Digital Transformation

Turn Regular Customer Communications Into a Powerful Marketing Asset

customer communications

When you receive a bill or an invoice do you ever give it a second glance? Most bills that arrive at my house just get dropped on the desk in my wife’s office to get paid. All except one. The monthly bill for our power consumption is more than just a straight forward demand for payment, it’s a tool that we use to run our house. As well as telling me my consumption for the last month, it is personalized to show the last three months, and a comparison with the same three months last year matched against the average temperatures. It also shows me what time of day I’m hitting peak consumption. We check it each month and adjust our thermostats accordingly to make sure we are using the power we pay for in the most efficient manner, while keeping the house at the comfortable temperatures we want. As a customer I appreciate the information that matchs my personal needs against the larger data set that the power company has access to. It has made me more loyal, as we’ve stayed customers despite several opportunities to switch to other suppliers over the years. The invoice as a customer retention and sales tool is one aspect of the customer experience that many companies overlook. Yet by delivering a more personal and interactive document (be it in print, on mobile, web, or even a well-crafted text message) a company can deliver a better customer experience and accelerate the customer acquisition. This in turn, has shown to improve retention rates and total Customer Lifecycle Value as well as giving the company’s personnel more time to focus on fulfilling customer’s needs, addressing their questions and concerns, thus deepening the relationship and expanding sales opportunities. With OpenText™ Communications Center you can maximize the effectiveness of your communications, not only by providing a single, consistent look and feel across all devices, but also by creating a dialogue from the document. Also, because the channels are linked, a customer can, say, initiate an application from their email reader and complete it on their tablet at a later time or date. Communications Center provides the robust, enterprise-grade CCM solution that you need to effectively generate and manage communications that connect all your business systems, while providing up-to-the-minute critical information to your customers, partners, vendors and personnel. You can find out more about the benefits of using Communications Center here.

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5 Conseils Pour (Re)faire Sourire un Directeur Marketing Face à la Complexité du Digital

digital marketing complexite

Il ne fait aucun doute que le marketing occupe un rôle central au sein de la majorité des entreprises. A l’ère du Digital, la capacité du directeur marketing à être en phase avec le PDG de l’entreprise, son DSI et d’autres directeurs est la clé de la réussite. Nombreuses sont les études qui prouvent que les entreprises qui adoptent des stratégies digitales globales sont davantage rentables et parées pour répondre aux attentes du consommateur de demain. L’intégration de technologies poussées par le Digital à la stratégie marketing doit s’effectuer en complémentarité avec les services informatique, produit, et commercial, sans quoi les entreprises se risqueraient à un impact négatif sur leurs ventes. Dans ce contexte, voici 5 clés qui permettront au directeur marketing de gérer au mieux leur stratégie digitale. Étape 1: Garder le client à l’esprit en permanence « Back to basics » ! Le Digital ne doit pas changer les règles fondamentales du Marketing. Tout ce qu’un marketeur entreprend doit commencer par le client et se terminer avec le client. S’il est essentiel que l’équipe marketing soit parfaitement intégrée aux nouvelles stratégies de l’entreprise, cela ne doit surtout pas se faire au détriment du client. Cela requiert de tout mettre en œuvre pour aller au-delà des attentes du consommateur et lui permettre de vivre une expérience parfaitement fluide en créant, planifiant et agissant en fonction de ses exigences. Aujourd’hui, la technologie est partout dans la gestion de l’expérience client. Mais si la transformation digitale perturbe bien des secteurs d’activité et remet en question certains modèles de revenus, il faut être vigilant à ne pas oublier les fondamentaux de la relation client. Étape 2: Parler une langue commune avec le DSI Aujourd’hui, les professionnels du marketing doivent comprendre les nouveaux défis du DSI, avoir une visibilité sur ses besoins d’un point de vue technologique, pour mieux dialoguer avec lui sur les nouveaux usages. Les frustrations et les inquiétudes que peuvent ressentir les DSI face à ce que l’on appelle « l’informatique fantôme » sont réelles. Les projets d’informatique fantôme menés au niveau des départements peuvent avoir des effets considérables sur la conformité, les performances et la sécurité des données d’une entrepriseweb; c’est pourquoi votre DSI peut sembler réticent à l’idée d’adopter les nouvelles solutions ou la dernière technologie qui vous faciliterait la tâche. Sur le plan stratégique, la fonction de DSI évolue également. Le fait de comprendre les facteurs métier et la vision stratégique de votre DSI permettra au département marketing d’obtenir plus rapidement et plus simplement les solutions technologiques souhaitées. En retour, de précieuses informations marketing peuvent être plus facilement incorporées à d’autres systèmes de l’entreprise. Indépendamment de votre secteur d’activité, il est essentiel de comprendre les technologies qui sous-tendront votre modèle d’engagement, vos propriétés Web, vos systèmes d’automatisation et vos données clients. Et c’est en travaillant avec le DSI que l’ensemble de votre entreprise en récoltera les fruits. Étape 3: Interagir avec les clients partout où ils souhaitent De nouvelles plateformes sont développées en permanence et de nouveaux modèles métier remettent en cause des institutions établies de longue date. Nous vivons dans un monde qui n’existait pas il y a seulement quelques années, où on commande un taxi à l’aide d’une application ou on réserve un hôtel en descendant de l’avion. Cet environnement en constante évolution exige des acteurs marketing qu’ils restent au sommet de leur art. Particuliers ou entreprises, vos clients recherchent activement de nouvelles façons de s’impliquer, de partager, d’acheter et de donner leur avis. En tant que pro du marketing, vous devez comprendre et anticiper les plateformes sur lesquelles ils échangent avec votre entreprise, être prêt à adapter votre stratégie marketing pour tirer pleinement parti des nouveautés qui apparaissent sur le marché. Il est également essentiel que les professionnels du marketing puissent évaluer l’impact de ces nouvelles plateformes sur leur activité, en expliquent l’importance d’un bout à l’autre de l’entreprise. Avant même la révolution Digitale, l’histoire des entreprises est semée d’exemples de sociétés surprises par l’apparition de nouveaux modèles métier. Ces cycles d’innovation sont maintenant de plus en plus courts et déstabilisateurs. Où sont vraiment vos clients aujourd’hui ? Où pourront-ils être l’année prochaine avec les nouveaux outils qui s’offrent à eux ? En maîtrisant et anticipant vraiment les impacts positifs et négatifs de la technologie sur votre activité, vous êtes sur la bonne voie pour réfléchir en « technologue ». Étape 4: Ne pas embaucher un technologue du marketing; créer une culture de la technologie Le tout récent rôle de « technologue marketing » risque d’être éphémère, tant il demeure un luxe pour de nombreuses entreprises. Il est tout aussi important de créer une culture à l’écoute de la technologie au sein du marketing, que de confier l’ensemble des connaissances et des informations pertinentes à un nouveau rôle unique. Le recrutement d’un consultant peut aider votre entreprise à s’armer sur le plan technique et à combler le fossé entre marketing et technologie. Mais au bout du compte, la connaissance des nouvelles technologies et une culture centrée sur l’innovation doivent rester l’apanage de l’équipe Marketing. La culture d’un « technologue » repose sur la compréhension des données et la valeur qu’elles détiennent pour le marketing indépendamment de la dimension de l’entreprise. Les données sont essentielles à tous les aspects du marketing — numérique et traditionnel —, et la technologie représente la clé qui permet de les comprendre et de les analyser. Terminée l’époque des « Mad Men » qui fonctionnent à l’instinct. Les entreprises ont besoin d’extraire du sens, de la nuance et du contexte dans les gigantesques quantités d’informations et de données qui résident souvent dans de multiples plateformes, canaux et formats. Des technologies telles que l’analytique du Big Data, la gestion des contenus et l’analyse des sentiments peuvent aider les professionnels du marketing à se « connecter » aux clients au bon moment, dans le bon format et selon une approche profondément personnalisée. Faute de comprendre les données et la technologie qui permettent de puiser des informations pertinentes dans ces données, le directeur marketing aura du mal à s’imposer dans l’univers du « Digital-First ». Étape 5: Faire ami-ami avec la gestion des produits En complément de la DSI, il est primordial d’entretenir une collaboration étroite entre le marketing et les entités chargées du développement et de la gestion des produits. Dans de nombreux secteurs, le marketing reste une activité qui intervient à l’issue d’une phase de développement: « voici le produit que nous avons développé, lançons-le sur le marché ». Mais des exemples récents montrent que des améliorations apportées aux produits peuvent aussi avoir un impact négatif sur l’expérience client. Prenons l’exemple de Valve Corporation, la société qui exploite Steam, le spécialiste mondial de la distribution de jeux pour PC en ligne. La société avait lancé un nouveau service pour le jeu « The Elder Scrolls V : Skyrim » qui a été accessible pendant quatre jours seulement. Valve a permis aux utilisateurs de vendre à d’autres joueurs leurs propres modifications personnalisées de ce jeu, agissant comme une App Store. Or, les clients qui créaient et vendaient des modifications encaissaient seulement 25 % des recettes. Malgré une innovation sur un nouveau modèle de revenu, la majorité des joueurs n’étaient pas satisfaits de cette répartition du chiffre d’affaires, et les désapprobations ont afflué de toutes parts. Le service a été rapidement désactivé, et Valve en a tiré la leçon suivante : les pros du marketing doivent travailler main dans la main avec l’équipe Produits pour avoir la certitude que les clients vivent les expériences et bénéficient des produits qu’ils attendent. Sans aller jusqu’à répliquer le modèle Apple du marketing produit intégré, impliquez-vous, passez du temps avec les équipes conception et rapprochez-vous de l’équipe chargée de la gestion des produits. Glanez les informations qu’elles possèdent et aidez-les à développer des produits qui pourront être commercialisés efficacement et être compétitifs dans le monde numérique.

