Business Network

Direct Messaging: Better Health Outcomes

Recently, Direct messaging has surfaced as the new technology for the electronic exchange of patient information. Think of Direct messaging as “email” for healthcare, with a healthy dose of prescribed steroids. Direct is like regular email but with additional security measures for healthcare ensuring that messages and information are only accessible to the intended recipient, as specified by the protection regulations of HIPAA. Direct Messaging is a standards-based, secure method of exchanging patient information and transitioning patient care between care providers. Not only does Direct provide electronic exchange of patient information, it can provide rich data derived from the content – in other words, it’s not just a flat “picture” of the content but includes metadata that makes the content meaningful and actionable. The metadata of a Direct message can include elements such as patient name, DOB, gender and other identifying elements that make a Direct message a healthier communication method. There are many benefits to adopting Direct messaging, all of which lead back to improving the quality of care for patients. SAVES YOU TIME Less time spent with paper records, more time spent caring for patients Better transition of patient care, closing the care gap between providers Avoids delays waiting for delivery of patient information via other delivery methods SAVES YOU MONEY Replaces fax machines with a more efficient, more secure communication method Comprehensive information sharing eliminates unnecessary or duplicate testing Meaningful Use 2 offers incentives to those providers who can attest to electronically transmitting between providers and avoid penalties for non-attestation INCREASES YOUR EFFICIENCY Assures a more complete communication between providers Aligns all members of a patient’s care team, across all care providers Enables more efficient structured, standards-based communication Expansion of Direct messaging has been identified as one of the top trends for 2016:  “Reliance on Direct exchange for secure, interoperable transfers of patient health information between and among providers for the purposes of care coordination will continue to grow.” As healthcare organizations turn to Direct messaging to electronically exchange patient information, they will look to do so in the most efficient manner possible, with as little disruption to their organization as possible. What if there was a single solution that provided Direct messaging whenever possible and faxing only when you need it? RightFax Healthcare Direct is the first fax server to combine fax and Direct messaging in a single solution: Direct messaging whenever possible and faxing only when you need it. This innovative solution leverages integrations between RightFax and your EMR systems to send and receive Direct messages, making patient information exchange an electronic, secure part of the continuity of care. Watch the webinar to learn more about RightFax Healthcare Direct.

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Drop Shipping Creates Opportunities and Challenges for Retailers

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

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OpenText Discusses 2016 Supply Chain Technology Predictions with Santa Claus

