Business Network

Ten New Ways Business Network Supercharges Your B2B Integration Strategy

B2B

OpenText’s Business Network has evolved considerably since I first joined the company back in March 2006. Our core B2B integration platform Trading Grid was introduced in 2004 and around this time the company started to place a much stronger emphasis on helping companies manage their B2B environments through an outsourced, B2B Managed Services approach. GXS was acquired by OpenText in January 2014 and since then we have been able to leverage other products within our Enterprise Information Management (EIM)  portfolio and apply across our range of B2B integration solutions. Since joining OpenText’s product release schedule three years ago we have introduced more new functionality to our Business Network than at any time since I joined the company. This is great news for our global customers covering the automotive, high tech, retail, CPG and inancial services sectors. In April 2016 we aligned with OpenText’s other solution divisions to launch Release 16, the most complete set of product enhancements, covering all product lines, ever to be launched by OpenText. I wanted to use this blog to highlight some of the key B2B integration investments that we have made over the past eight months. As a reminder, Business Network is made up of two groups of solutions – structured, which covers the traditional B2B integration solutions and unstructured – which covers our secure information management solutions. My colleague Amy Perry covers the unstructured part of our network offerings and you can find more information on these via her blog, We have continued to invest heavily in our Business Network, expanding capabilities and improving how our customers leverage the various solutions and services that we offer today. Over the last few years many companies have been developing their corporate strategies around cloud, mobile and big data and we have embraced these and many other technologies across the various B2B integration solutions that we offer today. Release 16 offered a number of significant enhancements to our Business Network: Trading Grid Analytics, which uses embedded analytics across our B2B transaction flows to obtain, deep, rich and meaningful insights into what is going on across a supply chain operation. Logistics Track & Trace, offering improved end to end visibility of shipments as they move across the supply chain and embedded analytics to provide deep and rich intelligence of logistics carrier performance Enhanced Procure-to-Pay solutions which offer numerous enhancements to our suite of software as service-based Active Applications Enhanced trading partner digitization capabilities to enable the 100% enablement of even the smallest supplier with Fax2EDI and Email2EDI solution availability Mobility, providing mobile apps for transaction visibility and deductions management capabilities Since Release 16 we haven’t been sitting around!, we have been adding more and more capabilities to Business Network. I have undertaken many briefings with lead analyst firms, the same firms that covered our B2B integration activity at GXS, and they have been really encouraged by the level of investment that we have been placing into our Business Network and the plans in place for our future product roadmap. So let me now highlight the top ten features and capabilities that we have introduced in the last few months. Enhanced Trading Grid Analytics – Leveraging additional capabilities from OpenText™ Analytics, Trading Grid Analytics (TGA) now has additional capabilities to analyze transaction based information from a broader set of enterprise systems. We can now leverage a process called ‘data blending’ to accept transactions from third party B2B platforms and information from other enterprise systems such as ERP, TMS and WMS. Data blending consolidates all of this information into a single information flow and helps to provide a complete 360 degree view of information flowing across your end to end supply chain. In addition we can offer custom metrics, which allows companies to define any type of business report through an engagement with our Professional Services team. We have expanded support in our analytics platform (or better known as a data lake) for other document formats such as VDA, Tradacoms and RosettaNet. Finally we have also extended the support of TGA to include our customers on our Trading Grid Messaging Service (TGMS) platform, this will considerably increase the volume of transactions being processed by our analytics platform on a daily basis. Extended Web Services Capabilities – This is a really interesting area as there is a lot of noise in the market at the moment about the growing traction of APIs. However with more APIs comes more end points to manage, it is similar in a way to what happened in 2000 with the introduction of market exchanges and XML document formats. XML was seen to be the replacement for EDI but guess what, 17 years later and EDI is pretty much entrenched across most industry sectors. APIs require a certain amount of technical skills to configure. You may have to worry about multiple connections. As part of this set of enhancements, we have introduced some new web services based integration capabilities. So, for example, rather than you establishing a direct connection through an API to say SAP Ariba, we can now undertake the same integration through our Trading Grid environment. Thus preserving the one-to-many connections that we offer to many companies around the world. So you connect to our network and we take care of connecting to your trading partners or integrating to internal business systems. IS027001 Certification – With many companies taking their first steps into the cloud, working with a trusted partner that can offer a secure cloud-based environment is important for business success. OpenText™ B2B Managed Services platform, personnel, data center infrastructure now meets the requirements of the international security management certification. An important certification to ensure that your business information is managed correctly as it passes across our global Business Network infrastructure. HIPAA Compliance – allows OpenText to exchange healthcare related transactions, for example between healthcare providers and doctors surgeries, across our Business Network, thus helping to increase the overall volume of transactions moving across our network on an annual basis. Extended Mobile Support with Active Orders – We have been able to leverage many different solutions across the broader Enterprise Information Management portfolio of solutions that OpenText offers. For example Appworks, a mobile app development platform that we leveraged last year to develop our Active Documents mobile app. We have now extended the mobile support of our Active Applications (SaaS based B2B integration solutions) to include Active Orders Mobile. Active Orders provides end-to-end visibility of the lifecycle of purchase order based transactions and the extension of this application to a mobile device allows users to track the status of any purchase order at any time in any place. Drummond AS4 Communications Certification – the AS4 communications protocol has been around for a few years now, I remember blogging about this in 2010 after I first heard about this new communications protocol after attending a Cisco conference. Thanks to Walmart in North America, AS2 was broadly adopted across the retail sector, AS3 seemed to come and go with no real traction and then AS4 arrived kicking and screaming to support business expansion into the cloud. AS4 was developed especially to support web-based services for cloud based infrastructures and we now offer support for this protocol via our B2B Managed Services platform. AS4 was clearly ahead of its time and it is really only in the past 2 years that certain industries have started to adopt AS4. For example AS4 has been adopted by ENTSOG, the European Network of Transmission Systems for Gas providers. OpenText has been certified by Drummond for AS4, and also supports the ENTSOG AS4 profile. Other industry bodies such as IATA in the transport sector are also looking at AS4 and you can be assured that OpenText plans to support these new AS4 profiles as they are released. Business Document Viewer – allows EDI-based transactions to be read in a more human readable form. This enables non-EDI or business-related users to view any type of B2B document, in a more recognized and easier to digest format. Extended Self-Enablement Capabilities – This will allow companies to have a bit more control of their B2B Managed Services environment in terms of managing trading partners. In addition a new trading partner discovery admin tool helps to accelerate the onboarding of trading partners to a hub by quickly searching our network for any existing connectivity information and then using this information to speed up the deployment of a new B2B platform. This tool significantly helps our Professional Services team to deploy your B2B platform in a much shorter time period. Electronic Invoicing Enhancements– Our Active Invoice with Compliance (AIC) solution now helps companies to process invoices electronically across more than fifty countries. This includes Brazil and Mexico where the governments mandate the use of electronic invoicing as a condition of doing business in their respective countries. We have now extended the capabilities of AIC to support B2G (Business-to-Government) requirements, in countries such as France and Japan for example. We have also introduced an automatic provisioning capability across our electronic invoicing solution that effectively allows new trading partners to be registered with our invoicing platform as soon as an invoice is processed, ie taking the details within the invoice to auto-provision a new trading partner on the platform. This not only speeds up the provisioning of new trading partners to the platform but it improves the overall quality of the invoice information being exchanged. Auto-provisioning helps to significantly reduce the time to deploy a B2B platform and this capability will be applied to other solutions within our suite of B2B solutions. My colleague Greg Horton recently blogged on this new capability. Acquisition of the North American Automotive Network Exchange (ANX) – ANX has been serving the connectivity requirements of the North American automotive industry for many years now, however as the automotive industry has globalized it has put pressure on B2B networks to provide more global support. Other regional automotive B2B networks such as ENX in Europe and JNX in Japan have serviced their respective automotive industries for many years, but OpenText™ Business Network spans the globe and can offer truly global connectivity. The acquisition of ANX not only extends our support of the automotive industry, but it also brings extensive knowledge of the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) sector, a suite of tools used to design and manufacture components used in everything from cars to planes. For example OpenText will continue to resell PLM solutions from Dassault and Siemens. Finally ANX also brings extensive experience of the healthcare sector as ANX provides connectivity and transaction based services to many different healthcare providers. This nicely compliments our new support of HIPAA for example. So as you can see we have been very busy since the launch of Release 16 and it doesn’t stop there. We will be introducing even more enhancements over the coming months and I will expand on those new capabilities in a future blog. However in the meantime if you are in Europe during the second half of March then you may like to register to attend one of our Innovation Tour stops.  