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Rupture Digitale: Tous Concernés

rupture digitale

Les nouvelles technologies et la levée de certaines barrières ont donné naissance à un écosystème au potentiel commercial illimité. Une multitude de secteurs d’activité ont entamé une mutation dans leur modèle économique afin d’être davantage en phase avec l’ère digitale dans laquelle nous vivons. Alors, à quoi faut-il s’attendre pour l’avenir ? Digital : les PDG vont devoir montrer l’exemple… La rapidité fulgurante des bouleversements digitaux représente un défi majeur pour une grande majorité (58%) des PDG, selon une étude PwC . Toutefois, risques et opportunités allant souvent de pair, 80% pensent que les technologies révolutionnaires (la mobilité, le Cloud ou les solutions analytiques) vont permettre à leur entreprise de gagner considérablement en valeur. Pour saisir toutes ces opportunités, les dirigeants devront comprendre à quel point ces bouleversements affecteront leur entreprise à tous les niveaux. Ils piloteront des actions de mutation digitale qui seront intégrées à la stratégie et à tous les échelons de leur entreprise. Ceux qui démontreront de belles qualités d’adaptation et feront preuve de créativité tireront leur épingle du jeu. En opérant une métamorphose dans leur façon de travailler, les plus hautes strates de la hiérarchie parviendront à se débarrasser des structures et des techniques de management dépassées. Elles donneront à la génération Y les moyens d’agir, avec un programme composé d’autogestion, de prise de décisions, d’expérimentation, d’innovation et de prise de risque. Le tout en dotant l’entreprise des systèmes, de la structure et de la gouvernance ad hoc pour la protéger, elle, ses actifs et ses données pendant cette mutation culturelle issue, comme les logiciels, d’un « bac à sable », cette fois-ci digital. … alors que la génération Y investit les entreprises Les membres de la génération Y (nés dans les années 1980/90) arrivent désormais à des postes à responsabilité dans les entreprises. Ces jeunes leaders vont radicalement restructurer le monde de l’entreprise à tous les niveaux – des outils de productivité aux politiques RH (possibilité de travailler de chez soi et dans des lieux extérieurs à l’entreprise) en passant par la structure organisationnelle et la culture d’entreprise. Des évolutions déjà en cours, qui vont réinventer l’idée du lieu de travail telle que nous la connaissons aujourd’hui. Ces jeunes managers seront en position de transformer la culture d’entreprise pour qu’elle s’ouvre, enfin, à des thématiques désormais clés : la liberté sur les réseaux sociaux, la souplesse dans le choix des outils professionnels et la tolérance à l’égard de la prise de risques. L’innovation fera réellement la différence par rapport à la concurrence et amènera de nouveaux modèles de collaboration, à travers des approches communautaires et de co-création avec les clients notamment. Les communications seront ouvertes, bilatérales et continues. Les images holographiques, les surfaces interactives et la vidéoconférence remplaceront progressivement les salles de réunion. Le bureau mobile va se substituer à l’open space, tandis que vie professionnelle et vie privée réussiront enfin à s’équilibrer grâce à des interactions. Cette maturité professionnelle de la génération Y pilotera l’évolution de l’entreprise. La culture d’entreprise sera un facteur déterminant de réussite ou d’échec. Les managers de cette génération recruteront des collaborateurs parmi un vivier de talents mondial, choisissant les meilleurs pour monter des équipes très compétentes. Les organisations capables d’attirer (et de fidéliser) les meilleurs recrues grâce à leur culture seront les grandes gagnantes. C’est elles qui changeront la donne et bouleverseront les modèles économiques traditionnels, voire même des industries entières. La gestion de la réputation sociale devient vitale L’engagement sur les réseaux sociaux n’est plus facultatif mais sera bien une nécessité pour toute entreprise. Le pouvoir des internautes est en effet devenu considérable. Avant, lorsqu’un client n’était pas satisfait d’un produit, il demandait à parler à un responsable pour se faire rembourser. Aujourd’hui, il poste des billets sur des blogs, publie des commentaires, donne des notes ou évalue des produits sur des réseaux sociaux, qui seront potentiellement vus par des millions de personnes en l’espace de quelques heures, et pour un coût nul. A l’inverse, s’il est très satisfait, il peut devenir une sorte d’ambassadeur digital pour la marque. La gestion de la réputation sociale et l’engagement actif sont donc vitaux. A l’entreprise de prêter une oreille très attentive, puisque un commentaire peut avoir un impact très puissant, qu’il soit positif ou négatif pour elle. Pour découvrir comment mettre à profit la rupture numérique, connectez-vous sur la campagne Digital Disruption.