Every year I manage to gain an audience with Santa to brief him on the latest trends that OpenText is seeing in the market. Last year I introduced Santa to OpenText’s Enterprise Information Management solutions and in previous years I have discussed the Internet of Things, Big Data Analytics, Cloud Computing and how Santa’s organization could take an outsourced approach to managing B2B transactions flowing across his global business and supply chain operations. Santa’s back end B2B network is affectionately known as the Present Distribution Network and all key trading partners including contract toy manufacturers and regional distribution partners are connected to this network. In addition, OpenText developed a direct integration with Santa’s ERP environment as well as integrate to SantaNet, Santa’s present ordering portal that the children of the world use to place their orders for presents. Santa’s IT department, mainly consisting of some bright elves from Norway, have also developed some mobile apps which connect to a GPS box and sensors aboard Santa’s sleigh. You may be wondering how Santa manages to store millions of presents on his sleigh, well, he uses a network of hundreds of present distribution hubs to replenish his sleigh as he travels around the world on the night of 24th December each year. As a reminder, Santa originally signed a B2B Managed Services contract in 2008 and since then he has deployed various B2B solutions and services from OpenText to support his operations around the world. OpenText is Santa’s official provider of Information Management Solutions. Moving to a hosted platform has completely transformed Santa’s procure to pay business and logistics related processes. Over the past seven years I have carefully recorded my meetings with Santa and documented my findings via my annual Santa blog. Even though the discussion last year was around the broader story from OpenText and how our Enterprise Information Management solutions could support other digital transformation initiatives across Santa’s business, I thought for this year I would provide Santa with an update on how digital transformation is likely to impact supply chains in 2016. During 2015, I have spent many hours looking at how new disruptive technologies are likely to impact global supply chains, from drones to 3D printing, robots to the Internet of Things, technology developments are moving incredibly fast. 2015 has really been about providing awareness of what these technologies are and how they can be used, but in 2016 I believe many of these technologies will become more pervasive across the enterprise and global supply chains. So, for this blog, I wanted to re-introduce some of these key disruptive technologies and explain to Santa how I believe they will be applied to global supply chains and of course explain to the big man himself how they could benefit his operations at the North Pole and across the world. Santa has already deployed an ‘Internet of Santa’s Things’ Platform which has transformed his present related distribution activities. As with any connected device, a connected sleigh has brought many benefits, not just in being able to proactively replenish onboard present inventory levels but also to apply predictive maintenance techniques to some of the more secret components that make up Santa’s sleigh. There is actually a lot more technology that goes into designing Santa’s sleigh than meets the eye! Santa’s sleigh was the first ‘thing’ to be connected to the present delivery network hub however Santa’s team of elves have identified many other things that will be connected to the platform over the coming months. Many analyst firms are predicting billions of devices being connected to Internet of Things platforms around the world, what they haven’t taken into account are the additional billions of devices across Santa’s end to end supply chain! The diagram below provides a very simplistic block diagram overview of Santa’s IoT platform. So let me now recap my three hour conversation with Santa, highlighting how new technologies will start to impact global supply chains in the future and, of course, how this technology could potentially be used across Santa’s operations. Where possible I have included links to other blogs that may provide deeper insights into some of the concepts being discussed. 1. Supply Chain Analytics One of the biggest growth areas in 2016 will be how companies start to deploy analytics based technologies across their business and end to end platforms, this is a subject that I recently blogged on. Until recently, companies have been obtaining and archiving many different data points, but I think 2016 will see more focus on what can be done with this information, how it can be archived, mined and acted upon to improve the efficiency of tomorrow’s business environments. 2016 will also see significant growth in the adoption of executive dashboards which take information stored in a Big Data archive and present in such a way that companies can immediately see the ‘pulse’ of their business operations. Two years ago I introduced ‘SantaPad’ to Santa’s operations, an Apple iPad based tool that allowed Santa to monitor key KPIs across his business. I have included a more up to date screen shot below of Santa’s current Executive Information System (EIS), a platform that is available on multiple devices and it allows Santa to remain ‘connected’ to his operation irrespective of where he may be travelling around the world. The EIS is very graphical in nature and it not only presents key business KPIs but it also monitors all transactions coming in via the SantaNET present ordering portal. So in 2016, I would expect to see explosive growth in executive dashboards to help companies make more informed decisions relating to analytics based information coming into their business. 2. Supply Chain Visibility Improving end to end supply chain visibility or providing a 360 degree view of business operations has been a goal of many companies in recent years. If you can achieve more pervasive, end to end visibility across a trading partner community then it can bring significant benefits to how a supply chain operation is run. Whether you are looking to obtain better visibility of customer shipments or monitor the lifecycle of an order based transaction moving across a procure to pay process, I believe 2016 will see further growth in this aspect of supply chain management. Over the last five years, numerous mobile devices have been brought to the market but it is now the wearable devices that are starting to gain interest across enterprises around the world, and Santa’s operation is no different. In early 2015, Apple introduced their watch to the market and I wrote a blog to highlight how I thought it could be used across the enterprise. Again, 2015 has been about understanding what this technology can do. In 2016, I believe we will start to see more wearable devices such as the Apple Watch being deployed across the extended enterprise. In the same way that Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies have changed how employees connect to enterprise resources, I believe this will be the same case for connected, wearable devices. Santa has always had a good relationship with Apple, not only because he is effectively the largest distributor of its technologies in the world, but his elves get access to early prototypes of Apple concept models. The same is true for the Apple Watch and Santa’s team of app developers have managed to port the SantaNET EIS onto the Apple Watch. Same look and feel as if you were viewing on a Laptop PC or tablet device, but presented in a simpler, cut down user interface. The screenshot below shows the version of the EIS as worn by Santa. So in 2016, Wearable devices such as Apple’s Watch will start to see faster adoption across supply chain operations. To give you an idea of how Apple’s Watch could be used to view B2B transaction based information, please take a look at this earlier blog entry. Another example of where wearable technologies could be used across a supply chain environment, is with Microsoft’s HoloLens. I recently posted a blog discussing how HoloLens could provider deeper insights into B2B transactions flowing across a business. I explained to Santa that the headset-based technology could help his elves keep track of supply chain shipments and B2B transactions moving across his global supply chain operations. The image below shows a small part of the supply chain transactions moving across Santa’s Present Delivery Network and, in particular, the B2B transactions being exchanged with both toy suppliers and Santa’s global network of contract toy manufacturing hubs in EMEA and North America. Microsoft’s HoloLens brings together the virtual and real world environments so that more informed decisions can be made. It also allows transaction-based information to be viewed in a more human friendly manner. With Google expecting to release another version of Glass I expect enterprise interest in wearable devices to pick up considerably in 2016. 3. Supply Chain Process Automation Supply chains embrace many different business processes, from procure to pay, order to cash, reverse logistics and drop ship related warehouse processes. Managing the orchestration of supply chain related B2B transactions can be one of the most time consuming aspects of enabling a trading partner community. Given that most companies typically have all their business processes mapped out in some way, I think, in 2016 we will see more companies deploy Business Process Monitoring tools to help bring more control to supply chain processes and ensure that B2B transactions move across a business according to predefined process flows. Being able to choose a process flow to introduce to a business and then have all B2B transactions follow the selected process from end to end will help to streamline supply chain operations. I provided Santa with a very simple example, actually based on a Forbes related article that I contributed towards earlier this year. The image below highlights a closed loop spare parts ordering process, whereby a connected device, in this case Santa’s sleigh, is able to actually raise its own B2B transaction and initiate a procure to pay process by itself. The enabler to this, of course, is advanced analytics combined with various sensors monitoring all key components inside Santa’s sleigh. As time is the main enemy of Santa, and he only has one Sleigh to deliver all his presents, any potential downtime can severely impact his present delivery operations. The example below supports a predictive maintenance scenario for Santa’s sleigh. Sensors onboard the sleigh detect when a problem is likely to occur. The sleigh automatically raises an EDI transaction which is sent back to the Present Delivery Network using the MQTT protocol, an open sourced communication protocol to support Internet of Things connected devices. The network would then send the order transaction via OFTP2 to an external supplier who would then ship the replacement part to the nearest sleigh maintenance centre to Santa’s location in the world. Santa thought that the concept was quite interesting as it tied together predictive analytics, IoT and a spare parts ordering process. So, in 2016, I think we will see more B2B transactions being more tightly aligned with business process monitoring solutions and information from IoT connected devices to help support the introduction of more closed loop business processes. Dare I say we may see more intelligent digital supply chains being introduced in 2016? 4. Supply Chain Logistics One of the biggest growth areas in 2016 for the logistics and transportation sector will be the introduction of drone-based delivery services. Amazon is certainly pioneering the introduction and application of drone-based delivery networks, however, at the same time it has opened up a number of issues associated with government regulations related to how these drones are operated. Third Party Logistics (3PL) providers such as DHL are starting to look at how drones can be used across a supply chain network, especially in situations where so called ‘last mile’ deliveries have to be made. There are various research efforts being carried out by companies to develop other forms of drone devices including autonomous vehicles which can be driven remotely to an end customer, for example, Daimler’s truck operation recently carried out tests on a fully autonomous truck. I certainly believe that 2015 has been the year of experimentation for drone based technologies but in 2016, subject to regulatory bodies approving the testing of drone based logistics ‘airways’, I think we will start to see this technology being used across short distance delivery networks. Given the exponential growth in the younger generation, I explained to Santa that a drone based delivery network could be deployed across his operations to help with expedited shipments of presents around the world. Santa has already been working with the US DARPA research agency to understand how he can embrace a ‘swarm’ of drones to help him deliver presents around the world. This would include micro drones that could be despatched from his sleigh to deliver presents on to the door steps rather than being thrown down dusty old chimneys! In addition to drones, another form of disruptive technology that is likely to impact logistics networks, are 3D printers. In some cases 3D printers could actually see the introduction of ‘zero length’ supply chains. Clearly, we won’t see logistics networks vanishing overnight because products can potentially be 3D printed on demand, the application of 3D printers is somewhat limited in terms of the type of parts that can be manufactured. Yes, some companies such as Local Motors in North America hope to launch the world’s first commercially available 3D printed car in the near future, but 3D printing seems to be finding its niche in the 3D printing of replacement parts in the maintenance sector. So, in Santa’s case, I highlighted that a strain gauge sensor on one of the runners of his sleigh detects a crack, this information is sent via the 4G LTE wireless connection to the nearest sleigh maintenance hangar and a new runner is 3D printed so that it can be immediately fitted as soon as Santa arrives at the location of the maintenance hangar. Children simply assume that Santa flies around the world non-stop but there is a very complex maintenance and support infrastructure monitoring his journey around the world. When combined together, IoT, predictive analytics and 3D printing could potentially transform the service support sector. In 2016, I believe 3D Printing will start to see faster adoption across the aftermarket service sector than any other manufacturing sector. 5. Supply Chain Compliance The final area which I think will impact supply chains in 2016 is increased regulatory compliance. Only last week world leaders at the climate talks in Paris agreed a plan to try and limit global warming by 2 degrees for the remainder of this century. This means that the 195 countries that signed up to this initiative will need to introduce tougher carbon emissions regulations and this will force the introduction of greener or more sustainable supply chains. From a supply chain point of view companies can make a significant contribution to the reduction in carbon-based emissions by simply removing paper-based transactions from their global supply chain and logistics networks. I recently posted a blog highlighting the significant benefits that can be obtained by automating manual, paper-based business processes. In 2016, I expect to see a stronger emphasis on supply chain related sustainability programs being introduced to support broader Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. Fortunately, Santa has already automated many of the business processes across his operations but there are still pockets of manual-based activities across his global operations that could be automated still further. The SantaNET present ordering portal has been the single biggest contributor to the reduction in paper flowing across Santa’s operation. Not only has it removed tons of paper and envelops from his operations but process automation has also significantly increased the number of ‘perfect present orders’ being distributed to the little children around the world. Santa committed to setting up a sustainability task force in 2016. The final area that I think will impact supply chains in 2016, are the new EU data privacy laws. As many companies are moving ahead and deploying cloud-based business platforms, being able to inform customers of exactly where their data is being hosted is going to almost become a condition of doing business in 2016. An increased focus on data sovereignty will need to be embraced across cloud based information management environments of the future and this presents an interesting challenge for many companies that rely on US hosted cloud vendors. Needless to say that I reassured Santa that OpenText could support the data sovereignty requirements of his global operations, especially as OpenText has data centres located across the major business hubs around the world. In fact at OpenText’s Enterprise World 2014 event we announced the OpenText Cloud Bill of Rights: We will not lose your data, You own your content, We will not spy on you, We will not sell your data, We will not withhold your data and finally you can locate your data where you want it. So, next year is going to be interesting, how many of the predictions that I have made in this blog post will become reality? One thing is for sure, Santa certainly liked what he heard and, as expected, he is already in discussions with his team of elves to implement most of these before the next holiday season arrives! Let me just recap on the supply chain predictions for 2016: Significant growth in the use of analytics-based executive dashboards to help companies make more informed decisions across their supply chain operations Wearable devices will start to be introduced across the enterprise which will offer increased transparency and help to mobilize supply chain operations B2B transactions will be more tightly aligned with business processes and information from IoT connected devices to help support the introduction of more closed loop business processes Subject to regulatory approval, we will start to see drones being used across short distance delivery networks 3D Printing will start to see faster adoption across the aftermarket service sector than any other part of the manufacturing industry Stronger emphasis on supply chain related sustainability programs to support broader Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. Increased requirement to adhere to regional data sovereignty procedures & regulations So, that just leaves me to say Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for 2016!  

