitive advantage, organizations will be required to transform themselves into digital enterprises. Digital transformation requires a radical overhaul of enterprise strategies, processes, products, services, and relationships. Enterprise Information Management (EIM) empowers organizations to make this journey. How? At a basic level, it guides them through each phase of transformation, giving them effective ways to simplify, transform, and accelerate their business. 1. Simplify. Every organization wants to simplify its business. This is a constant challenge. Part of being a digital enterprise involves digitizing your information and automating your processes. In a Digital-First World, you can expect all of your business’ processes to be digitized. Automation will be critical—new research shows that nearly half of all jobs over the next two years could be automated.(1) As business evolves, we’ll rely more and more on machine-based or artificial intelligence, sensors, pattern analysis, and connections between all of these, brought together by the Internet of Things (IoT). Most organizations are already working toward simplifying their operations, indicated on the diagram below as “Present Day Followers.” 2. Transform. Business processes need to be agile to adapt products, services, and operations as customer expectations change—and they are changing. This requires transforming information-based processes and platforms to support digital consumers, a new workforce, a digital supply chain, and emerging technologies. To do this effectively, organizations will need to create an environment in which innovation thrives. Business and technology leaders should be ready to take risks, lead digital strategies, and define new models of engagement. Be ready for a substantial shift in culture to one that’s built on openness, innovation, and trust. Business problems should be examined and new processes created to solve them fearlessly and with imagination. If your organization is here, it’s already adapting to the requirements for future digitization. Building Blocks for Digital Transformation 3. Accelerate. This describes the rate at which we must undertake these changes, which may be daunting to some but, at the same time, it presents greater opportunities to serve customers, partners, and suppliers. Every organization will be required to rethink the way they’re engaging with customers, how they facilitate the workforce, and the ways they’re integrating and managing their information. The final phase of transformation relies on constant innovation. This can only be achieved by increasing the speed of information delivery through integrated systems. Digital Leaders have mastered this. They’re already redesigning customer experiences, overhauling their approaches to information management, rethinking their processes, and re-platforming their operations. Information lies at the heart of digital transformation. Its potential—if realized—is transformative. The challenge lies in managing enterprise information, making it accessible, and then applying it in new ways. EIM is the key transformative technology. Throughout the phases of digital transformation, a digital enterprise adopts EIM as its foundational enterprise platform for change. On “Digital-First Fridays” we’ll explore the future of digital technologies, their impact on the enterprise, and demonstrate how EIM equips the enterprise to brace for change in a Digital-First Future. Posts in the series will include: Operating at the Speed of Digital What is a Digital Enterprise? Information is the New Currency Digital Engagement—A New Business Requirement The Digital Supply Network Be sure to bookmark this page and join in the conversation. (1) David R. Wheeler, “Silicon Valley to millennials: Drop dead,” CNN, March 18, 2015, http://us.cnn.com/2015/03/18/opinions/wheeler-silicon-valley-jobs/?iid=ob_article_organicsidebar_expansion&iref=obnetwork (accessed April 2015).

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How B2B Automation Helps to Develop Greener Supply Chains