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Transformation Numérique des Services Publics: L’Etat-Plateforme, un Enjeu Majeur Pour la France

transformation numerique

Les résultats d’une étude Ipsos pour Sopra Steria révélaient, entre autres, que près de 60% des Français considèrent que la transformation numérique de l’Etat est bien avancée. Thierry Brunet, Responsable Secteur Public et des solutions e-government chez OpenText, commente: La rupture technologique que les citoyens du monde vivent aujourd’hui rend la transformation numérique des gouvernements indispensable. Les résultats de cette étude montrent que les Français perçoivent l’effort qui a été mis en œuvre dans ce domaine. Pour permettre la création accélérée de services à valeur ajoutée et sécurisés pour les entreprises et les particuliers et ainsi parvenir à l’amélioration de la relation du Gouvernement vers les Citoyens (G2C), tout en effectuant une meilleure gestion de la dépense publique, l’Etat doit refondre ses infrastructures et méthodes pour aboutir à la création d’une plateforme de services. Bien que la digitalisation des services administratifs représente un travail de longue haleine, les initiatives déjà menées par la DISIC (Direction Interministérielle des Systèmes d’Information et de la Communication) commencent à porter ses fruits. De nombreux projets tels que la mutualisation des plateformes, la dématérialisation des documents à grande échelle et le partage de documents en mode collaboratif à l’échelle de l’état, sont notamment en cours. Par ailleurs, le nombre de projets actuellement en étude autour de la communication multicanal, la gestion de dossier unique ou le digital asset management est un facteur significatif de cette transformation numérique, qui positionne la France au 4ème rang du classement « e-Government » de l’ONU. Chez OpenText, nous partageons cette vision d’Etat-plateforme et nous avons conçu notre solution intégrée et modulaire EIM (Enterprise Information Management), qui permet, par les cas d’usages, de mettre en place des solutions adaptés à chaque projet, de manière cohérente et sans intégration coûteuse. En France, de nombreux établissements publics utilisent nos solutions de dématérialisation autour de SAP et notre socle documentaire ou notre BPM depuis Office, SharePoint, un navigateur ou un smartphone. Aux Etats-Unis, notre portail de dématérialisation des impôts en production depuis 2004 supporte jusqu’à 110 millions de connections par jour en archivant les documents dans la GED intégrée. Au Canada le système d’obtention des visas permet à plusieurs pays et à leurs différentes agences de collaborer en temps réel à travers notre référentiel. A Barcelone, les citoyens échangent leur point de vue sur les projets à mettre en œuvre et participent en temps réel au vote du budget. Découvrez les solutions OpenText pour le secteur public.

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Transformation Digitale: Rompre les Silos Pour Avancer