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3 Great Seminars Put a Bow on 2015

2015 has been another busy year for OpenText Live, our technical webinar series. After 64 presentations and over 10,000 registrants, we’re ready to close out the calendar year with three more sessions designed to help you get more out of your OpenText solutions. Tomorrow, OpenText eDOCS Product Manager Larry Roy will show how OpenText InfoFusion and Business Intelligence can help customers harness and extract value from their unstructured information within eDOCS DM. On December 8, we’ll introduce and provide an overview of our brand new RightFax Healthcare Direct solution, which provides a way for caregivers to securely share and communicate patient information across their networks through integration with Electronic Medical Records systems. Finally, on December 10, we’re happy to have OpenText partner Formark present its Meeting and Agenda Management solution for Content Server. We’re all familiar with the juggling act needed to balance our workloads with meetings and other deadlines. Formark has found a way to help you manage your meetings and yield insight into meeting topics and outstanding action items using OpenText Content Intelligence and Content Server. It should be a great session. Those may be our final webinars for 2015, but you can always look through our collection of recorded presentations in the Knowledge Center*. Whether you’re hearing about OpenText Live for the first time, or just want to catch up on some of the sessions you’ve missed, I highly recommend a quick look through the archive. In fact, here is a list of our top 10 webinars from 2015 and the links to their location in our archive: What’s New in OpenText Content Suite 10.5 SP1 What’s New in OpenText Enterprise Connect and Office Editor 10.5.2 Introducing the OpenText Content Suite Viewer Upgrading OpenText Content Server – Part 1: Planning and Process What’s New in Content Server 10.5 SP1 Introducing OpenText Core OpenText eDOCS DM Product Update, and Tips and Tricks Upgrading Content Server – Part 2: Best Practices in a Production Environment Tips for Upgrading to eDOCS DM 10 OpenText Media Management 10.5 Overview We hope you’ve found the 2015 slate of webinars interesting and educational. The 2016 schedule is currently being formulated—if you’ve got suggestions for future sessions, please reach out to us by emailing live@opentext.com. We’re always looking for valuable, original, technical content that can help you succeed with your OpenText implementation. *Knowledge Center access requires a valid customer log in ID. If you’re an OpenText customer without Knowledge Center access, make sure you get it! You’ll find plenty of useful information, including product documentation, case studies, step-by-step manuals and more.

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OpenText to Attend Odette 2015 in Munich

It’s that time of year again when the B2B, EDI, and supply chain professionals from across the automotive industry descend on the Odette conference. Odette has received over 300 registrations for this year’s event which is being held on the 30th November and 1st December at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Munich, Germany. I have attended many Odette conferences over the years and I have always found the conference to offer a mix of high quality presentations from automotive industry professionals who can offer real world insights into how they are addressing key B2B and supply chain related challenges across their respective businesses. Over the past 12 months there has been an exponential growth in interest in new disruptive digital technologies and how these will impact the enterprise. It is no surprise therefore that the theme of this year’s Odette conference is Innovative Technologies for an Agile Supply Chain. OpenText will have a presence at the conference this year and we will have a stand (16) in the expo hall where we will be focusing on how: B2B Analytics helps to obtain deeper insights into trading partner performance, allowing more informed business decisions to be made ERP Integration allows externally sourced B2B transactions to flow seamlessly into automotive production systems Mobilizing B2B applications provides a greater level of transparency across the automotive supply chain In addition, I will be presenting in one of the session tracks, the subject of my presentation will be ‘How Digital Disruption will Impact Future Automotive Supply Chains’, on Tuesday 1st December at 09:45 CET. I will be taking delegates on a twenty minute journey through the supply chain related applications for disruptive technologies such as 3D printers, wearable devices and the Internet of Things. I will also briefly discuss the importance of establishing a centralized approach to managing enterprise information so that more informed business decisions can be made. If you are already attending the conference then please visit OpenText on stand 16 where we will be happy to discuss how our B2B and Enterprise Information Management solutions can help to enable the digital world. You can also prebook an appointment to meet with OpenText at the conference. If you have not yet registered for the conference then registration details are available directly from the Odette website. We look forward to seeing you in Munich!

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How Microsoft’s HoloLens Could Enhance Future Business Networks

During my time at OpenText and GXS I have posted a few blog entries relating to disruptive technologies and how they could impact future B2B environments. In July 2007 I posted a blog on how smart mobile devices such as Apple’s iPhone could help to mobilize B2B platforms, I followed this blog up with a recent post relating to Apple’s Watch, then there was Google Glass and its role in supporting logistics and maintenance teams across a manufacturing operation. I have even discussed how Augmented Reality could form the basis of a new shipment visibility platform. So continuing the tradition of discussing disruptive technologies, I thought I would take a look at how Microsoft’s HoloLens could potentially transform tomorrow’s Business Network and supply chain environments. In July 1992 I was submitting my Masters degree dissertation on how Virtual Reality (VR) could impact future design offices and here I am today, twenty three years later discussing Augmented Reality and how this could potentially transform tomorrow’s enterprise systems. When I was at Cranfield University there were many research projects being under taken in the areas of 3D printing, or stereolithography as it was known back then, and VR, two technologies that are gaining increasing interest across today’s manufacturing companies. HoloLens, shown below, is slightly different to VR based headsets such as Oculus Rift in that they overlay or augment real world environments with computer graphics, whereas VR headsets tend to be 100% computer graphics based, or fully immersive environments. Image Source: Microsoft HoloLens has been receiving some significant press in recent weeks, showing for example a very cool demonstration based around the Mindcraft game which was overlaid across a table top and the user could interact with the game in true 3D. Another HoloLens demonstration uses the headset as part of a design review process, in partnership with Autodesk’s 3D design solution. This is actually a very similar use case to one that I discussed in my dissertation from 1992. Last week Microsoft and Volvo Cars announced that they were working together to introduce HoloLens across various aspects of Volvo’s business. The image below shows how consumers visiting a Volvo dealership could collaboratively use HoloLens to review the latest safety devices associated with one of Volvo’s most recent vehicles. Image Source: Microsoft Now from a supply chain point of view, one of the challenges that companies face today is improving end-to-end visibility of not just shipments but also transactions. Today, there is also a high demand for supply chain or trading partner related analytics, something that OpenText announced earlier this year for our Trading Grid platform. We have over 16 billion transactions flowing across our Trading Grid platform every year, a lot of information that could potentially be mined and put to use by supply chain management teams around the world, but what is the best way to view and analyse this type of transactional based information? Well there are a number of mobile and cloud based solutions available, however in some cases you need to be a supply chain or procurement expert to be able to interpret this EDI based information. EDI based technologies have been around since the early 1970s and it is one of the oldest enterprise technologies in use today, despite many rumours over the years, EDI is not going to go away anytime soon!, in fact we are continuing to see transactions increase in volume on our network, year on year. This is perfectly illustrated by an interview I gave to Automotive Logistics magazine earlier this year. Now could EDI and HoloLens be the perfect marriage of established and emerging enterprise based technologies? How could HoloLens be used across a Business Network? Well I thought I would pull together some thoughts in this blog to try and highlight where I believe HoloLens could be integrated to a Business Network. I will say now that the concepts discussed below, as with my recent Apple Watch post, are my ideas and OpenText is not working on such a project. So the primary goal of HoloLens is to overlay real world environments with interactive and highly graphics intensive augmented environments. Now EDI has never been known as a graphics based environment, so what I want to do here is paint a vision for how trading partner communities and their associated transactions could be viewed, manipulated and analysed within a HoloLens based environment. I would see this as part of a next generation Business Network, one that is more visual in nature than today’s Business Networks and as we start to embrace Big Data and analytics across global supply chains, there will be a growing need to find ways of visualizing and interacting with more and more supply chain information in the future. So let me now discuss a use case for HoloLens in relation to its use across B2B and supply chain management platforms. So we shall start by applying computer graphics to our real world environment, this provides the Augmented Reality experience that HoloLens is built on. In this case I am standing in front of a boardroom table with my HoloLens headset on and I am now ready to interact with a virtual representation of our Trading Grid infrastructure. I will now overlay a white grid onto the boardroom table, this will essentially create a virtual representation of our Trading Grid environment to allow me to be able to review the trading partner community across my supply chain and analyse transactions flowing across it. “Overlay Trading Grid on Conference Table” Next, I will overlay a 3D representation of key participants or trading partners in our supply chain.  On the left hand side we have an internal enterprise showing a 3D representation of an HQ building along with a North American and European based factories.  On the right hand side we can see three key suppliers providing parts to the two factories. “Display Key Trading Partners to US and EMEA Factories” The next stage is to then run a simulation of transactions flowing across the supply chain. In reality this is what happens across our Trading Grid network except the EDI transactions are flowing between mailboxes which represent each trading partner in the community.  The EDI transactions are also in a specific format, in the example below we are reviewing a few ANSI based EDI transactions, the Purchase Order, Invoice and Advance Ship Notice. There are many other transactions used as part of a typical procure-to-pay process but I wanted to use a smaller set here to explain the concept. Within HoloLens you would see the transactions actually moving or animating their way between trading partners, you could instruct HoloLens to show all transactions from a particular day or week or a specific time period when perhaps there was some form of supply chain disruption.  HoloLens could be used in this case to review the historical transaction flows to see how they impacted the supply chain. “Run Transactions from 15th November 2015” Now at any time, I can interact with the 3D models representing the trading partners or select and review the contents of a transaction being processed.  In the example below, merely pointing at a transaction, in this case a purchase order being sent to ‘Supplier 1’, I can review the contents of the purchase order in a more user friendly way, rather than the machine readable format used by EDI platforms. This could help to transform transaction visibility and how users interpret information flowing across our supply chain. “Display Purchase Order to Supplier 1” Now I have only scratched the surface here, as I have highlighted a very simple use case around a trading partner and transaction based scenario, but hopefully you can see the potential of HoloLens in relation to a Business Network.  So far in this blog, I have highlighted one area where HoloLens could enhance future Business Networks, let me briefly discuss a few other areas: Being able to review 3D based visualizations of any form of analytics based information across the virtual model of the supply chain Ability to run ‘what if’ scenarios across the virtual supply chain model, for example if a new plant is opened in China and a company needs to connect new Chinese trading partners to their Business Network, what impact will this have on the volume of B2B transactions?, we could add the trading partners and run the transaction flow simulation in HoloLens It could transform how companies collaborate with their trading partners, for example you could have virtual representations of trading partners in HoloLens and you can discuss the supply chain or a Business Network issue in a shared, collaborative space Support pickers as they navigate their way around huge warehouses, HoloLens could be used to direct the pickers to the exact location in the warehouse where goods could be found It will allow supply chain information to become more pervasive across the enterprise, for example senior executives could take part in supply chain review meetings as the information presented in the HoloLens environment would be easier to access and understand than through a traditional B2B platform HoloLens could be used to link in with other supply chain processes, for example predictive maintenance scenarios where Internet of Things connected devices could be represented in the virtual supply chain environment Extending this further, what if users in the future could integrate two different HoloLens environments together, for example applying some of the information visualization techniques discussed in this blog and integrating to a SAP HANA based HoloLens platform. Looking at how the impact of supply chain changes affect downstream enterprise systems such as ERP, would bring a deeper level of visibility to enterprise information moving across the business HoloLens, in partnership with Internet of Things based technologies, could be used to look at a virtual representation of a warehouse or IoT enabled vending machine for example and inventory levels could be reviewed in real time In addition to reviewing transaction flows in HoloLens you could also review the associated shipments being transported by 3PL providers. It is one thing running a simulation of transaction flows, but being able to watch shipments as they leave their point of manufacture and proceed to their point of delivery across a virtual model of a supply chain with 3D models of lorries, trains, planes and ships presented in HoloLens could be quite powerful I appreciate that some of these ideas may appear conceptual in nature, but disruptive technologies such as Microsoft’s HoloLens potentially takes us a step closer to making these concepts become a reality. ‘HoloLens B2B’, this is exactly the type of technology that could help attract the next generation of young business professionals into the supply chain industry.