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The Provider Path to Better Care Coordination

healthcare

The healthcare experts at OpenText are excited for HIMSS17 to share with health IT gurus a vision for better care coordination by optimizing patient information exchange. The holy grail of better care coordination – and interoperability – is the secure exchange of information that results in better quality care and an improved experience for the patient, all delivered at lower cost. However, this goal is still elusive for most providers. Information systems used by healthcare organizations lock down information as a way to meet privacy requirements, and they do so without the tools that can make access by authenticated users easy and convenient. Historically, standardized approaches to interoperability have left providers with the burden of creating complex and time-consuming 1:1 interfaces to share clinical information with care and business partners. However, recent regulatory incentives, particularly meaningful use, have started to make secure, electronic interoperability a requirement, while value-based contracting and business model changes that put providers at-risk for outcomes have begun to make network interoperability a business imperative. Vendors in collaboration with government are building newly available standards like Direct Messaging, which offer a low-cost, vendor-agnostic, approach to digital information exchange. Care coordination is a complicated dance between providers and any misstep can cause irreparable implications to patient care. While some standards have been put in place to aid in increasing interoperability, low adoption rates in the healthcare community have stagnated real progress. However, transitioning to better forms of exchange by combining such technology as electronic fax, Direct messaging, and other forms of electronic exchange in a single solution increases care coordination across disparate providers. For example, Direct messaging is a way for payers, providers and healthcare systems to securely share information, in a verified environment with unlimited points of connection. It is not a 1:1 model but enables any credentialed physician located anywhere to quickly send patient information to other trusted parties using a Direct address.  Direct is designed to reduce administrative overhead, standardize transactions, and ensure that they occur quickly and securely in an auditable way. As it stands today, better care coordination with standards such as Direct messaging can quickly and positively affect specific use cases, with the most common including: Referrals between organizations and clinicians Discharge summaries and lab results shared between facilities/labs and referring or primary-care providers Sending data to public health organizations Sharing of information upon transitions in care Sharing information with payers for prior authorization of services Direct messaging is an important step towards the goal of an interoperable health system because of its inherent security and simplicity, as well as its low cost. In a network-based care environment, information sharing can help to prevent unnecessary and costly repeat tests and procedures, provide the information needed to create evidence-based care plans, and allow the execution of these plans using the network in the community. Information sharing can help reduce the burden on patients for transferring information, provide convenience when seeking care in multiple settings, and make positive outcomes more likely by reducing complications caused by impaired access to information. However, solutions that provide Direct messaging in addition to other secure, electronic forms of exchange patient information are ideal for greater adoption within healthcare. A single, centralized platform by which to exchange electronic fax, Direct messages, and other forms of electronic exchange are paving the way to better patient care. Want to learn more? Download the IDC Market Spotlight: The Rocky Road to Information Sharing in the Health System for more insights and information from IDC. Join OpenText at HIMSS17 at booth #2929 to see how OpenText can help you achieve better care coordination and ultimately, better patient care.

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Automate Customer Enrollment for Faster E-Invoicing ROI

E-Invoicing ROI

Invoice automation and the move to e-invoicing is a common project designed to save enterprises money.  Billentis estimates that both outbound and inbound e-invoicing projects reduce invoice processing costs by 60%. It is important to note that the more trading partners that participate in your e-invoicing program, the more benefit you will receive from it.  But if e-invoicing ROI is so great, why isn’t all invoicing e-invoicing? The cost of setting up an e-invoicing program can be a roadblock. Part of that cost is enrollment or on-boarding. This involves registering all of the customers to whom you will send electronic invoices into the e-invoicing platform. Sending thousands of invoices to a single customer is relatively easy – only that customer needs to be enrolled for e-invoicing. Sending one invoice each to thousands of customers is a completely different problem. You need to enroll each of those customers before sending electronic invoices. Enrolling new customers can require human interaction and frequently involves several Finance and/or IT procedures. What if you could enroll your customers automatically as you process transactions?  If you have hundreds of customers, this could reduce the cost of setting up an e-invoicing program by tens of thousands of dollars and save hundreds of man hours. This is why OpenText has introduced a capability that will automatically provision many of your customers as you send electronic invoices. In this way you: Reduce the barriers to entry for your outbound e-invoicing project Reduce manual efforts (Finance and IT) Accelerate e-invoicing ROI by implementing your project faster The capability reduces cost and saves time because you do not need to create procedures for manual enrollment or transfer information between systems or databases. You just send us the information about your customer at the same time that you send us the transaction. Learn more about OpenText’s E-Invoicing solutions.

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Unlock Unstructured Data and Maximize Success in Your Supply Chain

By any standard, a successful business is one that can find new customers, discover new markets, and pursue new revenue streams. But today, succeeding via digital channels, delivering an excellent customer experience, and embracing the digital transformation is the true benchmark. Going digital can increase your agility, and with analytics you can get the level of insight you need to make better decisions. Advances in analytics and content management software are giving companies more power to cross-examine unstructured content, rather than leaving them to rely on intuition and gut instinct. Now, you can quickly identify patterns and offer a new level of visibility into business operations. Look inside your organization to find the value locked within the information you have today. The unstructured data being generated every day inside and outside your business holds targeted, specific intelligence that is unique to your organization and can be used to find the keys to current and future business drivers. Unstructured data like emails, voicemails, written documents, presentations, social media feeds, surveys, legal depositions, web pages, videos, and more offer a rich mine of information that can inform how you do business. Unstructured content, on its own, or paired with structured data, can be put to work to refine your strategy. Predictive and prescriptive analytics offer unprecedented benefits in the digital world. Consider, for instance, the data collected from a bank’s web chat service. Customer service managers cannot read through millions of lines of free text, but ignoring this wealth of information is not an option either. Sophisticated data analytics allow banks to spot and understand trends, like common product complaints or frequently asked questions. They can see what customers are requesting to identify new product categories or business opportunities. Every exchange, every interaction, and all of your content holds opportunity that you can maximize. Making the most of relevant information is a core principle of modern enterprise information management. This includes analyzing unstructured information that is outside the organization, or passed between the company and trading partners across a supply chain or business network. As more companies use business networks, there is an increase in the types and amounts of information flowing across them; things like orders, invoices, delivery information, partner performance metrics, and more. Imagine the value of understanding the detail behind all that data? Imagine the insight it can provide to future planning? And even better: if you could analyze it fast enough to make a difference in what you do today. Here are two common, yet challenging, scenarios and their solutions. Solving challenges in your enterprise Challenges within the business network – A business network was falling behind in serving its customers. They needed to increase speed and efficiency within their supply chain to provide customers with deeper business process support and rich analytics across their entire trading partner ecosystem. With data analytics, the company learned more from their unstructured data—emails and documents—and was able to gain clearer insights into transactions flowing across the network. The new system allows them to identify issues and exceptions earlier, take corrective action, and avoid problems before they occur. Loss of enterprise visibility – A retail organization was having difficulty supporting automatic machine-to-machine data feeds coming from a large number of connected devices within their business network. With the addition of data analytics across unstructured data sources, they gained extensive visibility into the information flowing across their supply chain. Implementing advanced data analytics allowed them to analyze information coming from all connected devices, which afforded a much deeper view into data trends. This intelligence allowed the retailer to streamline their supply chain processes even further. Want to learn more? Explore how you can move forward with your digital transformation; take a look at how OpenText Release 16 enables companies to manage the flow of information in the digital enterprise, from engagement to insight.

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Discussing B2B Integration at OpenText Innovation Tour APAC