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Developing a greener and more sustainable supply chain has been on the agenda of CEOs for many years and in fact just looking back through my archive of blogs that I have written over the years, the first green related blog that I wrote was in 2007. This was at a time when companies were being made to think more carefully about how they design their supply chains to help reduce carbon emissions. Back then, our company issued supply chain sustainability assessments to demonstrate how much greener a business would become by automating their manual B2B transactions by sending them electronically across our global B2B network, Trading Grid. Even though sustainability has pretty much become engrained within every CEO’s corporate agenda now, I just thought it would be useful to remind you of the benefits of B2B automation. Using a very smart website developed by the Environmental Paper Network, a coalition of over 100 non-profit organizations working towards the sustainable production and consumption of pulp and paper, it is possible to calculate the environmental savings that can be made by removing paper based transactions from a business. Each transaction would use the same size piece of paper, ie an invoice, purchase order etc and each electronic transaction equates to 2 pieces of paper. Rather than having an exhaustive maths lesson on how I derived the figures below, I have merely highlighted the key figures for each of the two scenarios, but I can provide evidence of my calculations if you need it Scenario 1 – a manufacturing company currently processes 1 million invoices per year across their European based supply chain. Using the criteria above, this then equates to a total paper weight of 9 metric tons or the equivalent of 228 trees. Now by automating these 1 million paper based transactions via a B2B network such as Trading Grid, it will provide the following reduction in the company’s impact on the environment. Reduction in Net Energy Used The Paper Calculator includes an energy credit for energy that is created by burning paper – or the methane that decomposing paper creates – at the end of its life. The Net Energy takes the total amount of energy required to make the paper over its life cycle, and subtracts this energy credit. If most of the energy used to make the paper is purchased, then the energy credit might make the Net Energy lower than the Purchased Energy. The average U.S. household uses 91 million BTUs of energy in a year. – Scenario 1 saves 375 million BTU’s, the equivalent of about 4 homes/year Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions Greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2) from burning fossil fuels and methane from paper decomposing in landfills, contribute to climate change by trapping energy from the sun in the earth’s atmosphere. The unit of measure is CO2 equivalents. The average car emits 11,013 pounds of CO2 in a year. – Scenario 1 saves 55,877 pounds CO2 equiv., the equivalent of about 5 cars/year Reduction in Water Consumption Water Consumption measures the amount of process and cooling water that is consumed or degraded throughout the life cycle of the paper product. The largest components of water consumption come from the production of purchased electricity, and the use of process and cooling water at pulp and paper mills. Water volume indicates both the amount of fresh water needed and the potential impact of discharges on the receiving waters. 1 Olympic-sized swimming pool holds 660,430 gallons. – Scenario 1 saves 186,117 gallons, the equivalent of < 1 swimming pool Reduction in Solid Waste Includes sludge and other wastes generated during pulp and paper manufacturing and used paper disposed of in landfills and incinerators. 1 fully loaded garbage truck weighs an average 28,000 pounds (based on a rear-loader residential garbage truck) – Scenario 1 saves 22,215 pounds, the equivalent of < 1 garbage truck/year Scenario 2 – OpenText Trading Grid, the world’s largest cloud based B2B network, connects over 600,000 businesses and processes over 16 billion transactions per year. So assuming we are removing the equivalent number of pieces of paper from a supply chain this would equate to a total paper weight saving of 145,151 metric tons or the equivalent of 3,647,010 trees per year. I think you will agree these numbers are quite astounding, but let’s look at the environmental impact for the equivalent paper based transactions: Reduction in Net Energy Used – Scenario 2 saves 6,008,526 million BTU’s, the equivalent of about 66,022 homes/year Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Scenario 2 saves 894,034,654 pounds CO2 equiv., the equivalent of about 81,175 cars/year Reduction in Water Consumption – Scenario 2 saves 2,997,875,351 gallons, the equivalent of about 4,511 swimming pools Reduction in Solid Waste – Scenario 2 saves 355,449,950 pounds, the equivalent of about 12,701 >garbage trucks/year So as you can see, the numbers speak for themselves, automating supply chain based transactions can help your business to develop a greener and more sustainable supply chain. In my next blog I will discuss how moving from software to a cloud based B2B environment can help to develop greener supply chains.

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Enterprise Mobility: Are you an Enabler?

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Seventy three percent of the world’s population uses mobile phones, more than 5.2 billion people around the globe. The majority of millennials say that their smartphone never leaves their side, 24×7. This is just the tip of a mobility movement that promises to intensify in the future. How is this consumer behavior impacting enterprise mobility? Range of Mobility Responses For some enterprises, mobility means issuing cell phones to employees and ensuring the devices are managed and secured. Other enterprises load iPads and iPhones for their sales force with productivity solutions like travel planning and expense reporting. Enterprises like car rental companies and 3rd party logistics companies, have been giving their field operations specialized mobile capabilities for decades. Mobility has been embraced by the public sector as well, from social case workers to first responders to law enforcement officers, mobile solutions are decreasing response time and even saving lives. “With only a few taps on a smartphone screen magical things happen – laws, services, records and processes turn into something very simple and user friendly.” – City of Barcelona Entire business models are being disrupted by mobile. When mobile devices are integrated with critical business processes, and especially with information flows focused on the customer, mobility raises to whole new level of importance for the enterprise. Think of Uber the taxi alternative that couldn’t have existed without the upsurge in mobile. The Insurance industry will never be the same, with turnarounds for P&E claim settlement dropping dramatically with the integration of mobile. New payment approaches like Square have been spawned by mobile. And there are a whole new set of retail buying behaviors because of mobile. Superior Customer Experience The mobile experience has of course much to do with responsive web design and omni-channel enterprise enablers, but it is also being driven by the proliferation of awesome mobile apps. These apps serve up both consumer and enterprise mobility solutions. A study published by Compuware found that the majority of mobile users prefer apps over web sites; however, only 28 percent said apps offer a better user experience than sites. De veloping an effective enterprise app strategy is no longer a luxury for the mobile enterprise. I had an interesting first hand experience just this week. I am an OpenText Core user and had originally signed up and begun using it through my desktop. Perhaps I’m not totally objective, but it has a great customer experience, easy to use and great collaboration features in the cloud. Earlier this week I received a Core email notification about a document I had been collaborating on and I was mobile at the time. I clicked through the link on my iPhone and was asked if I wanted to download the Core app. I did and it was quick and easy – I was viewing the document almost instantly on my mobile and able to respond to keep the flow going. All About that App? The inflection point for becoming a mobile enterprise, as with any technology disruption, is different for different industries. What is clear at this point is that enterprises need to be mobility enablers. For now, a mix of responsive design solutions and apps seems like a good balanced approach. There will be more on the latest mobility trends and solutions at Enterprise World 2015. Hope to see you there! Author’s Note: Lest we forget… the world of mobile is not just phones and tablets, specialty devices especially wearables are also becoming an integral part of our enterprise ecosystems. Check out this post on the possible future for the iWatch and the supply chain. Image Source: Shutterstock_173233781