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ON DIGITAL-First Fridays: Disruption

Today’s digital disruptors are using technology to disintermediate entire industries and unseat corporate giants. New nomenclature has emerged to describe this transformational process. In the Internet Era, we talked about being “amazoned”. In the Digital Era, we are talking about being “ubered”. Uber has: Tapped into labor at mass scale Ripped down a hundred year history of “medallion” value Exposed and cured the inadequacies and inefficiencies of a major incumbent Made employee and employer one (though Uber claims it has no employees, we will see) Demonstrated the most perfect example of matching supply to demand that I have ever seen Operated a business in which cash is not used Every industry is vulnerable. Every incumbent is vulnerable. And burying your head in the sand won’t change the fact that disruption is all around us. A common thread to digital disruption is that the middleman is gone, in every industry. The average age of an Insurance Agent in the U.S. is 59. The middleman will be gone in Insurance over the next five years. Movies are direct. Music is direct. Insurance is direct. Logistics and supply chains are massively changing. Amazon is running algorithms on your buying behaviors. If you buy an outdoor table online, they are shipping an umbrella to a fulfillment center close by for same-day delivery. Uber is ultimately a logistics business. Salesforce redefined the partner ecosystem in software and services. Why do you need a middleman when you are selling a subscription service? Simple answer: you do not. Uber vs. the traditional taxi model, Netflix vs. Blockbuster… these are examples of how digital disruptors have unseated giants. Part of their success is due to the emergence of the Subscription Economy. In my next post in this series, I’ll explore how this model—pioneered by magazines and book-of-the-month clubs—has become a required part of business. For more thoughts ON DIGITAL, download the book.  

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Looking for ECM Inspiration? Enterprise World Elite Award Winners are the place to start!

Another Enterprise World has come and gone. For me, the biggest pleasure is always found in the chance to meet and connect with the actual people that make up our customer base. Yes, announcing massive product launches is a thrill, and hearing industry experts provide perspective on a rapidly changing landscape always provides its share of “aha!” moments, but it would all be kind of hollow if the real reason we do this wasn’t there to experience it with us and offer their feedback. That relationship with our customers is special. And, like an extended family reunion, Enterprise World is where we all get together and catch up on how everyone is progressing. There’s nothing better than hearing from an organization that’s utilized some combination of our product, our services, and/or our guidance to create a solution that has truly changed their operation for the better. Sometimes the impact is stunning, and the place to witness those shining stars is at Enterprise World’s annual Elite Awards celebration. And the Winners are… This year there were a number of winners who have implemented a wide variety of OpenText ECM solutions to amplify transformation within their enterprise. Congratulations to one and all! In the spirit of learning from the best, here are a few organizations that have definitely gone above and beyond in the ECM world: Alcatel-Lucent Global telecom giant Alcatel-Lucent is leading the charge in creating an ultra-connected, networked world; so it only stands to reason that their internal document management systems would set a benchmark for compliance, security, and accessibility. A combination of OpenText products achieved that, integrating seamlessly with their existing SAP environment. Almac Clinical Services Operating in the global pharma sector brings its own special kind of regulatory complexity. By implementing a single source of truth built around OpenText Content Server and Regulated Documents, Almac took control of their documentation with a solution that has been praised by external auditors and is powering international expansion. BNSF Railway OpenText Content Suite provides BNSF Railway with a solid enterprise content management platform that easily integrates with its other systems. Content Suite is used to manage and preserve historical legacy records, while also facilitating a robust records management platform to support search, retention and disposition requirements for enhanced corporate accountability.  Currently, over five million records, both digital and physical, are managed by Content Suite, supporting 1,000+ users across the enterprise. BNSF continues to build and develop further integrations to the platform to leverage and manage its critical business content. Continental Resources Using integrated solutions from OpenText, SAP, and other systems, Continental Resources is realizing end-to-end business value for substantial organizational efficiencies and cost savings. The automated processes improve business performance and have resulted in significant and measurable time savings. Business content is captured, managed, stored, preserved and delivered to the right user, at the right time, streamlining systems and processes throughout the company. DDR Owning and managing 130 million square feet of retail floor space requires a highly streamlined process for handling the huge volume of leasing activity documents. DDR went all in, implementing a diverse array of OpenText products to create a custom document management system that’s fast, organized, and fully integrated with Salesforce®. New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) NZTA embarked on its digital transformation journey by building a solid foundation for its ‘InfoHub’ Enterprise Content Management as a Service solution from OpenText. The cloud-based solution offers users anytime, anywhere access to information assets, enhancing the ability to share and collaborate, internally and externally with partners and alliances. InfoHub has transformed the way NZTA harnesses its knowledge. The benefits include improved quality of service and performance and process efficiencies. SBB (Swiss Federated Railways) As operators of the most heavily used rail network in the world, SBB know a thing or two about efficiency, timeliness, and accuracy. That’s why they integrated OpenText solutions into their SAP®-based vendor management infrastructure to drive remarkable gains in digitalization, centralization, and productivity. And there’s a lot more where that came from These are just some of the highlights from an incredible year of customer participation in our new Elite Program. Taking part in it is a singular opportunity for customers and partners to share their story and be recognized as industry leaders. Truth is, though, all of our customers have an intriguing story that makes them champions in their own right. Their dedication to furthering their enterprises with progressive thinking and innovative solutions never ceases to amaze. I invite you to spend some time perusing our larger library of Customer Success Stories, as well. It’s an excellent resource of best practices, winning combinations, and digital reinvention that has something for everyone, regardless of their role or industry. It’s worth a look. You just never know when inspiration will strike.