OpenText Innovation Tour

In late November last year I was asked to participate in APAC leg of our Innovation Tour events, starting with Sydney then travelling on to Singapore and Tokyo. The Innovation Tour is a unique series of events which OpenText hosts in various locations around the world and they complement our main customer conference, Enterprise World, which takes place in July each year. I thought I would use this blog to share some insights from these three events in APAC and hopefully encourage you to register for our upcoming events around Europe in March this year! I always enjoy travelling to APAC, our customers in this region seem to prefer face-to-face meetings and so you can always guarantee great attendance at any event in the region. These were no exception and due to customer demand, each of the three events was twice the size of the previous years’ events. My participation was to provide an update on the progress we have been making with enhancing the B2B integration capabilities of our Business Network. I will expand in more detail on these enhancements in another blog in the next few weeks. My Business Network colleague Amy Perry provided an overview of some of our secure information exchange solutions at both the Sydney and Singapore events. First stop was the Westin Hotel in downtown Sydney, an excellent location for our customers to come together to learn about the many enhancements we have made to our large portfolio of Enterprise Information Management (EIM) solutions. Each event is in a one day format and we manage to blend a mix of formal and informal sessions to meet the needs of the customers at each location. The structure for each event comprises of several keynote sessions in the morning and then a series of product specific breakouts in the afternoon. In addition there are various networking opportunities in our expo hall for customers to understand the finer workings of our EIM product offerings. OpenText CEO Mark Barrenechea, opened each event with an interesting keynote discussing the ‘Intelligence of Things’. The Internet of Things was a hot topic for many CIOs in 2016 and this session expanded on this theme by explaining how OpenText’s EIM solutions can help leverage digital business information, from ‘engagement to insight’, across the extended enterprise. Mark also discussed recent acquisitions and finished his session by explaining OpenText’s move into the area of cognitive based analytics. 2017 is certainly going to be an exciting year for OpenText and its customers. The morning sessions also included a presentation from the analyst firm Forrester and a ‘fireside chat’ style of customer interview with Tracy Parsons from the New Zealand Transport Agency. These events are built around our customers and so it is a great opportunity for the delegates to hear from their peers on how they are deploying OpenText technologies across their respective businesses. Each Innovation Tour stop includes an expo hall where all of OpenText’s EIM solutions are showcased, this provides an ideal opportunity for delegates to see our new Release 16 enhancements and capabilities in action. Each of our six main EIM product offerings had its own demonstration pod and this provided an excellent opportunity for customers to get a more in-depth overview of our products. Our Elite lounge provided a great location for customers to unwind and learn more about our customer loyalty program, a unique way to engage with OpenText in different ways and receive loyalty points for your time and effort!, more info on our Elite program can be found here. For this particular event I presented two sessions relating to B2B integration, one looking at supplier enablement and another discussing our supply chain analytics solution. There was significant interest in our new analytics offering, Trading Grid Analytics, a unique way to utilise the transactions flowing across our Business Network to obtain deep and more meaningful insights as to what is going on across a supply chain operation. Interestingly at the end of the analytics session I was asked a couple of questions on Blockchain and what my thoughts were on its application across the supply chain. Just as well I had read up on Blockchain on the long flight across to Sydney! I will leave this topic for another blog, but as with IoT, Blockchain appears to be gaining traction in the market, especially in the financial services sector. Next stop was the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore. Singapore is an interesting city, a major technology and financial services hub and also a major cargo port as well. Singapore is a great example of a ‘connected’ city and Mark Barrenechea’s presentation on the Intelligence of Things was very well received by this particular audience. Mark Barrenechea interviewed Ananda Subbiah, the Chief Customer Officer of Freestyle Technology, a start up IoT company that is seeing exponential growth at the moment. It was interesting to hear from Freestyle about their business and the unique opportunity they have to grow their business in one of the world’s leading connected cities. As with the interview with the New Zealand Transport Agency in Sydney, these so called ‘fireside’ chats provide a unique opportunity for our customers to share their experience of working with OpenText and our range of EIM solutions. Each stop on our upcoming European Innovation Tour will include a fireside chat with a customer. Our customer marketing team goes to great lengths to secure customers that can tell their story of how they are using our EIM solutions, but these fireside chats take these discussions one step further and in many cases add a more personal perspective of how these global companies work with OpenText. There is immense consolidation in the high tech industry at the moment and one of OpenText’s B2B Managed Services customers based in Singapore, Avago Technologies, recently closed a major M&A deal to acquire Broadcom. The newly merged company is now called Broadcom Limited. This M&A activity is being driven by consumer and enterprise interest in new technologies such as wearable devices, drones, 3D printers and of course IoT. So it was great to get some insights from Freestyle on what was driving their business and how they plan to support their various customers in the future. From a Business Network perspective I was certainly kept busy, I delivered three back-to-back sessions covering supply chain analytics, Marginal Gains theory and IoT. (I have written numerous blogs on each of these subjects in the past). I have been looking at the IoT sector for the past three years and during 2016 I spent some time trying to map out how our EIM solutions could support IoT applications across the supply chain. You can get more insights on this from a recent webinar that I hosted with a lead IoT analyst from Gartner. The breakout sessions were well attended but as always it was the customer interaction after each session that was valuable for me. The last leg of this part of the Innovation Tour finished in Tokyo, a city that I have visited four times in the past few years. Our event was held just outside the city centre at a location that has various large technology company HQs located near our hotel. This particular event brought an extra level of complexity for our event organisers as all the presentations were in Japanese and we had real-time translators at the back of the room to ensure that our EIM message was efficiently translated in local language! This is a great example of how we tailor these events to suit the needs of our customers. Japan is an interesting country and in recent years, adoption of cloud-based services has grown exponentially. Due to natural disasters, many Japanese manufacturers have had to try and find ways to build extra resilience into their supply chain operations. Hosting valuable company information in a local data centre in Tokyo is no longer the way to operate a global Japanese business and a cultural shift has seen companies move from behind the firewall software solutions to cloud offerings. For this reason, there was great interest in the EIM solution update presentation provided by Muhi Majzoub, OpenText EVP of Engineering. Muhi provided a great summary of the recent set of enhancements that we have made to our products and provided some insights into the future direction of our portfolio of EIM solutions. Given that my Japanese language skills are virtually non-existent, I didn’t actually present at this particular stop on our Innovation Tour, but I did have three great customer meetings during the course of the event. This leg of my trip was to support our sales operation and over the course of five days I completed a sales training session for our Business Network team in Tokyo and I was then taken around some of our largest manufacturing customers in Japan. What I have found is that it is relatively easy to have customer meetings in Japan, mainly because companies are keen to hear about the latest industry trends from other parts of the world and in my role I can provide a mix of industry, technology and product trends to meet their appetites. My hotel in Japan was located right above the central station in Tokyo, a great location to not only get to our office next door but to also travel on the bullet train to other locations such as Nagoya and Osaka where many of our manufacturing customers are based. So there ends a brief review of my two week trip to APAC just before the holidays, a great opportunity to experience different cultures, but to also discuss our Business Network solutions with customers that are keen to automate manual, paper based processes and leverage the many enhancements that we have added to our Business Network over the past few months.  

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Think Outside…for Complete Supply Chain Automation

complete supply chain automation

If you are tasked with helping to automate your supply chain, you know there is a lot of work to do internally. But many organizations forget to look outside to achieve complete supply chain automation. You can find evidence of this need in recent news about how retailers are shrinking deliver windows and increasing compliance requirements. This has also been true in the automotive industry where, because of just-in-time manufacturing, auto OEMs may penalize suppliers whose missed deliveries cause them to shut down an assembly line – to the tune of thousands of dollars PER MINUTE that the line is idle. Regardless of whether you are a supplier or a buyer, it is becoming critical that you think outside of your organization for complete supply chain automation. So how do you do that? Lora Cecere on her blog said, “However, automation enables enterprise efficiency, not value network effectiveness. Most companies cannot see beyond their firewalls. I feel it is time to rewire our supply chain thinking. This does not happen through conventional thinking. Instead, it happens through the adoption of new technologies and outside-in thinking.” This outside-in thinking and network effectiveness comes from automating the flow of transaction information with trading partners. Yet, recent research from IDC shows that although 70% of respondents believe that business success requires pervasive B2B networks that allow them to collaborate with suppliers and customers – less than 50% exchange the majority of information with most of their trading partners in electronic formats. By including supplier/buyer interactions in supply chain automation, organizations can automate a critical portion of their supply chain. The benefits of doing so include, reducing manual data entry and data entry errors, reducing transaction costs, and reducing receiving time and error. To learn more about how to think outside for complete supply chain automation watch our on-demand webinar.

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You’ve got Experience, Share it in our Survey

P2P automation survey

P2P automation survey opportunity – if you are involved in supply chain management or procurement, you will more than likely have experiences with, and opinions about, the business benefits of supply chain automation and digitizing procure-to-pay (P2P) processes. We would love to hear them. Supply Chain Insights is conducting a survey to help frame the impact that P2P can have on the supply chains of manufacturing, retail, and wholesale organizations. You could be a thought leader by contributing your experiences in this important conversation. It will only take a few minutes of your time. By participating in the conversation and taking the survey, you will be rewarded for your time. Firstly, you will receive your own copy of the survey results. Secondly, you will be invited to participate in a round-table discussion about the survey results and the business benefits of P2P. We look forward to sharing the results with you. In the meantime if you would like to read more about P2P, take a look at What Differentiates a “Best in Class” P2P Solution From the Rest?  which features different solution scenarios, the characteristics of each and the advantages of using a “best in class” solution.