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Digital Banking – What is happening in other industries? (part 1 of 3)

Digital-Banking

The Financial Services industry as a whole – Payment and Cash Management especially – suffers from not learning and not re-using other industries’ ideas and best practices. As an anecdote, my current role focusses on one hand spending time with Banks and Financial institution, on the other hand with Corporate Treasurers. I still find myself explaining to Bankers on a regular basis procure-to-pay and order-to-cash cycles, getting surprised reactions when they realise they are just an “end” process to a supply chain process (I kid you not!). While generally speaking Banks understand their customers’ needs, individuals lack some basic working knowledge of their clients’ business or practical implications of a Banking relationship. The most regular occurrence of this “knowledge gap” I witness is around the Digital Transformation. Everybody talks about it, everyone has their own definition in Financial Services, however very few people really understand how non-Financial Institutions have already seized the opportunity. Yes, some Bankers are trying to re-invent the wheel as you read these lines. What is a Digital Business? A digital business is more than just a business with digital products that are distributed electronically: it’s a business in which digital technology is both pervasive and central to its overall success. A digital business is created using digital assets and/or capabilities, involving digital products, services and customer experiences, and is conducted through digital channels and communities. In a digital business, the majority of processes are digitized. This means that all along the value chain—from the creation of products and services to their consumption—employees, consumers, partners, and processes are reliant on digital technology for easy access to information, constant connectivity, and immediacy of insight. A digital business is characterized by an open, flexible value chain. In the transition to a digital business, organizations need to re-envision their business not as a standalone entity with a linear value chain, but as part of an extended enterprise ecosystem of suppliers from which customers assemble products and services according to their needs. Organizations need to participate in these ecosystems to deliver value to customers. By positioning products and services in the context of the customer’s value system, a digital business can grow its capabilities, leverage the capabilities of others, and open up new revenue streams. As part of a larger ecosystem, companies are more equipped to quickly pivot their operations to add customization or deliver new products to satisfy consumer need. They can scale their manufacturing capacity and shift geographies as needed to fill a specific order. In the future, these ecosystems will consist of low-cost suppliers and virtual manufacturers, be global in nature, and serve niche industries that span nations. Innovation will occur in hyper-drive, propelled forward by digital product development and marketing. Digital technologies enable new business models that are dynamic, flexible, and deliver value to both businesses and customers. Before we examine how the enterprise can reinvent itself, it would be helpful to examine the circumstances that are driving the enterprise toward digital transformation. The nature of digital technology Digital technologies enable new businesses models that are dynamic, flexible, and deliver value to both businesses and customers. Central to digital transformation is the ability to facilitate direct, peer-to-peer communication, collaboration, and sharing, without requiring an intermediary. This ability is already reshaping business as we know it. By providing direct, unrestricted access to information, knowledge, and resources, digital technologies empower individuals in ways not previously possible or even imaginable. Anyone with a web-enabled device can connect to a global network of expertise. They can discover individuals with common interests and goals. They can share ideas, collaborate, and innovate. They can band together and have their voice heard, counted, and taken seriously by those in positions of influence. And they can access new channels for manufacturing, marketing, and selling, and work with business partners located anywhere in the world. As individuals are empowered with new ways of working, traditional channels—and those who control them—will hold less importance. An inventor, for example, no longer needs to license their product idea for pennies on the dollar to a manufacturer. They can prototype the product with three-dimensional (3-D) printing. They can “crowdfund” capital costs using the Internet (collecting small amounts of capital from family, friends, or members in their online community). They can market globally through inexpensive and accessible online channels, sell through a digital storefront, manufacture small batches or distribute digitally. All this can be done in ways that are faster and cheaper and deliver new value to the customer. In shifting power and influence away from traditional sources, digital technologies are introducing opportunity to the masses. Businesses must acknowledge, respond to, and allow digital technologies to transform their operations from the inside out if they want to stay competitive and relevant in a digital-first world. Demands of the digital customer An increasingly connected consumer and the widespread adoption of digital technology has created the digital customer. Internet-based retail is growing globally at a rate of 19 percent year over year and, as more consumers move online, they are using the Internet to discover products, gather and evaluate information, and engage the buyer online for purchasing and shipping. An increasing number of channels are offering customers convenience, flexibility, and choice. They expect immediate gratification and engaging experiences that satisfy. The digital enterprise will support the omni-channel delivery of goods and services to compete and satisfy their customers. We have entered the “Age of the Customer”—an age in which digital technology has empowered the customer and shifted the balance of purchasing power from suppliers to customers. Consumers now have the ability to extract price, quality, and service concessions from the world’s most powerful brands. What used to differentiate the enterprise—economies of scale, distribution strength, and brand—have faded in importance. In their place, customer obsession is what gives firms dominance and drives their competitive advantage. For digital business, customer experience does not outweigh the need for operational excellence. In the second part of this blog, we’ll cover more drivers and practical examples of how other industries and non-Financial Services businesses approach the Digital world. We’ll cove the Generation Z, how non-FS businesses manage Operational Agility and deal with global competition and regulatory pressures.