transformation digitale

La transformation digitale s’impose. Le monde change, le bouchon remonte, nous n’en voyons aujourd’hui que la tige en bois. De la transformation du marché du travail… 5 milliards d’hommes seront connectés au web en 2020, contre 2,9 milliards aujourd’hui. Plus nombreux, ces nouveaux contributeurs se connecteront aussi plus vite, 1000 fois plus vite en 2020 qu’ils ne le faisaient en 2010.  A cette foule nombreuse et plus rapide s’ajouteront les IP des objets connectés. Ce marché de 7100 milliards euros en 2020 verra 15% de nos objets connectés au web. Enfin, en 2020 la robotisation du monde aura impacté la « nature » de 30 millions d’emplois dans le monde. Jamais une technologie n’aura autant transformé le marché du travail. Pour en savoir plus vous pouvez télécharger le livre ON DIGITAL (disponible en anglais) du CEO & CTO d’OpenText Mark J. Barrenechea. … à la réorganisation profonde des entreprises d’aujourd’hui et de demain L’entreprise s’enrichit, au sens propre, grâce à cette transformation, qui, d’abord, améliore sa performance. Watermark estime que les entreprises ayant réalisé une mue digitale surpassent leurs concurrents de 43% en termes de performance. Pour l’entreprise, la transformation digitale est protéiforme, loin du stéréotype consistant à la considérer à travers le prisme exclusif et restrictif du digital marketing. Elle existe en effet bien au-delà, dans la diversité de ses processus. Ainsi, l’arrivée de la génération Z née avec internet, l’immédiateté du web et les réseaux sociaux, impliquera pour l’entreprise de transiter d’une organisation pyramidale à une organisation sociale. La communication et les relations avec l’écosystème de l’entreprise évoluent également.  La relation client devient progressivement une « valeur » fondatrice dont découleront les modèles organisationnels de l’entreprise de demain. Une connaissance pointue de ce dernier est précieusement cultivée. L’information qui lui est fournie est plus personnalisée, ses choix peuvent être anticipés. L’organisation de la Supply Chain intègre quant à elle de plus en plus l’entreprise à son écosystème. Les cycles se réduisent et se réduiront davantage, pour passer du mois à  la semaine, puis de la semaine au jour. Les intermédiaires déjà moins nombreux et se feront encore plus rares demain. De la production en masse, nous passons petit à petit à des fabrications en petites quantités et à une organisation en flux tendus. Les capacités offertes par l’impression 3D participeront notamment à cette évolution, permettant la transition de la série vers la petite quantité personnalisée), et ce ne sera qu’un début. L’impact du digital sur l’innovation est en effet immense, comme le démontrent plusieurs récentes évolutions technologiques déjà visibles au-delà de l’impression 3D comme les hologrammes, les outils avancés de conception et de simulation. En outre, la part croissante faite au « crowdsourcing » dans la définition des axes d’une stratégie d’innovation préfigure la façon dont seront définis les axes d’innovation de l’entreprise de demain. Là aussi, le client est la source. Ainsi c’est dans la diversité du modèle organisationnel de l’entreprise que s’articule et se réalise la transformation digitale, à travers ses différents départements, entités, business units, ses silos… Pour découvrir comment mettre à profit la rupture numérique, connectez-vous sur la campagne Digital Disruption.

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New OpenText UK HQ Provides a Better Way To Work

OpenText UK HQ

Over 250 OpenText employees gathered in the company’s Reading (UK) office recently to see Gordon Campbell, Canada’s High Commissioner to the UK, officially open the newly refurbished and extended OpenText UK headquarters. The expanded facility bring together a number of OpenText offices from across the UK into one building, providing employees with a work environment that fosters integration and collaboration, as well as a showcase for customers looking to succeed in the Digital World. During the opening, High Commissioner Campbell, said: “OpenText is a true Canadian success story that began 25 years ago in Waterloo, Ontario. Since then, we have seen OpenText grow to become one of the world largest software companies, and one of Canada’s premier technology providers. I am confident that OpenText’s new, expanded facilities here in Reading will lead to even greater – and well-earned – success across the UK.” The new OpenText UK HQ brings together people and technology to facilitate better, smarter and more collaborative working. Mark Bridger, Vice President of Sales, Northern Europe, OpenText commented, “We wanted to achieve three specific goals with the new OpenText UK HQ: a location that reflected the OpenText culture; an office that allows our employees to work flexibly and collaboratively; and a building that our employees would be excited about. With over 60% of the office space allocated to flexible working, we feel that employees, partners and customers will find the new OpenText UK HQ a truly inspiring place to work.”

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Next Generation OpenText Content Suite is Here…You Won’t Look at ECM the Same Way Again

Content Server

Re-thinking ECM Drives Personal and Process Productivity as well as Control It’s happened. Last month saw the release of major upgrades to the OpenText product line, including an incredible new version of OpenText™ Content Suite. Together they represent the most ambitious, extensive launch in OpenText history. Nothing has even come close to this in my eight years with the company and I have to say, it’s a pretty exciting milestone! Of course, I’m most excited about the powerful new edition of Content Suite. Its most important innovations — huge advances in functionality and usability — are inspired by a whole new way of thinking about ECM, its role in the enterprise, and the way knowledge workers interact with, and use information. What’s led to this step change? Take a look around your own office and the answers become clear. People Processes Governance The demographic make-up of our co-workers is tilting toward the digital-native generation, a cohort that’s come of age with simple, instant access to the information they want, whenever and wherever they want it. And they expect to work the same way; they’re mobile, agile, and instantly responsive. As you’ve probably experienced, most organizations are poorly equipped to meet this new approach to sharing, collaborating, and innovating. Used to be, phone calls, faxes, and eventually email provided 99% of the information flow you needed to do your job. Not any more. Digital information is flooding the enterprise in exploding volumes, from ever-diversifying sources. Data generated by everything from social media to the supply chain constitutes an organization’s most valuable asset, if they can use it properly. There’s a critical need to seamlessly integrate, aggregate, and correlate this information to extract full value from it, as well as the people and processes that create it. Unfortunately, working with huge pools of data has a dark side. Digital information’s key strength — mobility— has led to regular data breach headlines. Countless employees put employers at risk every day by transferring intellectual property to unsanctioned, ungoverned apps for easy access. In a world of increasingly complex and far-reaching security, privacy, and compliance requirements, organizations struggle to maintain control over their information with outdated tools, inadequate oversight, and labor-intensive practices.   Content Suite 16 is purpose-built to help organizations solve all these problems. It’s not just a re-launch of our ECM platform, it’s a complete re-think of the purpose and function of ECM within enterprises as they transform to become fully digital. By building on its traditional strengths as guardian, bond, and organizer of information with new usability and integration functionality, Content Suite shifts the focus of ECM toward creating an enterprise-wide information backbone that places people before technology. It can now bridge previously isolated silos and distribute information effortlessly to drive productivity and oversight in three inter-connected areas: Personal Productivity Users want to access, share, and collaborate on business content in the same seamless, simple ways they connect with each other in their private lives. Content Suite 16 creates this environment. With OpenText™ Tempo Box and OpenText™ Core, organizations can finally foster frictionless synch-and-share collaboration on both sides of the firewall in a fully governed ECM environment. Users work the way they want, on their own terms, anytime, anywhere, underpinned by an ECM safety net that manages everything from version control to auditing to application of meta-tags. Content Suite 16 also introduces a new user interface, one that provides a cohesive personal experience tailored to each individual user. Everything related to a subject can be personalized and presented in a simple format based on the user’s role and device. As an example, here’s an insurance industry use case: Through one easy-to-master interface, users can see everything they need to in relation to a claim — account information, completed claim form, feeds from the adjustor in the field, in-line communication from across the company, task lists, and more. All compiled, connected, and shared through Content Suite. Process Productivity In the digital era, we’ve digitized enterprise processes but not done a very good job of connecting them to each other. The information they produce is usually stored in a siloed repository aligned to the process. It’s usually hard to access, difficult to govern, and almost impossible for the business to use effectively. The Extended ECM capabilities of Content Suite eliminate this. They integrate ECM into the lead applications that produce this data (SAP®, Oracle®, Microsoft® and others), connecting silos to aggregate related information and present the full picture of any instance. With ECM fully embedded in the process, governance policies and classification tags can now be automatically applied right at the source. Users are spared from doing the dirty work, yet benefit from the results. Imagine a use case where a user with a decision to make doesn’t even leave the application they’re working in to access the contract, inventory reports, sales figures, and email communication related to a supplier. Think of the increased efficiency, insight, and throughput. It’s all possible now. Control Having all this newly accessible information available to be usedin innovative, far-reaching ways actually creates more risk and inefficiency if proper governance and control isn’t consistently applied at all points. Analysts have always considered information governance to be one of Content Suite’s competitive strengths and Content Suite 16 improves on that. The key is in the ability to integrate governance best practices into both personal and process information flows without impeding productivity. Personal Productivity content — the high-volume, wildly unpredictable result of day-to-day collaboration and creation — is notorious for being high-risk while resisting oversight. Content Suite 16 introduces new capabilities to transparently capture content as it’s created in applications like file synch and share, email, and SharePoint® and automatically apply retention and security policies based on machine learning. Process Productivity data — critical to continuity and records management — can now be automatically classified, tagged, and aggregated behind the scenes as soon as it’s generated. It’s inducted into the enterprise information lifecycle for effortless discovery and use by records managers, legal teams, and LOB leaders. OpenText Content Suite is the Future of ECM Content Suite redefines the role of ECM in the digital enterprise. It creates a seamless cross-enterprise information grid that provides the Personal and Process Productivity gains enterprises need within a framework of Control. Available on premise, as a subscription in the OpenText™ Cloud, or as a managed service, today it stands as the only comprehensive, fully integrated ECM suite in the industry. Take a few minutes to find out more about what we have in store for you in Content Suite 16. Start by erasing your preconceived notions and perceptions of ECM. Then, visualize what transforming to become “digital inside” means to your organization. Chances are, OpenText Content Suite’s innovative new approach to implementing, extending, and using ECM can get you where you want to be.