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Pay Attention to B2G eInvoicing Mandates

B2G einvoicing mandates

Governments around world are seeking to save time and money by requiring electronic invoicing (eInvoicing) for all business-to-government (B2G) billing. These B2G eInvoicing mandates require that businesses providing goods and services to any government entity – educational, medical, transportation, local and federal offices – must eInvoice. B2G eInvoicing Mandates in the European Union The European Parliament created Directive 2014/55/ EU of the European Parliament and of the Council. This directive requires that EU countries define rules for electronic invoices in public procurement processes by Nov. 27, 2018. This means governments must have a defined plan for public institutions to accept electronic invoices as a method of billing. In the meantime, the directive mandates the creation of a standard for the semantic data model of the core elements of an electronic invoice. (The ‘European standard on electronic invoicing’). This work is now taking place. When the standard has been published, reviewed and finalized, member countries have 18 months to receive electronic invoices in the standard format. Legislation in France Not all countries are waiting for the standard to be published. In France Order No. 2014-697 makes it mandatory for businesses to issue invoices to public entities in electronic format. In addition, this order makes it mandatory for all State*, local authorities, and public institutions to accept eInvoices. The rollout of mandated B2G einvoicing in France commences in January 2017 and will be enforced in stages, starting with large businesses. However, eInvoicing isn’t just about complying with B2G or tax authority mandates. It is about transaction communication and enabling automated processing of digital documents. Billentis estimates that eInvoicing saves money in five categories of processing costs – capture, quality assurance, routing and circulation, reporting and filing and payment for an overall potential saving of 60%. If you need to reduce invoicing costs and comply with regulatory mandates, OpenText can help. OpenText is the global leader in B2B integration solutions, with the largest B2B network processing 18B transactions per year. We help organizations digitally connect for commerce. Our eInvoicing compliance solution provides tax compliance for eInvoicing in more than 40 countries. It also connects you to several European governments who have mandated eInvoicing, including France and Italy. Learn more about eInvoicing. * Except in the case of defense or national security.

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RightFax – The Outlook is Stronger Than Ever

Innovation Tour London

OpenText remains deeply committed to the long-term and continued development of OpenText™ RightFax. RightFax is the market-leading on-premises and hybrid fax solution, and OpenText isn’t taking a foot off the gas one bit. RightFax has been setting the pace in the fax server market with continual updates and releases of new product development. Since 2011, OpenText has provided 6 major releases of the RightFax product line. The main investment themes that drive the strategy for new RightFax development are analytics, business process, industry and compliance, customer experience and reach. With product experts solely focused on the pulse of the market and the needs of our customers, RightFax has launched several new and innovative solutions to help you move beyond point-to-point communications and enable end-to-end control and visibility of secure information exchange. Examples are: OpenText RightFax Connect, a revolutionary cloud-based fax service built specifically for RightFax fax servers. RightFax Connect allows you to replace the fax server telephony with the OpenText™ Cloud while maintaining your existing RightFax client and backend integrations – which means no change to the user experience. RightFax Connect is the only cloud-based solution that provides complete end-to-end visibility and control for hybrid faxing. OpenText RightFax Encryption Module provides unprecedented level of security for fax images. OpenText RightFax Healthcare Direct provides an advanced method of transferring patient healthcare information by, as the name suggests, combining the Direct protocol and faxing in a single solution to exchange compliant messages. RightFax Web Client is a new, user-friendly web experience for RightFax users that extends faxing to mobile devices to make faxing as simple as snapping a photo. OpenText is continuing that drive and focus on our customer’s needs as we bring RightFax into 2017 and beyond with RightFax Release 16, coming in April, 2017.  Our customers continue to be the most important source for product enhancements and RightFax Release 16 will certainly bring several highly anticipated features to the product. Here are just a few things we’re building for this next major release of RightFax: New Administrative Roles and Control RightFax will provide new levels of administrative control with the upcoming release. Administrative control will no longer have to be an all or nothing proposition. The first of these new administrative roles will be known as “read only” administrators. These read only administrators will be able to view all administrative settings but won’t have the capability or permission to modify any settings. This role is perfectly tailored for help desk staff who may need to assist end-users with simple questions. This new role will save companies time and money by being able to assign these simple requests to internal help desk staff. Along with read only administrators, RightFax will also introduce user and services administrator roles. New Multi-Function Printer (MFP) Connectors RightFax and MFPs have always been a perfect combination. There is a lot for a company to gain by centralizing the paper fax capability of their MFP fleet through a RightFax server. With RightFax Release 16, we are refreshing our suite of MFP connectors with an eye on simplifying the user’s interactions with the connector application. RightFax will also offer new, highly secure file transfer options between MFP devices and the RightFax server, ensuring that scanned paper faxes are as secure as any fax job that originates on a user’s desktop or from a backend application. Furthermore, the redesigned connectors will bring the process of sending a fax to the forefront of the application and move the more detailed functions such as billing codes, phonebooks, and coversheets into optional, advanced menus. The result is a simplified user experience that eliminates multi-screen navigation for any given fax scan if all they want to do is perform a simple scan and send. Image High Availability Every page of every document that is process by the RightFax server is saved as an image file in the system. That’s part of what makes RightFax such a highly compliant and auditable solution. With RightFax Release 16, OpenText will provide a new level of business continuity for fax images by offering application-level high availability for fax images. RightFax will now offer total business continuity for fax environments without the need to engage a third-party hardware or software vendor for a solution to ensure that fax images are always available. Analytics and Fax Dashboards Now more than ever companies are looking to data mine their major systems, seeking ways to improve operational efficiencies and discover cost savings. RightFax will put the power to analyze your fax traffic at your fingertips.  RightFax analytics and fax dashboards will deliver transactional data intelligence and volume trends needed to improve your organizations’ operational efficiencies and drive profitability. With a comprehensive view of system performance, you’ll be able to quickly and easily identify and isolate operational issues to make data-driven decisions based on real-time and historical performance indicators. This coming release of RightFax will leverage the power of OpenText™ Analytics to provide purpose-built fax dashboards to present a myriad of information relevant to your RightFax environment. You’ll be able to pull up these dashboards and drill down from the highest level of data to the individual fax. Picture a scenario where your fax volume doubled in a day. You’ll also be able to drill down into that day’s volume and get a visual display of the top destinations to understand the source of the volume spike. Web Admin OpenText is continually looking for ways to improve the user experience of our products. We’ve learned from our customers that anything we can do to reduce the footprint of our software is a valuable change. With that in mind, RightFax is introducing an entirely new Web Admin tool. With this tool will provide full administrative capabilities without installing or pushing out the RightFax Enterprise Fax Manager client. This, along with the new administrative roles discussed earlier, will make it easier than ever to get administrative power over your RightFax environment exactly where you want it to without performing long and complicated installs. By building the admin client in HTML5 we’re able to provide admin access to all modern browsers as well as — for the first time ever — provide RightFax Administrative functionality for mobile devices. Outlook: A Bright Future for RightFax OpenText remains highly invested in our market-leading enterprise fax solution RightFax. As your trusted partner for your mission critical faxing and with over 30 years of experience in providing world-class enterprise fax functionality, OpenText continues to be deeply committed to RightFax to provide the secure information exchange backbone for your organization. OpenText has a steadfast devotion to your organization’s success and to helping you improve competitiveness, reduce costs, and boost response times to significantly enhance your overall business performance, both now and in the future.

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Fintech at SIBOS: From Everyday Banking to Science Fiction

FinTech

In late September, we were at SIBOS 2016, the annual trade show hosted by SWIFT. It’s a major showcase for innovative financial technology (“Fintech”), featuring the latest news and analysis about banking and electronic payments. Over 8,500 people attended this year, with Eurasian, Middle Eastern, African, and Chinese banks showing a stronger presence than in the past. The show was in Geneva, and we were struck by the contrast between the timeless beauty of the Alpine setting (snow-covered Mont Blanc looming over the skyline, Lac Leman at the foot of our hotel, and our daily commute passing vineyards) and the dynamic, even futuristic, requirements of the financial industry in the 21st century discussed at the conference. SIBOS has been morphing as SWIFT seeks out new directions. It offers a showcase for Fintech through its Innotribe program, continues to develop electronic communications standards for a wide range of uses, and this year was focusing more on cyber-security (after hackers exploited a SWIFT weakness to steal $81 million from the central bank of Bangladesh’s account at the Federal Reserve) to defend the SWIFT electronic transaction platform. We also heard a lot of buzz about new Fintech developments such as cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (e.g. creating algorithms that could manage simple investment portfolios as well as most human advisors). Blockchain: From cyberpunk to competitive advantage Of all these new technologies, blockchain was a key discussion at SIBOS. The conference was full of questions about blockchain: How does it work?, what does it mean for us?, how will payments be affected?, who is working with it?, and what are the real security issues? “Blockchain” is a type of distributed, online database that keeps a permanent, tamper-proof record of financial transactions. It was created to settle trades in Bitcoin, the virtual currency, and has since become popular for deals in “real” currencies because all parties can track the transaction securely, with no need for third-party verification. SWIFT is interested in blockchain technology even though – or maybe because – it could pose strong competition to SWIFT’s own secure payments service, which can take days or weeks to settle a complex transaction. Fintech competitors using blockchain are forecasting that they will be able to cut transaction time down to near-zero. “Let’s get it done” However, what interested us most about SIBOS 2016 is that despite all that buzz, there was still a core of business as usual – practical, “let’s get it done” business. The banks still face the same issues: “How do we do this payments business faster, cheaper, and take better advantage of the relationships it creates?” For example, client onboarding continues to be a challenge for many banks, and we provide a lot of value in this area. We had many discussions about how OpenText helps banks to improve their overall compliance, get to revenue sooner, and achieve higher customer satisfaction rates. We also had conversations about the wealth of data that banks have and how they can enable better use of it, for both themselves and their customers. While they may be experimenting with new technologies driven by the Fintech boom, the practical business in the next cycle will be in establishing value from the networks and relationships already in place. OpenText’s role in the new Fintech world Naturally we feel OpenText has a role to play here. To start with, OpenText™ Analytics solutions help financial companies extract more value from their information by liberating it from the many separate silos it’s often housed in and integrating these various streams of information into a complete, accurate picture of investment performance, customer satisfaction, user experience, or response to various marketing incentives. Our message attracted a lot of interest at SIBOS, where we had great meetings with clients and prospects. One of the highlights was our Oktoberfest party co-sponsored with SAP, It was a great success with more than 260 people attending. Next year, SIBOS will take place in Toronto, Canada’s financial capital – not far from our corporate headquarters in Waterloo.  Who knows what strides the Fintech world will have taken by then?