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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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Heat Wave: Summer Momentum for OpenText Analytics

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Summertime, and the livin’ is easy, Gershwin’s famous song tells us. The lengthening days may beckon people to relax and slow down, but not at OpenText Analytics and Reporting. We are seizing the season and accelerating ambitious plans to help our customers win in a digital-first world. We’ve got momentum behind us – a Summer Wind, to quote another famous song – and we believe that recent analyst reports from Ventana Research and Forrester Research highlight that momentum. Ventana Research: “Hot Vendor” OpenText Analytics was named a Hot Vendor in the Ventana Research Analytics and Business Intelligence Value Index, just released. Ventana Research analysts categorize vendors as Hot, Warm, Cold or Frigid. We think being called Hot is pretty cool, and it encourages us to push ourselves farther. Ventana’s Value Index examines vendors’ products across seven categories – five that evaluate the ability to support business processes associated with analytics and business intelligence, and two covering vendor validation and TCO/ROI. These seven factors are then boiled down to a single number for each vendor. OpenText Analytics earned its Hot rating with an 88.1 on a 100-point scale. “Actuate (now OpenText) scored as a Hot Vendor with its highest scores in the categories of reliability, adaptability and TCO/ROI,” says Tony Cosentino (@TonyCosentinoVR), VP and Research Director, Business Analytics at Ventana Research. “Actuate continues to make strides in the integration of its portfolio including API documentation, ease of embedding BIRT and with its discovery tool, BIRT Analytics.” Forrester Research: A “Leader” in Enterprise BI Platforms We believe that The Forrester Wave Enterprise Business Intelligence Platforms, Q1 2015 report also confirms the momentum behind OpenText Analytics, citing us as a Leader. Forrester’s four evaluation categories are Leaders, Strong Performers, Contenders and Risky Bets; see the four evaluation categories here. “OpenText Actuate differentiates by scaling to millions of reports and users,” writes Boris Evelson, Vice President and Principal Analyst, in the report. “Its top use cases involve distributing complex, interactive online statements to customers of large financial services institutions.” Evelson (@bevelson) writes that Forrester tracks more than 100 vendors in the BI market, but only deep-dives on the 11 top vendors for the Wave report. These 11, including OpenText Analytics, were chosen based on product fit, customer success and Forrester client demand, with analysis weighted based on the needs of larger companies and other scenarios. We’re pleased to be named a Leader in Forrester’s Wave report, and intend to use that momentum to propel OpenText Analytics farther than ever. As yet another classic summer anthem goes: “Catch a wave and you’re sittin’ on top of the world.” Click to read Tony Cosentino’s summary of the Ventana Value Index report, “Who’s Hot in Analytics and Business Intelligence.” Click to download the Forrester Wave: Enterprise Business Intelligence Platforms, Q1 2015 report. Click to view a free replay of Boris Evelson discussing the Forrester Wave report in an OpenText Analytics webinar. Surfing image by Chris Pizzitola, from Flickr.

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Good Cloud. Bad Cloud. Why Cloud?