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How Digital Disruption is Shaping Customer Experience – Webinar Invite

digital disruption

On May 12, I am the key speaker on a customer experience webinar entitled ‘From Drones to Smart Homes’. It’s the first in the new OpenText Digital Innovation webinar series that takes a fresh perspective on important issues that are affecting every business today. So, I thought I’d take a moment to give my perspective on delivering an excellent customer experience beforehand in the hope it persuades you to join me on the day. Perhaps the place to start isn’t with experience at all. Perhaps the place to start is with customer expectation. In almost every industry there are transformational changes in the experience companies are delivering to their customers. Think about moving from 28 days to same day delivery – then to real-time tracking of your order in transit. Today it seems that we’re not far from having delivery drones landing on our lawns! The first time you experience something like this, it feels like a revelation. By the tenth, it feels like it’s the norm. We have to live by one rule of thumb: customer delight always turns rapidly into customer expectation. You can occastionally afford to not delight your customer on a few of the interactions you have with them –  but you are in big, big trouble if you consistently fail to meet their expectations. The challenge is that, with every digital customer experience innovation we deliver, we consistently raise the bar on customer expectation. So what do customers expect? They expect a consistent experience with a company no matter which stage they are in their buyer’s journey. They expect to be able to connect with the company on any channel they choose. They expect to begin an interaction – buying a product or receiving support – on one channel and complete it on another seamlessly. They expect more transparency, more honesty and more information from their chosen suppliers than ever before. They don’t hope for this experience. They don’t want this experience. They expect this experience. And, they will go elsewhere if they don’t get it. Customer experience expert Steven Van Belleghem says: “The amount of trust consumers put in brands is decreasing all the time, and a typical consumer will now switch brands without hesitation if they get a better offer.” In this world of digital disruption, it is all too easy for an organisation to become the architect of its own downfall. In a rush to provide better and better external experiences, the company overlooks how closely tied external and internal processes actually are. In doing so, they set themselves up to disappoint the expectations of their customers. There is little point in marketing painting a wonderful picture in the customer’s mind if the product or the service fails to meet the expectations set. A customer can have the perfect purchasing experience but if the product arrives damaged or doesn’t arrive at all then all that good work is undermined. Organisations want to go digital on the outside. They know they need to be able to accommodate the growing number of data types and communications channels that their customers are embracing. They also want to go digital inside – creating new systems that transform digital operations, streamline internal processes, reduce information glut, and integrate business applications with information stores. Most companies find the prospect of tackling both at the same time too daunting and risky preferring to focus on internal processes. But, even here, creating end-to-end processes is challenging when you are faced with information silos built up over years or decades. On top of breaking down the silos, you have to layer on the ability to integrate the new data types and channels. Digital disruption is challenging the customer-facing parts of your business, but business transformation is an even greater force. At this point, business transformation becomes the bigger initiative and digital transformation falls under the larger umbrella. Unless carefully managed, the initial reason for embarking on the transformation – to deliver excellence digital customer experience – can become lost in the drive to improve internal processes. From my perspective, a more productive and longer term strategy is to redefine what you mean by digital outside and inside your business. You can instead see then both as a single cross-functional process that flows seamlessly between customer behaviours and internal functions. This allows you to focus on changing a single business process – such as supply chain management – rather than taking on two huge transformation projects simultaneously. It reduces the cost and risk involved in effectively responding to digital disruption and delivering consistently excellent customer experience today and into the future. I hope this has captured your curiosity and you’d like to know more about how OpenText can help you deliver an ever better customer experience. If so, I’d like to invite you to join me on the ‘From Drones to Smart Homes’ webinar on May 12 at 2pm BST for an hour.