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RightFax and OpenText Fax Solutions: The Future is Bright

Rightfax

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

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How IoT Enables a Hyper Connected Supply Chain

IoT

Over the last three years I have been following the Internet of Things (IoT) sector very closely. It has been an interesting journey, not least because the IoT sector is continually evolving and new startup companies appear on the market on an almost daily basis. Some would argue that IoT has been around far longer and for some elements of the technologies used in an IoT environment that is certainly true. But let’s focus on the here and now. Cisco started the ball rolling in late 2013 when they introduced one of the first conferences dedicated to IoT, the IoT World Forum, and this was the event that sparked my interest in this sector. In 2014 GE, now GE Digital, became a provider of IoT solutions, mainly focused on the analytics sector. At the same time PTC, my former employer, went on a serial acquisition trail to help position themselves as a leader in the sector. Today, we seem to be entering a period of IoT partnerships, with SAP partnering with Vodafone for edge connectivity and more recently with Bosch for industrial based solutions. SAP also announced a $2Billion investment in the IoT space over the next few years. IoT is an interesting sector as it has applications in our our home, work and leisure related activities and startup companies are still evolving to capture each of these very different sectors. It is interesting to see so much partnership and investment activity in the IoT sector at the moment. For one reason or another, IoT seems to be struggling when it comes to standards, it would appear that most of the regions around the world have yet to settle on a standard IoT definition, let alone define standards for information exchange and communications. In North America the market is heavily driven by the Industrial Internet, with GE Digital driving the sector, with support from a host of Silicon Valley high tech companies. In Europe, Industry 4.0 leads with large industrial companies such as Bosch and Schneider Electric establishing internal software divisions to develop solutions for this sector. Then you have Japan with their Value Chain Initiative and China with Internet Plus. So which IoT definition is likely to win here? I think it is too early to say just yet. IoT stands to transform supply chain operations, with more connected devices across the end-to-end supply chain, IoT will enable an almost macro level of visibility that supply chain and logistics leaders have simply never had before. From Pervasive Visibility, to Proactive Replenishment and Predictive Maintenance, IoT stands to transform tomorrow’s digital supply chain operations. So what exactly is an IoT Platform and how can it support tomorrow’s supply chain? Well this is the theme of a webinar on demand that OpenText is sponsoring called The Next Big Opportunity? IoT for Your Supply Chain. Hosted by SupplyChainBrain.com, an online publisher of news and information relating to the supply chain sector, the webinar features a lead analyst from Gartner, Benoit Lheureux. Benoit is a VP of research at Gartner and his focus area relates to IoT. Benoit covers some of the key trends that Gartner is seeing in the market today and provides some interesting insights into some recent research relating to the five key building blocks for an IoT platform. I was fortunate to co-present with Benoit at Enterprise World in July and I am pleased to be presenting with Benoit once again in this webinar. One of the key enablers to establishing an IoT platform is being able to seamlessly integrate between ‘things’, enterprise systems and external trading partners. Pervasive Integration, especially when combined with a global network such as OpenText’s Business Network, can provide the key foundation to an IoT platform. So in summary the webinar covers the following areas: Discuss some of the key IoT trends today Introduce the concept of an IoT platform Discuss a number of use cases for IoT in the supply chain Learn how OpenText Enterprise Information Management (EIM) solutions align with the five key components of an IoT platform Understand the importance of pervasive integration in the context of IoT   So if you are currently thinking about deploying IoT across your supply chain operations be sure to check out the webinar.

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Automating Secure Information Exchange to Optimize Processes Across the Enterprise

Information Exchange

Today’s business and economic climate present enormous challenges to organizations. Companies are under increasing pressure to cut costs, streamline processes, and boost efficiency, while improving customer loyalty and strengthening vendor relations. Demands for speed, security, and reliability in communications turn up the pressure. To remain competitive and profitable in this environment, companies have invested in back-end applications to improve business processes and bring them closer to their customers and suppliers. Back-end applications, such as SAP, Oracle and other powerful applications, generate huge volumes of information in the form of documents. These documents provide the roadmap for interactions with customers and suppliers, dictate business cycles, and can determine profitability or failure. As a result, it is crucial for organizations to efficiently and cost-effectively distribute them to their internal and external stakeholders within stringent time constraints. Companies that take advantage of automated production fax and electronic document delivery capabilities to distribute documents can further extend the process efficiencies of applications and devices while reducing costs and improving response times, thus significantly impacting overall business performance. Enter a New Era of Secure Information Exchange Solutions for automating document delivery bridge the gap between generating information in applications and disseminating information so that it flows directly to the people who need it, when they need it. This eliminates time-consuming, error-prone manual processes while increasing productivity. To remain competitive, companies need to be able to quickly, securely, and efficiently disseminate business information to customers and suppliers in an automated and secure way. Integrating back-end systems and secure information exchange solutions provides an automated method to cost-effectively distribute information. Secure information exchange solutions with enterprise-grade faxing takes a centralized and global approach that facilitate the automated, secure, and compliant exchange of business information inside and outside of the organization, from any system or repository, in the cloud, on-premises, or as a hybrid deployment. Everything to do with capturing, controlling, managing and automating business processes related to fax-based information—core fax-driven processes to multi-function device management, email and desktop faxing, fax automation, and compliance and security measures for fax operations—is supported in an effective secure information exchange solution. Driving Value Across the Enterprise Organizations can capitalize on significant cost and efficiency gains by automating fax-dependent business processes as part of their automation strategy. Enterprise fax solutions automate time-intensive, manual, paper-driven processes to reduce paper-based operational costs, increase employee productivity, and decrease the risks associated with unsecure communications. Accelerating business processes. By automating secure information exchange, organizations increase process velocity and accelerate the exchange of business-critical information with anyone, anywhere, with proven and trusted technology. Optimizing the reliability, reach, and cost efficiency of fax-based secure information exchange. Enterprise-grade solutions with process automation close the communication gaps that hinder effective process execution. Cutting the cost of information exchange processes. Automate workflows, accelerate communications, and facilitate compliance with security and records-keeping mandates, all while lowering costs of information exchange, especially as fax-based processes. Additionally, enterprises can significantly reduce the administrative burden of fax-based infrastructure by moving the management of systems to the cloud. Improving flexibility without sacrificing security. The ability to reach customers, business partners, and other stakeholders in a fully automated process. Increasing compliance and security of information. Extending governance policies across all information channels to maintain a fully transparent audit trail and manage the flow of information in a defensible manner strengthens the ability of organizations to confidently address regulatory inquiries and litigation calls. Watch these short videos on information exchange for a deeper perspective or read more about automation of secure information exchange.