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What Happened in Vegas

Photos from EW2015

The last time I was in Las Vegas, the now massive New York New York hotel was a mere fenced-off hole in the ground. There was no Bellagio, no Venetian, and certainly no Wynn, Aria or Cosmopolitan. Las Vegas Boulevard was fun and colorful, and at that time you could see more of the hotels that sit just off the Strip. Of course, there was gaming and adult attractions, and the hotels were all fun and unique, but Las Vegas was certainly not the luxurious, high end adult playground it is now. Coincidentally, the last time OpenText took its annual Enterprise World user conference to Las Vegas was in February of 1998, less than a year after my visit. Back then, Enterprise World was called LiveLinkUp—a tribute to our LiveLink product, now known as Content Server. OpenText was helping to pioneer the World Wide Web and discover the potential of a connected, digital world. At that time, we focused primarily on Content Management solutions and had yet to step into the realms of Digital Asset Management, Fax Solutions or Customer Experience Management. Like Las Vegas, OpenText has grown and matured a lot over the past decade. So too has Enterprise World. There is so much to learn and hear about at the conference, and so many of our partners and customers participate. The 2015 installment was the fourth Enterprise World I’ve had the privilege of attending, and each year I am blown away by the stories of innovation and success shared by our product teams and customers. And the keynote screens seem to get bigger every year.   [Above: It was tough to get a decent photo of the entire keynote screen. Here’s the best I could find. Photo credit: Julie Millard @JulieMillard3] While the technology, thought leadership, presentations and sneak peeks are great, what really gets me excited for Enterprise World each year is the chance to meet and connect with people I work with, but never get to see. As the guy who coordinates OpenText Live webinars, I work with OpenText experts and partners from all over the world on a regular basis. It wasn’t until I made it to Enterprise World 2012 in Orlando that I was able to meet Alister and Damien from Fastman (who were working out of Australia at the time), Aaron and Gordon from KineMatik (of Ireland and San Francisco, respectively), the eDOCS crew from Florida, Web Site Management experts from Germany, and so many others. Customers also get the opportunity to meet with people they’ve worked with, sometimes over many years. At the conference, we’re given every opportunity to network like this, and to have a great time while doing it. Conference attendees are generally focused on presented materials and soaking in the open tap of information during training, breakout and keynote sessions, so this isn’t the best time to network. The Expo hall is a good place to meet up with people, but can be busy and full of people trying to get the most out of their time between sessions. Luckily, the people at Enterprise World, whether they be OpenText employees, partners or customers, are always eager to meet up in the evenings and hang out. Over the past few years I’ve met some great people and am happy to keep in touch after the event (shout out to Steve, Alan, Tom and Alaina). [Above: Some of the wonderful people who made their way to Las Vegas for Enterprise World 2015. Thanks to Rana Aluraibi @ranoon and Kiera Obbard @kieraobbard for many of these photos.] With the venue in Las Vegas this year, we had plenty to do and see. OpenText hosted a partner event at the MGM Grand’s Hakkasan night club on Monday, and invited everyone to OMNIA at Caesar’s Palace on Thursday. But throughout the week people got together for dinners, walks around the city and shows as they spent some time getting to know one another. I hope that if you were able to attend Enterprise World this year, you enjoyed yourself. If you didn’t get a chance to visit, we hope to see you in Nashville next July. Come talk to us at the booth, or meet up with us afterwards.

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What’s the Status of My Order? – How Mobile Apps Increase Supply Chain Transparency

I was recently asked to present at the ECR conference in Germany, one of the largest retail/CPG related events focused on B2B and supply chain. Now you may be asking what value I could add to a retail event given my main focus has always been the manufacturing sector, well the subject of the presentation was something close to my heart, mobile B2B, something that I have blogged about on many occasions and most recently via a blog relating to the Apple Watch. I was asked to present a short case study on a web-based application that OpenText built specifically for one of our largest CPG customers. This app would effectively allow this company’s customers to know the exact status of an order on its journey through the order lifecycle. The app was a one-off project, not built on any existing OpenText products, to meet the needs of this customer. I started my presentation on the broader subject of enterprise mobility, so let me just cover some of the more important points. Digital disruption is transforming the enterprise. Business models are moving from buy now to subscription based, moving from software to cloud and services, from one-time transactions to lifetime value and one of the biggest advances is making information available, anytime, anyplace or anywhere. I wanted to try and highlight that one of the main drivers behind enterprise mobility was the consumer and their ability to take their mobile devices into a work environment and connect to enterprise resources such as email, hence the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) effect. The popularity of Apple based devices has been a major contributor to the BYOD effect, interesting really when you consider that Apple hasn’t really positioned their products into the enterprise market, the consumer and their employees have. Gartner’s technology predictions for this year highlighted ‘Computing Everywhere’ as the number one tech trend and there are a number of key drivers for mobile adoption, as can be seen from the CompTIA sourced chart below. In fact, CSC’s CIO study for 2015 showed that the number one IT investment at the moment relates to mobile app development and giving employees access to enterprise resources anytime, anyplace or anywhere. One key statistic from the study showed that 39% of respondents said mobile apps were considered a strategic asset to drive the business forward. So with all this interest in mobilizing enterprise resources, why can’t we use mobile technologies to help answer one of the most common questions from customers, namely “What is the status of my order?” Our Trading Grid environment, the world’s largest cloud based B2B integration platform, processes over 16 billion transactions per year, so given the huge transaction volumes being processed by our B2B network you can understand why companies might want to ‘mine’ this information to provide improved transaction visibility and in this particular case get better insights into order based transactions that may be flowing across our network. Providing clearer insights to transaction status can help to drive more informed decision making as well as improve customer satisfaction levels. This particular project, mentioned earlier in the blog, was to help this CPG company improve order tracking capabilities across their operations in one European country. They process tens of thousands of orders per month from their customers. Their customers (mainly retail stores) expected 24/7 visibility of their order status. however, access to order information was restricted to office hours only. They also wanted to avoid out of stock situations as this drives down customer satisfaction levels. They had two key requirements for their mobile app. Firstly, it had to be simple to deploy and use. Secondly, the mobile app would have to be secure and a role-based approach to viewing order information was deployed so the information presented was dependent on a user’s role in the business. For the adoption of the app to be successful, it had to include a number of key operational criteria, this included being device independent, web browser independent and OS independent, so HTML5 was used to define the user interface. The app had to offer a number of order related features, namely highlighting orders with issues, orders that had been placed, orders in progress, orders that had been shipped and orders that had been invoiced. Push notifications are also offered to manage any issues by exception. The app had a number of key benefits: Customers can check order status regardless of time or location Orders can be checked from the shelf-edge, avoiding the risk of going out of stock Improved visibility has allowed the replenishment process to start earlier Response time for customers is shortened – if an order is delayed/cancelled it’s immediately visible The app is easy to use and allows the user to filter orders by different criteria From a business benefits point of view, the app offered the following: Improved customer satisfaction Full visibility of orders and their status Reduced problem calls to customer service Improved productivity Avoid out of stock situations Protect brand reputation Clearly, this company had good reason to deploy an HTML5 based version for their order tracking app but other companies are deploying IOS and Android mobile apps. When I drafted my Apple Watch blog earlier this year, one of the suggested use cases was around order tracking.  I will stress again that the B2B use cases I discussed for the Apple Watch were purely conceptual in nature but based on the type of ‘transaction based’ visibility requests I had observed from numerous customer meetings that I have attended over the years. This mobile project was a great success for this particular company and it has significantly helped to increase customer satisfaction levels. If you would like to see my full presentation from ECR, then you can access via the SlideShare link below.