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Transforming Your Business Processes

business processes

Many people think of digital transformation as nothing more than the act of going paperless. However, at OpenText, we believe it is much more than this. In fact, we consider digital transformation to be ongoing business processes – a journey instead of a destination. Going digital radically redefines how we innovate, regardless of industry. It accelerates the pace and scale of a business, and creates opportunities for new ecosystems to thrive. With this in mind, business processes need to do more, use more and change more. They need to better adapt to manage routine and non-routine work, and support structured and unstructured processes. And all these processes require content, from forms and documents to images and many other types of media. As this content moves through the business via various processes, the two – content and processes – need to be tightly connected. This is where OpenText™ Process Suite 16 together with enterprise content management (ECM) and customer experience management (CEM) delivers the solutions that support digital transformation. With Release 16, Process Suite supports tight integration between content and processes to connect the right person, system or thing with the content it needs – at the right time. We call this ‘information-driven’ design: it focuses on how your information assets need to be managed and then allows you to build the right processes to manage them. By connecting your business processes with your content, you’re able to create context: your users can stay in the flow of work, uploading and sharing content as needed while the content management transparently happens behind the scenes, applying metadata to content, enriching its contextual value. This enhances your business processes and gives you the opportunity to ensure the right information is acted on at the right step in the process, providing the context so that action can be taken to move forward. To learn more about how OpenText Process Suite 16 and how it can help you create context for your business process, check out the Process Suite Executive Overview.

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Using Synchronized Media Assets to Bridge Platform Silos

media assets

Positive customer experience is all about removing the friction from the process. The easier something is to do, the better the experience. Today’s customers increasingly expect these transactions to seamlessly transition from one digital platform to another while retaining a consistent, personalized, digital experience, with data, information, and media assets moving seamlessly from one environment to another. It is tempting to try to address this by breaking down as many operational and siloed business and technology platforms as possible. This is often an impractical approach that leads to mismanaged expectations, delays, and higher than expected costs. It is better to bridge the silos in a way that allows data to flow between them. Instead of trying to break down silos, bridge them into irrelevancy by delivering a customer experience solution that focuses on delivering high impact content (usually visual), and allows you to conduct meaningful analytical analysis to continuously refine the experience. With an exceptional digital experience in place, it is not only the customer, but also your supply chain, distributors, and even employees who can benefit as well. The most effective way to bridge content silos is by adopting a media management strategy that empowers your digital supply chain by drawing brand approved assets from a centralized repository to deliver a connected consistent experience to multiple destinations – web, kiosk, mobile, tablet, etc. – which are compatible with the end user’s device. But what happens once you’ve published a media asset and it’s been delivered to one or more devices? What if the asset (be it an image, video, PDF file etc.) needs updating? Do you need to trace it and update each siloed instance individually? How do you know that you’ve found all the possible uses of that asset? Managing a media asset’s lifecycle can often be a hidden cost that in real terms costs more than the original investment in producing the asset. With the OpenText™ Media Management (OTMM) you can control your assets even after they’ve been published outside of OTMM. Assets are updated automatically when the tethered version in OTMM changes so you don’t have to. Every web page or application with the asset’s embed code – even the forgotten ones – will have the latest, correct version to make sure you stay on brand with current media assets. No more chasing content across operational and technology silos. Find out more about OpenText Media Management and how it helps companies enhance their investment in brand value and digital media with technology to manage and control media assets across various departments and optimize resources, efforts and budgets in an organization-wide strategy that delivers on your brand promise.

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Redefining The Customer Journey

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Management Consultant and author Peter Drucker once wrote that “the purpose of a business is to create and keep a customer.” This may seem to be an obvious statement, but many companies traditionally focus on the first half of that statement to the detriment of the latter part. It could be argued that keeping a customer is more important than finding a new one – for a repeat customer is often an engaged customer. As OpenText CEO & CTO Mark J. Barrenechea points out in his book, On Digital, the digital world helps you by giving you more ways to know your customer better. “Know Your Customer isn’t just a regulatory obligation, it’s a key competitive differentiator. The best way to satisfy your customer is to truly understand them. You can do this by mapping your customer journeys.” But customer journeys are changing. The old traditional models of a singular pre-determined linear path or funnel from awareness to purchase no longer apply in a digital world where flowcharts have given way to multiple interactions at whatever point the customer wants it to be. The customer is not only driving the decision on when and how interactions are made, they are also demanding a more personalized experience. In a recent article, CMSWire columnist John Zimmerman outlined a vision of a digital experience platform that delivers “individualized content presentation for each customer interaction.”  To achieve this vision, organizations need a better way of engaging with the customer. This requires an enhanced understanding of the customer’s journey, one that is an infinite engagement rather than a linear process. The process can be viewed from two different perspectives: The Customer’s Perspective is one of a continuous experience where they BUY, then OWN (or use) a product (or service) throughout its lifecycle before repurchasing. The Enterprise Perspective is one of a continuous process where they ACQUIRE and then SERVE a customer to lead to a level of engagement where they will acquire additional revenue from that same customer and/or more customers “through recommendation”. The full engaged customer journey cannot be addressed by separate applications at different parts of the process. To be fully effective, it has to provide an exceptional continuous experience made up of a combination of many different experiences, processes and systems that all have to interact. These different aspects of the journey can be grouped into five separate, but interdependent, layers: The customer’s activity, The company’s activity, The departments involved, The related business process, The associated metrics used to measure and manage the engagement. I’ll be examining each of these layers in more detail in upcoming blog posts.