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Announcing…The First Cloud Fax Solution Built Specifically for Healthcare

cloud fax

Faxing remains one of the top methods of patient information exchange in healthcare. Despite this dominance, healthcare providers continue to use fax solutions – most notably fax machines – that are a security risk, inefficient and disruptive to workflows, and especially aren’t designed for the unique needs of the healthcare industry. Today, OpenText announced the launch of OpenText™ Fax2Mail for Healthcare, the first cloud fax solution built specifically for the US healthcare industry. This new solution, which combines the reliability of OpenText cloud faxing with an easy-to-use, intuitive portal powered by Kno2TM, brings patient information exchange and clinical workflows together in a single solution. Improving patient information exchange, starting with cloud faxing First and foremost, isn’t it time to get rid of fax machines? The first step is to get providers to move away from paper-and-toner faxing to a digital form with cloud fax. The compliance risks, inefficiency and productivity loss with paper-based, manual faxing are well understood, yet the use of standalone fax machines continues to prevail. Cloud faxing with OpenText Fax2Mail is an easy way to start to transform how patient information is exchanged.  Fax2Mail enables the secure and encrypted electronic exchange of clinical documents, reducing compliance risk associated with paper-based faxing. Fax2Mail eliminates all on-site infrastructure, providing the easiest form of faxing available, allowing you to focus on patient care. More than “just another cloud fax solution” With the introduction of OpenText Fax2Mail for Healthcare, faxing, Direct messaging and other forms of electronic exchange are combined together in a fully compliant, interoperable patient document exchange platform, ultimately, improving patient care.  The new solution includes powerful tools that mirror existing manual workflows and streamlines them, eliminating paper-based and manual patient information exchange to digitize and simplify the document trail and expedite access to patient information. Designed for administrators and clinicians, OpenText Fax2Mail for Healthcare delivers the right patient information to the right provider at the right time. Combing all forms of patient information exchange while digitizing workflows makes this a cloud fax solution like none other in the industry. OpenText Fax2Mail for Healthcare is an easy-to-use, interoperable platform that: Reduces the burden of paper-based and manual healthcare workflows and enables digital transformation in the healthcare industry Combines all forms of information exchange and manages healthcare workflows in a single location with built-in integration to external systems, such as EMRs Enables fully electronic, interoperable, digital patient information exchange to connect with other healthcare providers using any form of common exchange such as fax, Direct messages and electronic document exchange Eliminates fax machines and fax-related onsite infrastructure, software fees, telecom charges and capital costs Learn more about OpenText Fax2Mail for Healthcare.

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Secure Information Exchange – Forgotten in your Digital Transformation Strategy?

secure information exchange

Regardless of the widget your organization makes or service it provides, at the very core of every organization is the information that fuels its decisions and ultimately, its success. And that information exchange between an ecosystem of connected customers, suppliers, and business partners must be secure With information as the currency of the digital economy, organizations don’t succeed just based on size, scale, access to resources, or geographic presence—it’s the degree to which they can take advantage of information to innovate and grow. It’s critical that organizations connect business processes across their ecosystem, and secure the information flows that support those processes. Not only is this essential for business continuity, it’s a must for efficiency and productivity in a hyper-competitive digital economy. As more and more organizations adopt a digital transformation strategy, a key component to remember is the transformation of how information is securely exchanged. Digitization must include tools for secure information exchange that support operational gains while improving agility, employee productivity, and higher levels of compliance to reduce risk. While many organizations have sophisticated systems in place to exchange raw data, large files, and many forms of content, there is one technology that continues to persist in every corner of the world: fax. Despite being a 150+ year old technology (yes, it’s true!), faxing has remained a steadfast communication method that provides a direct and secure path for exchanging information. Organizations which do not have a digital transformation strategy that includes a secure information exchange component stand the risk of inefficiency, higher costs, slower gains and lower productivity, as well as security and compliance risks. As an integral part of secure information exchange solutions, electronic fax servers and services are designed to integrate with back-end systems to facilitate the secure exchange of content to and from those applications. Some considerations when choosing an electronic fax solution include determining the needs of the business, process or workflows and evaluating vendor capabilities that fit your needs. While most electronic fax solutions are alike in their core functionality (sending/receiving from email, centralized fax management, tracking and reporting), be sure to choose a vendor that your organization can truly consider a trusted partner, vested in your success as much as you are. Not all vendors are alike, in both capabilities and vision. Seek vendors with advanced, proven functionality, and those which are able to demonstrate a vision that supports your goals and aligns with your digital transformation journey. Ideally, seek a vendor that has capabilities that include but are broader than secure information exchange solutions:  a vendor that can ultimately help you transform your organization to support a fully integrated Enterprise Information Management (EIM) platform to help you on your journey to digital transformation and create a better way to work. Base your secure information exchange strategy on digital, enterprise-grade fax solutions. Then build a robust communication ecosystem that is integrated and automated to reduce risk, enable compliance, and accelerated time to revenue. Whether you choose an on-premises, cloud-based, or hybrid model, secure information exchange can transform your business.

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Get Started on the Path to B2B Integration Maturity Now

B2B integration maturuty

OpenText recently sponsored a survey on B2B integration maturity which was conducted by SCM World (now part of Gartner). We set out to learn what constitutes B2B integration maturity and what impact that might have on a business. The research paper, available here, lays out a path to maturity based on answers to the survey from 115 participants from all over the globe. In previous posts we’ve looked at the steps, and the value of progressing along the path. The last portion of the report makes some specific recommendations for getting started and advancing along the B2B integration path. It’s time to get started now on the path to B2B integration maturity. When advancing business-to-business integration, an organization’s focus must be on the journey as much as it is on the destination. The B2B integration path framework is designed with the journey in mind, helping organizations to define and measure progress for themselves. A well-planned B2B integration deployment concurrently addresses issues such as working capital and process efficiency by aligning the three elements of people, technology and process to create tangible business value. SCM World Recommendations Extend the network. The very nature of B2B integration requires working with extended business networks. Purely introspective perspectives lead to the continuation of the status quo, whereas broadened perspectives create mutually beneficial opportunities now, and in the future. It is important to: Build capabilities and track progress. Mechanisms are available to accelerate progress and build the key capabilities needed to create sustainable advancements in B2B integration. In evaluating how building these capabilities enables future business growth, consider if it is best to build and maintain in-house capabilities or if it is better to partner with, or outsource to, specialists who focus on B2B integration tools and technology? Start the process. To begin the journey, companies must develop segmented business integration strategies that allow for immediate execution, as well as further advancement potential in the future. Learn and grow together with trading partners. Leverage experts outside your business; and Embrace the dynamism and fluidity of B2B integration as a long-term growth opportunity. Previous posts in this series: Don’t Be Immature – Impact Your Business With B2B Integration Maturity 5 Stages of B2B Integration Maturity – Pt 1 Does B2B Integration Have Tangible Business Benefits? Pt 2 The B2B Integration Maturity Landscape – Pt 3 First Steps in B2B Maturity – Pt 4 What’s Average B2B Integration Maturity? – Pt 5 Getting Ahead on the B2B Integration Maturity Path – Pt 6

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Watch out Legal Industry – OpenText Fax Solutions is Coming to ILTACON 2016

legal industry fax solutions

Like Mark Twain, the death of fax has been greatly exaggerated – especially for legal industry fax solutions. Legal firms throughout the world are using fax daily to send and receive confidential documents with clients, other attorneys and the courts. However, relying on traditional fax machines is inefficient, expensive and lacks the security required of modern legal communications. The legal industries – both law firms and in-house counsel – need a cost-effective and secure means that enables them to deploy the fax communication they require and increase the efficiency and productivity of their staff. Electronic and cloud-based fax solutions provide a range of features to law firms that extend the potential of their fax capabilities. The importance of fax within the worldwide legal industries is easy to understate. Yet, it still has a legal stature absent from email. When litigators have an affidavit signature to get back for last minute filing, they fax it. When lawyers need a client signature on a document before close of play, they fax it. Many courts still prefer – and sometimes require – fax to other forms of communication. Some jurisdictions allow ‘fax filing’ to ensure deadlines are met before paper-based documents are delivered. As unbelievable as it may sound, it is still not uncommon for insurance companies and banks to require fax as they limit email usage within their staff. In many rural areas of developed countries, as well as emerging nations, courts lack the technical infrastructure to adopt sophisticated digital communication solutions, and fax – a technology more than 150 years old– continues to thrive. In all of these instances, lawyers will tell you they use fax simply just because it ‘works’. The shortcomings of traditional fax machines, however, are well understood. The process of going to a machine and waiting while a fax is sent is inefficient and makes lawyers and paralegals less productive. Although a fax is secure while being transmitted, it is vulnerable when it is printed at the receiving end or simply left on the fax machine to send. It offers little of the reporting and auditing needed to ensure regulatory compliance or proof of delivery. The cost of dedicated analog phone lines alone makes traditional fax expensive. As importantly, a traditional fax machine is a standalone communication device: it provides no integration with your other communications solutions or back-end systems, such as document management, e-discovery, billing and accounting. In fact, it can provide an unwanted challenge for firms transitioning to a fully IP telephony and computing environment. The introduction of electronic fax solutions – such as OpenText™ RightFax – does more than eliminate the shortcomings of traditional fax. It allows law firms to integrate and customize faxing capabilities into wider e-discovery, document management and business workflows. For practices and firms that want to eliminate on-premises infrastructure and leverage cloud technology, cloud-based fax services – such as OpenText™ Fax2Mail – provide a secure, cost-effective approach to managing fax traffic. OpenText™ Enterprise Fax Solutions – RightFax and Fax2Mail – will be joining our  OpenText™ eDOCS and OpenText™ Recommind friends at ILTACON 2016. Join us there to see how secure information exchange protects content and reduces risk.

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How Many Gold Medals Could Your Company win at the ‘B2B Integration’ Olympics?