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Confused about the cloud? You’re not alone. Adoption is projected to grow at double digits despite plentiful guidance on why we should fear the cloud. Pundits tell us, “If your organization is not implementing the cloud, you’re already behind.” Yet it is easy to feel the cloud is just beyond our grasp. So let’s take a look at some real-life use cases from sectors that are leading the way in enterprise adoption of the cloud. Cloud Illusions Ask a few CIOs about the cloud and you are likely to hear a wide range of responses, from concern that the cloud endangers security and privacy to elation that the cloud can be the ultimate platform for change. While much of this reflects well-reasoned advice and counsel, some is pure hype. When even The Onion takes on “that cloud thing that everyone is talking about,” we should realize that we are at hype and jargon saturation. With all the noise around cloud computing, cloud storage and cloud apps and debate about the pros and cons of public, private and hybrid clouds, we need to consider what is real and what is merely illusion, and moreover why we should ultimately care. These beautiful lyrics from the 60s seem to foretell our current state of confusion over the cloud: I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now, from up and down, and still somehow it’s cloud illusions I recall. I really don’t know clouds at all.” — Joni Mitchell, Both Sides Now from the album Clouds The cloud is a growing reality. CIOs and IT teams need to clearly understand how it can best be applied to advance their strategic interests. IDC research forecasts public cloud will grow at double digits and spending on private cloud will top $24 billion by 2016. CompTIA predicts that the next decade will see cloud computing becoming even more accepted as a foundational building block. We are seeingthe cloud go mainstream in the public sector, and Gartner predicts the cloud is moving into digital business, advising CIOs and other IT leaders to continually adapt to leverage increasing cloud capabilities. The Open Group Cloud project analyzed 24 business use-casesdriving adoption. In general, the rationale can be classified in five areas: agility, productivity, QoS, cost and the ability to take advantage of new business opportunities — all of which have been guiding principles for applying technology in the past. So how well are our past years of enterprise hardware and software know-how translating to the cloud for large-scale applications? Here are three sectors that are forging the way with successful cloud implementations in order to drive efficiency, improve time to market, and effect business transformation. The Cloud Drives Cost Efficiency World Economic Forum research reveals that governments are adopting cloud services at higher than expected rates. The growing adoption of cloud technology is happening at all levels of government around the globe. We are already seeing cloud play a role in changing how government agencies fundamentally spend money and allocate their IT resources. We came out with a cloud-first policy because… it offers a faster time to market, a reduction to risk, and hopefully a reduction in cost.” CIO Carlos Ramos, California While adoption is being driven in part by cloud-first mandates, the cloud is clearly aligned with government mission objectives. The public sector has embraced a data-driven approach — including open data and big data initiatives — to be responsive to citizens. Cloud implementations are seen as a means of moving beyond data transparency to achieve a cost-effective state of operational excellence. Four Trends to Watch in 2015 highlights the cloud as a means to be responsive to citizens’ wants, needs and ideas. For municipalities, the cloud provides equal, on-demand cost-effective access to a shared pool of computing resources. The City of Barcelona hosts 1.5 million guests for the La Merce festival using the cloud to help manage the surging foot, bike, auto and public transportation traffic. The state ofDelaware has implemented a cloud-based CRM application for constituent tracking in two months, adopting a cloud-first policy that piggybacks on federal policy. The state set up a private cloud and virtualized 85 percent of the state’s physical servers, saving $4 million per year. Delaware now has 70 applications in the cloud —from event notification to cybersecurity training. For central government organizations, including the US Department of the Interior, shared services are eclipsing “cloud-first” mandates as the driver behind cloud adoption. DOI’s groundbreaking cloud initiative consolidates all the records information programs under one IT governance system, and this shared service is expected to save an estimated $59 million in taxpayer dollars by 2020. The Cloud Supports Business Transformation Gartner Research identified financial services banking and insurance segments as two of the top cloud adopters. These segments are driven by the need for more innovation and the value they get from that innovation. Financial services firms are rewarded for systems that can process transactions faster and more securely and are providing new services, such as mobile banking and claims, that are ready-built for cloud-based systems. There is also growing competition with startups that are shifting the playing field. Way back in 2013 (a decade in cloud years), my article The Art of Banking: How Financial Services Approach Great Customer Experiences talked about how bankers would increasingly take innovation cues from consumer tech and smart retailers as they practice the art of banking. Over the past year, the cloud has proven to be both a major disrupter and an enabler for innovation. Like the other big research firms, IDC sees digital transformation as key for businesses and a bridge that CIOs must learn to cross, and that bridge includes the disruptive influence of cloud computing. A recent article from Banking Technology, “Why I’m backing the banks,” declares that traditional banks are now in a race to remain relevant as they face a slew of non-bank competitors with offer models that consumers increasingly value. Accenture