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EIM – Roadmap For Manufacturing Transformation

EIM

I joined OpenText in February this year and the timing could not have been better. The company was only a few months away from launching the biggest release of our EIM (Enterprise Information Management) solution. And does time fly! OpenText Release 16 for Suite 16 and Cloud 16 is now available. But what is EIM? In my own words EIM provides data and process management that improves customers’ experience and performance through centralizing information, “one single version of the truth”. EIM possesses powerful transmittal and transactional mechanisms that allow data exchange in efficient, secure and compliant ways. EIM allows a company to harness data to provide valued information for consumers of the data, who by using embedded Analytics can gather insight and support better decision making resulting in better business outcomes. You can find a more formal description here. Research by the likes of Capgemini shows us that every industry is experiencing massive disruption through digitization and the research shows us that organisations that have a plan for information management, and who then execute against that strategy can out-perform their contemporaries and competitors by up to 26%. With my background in Engineering and Manufacturing I am particularly interested in the benefits EIM provides to help manufacturing companies digitally transform, and you can browse examples including Michelin, KUKA and more who have started that journey here. Manufacturing is living in exciting times, in an age that is being described as the 4th Industrial Revolution; the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Data is everywhere; being generated across the internet and by technologies which themselves have been described as transformational or disruptive. Examples such as 3D printing, cloud, drones and wearables collected data is transforming manufacturing. Many of these technologies are not new, however, when used in conjunction with each other and connected to the internet (IoT) new possibilities are being realized. Digital transformation of Manufacturing will be an ongoing discussion in my blog posts and will be a topic of my presentation at our customer conference Enterprise World in July, in the dedicated manufacturing track. See here  for further information on Enterprise World. For more discussion on the future of information check out CEO Mark Barrenechea’s blog.  

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NAB Show 2016 – Not My First DAM Rodeo

OpenText at NAB

At NAB, the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas, Digital Asset Management (DAM), media and technology are finally catching up. I have been attending the NAB Show for nearly all of my working life – a long time! I have been working in the DAM industry for the last five years and it is gratifying to see the amount of interest in DAM at this show. Over the years, many media companies were looking for solutions to better manage media, but they were ahead of their time. The technology just hadn’t progressed to a point to make their vision a reality. Now the technology is catching up. Broadcast media has certainly evolved. Back in the day, it seemed innovation at NAB was about how many shiny new buttons were added to the cool box for the control room gallery or studio. Now all those buttons are part of a slick mouse-controlled interface that can do the same job that it used to take 25 people to do. Managing media assets and metadata, whether its called MAM, DAM or whatever, should be a no-brainer in the media industry. DAM sits at the intersection of making media and doing something with it. It is not just about broadcasting, and DAM is not just a library of media content. The biggest change for vendors in both broadcasting and DAM is in integration. The silos must die! The proprietary systems of the past have given way to interdependent ecosystems. In DAM this means going beyond integration with other systems and being able to adapt to the customer’s environment. Who wants to support an integration in which both ends have to code and test at every release to make sure the middle still works? Plus, there are so many pieces to fit together, multiple systems and dependencies that need to share information and work together. It is all part of an ecosystem which includes the processes to plan, produce, deliver, and measure digital media. Lots of pieces have to fit together and work together in complex environments, touching all parts of the organization and the wider digital media supply chain. What excites me about DAM (OpenText™ Media Management is the one I am most familiar with) is that it is moving to more of a configuration model, rather than heavy coding for integration and customization. It  allows loosely coupled integration with secure, controlled access to share and synchronize data. It allows customers to work the way they want to work. At OpenText we are starting to see this with the media companies we work with. We can media-enable the processes, such as project management, so you can track the people, budget and time as a project as all of the associated assets move through its lifecycle. We can consolidate the assets so there is a single container or place for all the metadata, relationships and versions – a single source of the truth, and we can securely manage and control access. Ultimately, this is about providing transparency and collaboration in media planning and creation, and leveraging metadata to provision the processes in how that media content is to be used.  Then providing the feedback with analytics and metrics in how it is actually used across all of the  different delivery vehicles to get your message and story to any audience, any device, any format, any time. I tell customers all the time that every company is a media company. And it’s a great time to be a media company.

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Eight Seconds! Your Deadline to Deliver an Engaging Web Experience

web experience management

Eight seconds! Research has shown that’s all the time you have to capture the attention, and engage with, the average user on the web. Eight seconds! To meet this challenge, it isn’t enough to create great web content and deliver it through a traditional web content management system. To really capture attention you need a compelling web experience management strategy. Today’s web users expect a higher level of engagement and sophistication when it comes to their online experience. These elevated expectations have led to a more contextual, meaningful and compelling conversation between website, brand and user – across multiple devices and platforms. Rather than simply pushing static content to web properties, businesses now need to exceed customer expectations with tools that dynamically deliver adaptive and content-centric experiences across any, and every, channel where the customer may be interacting with them. There needs to be a bi-directional flow that runs from consumer to the organization and back again. Web content management is no longer a single point solution for website management because businesses are looking to integrate other enterprise systems that can bring greater value to their web content. Integration into these touch points allows for a greater 360-degree view and three-dimensional understanding of your customers. Omni-channel touch points must also take into consideration multilingual content, translation services and engines, and translation dashboards, which ensures that content pages are translated and localized for global visitors. Omni-channel touch points need to be available 24/7, which means that more self-service applications have to support consumers’ behaviors. Website management has been transformed from a static publishing process to a highly engaging web experience that compels audiences to interact and engage. As businesses try to find the balance between outbound and inbound marketing, the website is still at the forefront of every conversation with the customer. Using your website to create fresh, relevant, targeted content specifically designed to reach a distinct audience segments is key. Inbound marketing, significantly less expensive than outbound marketing, includes strategies such as social media marketing, blogging and content marketing, podcasts, white papers, eBooks, infographics, etc., and can be used to personalize the experience of customers, engage with them and let your brand shine. With a web experience management strategy and supporting platform in place, Digital-First enterprises can report and analyze the usage of pages, content and other relevant objects to increase the visibility of any information delivered in a personalized way and to optimize their knowledge regarding consumers’ expectations through any related business process, business partner and enterprise application. This will help to drive a higher customer lifecycle value and increase upsell revenue. Find out more about the OpenText™ Web Experience Management platform, and how you can use it to deliver compelling, and adaptive experiences across multi-channel touch points, to transform everyday online transactions into actionable, strategic insight.