B2B integration

So the eyes of the world are on the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and following on from my previous blog relating to the use of Marginal Gains theory at Rio 2016, I thought I would continue the Olympic theme for this blog. The sports that make up the games are varied in nature and it got me thinking, how would companies fare if they were to compete in the B2B Integration Olympics? An event designed to see how well companies are using B2B technologies to address specific business and supply chain challenges. OpenText recently completed a research study with IDC Manufacturing Insights to look at how B2B integration drives superior supply chain performance. The study demonstrated that companies can be segmented into experts, leaders or laggards in terms of their adoption of B2B technologies. Similar I guess to winning gold, silver or bronze at the Olympics! Is it possible to compare an Olympic sport with a specific supply chain challenge? Well let me try and explain during this blog. I will focus on five Olympic sports and compare them with the various B2B challenges that many companies face today. How many of the following ‘events’ would your company be able to take part in, based on whether you are using the B2B technologies described for each sport listed, one, two or possibly all events? First up, archery. Archery – This sport is one of the oldest in the Olympics and requires utmost accuracy and patience on behalf of the competitors. Archery dates back around 10,000 years when bows and arrows were first used for hunting and warfare, before it developed as a competitive activity in Medieval England. Trying to hit a target 122cm in diameter, let alone hit the center ring measuring just 12.2 cm takes a lot of nerve, skill and determination on behalf of the athletes taking part. So as archery is focused primarily on accuracy, have you ever thought about how accurate your business transactions are as they flow across your supply chain or into your back office enterprise system? How much manual rework do you have to undertake to correct documents before they enter an ERP system for example? An ERP/B2B integration study conducted by OpenText found that up to 34% of data entering an ERP system comes from outside the enterprise, what if this externally sourced data contains inaccurate information? OpenText™ Active Intelligence is one solution that can ensure increased accuracy of business transactions flowing across your supply chain and into enterprise platforms such as ERP systems. Do you have an automated process for checking the quality of business documents across your supply chain? If so then you can award your company your first gold medal! Triathlon – This event is thought to have started between the two world wars and others say that it originated in the United States in the 1970s. The first triathlon was held at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, and the event consists of a 1500m swim, a 43km bike ride and a 10km run with no breaks and the transition between each event has to be seamless, and is part of the competition. The triathlon is almost multi-modal in nature, similar to many of the services offered by global logistics companies where they ship goods across land, sea and air routes around the world 24/7. But how do you keep track of these global shipments? One way is via OpenText’s logistics Track and Trace capabilities on our Business Network, a new capability which allows you to have a window into your global supply chain and keep track of shipments as they pass across different modes of transport, different country borders and then onto distribution centers or retail outlets. The OpenText™ Business Network is connected to many of the world’s logistics providers and allows you to keep track of shipments and also monitor the performance of your logistics partners through our embedded analytics capabilities. Do you have a way to seamlessly track shipments anywhere around the world, across multi-modal logistics partners? If yes, then you can award your company another gold medal! 4 x 100m Relay – The Olympic stadium surrounds a 400m oval track and this event relies on four runners being able to effortlessly transport a baton in the quickest possible time from the start to finish line. If the baton is dropped for any reason during the handover period between two runners then it can add significant time to the lap of the track. The runners in this case have to be very fit and also have to be able to handover/receive the baton in a seamless manner otherwise they will lose the relay race. Being able to exchange the baton seamlessly between runners is a bit like transferring a B2B transaction between different trading partners across a business network. B2B transactions need to be carried by a provider who can transport the transaction from one location to another, in a relatively short time and at the same time adhere to local or regional B2B standards where required. OpenText™ Trading Grid Messaging Service (TGMS) provides a highly available messaging platform that ensures that your business transactions get from A to B as smoothly as possible. These transactions may need to be sent via different communication protocols or converted into different document formats, either way TGMS can mediate between any format and provide inter-connectivity to many different networks around the world. Do you have the ability to send B2B transactions anywhere in the world irrespective of the communication protocol or document format being used? If yes, then you can award your company another gold medal! Weightlifting – This ultimately showcases a test of pure strength and it represents the oldest and most basic form of physical competition. Weightlifting appeared at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and today’s sport is divided into 15 weight categories, eight for men and seven for women. The aim of weightlifting is simple, to lift more weight than anyone else and in some cases the strongest competitors may lift more than three times their body weight. Many companies today have a requirement to exchange very large files, securely between trading partners across a supply chain. Large files in this case could be point of sale data, cheque images, financial data or engineering type files. These files are typically much larger in size than normal B2B transactions being exchanged across a business network. OpenText™ Managed File Transfer solution provides a way to exchange large or important files across a secure network. Large file transfer in the past has been through the simple exchange of files on CDROMS or other medium, today this can be achieved securely via an MFT solution. Do you have a means to exchange large files securely across your supply chain? If yes, then you can award your company another gold medal! Beach Volleyball – In 1895 William G Morgan devised a game he called ‘mintonette’ which he intended as a gentle alternative to basketball for older members of his YMCA gym. Over a hundred years later and volleyball is anything but gentle and made its first appearance at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. Rio de Janiero is the home of the first beach volleyball world championships, so only appropriate that this year’s beach volleyball event should take place on the world famous Copacabana beach. There are two key requirements for members of a beach volleyball team, collaboration and communication. Two requirements that are also required across many of today’s supply chains. Being able to collaborate with trading partners is important for improving operational efficiencies and being able to communicate during for example some form of supply chain disruption is equally important. OpenText Active Community provides a collaborative platform that helps to improve collaboration and information management across a trading partner community. Active Community provides an effortless way to manage supplier contact information, send out mass communication notices to suppliers, undertake assessments, perhaps as part of a quality procedure, and generally improve the day to day way in which you manage your trading partner community. Do you have a means to effectively manage the day to day collaboration and communications with your entire trading partner community? If so you can award your company your final gold medal! So now comes the interesting part, based on just these five areas, how many gold medals did your company win, one?, two?, three?, four? or five? Adoption of B2B technologies can appear to be a slow and complex process but OpenText is here to help, if you would like to go for gold and win the B2B Integration Olympics why not contact us to see how we can help. More information is available from our website. If you would like to put the Marginal Gains theory being used at Rio 2016 into practice across your supply chain operations then please visit our dedicated website where you can find more information.

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How Marginal Gains Theory at Rio 2016 Could Improve Your B2B Integration Platform