found that one in five consumers would be happy to bank with PayPal — a cloud firm born in Silicon Valley. Though often a cost-saving measure, CIOs are seeing the potential in the cloud to create a flexible platform for future innovation. A poll of financial services sector decision makers revealed the top two benefits of adopting cloud platforms as cost savings (voiced by 62 percent of respondents) and a simplified IT environment (52 percent). It is this simplification of the IT environment that will enable banks to level the playing field with the upstarts: The newer entrants owe much of their success to their extreme agility with ICT: they have got where they are because they use technology better than anyone else. Yet, it would be premature to lament the passing of banks as we know them. They are increasingly taking the tech start-ups’ own medicine… [and the] search for innovation is rapidly pushing the cloud up banks’ technology agendas.” While banking has definitely upped its cloud game in the last few years, insurance is perhaps the granddad of cloud adoption. In How Cloud Computing will Transform Insurance, Accenture highlighted Insurance as being in the forefront of cloud growth and predicted that the cloud would transform the industry. On their list of reasons to adopt cloud, the “ability to respond to market change and reshape operating model[s] to address new and emerging opportunities and challenges.” An SMA study of cloud adoption trends in insurance found that 35 percent of participants said the cloud “provides companies with the flexibility needed to respond quickly to changing needs.” In retrospect, while cost savings has been a driver for insurers to adopt the cloud, there are already a number of insurance cloud success stories that illustrate the cloud’s real potential as a means of innovation and competitive advantage in a changing market with a changing customer demographic. Andre Nieuwendam, director of IT for United Property & Casualty describes their cloud success in customer-centric terms: “From an insured perspective, there are many initiatives on the table that we want to be able to provide them, file a claim electronically, check billing, and interact with customer service people in a real-time environment. Being in the cloud has enabled us to meet all of these objectives in a very, very short period of time.” The Cloud Enables Speed to Market In a recent Forbes article, “Cloud Is the Foundation for Digital Transformation,” Ray Wang (@rwang0) highlights cloud as the single most disruptive of all the new technologies. ”Cloud not only provides a source of unlimited and dynamic capacity, but also helps users consume innovation faster.” The idea of leveraging the cloud as a platform for speed in a changing market is appealing and especially resonates in the communications, media and entertainment sector, one that Gartner has identified as second only to banking in cloud adoption. In Breaking Bad: How Technology is Changing Media & Entertainment, I wrote about the digital media supply chain and how entertainment and broadcast companies are experiencing no less than an industry revolution: Motion pictures used to be cut, approved, and canned for distribution and released in a series of ‘windows’ for consumption. With digital distribution this model stops working — all the traditional ‘windows’ of distribution are collapsing. This has a ripple effect all the way down the chain of production and accounting and requires new IT systems and applications to address the new paradigm.” According to Accenture’s Content in the Cloud in the Broadcast and Entertainment Industry, the cloud can be the platform on which the digital media supply chain operates to better serve changing markets and consumption models. Cloud technology is poised to make an impact by supporting the next round of breakthroughs…from proliferating devices that demand a more flexible business model to new levels of IT capacity requirements that dictate highly scalable IT solutions to competitive pressures for speed and innovation that call for better workflow, business analytics, and customer insight.” How Cloud Computing Will Save Hollywood tells the story of how Lionsgate is using cloud to run their studio and compete with the “big guys” in the industry. Cloud has been helping them deal with their dispersed global environments during film production: media complexity, an unprecedented influx of massive amounts of data, and unique data and workflow requirements. Cloud Resolutions Perhaps the cloud is not so mysterious after all. In a Gathering Clouds interview, David Linthicum (@DavidLinthicum) shared his perspective that businesses that adopt cloud gain a strategic advantage: … the companies who [adopt cloud] can turn on a dime…. These companies will be able to leverage their information in much more innovative ways.” As industries increasingly digitize, the cloud is proving to be a useful partner to the CIO in an increasingly digital-first world. It is not surprising that KPMG’s recent survey, Elevating Business in the Cloud, found the top uses for cloud are to drive cost efficiencies and enact large-scale change including enabling a flexible and mobile workforce, improving alignment and interaction with customers, suppliers and business partners, and better leveraging data to provide insightful business decisions. The key to success, as with any new bright shiny technology, is to apply the cloud to achieve critical business and mission objectives. As Jim Buczkowski of Ford Motor says, The cloud is about delivering services, features, and information…to make the driving experience a better one.” So here’s to accomplishing great things with the cloud! Just keep these tips from KPMG in mind as you resolve to make your cloud initiative a success: Make cloud transformation a continuous process. Drive cloud transformation from the top. Focus on strong leadership and engagement. Avoid silos. Measure success. Plus one bonus tip from me: Avoid the trap of “cloud for cloud’s sake,” lest we discover the biggest truth in Joni Mitchell’s lyric is “So many things I would have done but clouds got in my way.” A version of this article first appeared in CMSWire.