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Moving at the Speed of Cloud: Innovation, Insight, and Integration in the OpenText Cloud

As customers look to their digital transformation they are increasingly looking to the cloud to provide them with agile business options and improved productivity while maintaining control of their critical information assets. At OpenText, we provide cloud and hybrid cloud options with seamless movement between on-premises and cloud. Here is a look at some of the recent and emerging cloud innovations: Innovation Our growth in SaaS apps is significant, from advances in existing SaaS applications such as OpenText Core with many new features including Outlook® integration, AD Synch, and Content Suite integration. Archive Center with Exchange online support, file system, and email handling as well as CMIS and custom file support. And there are new SaaS offerings such as PowerDocs, which drives customized document creation, to iHub bringing easily purchased and deployed analytics for any data source. There are new, simple to buy, and easy to deploy standard Managed Cloud Services Packages (MCS). MCS offerings provide complete flexibility to have custom configurations and choices within cloud and hybrid cloud implementations. Now there are also simple standard offerings in Content Suite Cloud Edition, Media Management Cloud Edition, and Big Data Analytics in the cloud. These standard packages have a range of options for service level, functionality, and capacity growth. They are available today with currently shipping products and will also be a part of the Cloud 16 release. Industry solutions and features sets have been added in the cloud. Healthcare Direct for RightFax, which will soon be available with Fax2Mail, provides the ability to translate fax transmissions into direct messages so customers can comply with recent US healthcare legislation and not have to change their business processes. ROSMA addresses Procurement Performance Management, and Core has added features requested by legal and professional services organizations. Insight As we amass greater and greater volumes of information, both structured and unstructured, gaining a true understanding of what the information shows becomes increasing challenging. That is where analytics comes in. Big Data Analytics in the cloud and iHub provide analytics services and allow customers to create their own analytics reporting without the need to have a data scientist on staff. Analytics has been embedded and/or integrated with all of the EIM Suites to provide that insight for customers. The Trading Grid will provide business analytics and logistics Track and Trace for supply chain shipment visibility. Analysis on content and processes is provided through integration with Content Suite and Process Suite. Analytics as a Service in the Cloud allows customers to “bring their own data” and very quickly begin to analyze it and gain insights that can drive their business. Integration We believe it is a hybrid world, and customers need to have the flexibility to integrate their cloud systems with on-premises systems. We provide complete flexibility to integrate with any system on-premises, in the OpenText Cloud, and with other clouds. Many of our Managed Cloud Services customers choose hybrid implementations. Recent innovations in this area include Archive Center CE with SAP® integration and integrations with SAP Hana and S/4Hana.  There is also a new integration that brings the power of ECM together with Salesforce®. In the OpenText Cloud, customers can have integrations across EIM suites and with their other systems on-premises or in other clouds or operated and fully managed in our cloud. We see an increasing number of customers taking advantage of this option. Cloud 16 While some of this innovation is available today, most of it comes together in the Cloud 16 release that consolidates suites and applications in five major areas. This release will be followed by quarterly releases that bring innovations to customers on a more frequent basis. OpenText Content Cloud 16 provides information governance options that are quickly and easily deployed and fully managed in cloud and hybrid cloud scenarios. The Experience Cloud 16 empowers businesses to increase user engagement and improve customer satisfaction while avoiding time spent on managing applications or infrastructure. OpenText Process Cloud 16 enables businesses to rapidly automate their business processes and have the platform managed by EIM specialists in the OpenText Cloud. OpenText Analytics Cloud 16 provides embedded analytics for EIM applications and for custom content sources fully managed by EIM experts in the OpenText Cloud. OpenText Business Network 16 provides a B2B integration platform for managing transactions such as EDI and On Demand messaging with platform services and Managed Services options. Customers can try beta versions of Cloud 16 now, and it will be released in March 2016 and then enjoy ongoing quarterly releases of new innovations. We are moving at the speed of cloud to bring innovative solutions to business challenges.

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The Backstage Pass to OpenText Suite 16 & OpenText Cloud 16

We just shared some huge news with our attendees here at Enterprise World in Las Vegas: we’ve presented an exclusive future roadmap unveiling OpenText Suite 16 and OpenText Cloud 16—the next generation of our EIM offerings that will become available March 2016. We shared a lot of details about Suite 16 and Cloud 16 in our press release (you can read it here), but we couldn’t fit in all the thinking that went into this release. Strategic principles of OpenText Suite 16 & Cloud 16 From what we’ve experienced and from what our customers tell us they want and need, we came up with a dream list of innovations for an enterprise to make the most of digital disruption. We focused on that list of strategic principles across our entire Suite 16 and Cloud 16 offerings. Below is what was going through our heads: 1. Deepen functionality across all suites. This is a major release, full of new features and innovations. Keeping in mind our customers’ suggestions, we significantly deepened functionality throughout the offerings. Practically every product line is raising the bar in terms of customer value proposition and competitive differentiation. Check out the press release for some of the highlights, and watch for more details as we launch the new suites and cloud offerings in March. 2. Help customers transition to the cloud. Right off the top, we wanted to be sure to offer all of our suites in the cloud, available as a subscription or as managed cloud services. That was a must-do, but then we took it further and added integration with other cloud products such as Salesforce® and Office 365®. We also added new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, such as OpenText Core, PowerDocs, and Archive Center, to enable as much flexibility and savings as possible—customers want what they need, and no one wants to pay for more than they need. 3. Focus on user experience and remove barriers to user adoption. Enterprise productivity begins by removing the barriers to adoption—the easier it is to use, the more they use it—so we invested heavily in improving the user experience across all the suites (in the browser as well as on mobile devices). We put a big focus on HTML5-based responsive experience, and customers who got to preview the new UI of products such as Content Suite or Media Management this week are raving about it. The improved user experience is one of the most noticeable innovations in Suite 16 and Cloud 16. In fact, this alone makes upgrading worthwhile. 4. Integrate with more enterprise applications and across the suites (with an extra focus on analytics). We’ve added integration with more enterprise apps, like Salesforce and SuccessFactors®, in addition to SAP®, Oracle®, and Microsoft®. And there is major integration between the suites. For example, OpenText Process Suite fully integrates with OpenText Content Suite, Archive Center, Media Management, Capture Center, CCM—speaking of CCM, that integrates with OpenText WEM, DAM, CS, Notifications…it goes on and on across all the suites, enabling us to solve customer problems no other vendor can solve. We also put an extra focus on analytics, which is itself a new suite, and it’s embedded into all the other suites, which brings out even more value from existing deployments. 5. Deliver information flows as a way to solve complex problems. All the products in the world are not going to solve real business problem if they’re not integrated in a way that follows the logical flow of information through the business processes and applications. That’s why we focus on the core information flow from information-centric flows, such as capture-to-disposition, create-to-consume, and incident-to resolution, all the way to business flows such as procure-to-pay. For more efficient information flows, we’ve added automation to the Procure-to-Pay business process and delivery of P2P and a new entity-modeling layer in the Process Suite platform, and we’ve extended process-centric collaboration and information sharing. 6. Provide more value from existing deployments. When you can get more value out of existing deployments, you reduce the total cost of ownership. New capabilities, pervasive use of analytics, new UI, focus on cost of ownership, cloud delivery, and subscription-based pricing bring more flexibility and value to the enterprise. Each of these strategic principles makes upgrading to Suite 16 and Cloud 16 worthwhile. This is a milestone release that existing customers will love and want to upgrade to. Read more about OpenText Suite 16 and OpenText Cloud 16 here, and let me know what you think about it.

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How the OpenText Cloud Develops Greener Supply Chains [Infographic]

A few weeks ago I posted a couple of blogs which discussed the supply chain related green benefits of using our OpenText Cloud.  I placed a particular emphasis on OpenText Trading Grid, our B2B network and how it was helping thousands of companies around the world to save paper through the automation of their B2B transactions. We have recently completed an Infographic which highlights some of these green related savings and this is shown below. You can also get further insights via my accompanying blog as well as learn more about OpenText Compliance solutions and OpenText Cloud. The calculations in our Infographic below were made using the Paper Savings Calculator from the Environmental Paper Network. This Infographic was compiled by my colleague Janet De Guzman and you can read her latest compliance related blog here.  