marginal gains

So here we are again, the world’s best athletes competing against each other at the Olympics, hosted this time in a city with one of the most stunning backdrops in the world, Rio de Janeiro. Each athlete has undertaken years of training with the sole aim of winning that elusive Olympic medal. Over the years many performance improvement based management theories have been developed but one stands out as having a direct impact on the performance of an Olympic team, ‘Marginal Gains’ theory. The theory was originally conceived by Sir Clive Woodward who took the British Rugby team to victory in the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The theory really went mainstream when Dave Brailsford adopted and expanded the theory to take the British cycling team to victory at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Marginal Gains theory has been increasingly associated with Brailsford in recent years and has been adopted in other sporting disciplines such as yachting and Formula One racing. In summary, Brailsford said that if you could improve every variable underpinning or influencing your performance by just 1% then taking the aggregation of these 1% improvements would provide a significant overall performance improvement. The British cycle team examined everything that impacted the bike speed and systematically looked to make improvements to equipment, technology, rider preparation, fitness, rider mindset, coaching and so the list went on. The difficulty is being able to identify all these key variables and then from a Marginal Gains point of view being able to act on them in some way so as to improve the performance of the team, ie they are continually improving the performance of the team. The theory of continuous improvement went mainstream in the 1950’s when Toyota introduced their production system. The ‘Kaizen’ process of continuous improvement, similar in nature to Marginal Gains, was introduced to transform Toyota’s production facilities and every step in Toyota’s production process was analyzed and improved to drive significant operational efficiencies. Just-in-Time production and lean manufacturing were both introduced by Toyota and this underpins the production operations of most of today’s global car manufacturers. Now what if you could apply the Marginal Gains theory across your B2B environment? After all most companies are not able to implement a fully featured B2B platform from day one. Implementing a B2B environment across potentially thousands of trading partners can be a lengthy and complex process. Taking a step-by-step approach to deploying a B2B platform can bring significant benefits. Establishing a B2B environment can be broken down into a number of key steps, let me now highlight six of the key steps involved and how OpenText can help at each stage of establishing your B2B environment. Improving Transaction Automation – this should be the primary goal of a procurement department, to ensure that their trading partner community is 100% enabled, in other words it is possible to exchange business documents electronically with every trading partner. For example this could mean replacing paper based documents with electronic information submitted through web forms. OpenText offers a number of solutions to help ‘B2B enable’ 100% of a trading partner community. This includes tools such as Fax2Edi, Web Forms and portals, and even Microsoft Office-based tools that effectively shield small suppliers from the complexities of sending information electronically via EDI. Improving Trading Partner Engagement – by simply having all supplier contact details in a central location will make the day-to-day management of a trading partner community much easier. Traditionally, supplier contact details may be held in different business systems, spreadsheets or even paper-based filing systems. Simply having a single and centralized repository of trading partner contact details can improve trading partner related people-to-people communications and collaboration activities. This becomes even more important during a period of supply chain disruption when alternative suppliers may need to be contacted for alternative supply of goods. OpenText offers a number of community management tools and from a collaboration point of view OpenText™ Active Community can help improve the day-to-day, people-to-people collaboration across a supply chain. It is quite surprising how many companies do not maintain a central record of all supplier contact details, Active Community achieves this and more by hosting a central hub of supplier contact details that can be used for engaging with suppliers on a frequent basis, but in a more controlled manner. With many companies operating on a global basis now, improved collaboration should be at the top of most companies agenda when thinking about how to improve operational efficiencies across a supply chain. Improving Customer Service – by ensuring that Advanced Ship Notices, for example, are able to be delivered within specific time windows as defined by customers. If customers know when shipments are likely to arrive at warehouse docks then they can be better prepared for the onward distribution to retail stores for example. Ensuring that ASNs are delivered to customers electronically allows suppliers to meet their customers’ tight ASN delivery service level agreements. OpenText offers quality improvement solutions such as Active Intelligence that can check the quality of all inbound transactions to ensure they are accurate and not missing important pieces of information. Whether invoices or orders, ensuring that these documents can be processed efficiently can make or break the smooth running of a supply chain. Anything that can be done to minimize the manual rework of these documents helps to save time and money and also helps to ensure that suppliers get paid more quickly as part of the overall process. Improving 360 Degree Visibility – This is a key goal of every supply chain and logistics team. From having end-to-end visibility of shipments moving across a supply chain, through to being able to introspect every business transaction flowing across a supply chain to identify operational and business trends. From an operational point of view being able to identify the volume of transactions by document type and most popular trading partners, and from a business point of view being able to analyze ASN timeliness or invoice accuracy. Having improved 360 degree visibility of a supply chain and being able to apply analytics to transaction based information flows allows more informed business decisions to be made. Ensuring that you can have end-to-end visibility of transactions and shipments is a constant challenge faced by many businesses. OpenText™ Active Orders allows companies to keep track of the end to end flow of orders across your business. Comprehensive track and trace capabilities allow you to keep track of physical shipment flows and any delays experienced across the supply chain can be rolled up and a new expected time of arrival can be calculated accordingly. Finally, OpenText™ Trading Grid Analytics embeds analytics into the actual transaction flows so that both operational and business metrics can be measured with ease. Many companies are just starting to explore the use of analytics across the supply chain, and Trading Grid Analytics can help bring deep and meaningful insights across your supply chain operations. Improving Regional Compliance – is a major initiative facing many of today’s businesses. Companies are constantly having to embrace new regulations, especially when trying to work with trading partners in different regions around the world. Whether embracing corporate social responsibility initiatives, embracing conflict minerals compliance in North America or simply meeting the different electronic invoicing regulations around the world. Electronic invoicing compliance is probably the most complex regulation to embrace, simply because nearly every country around the world has different tax laws, varying invoice archiving needs and digital signature requirements. Ensuring that companies can trade electronically around the world is one thing, but being able to comply with a myriad of regional regulations is another level of complexity that can potentially be shielded from trading partners. For example OpenText™ Active Invoice with Compliance allows any supplier to exchange a fully compliant invoice virtually anywhere in the world, and OpenText can comply with electronic invoicing regulations in over 50 countries around the world, including Brazil and Mexico where the use of electronic invoices is mandated by local government. In addition, using OpenText’s Active Community platform highlighted earlier, you can quickly assess supply chains for regional compliance initiatives such as the conflict minerals reporting requirement mandated by all companies who file financial reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in North America. This is just one example of how a collaboration platform can help to adhere to regional compliance regulations and there are many other compliance examples out there in the market. Improve Enterprise Integration – can bring many benefits to a company, whether simply integrating to an accounting package or an ERP system, ensuring that information from external trading partners can seamlessly enter enterprise systems can help to streamline information flows. A research study from OpenText demonstrated that over a third of information entering an ERP system actually comes from outside the enterprise. By integrating ERP and B2B systems together you can ensure that downstream production or retail environments are not impacted by delays related to manual rework of data. Ensuring that high quality and accurate information enters back end enterprise environments is a constant challenge. If inaccurate data is allowed to enter SAP for example, and this information reaches downstream production environments then there is a chance that these production lines will be brought to a standstill. By integrating your ERP and B2B environments in the cloud you can check the quality of all information entering your ERP environment and at the same time ensure that these transactions are flowing across a highly available, cloud based infrastructure. OpenText™ Managed Services can provide this highly available environment, especially important when an OpenText sponsored analyst survey, that I highlighted earlier, said that over a third of information entering ERP actually comes from outside the enterprise. OpenText™ Active Intelligence can check the quality of all inbound transactions and this effectively places a firewall around your business applications. OpenText recently undertook some research to calculate the 1% gain for each of the above six B2B improvement areas, let me give you an example relating to transaction automation. The findings from this research are available to download. Most organizations understand the need for an effective B2B integration platform, however research undertaken by Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum showed that 50% of information being exchanged between trading partners still travels by fax, email or even phone. Simply automating more transactions will reduce cost, reduce errors while speeding the order-to-cash cycle and improving inventory performance. The 1% gain, when you exchange 1,000,000 documents a year, with paper documents costing $14 to process versus electronic being $7, trading just 1% more documents electronically could save your business $70,500 per year. Now this is just one example and if you want to find out how applying B2B integration tools to the other five areas can potentially save your business over $1M per year then please visit the campaign site where you can view an on-demand webinar on Marginal Gains and download a white paper which goes into much more detail on how this performance enhancing theory can improve the efficiency of your supply chain operations.

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Getting Ahead on the B2B Integration Maturity Path – Pt 6

Utilties

An efficient supply chain is a competitive advantage. Part of achieving efficiency is automation based on B2B integration between buyers and suppliers. A recent report from SCM World entitled “The B2B Integration Path: A Roadmap for Business Value Generation” found that companies who had achieved a higher stage of B2B integration maturity experienced greater efficiency as measured by inventory turns, days sales outstanding, expedited orders, and cash conversion cycle. Only 16% of the respondents in the survey scored at stage 4 or “relational” stage. No company in the survey has achieved the highest stage of the B2B integration maturity path – the “generative” stage. The full report, available here, lays out the complete path to maturity. Moving from “Analytical” to “Relational” The third stage (analytical) of B2B integration maturity path is where companies begin to gain “collaborative insight through the aggregation and analysis of connected digital demand and supply data.” At the fourth stage (relational) companies have built a responsive network, with integration of most trading partners across multi-tier demand and supply networks. For more on the definitions of the stages, read my post on the 5 Stages of B2B Integration Maturity. So how do move you from stage 3 to 4? According to our survey, which looks at three aspects of maturity – people, process and technology, there are several things that distinguish stage 4 from stage 3 companies. People In the people aspect, stage 4 companies are differentiated by shifts in decision making and business justification. First, stage 4 companies are more centralized in their B2B integration decision making with 32% more companies stating they have comprehensive multi-enterprise decision alignment. This means B2B integration decisions extend to trading partners up and down the supply chain. Second, the justification for integration B2B activities shifts to one that encourages collaborative business growth among partners, with 74% of stage 4 companies naming this as their justification, compared to only 15% at stage 3. Process In terms of process, there is an improvement in error reporting, shifting from a reactive process to real-time reporting (50% of respondents at stage 4 vs. 33% at stage 3) and possibly automated exception management (a 13% increase from stage 3 to 4, to 33%). Stage 4 companies see a shift toward real-time processing of digital transaction with 43% reporting they have achieved this speed, while that was true for only 2% of stage 3 companies. Technology There are three noticeable technology differences between companies at stages 3 and 4. First, companies at stage 4 increase the availability of metrics reporting, moving from standard KPIs published at scheduled intervals, to predictive analytics spanning a multi-tier demand and supply network. (25% of respondents at stage 4, vs. 4% at stage 3). The second difference was an improvement in data collection and organization. 62% of stage 4 companies reported they had comprehensive multi-enterprise data integration, compared to only 8% at stage 3. Finally, stage 4 companies differ from stage 3 in the capabilities for compliance and audit, with 35% more stage 4 companies reporting they had a networked compliance management system. Previous posts in this series: Don’t Be Immature – Impact Your Business With B2B Integration Maturity 5 Stages of B2B Integration Maturity – Pt 1 Does B2B Integration Have Tangible Business Benefits? Pt 2 The B2B Integration Maturity Landscape – Pt 3 First Steps in B2B Maturity – Pt 4 What’s Average B2B Integration Maturity? – Pt 5

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