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How the Internet of Things will Enable the Digital-First World

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Unless you have been living in a remote cave for the past two years, you will have noticed that the Internet of Things is now on the top of every CIO’s agenda. When I posted my first blog on the IoT in 2013, IoT had relatively low media coverage and then boom, it has become the must have IT strategy of the decade. Today, it is very easy to get lost in the digital disruption being caused by the IoT, so I thought it would be useful to just go back to basics for a few minutes and highlight some of the features and supply chain related applications for the IoT. Last December I visited our TV studio at OpenText’s HQ in Waterloo Canada and recorded two videos for our OTTV Digital-First World video series. The first video in my Digital-First World series for manufacturingdiscussed how the manufacturing industry has been moving towards the Digital-First World and I thought it would be very relevant to follow this video with my second one which focusses on IoT. Click Here to watch my latest video. A day doesn’t go by when a press release goes out promoting another IoT related project somewhere around the world and it can be quite easy to misunderstand what the IoT is all about. Hence the reason for producing this relatively short video. I have to say that I do find it amazing how IoT has managed to capture the imagination of businesses around the world, more so than some of the other technology trends in recent years. One thing is for sure, the IoT is here to stay! Key to the success of the IoT is finding applications for how it can be embraced by businesses across different industry sectors. Recent reports highlight two industries where IoT has gained most traction, Manufacturing and Utilities. From a supply chain point of view, I certainly believe that the IoT will fundamentally change how supply chains operate. I have written a few blogs now on the subject of the IoT and I will be posting more IoT related materials during the course of this year. Please feel free to click on any of the above images to launch the video. I recently made another trip to our TV studio and I recorded two further videos. I will be sure to let you know when these get published to our website! In the meantime if you would like to view any of our other videos then please take a look at the dedicated area of our website, tv.opentext.com.

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OpenText and SAP Run Together for Exceptional Customer Impact

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As we gear up for another year at SAPPHIRE, I’d like to reflect on the strong relationship that OpenText and SAP have shared for decades and look ahead to an exciting future together. For more than 20 years, we have worked together to empower the enterprise to manage its unstructured and structured information for business success. Our combined solutions make information more discoverable, manageable, secure, and valuable. Connecting SAP business suites with OpenText information suites delivers a powerful platform for innovation and opportunity. Together, we have: Transformed processing operations at Bumblebee Foods from being 100 percent reliant on paper to being 100 percent digital, with automated processes reducing costs by over 50 percent and significantly increasing efficiency. Positioned Alagasco for future growth through increased sustainability and performance. Centralized information has helped break down organizational silos, speed up sales processes, and maintain business continuity. Created a culture of innovation at Distell by empowering employees to share best practices and collaborate. As well as increasing productivity, the organization has managed its intellectual capital more effectively to enhance and protect its brand. As the world around us shifts to digital, the combined value that we deliver as partners grows exponentially. In celebration of this valued relationship, OpenText has been awarded the SAP Pinnacle Award for seven years in a row. Today, I’m pleased to announce that we have just received the 2015 SAP Pinnacle Award for “Solution Extension Partner of the Year”, making OpenText a recipient for the past eight years. This category honors partners who co-innovate with SAP to deliver exceptional customer impact. OpenText was selected for this year’s award based on our innovative approach that enriches and extends the capabilities and scope of SAP products and applications OpenText was formally presented with the 2015 SAP Pinnacle Award at the SAP Global Partner Summit last evening, in conjunction with SAPPHIRE® NOW, SAP’s international customer conference in Orlando, Florida. We’re on hand at this event to showcase the latest advancements in joint OpenText and SAP releases. Look for us at booth #130 at the conference where we’ll be demonstrating the power and flexibility of products like SAP Document Presentation, SAP Invoice Management, and Tempo Box Premium. We continue to build out the OpenText and SAP ecosystem. Our strategic solutions now support a broad range of SAP offerings—from HANA database and analytics to Simple Finance and the HANA Enterprise Cloud. Recent releases include HANA integrations for SAP Document Presentment by OpenText and SAP Invoice Management by OpenText—both designed to deliver deeper insight and content value, enhancing an organization’s process efficiency and the ability to make more strategic decisions. These extensions are available in the cloud, on premise, or as a hybrid solution. At Enterprise World 2014, our annual user conference, we introduced the OpenText Business Center for SAP Solutions, a platform for automating mission-critical business processes across the SAP business suite. We have now announced the general availability of this product. Using the OpenText Business Center for SAP, joint customers will be able to digitize entire processes in SAP—from capture to creation—without requiring complex configuration or programming resources. In the Digital-First World, all of an organization’s information and processes will be digital. This release is part of our commitment to simplify, transform, and accelerate business for the digital enterprise—enabling it to drive efficiency through digitization. In addition to expanding our support for SAP processes, we will be also be introducing Tempo Box Value Edition & Tempo Box Premium. Tempo Box Value Edition & Tempo Box Premium are secure solutions for sharing and synchronizing both personal and SAP enterprise content across different platforms and devices. Both deliver tight integration into SAP Extended ECM, giving users greater freedom to share and work with business content across any device, while still maintaining information governance and control. Tempo Box Value Edition & Tempo Box Premium enhance the SAP ecosystem by securely extending content tied to SAP business processes beyond the firewall to non-SAP users, including unlimited external users such as customers, suppliers, and partners across the business network. The ability to manage unstructured information in the enterprise plays a pivotal role in digital transformation—and it is a key capability that the OpenText and SAP ecosystem delivers. Our partnership continues to drive product breakthroughs that produce impactful and tangible results for our customers. Together, we are laying the foundation for a Digital-First World for over 4,500 customers and 50+ million active users—across two decades of innovation and into the future. Read the press release. Visit our website.