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

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

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Twenty Good Reasons Why Manufacturers Should Attend Enterprise World This Year

In my last Enterprise World 2015 related blog I highlighted a number of manufacturing related activities during our conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. You can view the blog here. There are many breakout sessions running during the main part of the conference and below I have listed the top twenty sessions that I thought may be of interest to manufacturing companies. There will be many other sessions during the course of the week, but I thought these may be of interest as they provide a good overview of the product offerings that make up our Enterprise Information Management portfolio. CLD-402 – Building Your Cloud Strategy Featuring Forrester Research ECM-401 – Product Update: OpenText Core – Business-Ready File Sharing & Collaboration in the Cloud INX-401 – Gain Total Supply Chain Visibility With OpenText Active Orders ECM-406 – Product Update: Transform your Organization by Putting the X in ECM INX-404 – Bring B2B to the C-suite: How B2B Integration Accelerates Your Corporate Strategies ALX-100 – Making Sense of Big and Small Data INX-410 – How OpenText and SAP are Joining Forces to Optimize Spend Management EIM-402 – A Day in the Life – Big Data Analytics in the Cloud Implementation INX-411 – Intelligent Capture: Simplify, Transform & Accelerate Your Data Capture Process INX-420 – On Premise B2B & MFT: Consolidate your Integration Strategy to Reap New Benefits SAP-410 – Simplify Asset Management in a Digital World with Customer Case Study ECO-410 – Extended ECM for Oracle E-Business Update – Featuring Customer Dover Corporation INX-412 – Beyond Managed Services: Driving Even Greater Value from B2B Outsourcing ECM-413 – Product Update: OpenText Engineering Document Management-Next Generation Preview ALX-110 – The Future of Embedded Analytics – Wearable Data and Beyond INX-416 – e-Invoicing: the Low-Hanging Fruit of Improving Operating Cost, and Much More ECM-414 – Product Update: What’s New with Brava! for Content Suite INX-418 – Best Practices in Deploying Fax and Secure Messaging Across the Enterprise SAP-416 – MAN Diesel & Turbo’s Enterprise Content & Records Management Solution – A Customer Story INX-400 – Mine your Data for Improved Decision Making: How Analytics Can Transform your Business I also just wanted to take the opportunity to confirm details of a couple of ‘Ted Talk’ style presentations that I will be delivering in the Digital Disruption Zone of the Expo Hall, both of the following sessions will be repeated on Wednesday and Thursday. 14:30 – 14:45 – How the Internet of Things Will Disrupt Tomorrow’s Manufacturing Industry 16:00 – 16:15 – How EIM Helps Manufacturers Transition to a Digital Business In addition to announcing some exciting news around the future direction of our EIM product offerings, numerous customer and keynote presentations we will also have a special guest speaker. None other than Mike Myers – he will certainly be interjecting some humour into the proceedings!

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Did You Know OpenText and SAP Now Run Together to Simplify Trading Partner Connectivity?

OpenText recently announced an expansion of their partnership with SAP whereby SAP’s customers will now be able to connect to their external trading partner community through OpenText’s Trading Grid® platform, a core component of OpenText’s cloud. SAP has been a key partner of OpenText for many years and this expanded partnership will transform the B2B integration capabilities that SAP can offer to their global customers. Many companies already leverage SAP’s Ariba network to manage ‘indirect’ materials related spend across their business operations. Allowing SAP’s customers to integrate with their external trading partner communities via OpenText B2B Managed Services will allow companies to improve how they manage ‘direct’ materials related spend as well. So running together, SAP and OpenText’s cloud based business networks are complementary to each other. More information on the new partnership is available here. OpenText, through their acquisition of GXS, has been able to offer companies a way to seamlessly integrate their B2B and ERP environments together. OpenText already has some of SAP’s largest customers connected to the Trading Grid infrastructure, and this announcement is a logical next step in bringing our business networks closer together. I have written many blog posts over the past six years to highlight the importance of why companies should be thinking of integrating their ERP and B2B systems together, so I thought it would be useful to recap some of the key discussion points from my earlier blogs in this slightly extended post. Rolling out a new ERP project is typically the number one priority for today’s CIOs. SAP for example provides the backbone infrastructure that drives many internal business processes, whether in the area of HR, expense management, indirect materials spend, managing production processes or transport/warehouse operations. If SAP systems do not receive timely and accurate information from external trading partners then there is a possibility that internal business systems could grind to a halt, which from a production operation point of view can be quite damaging to the overall business operation. In an earlier research study we found that over a third of information that typically enters an ERP environment comes from outside the business. So having a highly available, global B2B platform that provides seamless connectivity to an outside trading partner community is becoming a high priority for today’s CIOs. So when is the best time to think about integrating to ERP? We have found, through many ERP/B2B integration projects that we have successfully completed with OpenText’s B2B Managed Services , that companies should think about B2B integration whenever they are undertaking a major ERP initiative. We have found there are four main ERP initiatives that can help drive new B2B integration projects: implementing new ERP platforms, for example switching from Oracle to SAP, consolidating numerous ERP instances onto a single platform, upgrading legacy ERP instances which could involve moving to a cloud based ERP environment and finally extending an existing ERP platform with new capabilities. If we take the example of a new SAP project, as I said this will be the number one project on the ‘to-do’ list of a CIO. The CIO will be under pressure from various stakeholders across the business to meet a specific go live date and this could mean that the CIO will have to pull in as many IT resources as possible to ensure the SAP go live date is met. But what happens to other IT projects such as deploying a new B2B environment or onboarding new trading partners in a remote location if there are no internal B2B resources available? Well put bluntly these other projects could potentially grind to a halt. So how can the CIO meet a go live date without compromising other initiatives such as managing a B2B network? The easiest way is to utilize external B2B resources to manage the B2B project whilst the CIO focuses on his main or core activity of meeting their SAP go live date. So where do these additional B2B resources come from?, well put simply this is where OpenText B2B Managed Services comes in. In fact we are often referred to as an extension to a CIO’s IT team. For over twenty years, OpenText has been working on many SAP related B2B integration projects, both single instance and multiple instance, to support global business operations. Multi-National companies in industries such as high tech, automotive, consumer goods, manufacturing and financial services utilize OpenText B2B Managed Services to maximize their SAP investment. OpenText B2B Managed Services, shown by the above diagram, helps companies improve the management of their SAP/B2B integration projects in a number of different ways: Global Systems Management – Ensuring that external trading partner connectivity is highly available, this is critical to the smooth running of an integrated SAP/B2B environment. If external connectivity is lost for any reason, this will interrupt the flow of information entering an SAP environment and any downstream business systems. OpenText Managed Services environment runs across a highly available infrastructure with multiple data centres located in North America and Europe. Data is replicated between data centers on a regular basis and in the event of a catastrophic failure in one data centre, the infrastructure will fail across to the other data center thus maintaining availability of a B2B environment. Visibility, Alerting and Analytics – OpenText provides business process visibility and exception-based monitoring for a business and its customers. Visibility is delivered through a simple web based interface that provides tools such as related document queries, role based views and proactive monitoring/alerting capabilities. For example, upon completion of the translation process, OpenText Managed Services will automatically generate a STATUS IDOC (Status = 5 or 6) back to the client’s SAP environment to indicate whether the IDOC translation failed or succeeded. Recently introduced analytics capabilities help to improve visibility and reporting capabilities still further SAP Connectivity – B2B integration platforms must be connected to the numerous different instances of SAP running at local manufacturing plants, retail stores, shared service centers and headquarters locations. OpenText supports a broad range of communications protocols to connect with SAP including ALE, AS2, PI and FTP. You can use a combination of communication technologies to meet all your trading partner requirements. The most popular option for exchanging IDOCs is the native SAP Application Link Enabling (ALE) technology. Data & Process Intelligence – Ideally, SAP systems can only operate efficiently and offer maximum ROI when they are fed with clean and accurate information. OpenText uses a robust business rules engine based on over 150 of the most common supply chain-related SAP business rules. OpenText ensures that all externally sourced information is clean and accurate before entering SAP, this eliminates the need for investigating data mismatches, reprocessing inaccurate data, or calling trading partners to resolve data quality issues. This pre-processing of externally sourced information before it enters an SAP system effectively places an ‘ERP firewall’ around SAP applications. The aim of the firewall is to protect an SAP system from poor quality data sent in by customers, suppliers, distributors, logistics providers or financial institutions. Mapping & Translation – Document mapping is one of the most complex tasks to undertake during an SAP to B2B integration project. Mapping experts must understand the relationships between data structures used by external trading partners and the information needed in SAP. For example, a mapping expert may need to extract shipping information from an advanced shipping notice to populate the appropriate SHPMNT01 IDOC document. With the possibility of having to create hundreds of maps, ensuring that maps can be created on schedule is one of the most important aspects of an integration project. Creating these maps internally is not a very efficient use of expensive IT resources. Delegating the mapping process to a third party vendor would be beneficial for any company undertaking such an integration project. OpenTextenables a company to integrate B2B messaging across multiple instances of SAP and with trading partners around the world. Partner Onboarding – Most SAP projects are not purely technical in nature, functionality upgrades are usually the justification for investment. With new modules or expanded user-communities comes the need to connect to a broader range of supply chain partners. With larger companies having globalized their operations, the on-boarding and integration of trading partners across different time zones can be difficult to manage. In many cases, companies simply do not have the resources to manage the on-boarding of trading partners in different geographical regions. OpenText Managed Services provides a comprehensive on-boarding service to both recruit and enable your trading partners including web forms and Microsoft Excel based adapters. Program Management – SAP projects require an immense amount of co-ordination across the extended enterprise. B2B integration managers must ensure that maps are created correctly, trading partners are connected properly and data validation rules are reflected within the B2B system as well. If companies are looking to introduce further SAP functionality, for example implementing a transport management system, then the project management challenge becomes even more complex. OpenText B2B Managed Services allows a company to leverage highly-experienced project managers to manage the implementation process. OpenText will provide a dedicated program manager who will undertake a number of roles to ensure that SAP to B2B integration projects go as smoothly as possible. Their role will include looking after the day to day communication with a community of trading partners and ensuring that trading partners can support new transaction types, data quality rules or KPIs to measure performance. Finally, they also offer support for testing and looking after the overall release and deployment of the newly integrated platform with the customer. Providing Global Support – Many companies have globalized their operations and have manufacturing plants and trading partners around the world. As a result, all users of an SAP/B2B integration platform must have access to a global support infrastructure so that if any problems arise they can be resolved as quickly as possible. OpenText B2B Managed Services provides 24/7, multi-lingual, support coverage. This helps users across an extended enterprise receive the help they need, in any language or any time zone around the world. With many companies establishing manufacturing operations in low cost countries such as China, India, Eastern Europe and Latin America, it is becoming increasingly important to be able to support trading partners within these particular regions of the world. Implementing an outsourced approach to managing the integration between SAP and a B2B platform will help to ensure that your business realises even greater levels of return on your investment. Cloud, mobile and SAP HANA may provide a good incentive to upgrade and consolidate SAP instances but integrating seamlessly to a trading partner community should also be high on a CIO’s agenda. Therefore I think it is fairly safe to say that without B2B integration to outside trading partners, an ERP environment could be considered ‘incomplete’, OpenText B2B Managed Services helps to ‘complete ERP’.