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What the Department of Homeland Security Knows About Data

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What does the Department of Homeland Security know that you don’t know? OK, that’s a trick question. The answer (in this case) is this: It knows how to get from data to information. On April 22, OpenText Analytics and Reporting hosted a webinar featuring Chris Chilbert, Chief Enterprise Architect at the Department of Homeland Security. With hundreds in attendance, Chilbert made a powerful case that data is worthless unless you can turn it into relevant information – and that information can then become knowledge, wisdom and ultimately action. The graphic above is from Chilbert’s presentation. There’s a human element in gaining information from data, Chilbert explained. People need to understand the organization they work in and the processes they use; those pieces help us put data in context and make better decisions. If you missed Chilbert’s presentation, please check out this free replay. After Chilbert’s presentation, I talked for a few minutes about how OpenText Analytics and Reporting products support the Four Pillars of Business Analytics: data, people, processes, and technology.  (Read more about the Four Pillars in this blog post and a free ebook.) Many webinar attendees asked follow-up questions – more than we had time to answer during the hour, so I’ve answered some of them here. Q: Explain how OpenText Analytics secures data from unauthorized access. A: OpenText Actuate Information Hub (iHub), our data visualization platform, provides multiple layers of security. These include authentication integration with Active Directory, single sign-on solutions, and two-factor authentication. iHub administrators also can control what a user can access by securing data at the row or column level, and also by controlling page-level security in reports. To read more about the security features in iHub, check out the white paper, The Ten Layers of Security in iHub. Q: Can you give an example of social data and explain how iHub accesses it? A: Twitter and Facebook are the most common social data sources today. OpenText Analytics has several social data connectors for iHub in our developer center, including the Facebook ODA Driver,  BIRT Twitter Gadget  and Twitter JSON Search ODA.  For other unstructured data – which social data is, in essence – we provide APIs that you can use to connect to and query any data source. You may want to take a look at these two blog posts from Kris Clark: Creating a Custom ODA and Use JSON as a Scripted Data Set. Q: What mobile devices does iHub support? A: We support all mobile devices by providing APIs that allow you to integrate content from iHub into your mobile application. This way you get to select what mobile devices you want to support. For ideas and inspiration, take a look at two example applications we have created using iHub and its APIs:  Aviatio, a mobile web application (GitHub link for Aviatio),  and Gazetteer, an iOS hybrid application (GitHub link for Gazetteer). Q: How does iHub work in a multitenant architecture model in a cloud environment? A:  Multitenant support is built into iHub. With multitenant support, each project instance within a cluster isolates several characteristics (including security, user and role management, and scheduling) to allow them to be managed independently, even as the instances all share cluster resources. This allows a single iHub installation to support multiple applications and projects with a variety of characteristics and requirements. Developers use multitenant capabilities to build software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions in the cloud. The benefits include lower cost, because hardware and software are used more efficiently; faster time to market, because adding a new project requires just a few administrative commands; and improved security, because each application instance has its own security processes. Technical benefits of using multitenancy with iHub include reduced deployment burden, eased administrative load, simplified system impact testing, and flexible backup and recovery. Q: Does OpenText Analytics have an electronic scorecard to allow input of information from the bottom up, as well as from the top down? A: Yes, with OpenText Analytics users can input information at any level that may have a bearing on a specific key performance indicator (KPI). The flexibility of our scorecard function accommodates any performance framework, including Balanced Scorecard, Malcolm Baldrige, Six Sigma and custom frameworks, and scales to meet the needs of large initiatives. The Briefing Book function of iHub scorecards allows users to create and deploy customized performance views. Briefing Book measures can be selected manually or filtered based on criteria such as performance, criticality, location or ownership. Links to relevant standard and custom reports, maps, external documents and websites can be added. Briefing Books can be defined as private or shared, and include advanced security features to ensure that users only have access to the information they are entitled to see. If you require more clarification on any of these answers, please leave a note in the comments. And be sure to check the replay of my webinar with Chris Chilbert of the Department of Homeland Security.

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