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OpenText Launches New Solution to Accelerate Interoperability in Healthcare and Connect Caregiver Communities

Today, OpenText announced the availability of OpenText RightFax Healthcare Direct , an add-on module to OpenText RightFax that is poised to make a big difference in the healthcare market. This new solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate interoperability by enabling Direct messaging (a method of transmitting patient information in a secure, encrypted, electronic way over SMTP) using existing RightFax-EMR integrations. RightFax, the most widely used fax server in healthcare with the most EMR integrations, has long been the backbone by which healthcare providers send and receive patient documents via fax. By adding RightFax Healthcare Direct to their RightFax system, those same providers are able to expand beyond faxing to exchange Direct messages with other providers in their communities. With RightFax Healthcare Direct, healthcare organizations can: Send secure, encrypted Direct messages directly from their EMR system with no change to how they send faxes via RightFax today Receive and ingest Direct messages into their EMR system Continue to exchange faxes through RightFax with providers who are unable to exchange Direct messages today Closing the Technology Gap between Providers Direct messaging is an on-the-verge technology in healthcare as the next generation communication method for requesting and sending patient records in a secure, interoperable fashion. It allows healthcare providers to exchange patient records electronically as a secure, encrypted email transmission over SMTP, with rich message metadata with patient identifiers, improving atient care and driving efficiency back to providers. However, not all healthcare providers have widely adopted Direct messaging. And since fax is still the most preferred method of communication (by a large margin!), it is important that organizations have the ability to adopt Direct messaging at their own pace.RightFax with RightFax Healthcare Direct is uniquely positioned as a bi-modal IT solution that combines fax and Direct messaging in a single solution. Outbound faxes converted to outbound Direct messages: Using the industries only fax number to Direct address reverse directory (powered by Surescripts), if a Direct address is available for a given fax number, the patient document will be sent as a Direct message If no Direct address is available for a given fax number, the content will be sent as a fax via RightFax Organizations can also choose to send BOTH Direct messages and faxes (crawl-walk-run!) Connecting Caregiver Communities One of the largest barriers to the widespread adoption of Direct messaging is knowing which providers are ready to exchange Direct messages and how to find them. One of the truly unique features of RightFax Healthcare Direct is the ability to connect caregiver communities by an “invitation” that can be sent to every provider that receives a fax from a RightFax Healthcare Direct user. With an outbound communication, if no Direct address is available for a given fax number, the content is sent as a fax. This can trigger an automatic, customizable fax sent to this provider that “invites” them to register their fax number and Direct address in the reverse directory for RightFax Healthcare Direct or sign up for FREE Direct addresses to be able to receive Direct messages (supplied by RightFax Healthcare Direct partner Kno2). This invitation process provides a network effect and automatic outreach into the community, levitra to more easily exchange secure and encrypted patient information electronically. RightFax Healthcare Direct will change how the healthcare industry communicates As technology in healthcare is evolving, OpenText is leading the industry to the digital world by offering the tools needed to accelerate interoperability and advance connectivity for providers to maintain the highest level of patient safety and comply with healthcare standards. Read the RightFax Healthcare Direct press release. Visit us online and learn more about RightFax Healthcare Direct!

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Accessibility in a Digital-First World

With the term “accessibility”, the first thing that usually comes to mind is physical accessibility e.g. accessible washrooms, wheelchair ramps, accessible road crossings, etc. This perspective completely ignores another realm that most people exist in, i.e. the digital world. Today it is extremely common for individuals to spend 11+ hours a day on their electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets and computers, so we simply cannot afford to ignore accessibility in the context of the digital interactions. Digital accessibility encompasses a variety of virtual interactions, including those made on websites, on personal electronic devices as well as via digital or electronic communications and documents. Taking a closer look at the numbers, we quickly realize that the population of individuals requiring accessible communications is quite large. More than 285 million individuals across the world have some form of visual impairment – that’s nearly 5% of the global population. This number is not static either; it is rapidly growing, with people living longer lives, and thereby increasing the population of aging individuals. In the United States alone, there are over 21 million adults reporting some form of vision loss, out of which over 6 million are completely blind and 2.5 million require large print to be able to read. Governments around the world have recognized accessibility as a global issue and have acted on the need to mandate accessible communications in an increasingly digital-first world. This is not about limiting accessible communications to traditional formats such as braille, large print and spoken word audio that are time consuming and expensive to produce, but about making all forms of communications accessible on-demand, in digital or electronic formats, without the need to self-identify. Governments have addressed the information accessibility issue through legislation that applies to both the public and commercial sectors, for example, Section 508 and the Americans with Disabilities Act in the United States, often going to the extent of being industry-specific, such as Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act. While some of the legislation is brand new, others are amendments to existing regulations to include accessibility in the context of digital or electronic communications via e.g. websites, online documents, etc. Many organizations around the world have begun working towards compliance to their country’s respective laws and making their websites, electronic communications such as PDF invoices, statements, notifications, tax forms, etc. available in formats that can be meaningfully navigated and read by screen reader technology on computers and mobile devices. What is your organization doing to meet this legal requirement and create an inclusionary environment for its customers? Join us on Thursday, November 12 for a special educational session on providing equal and timely access to information by implementing digital accessibility. “ALX-112 Reaching All Data Consumers – the State of Output Accessibility” will include an overview of accessibility drivers, the end-user perspective on accessible communications, what creating accessible content entails as well as a demonstration on how automation can result in dramatic time and cost savings in creating accessible content. Learn what you can do to help your organization comply with legislation, expand their business footprint to a growing but previously ignored segment of the population and retain loyalty from their existing, aging customer base.

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