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Removing Digital Barriers for the Visually Impaired

visually impaired

Have you ever been in the midst of a storm and the power went out? Suddenly, all the lights in your home are useless and everything is just pitch black. Most people would simply search for a flashlight or a candle to light. However, what if none of this was an option anymore? How would you react if from one day to the next you were blind? I began to ponder this question myself. How would this affect my family relationships? My ability to work? Transportation? Even getting dressed? It may be difficult for many sighted individuals to do this for longer than a few seconds because we take for granted that we can see. Now, let’s take it a step further. Imagine that you close your eyes and when you open them again, there is nothing but darkness. You could no longer distinguish color or any object, not even the semblance of light reflecting back through your pupil to your retina, which once gave you sight. The reality is—whether we realize it or not—we are all just an accident away from some sort of disability. I recently visited the California State University, Northridge (CSUN) for the International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference in San Diego. It’s the world’s largest annual showcase of assistive technologies for people with disabilities, and I was greatly impressed with all the amazing people I met who work in and around Accessibility. Lainey Feingold, the preeminent litigator for accessibility advocacy, had some enticing thoughts about vision impairment in the digital age: “If only people applied the same creativity to removing barriers as they do to finding excuses not to,” Feingold said. The overall theme of the show was how technology can help disabled people to fully participate as workers and citizens.  And it got me to thinking, as we move more and more to a self-service, digital world accessed via screens, how much emphasis that puts on sight. Vision in a Digital World So much of our experience today is purely visual. Most of us spend hours behind a screen of some kind, whether it’s at your workstation answering email, or surfing the net on your iPad finding the latest trends on social media. At the risk of cliché, allow me to repeat, “We live in the digital age.” Setting aside all the other major life changes and transitions for the sake of this post, let’s consider just for the moment how you would interact with technology. Wouldn’t you want to do many of the same things that sighted individuals can do? For one, how would you handle something simple like paying bills? How about filing taxes? I’ve grown accustomed to paying all of my bills online through my bank’s web portal, and handling my taxes myself through a SaaS application. Paper bills would no longer be an option unless I want somebody else to read them to me. How would I e-file my taxes and go through the interview mode? Thankfully, there are some great innovators in the assistive technology world that have given us tools that can operate computers and access digital information. Screen readers like JAWS or NVDA, for example, audibly announce data and commands otherwise visually displayed, which allows the visually impaired to access and navigate digital data. Unfortunately, larger organizations don’t have a cost-effective, timely way to generate content that these screen readers can “read.” So, people are forced to wait for extended periods of time and disclose their disability every time they want to access their information. The greatest challenge today facing those who are visually impaired is to get major corporations and government agencies to understand the significance of web accessibility, not just because of compliance with legislation like the ADA and Section 508 or the risk of litigation (both major considerations). We all must come to the realization that there are real people that deserve equal access to information in the same time-frame as sighted individuals because it’s the right thing to do. With the rise of the digital age, it has never been more critical for organizations to put themselves in the shoes of their users and clients who have a disability like blindness, low vision, dyslexia, or cognitive disorder, and make the right choice towards an inclusionary environment where no self-identification is required. There’s a quote I like: “We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.” I think it’s time to stop seeing web accessibility as sighted individuals and start searching for a new pair of glasses that will give the unsighted a new way to see. I can honestly say that after attending C-Sun I won’t ever be the same. The technology we provide to people today has the ability to not only change the way companies do business, but also how their visually impaired clients interact with them. Check out the following video to see how OpenText has automated the process of remediating high volume documents to enable a more inclusionary digital world for both sighted and visually impaired individuals:  

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Creating Interactive Dialog With Your Customers

interactive dialog

What if each customer felt that every communication with you was not only well managed, but a meaningful, interactive dialog? What if every employee engaging with your customers could generate communications that not only inform but engage? Imagine using your customer communications to turn documents into dialog, communications into conversations. Every touchpoint with your customer is an opportunity to engage in a meaningful and relevant exchange. In today’s digital market place, the customer is empowered like never before. As a result businesses need to exploit every opportunity to communicate as clearly and consistently as possible across every channel and medium; whether online or offline, on paper or electronically. Most companies have yet to exploit the potential for driving additional business through customer-facing communications. These communications, the data that feeds them, and the exchanges between a customer and a company are critical assets for strengthening relationships and fueling sales. Tailoring each customer’s correspondence with personally relevant information, informing and engaging customers with every communication, deepens the relationship. The ability to work more personally with customers, even in regular mass-distributed communications such as bills, invoices, statements, notifications etc., is a strong competitive edge. Acquiring new customers can cost five times more than satisfying and retaining current customers, and a two percent increase in customer retention has the same effect on profits as cutting costs by ten percent. Yet research has shown that 68 percent of customers who break away from a relationship with a company and go elsewhere do so because they feel unknown and unwanted. This alone justifies efforts to connect more personally at every touchpoint of the customer’s journey and to create easy, frictionless, ways for customers to initiate and manage their own contact. Smarter Communications Improve Revenue and Streamline Costs: Enable business managers to drive business: Direct, hands-on connections to customer communications remove the lag time between seeing a business opportunity or necessity and acting on it. Business managers create and manage marketing messages and campaigns and the rules that deliver them to the right customer at the right time. Match the message to the customer: Whether it’s welcome packs, order confirmations, delivery notices, invoices, or statements, personalized documents build customer loyalty. Even at high volumes and processing speeds, personalizing every document, including cross/up-sell offers or other notices can be tuned to each customer. Let the customer control the conversation: Through simple self-service, customers can specify their preferred channels; print, fax, email, mobile, web, and other electronic channels. This variety of choice empowers customers and also gives you multiple channels for new services or business development initiatives. Interactive content presentment: Rich media, dynamic charts and graphs on communications not only provide better information, they create dialogues between supplier and client. Each touchpoint brings you closer to your customer, providing valuable insight and a better customer experience. Find out more about how you can use OpenText™ Communications Center to establish a modern communication processing environment in your enterprise. Using data from your existing business systems (without requiring any changes to those systems) to dynamically generate the communications you use to run your business and correspond with your customers, partners, suppliers, and employees.

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Why You Should Be Delivering a Continuous Digital Experience

digital experience

Are you delivering a consistent, continuous digital experience for your customers as they interact with your brand? Is that experience continuous as they move from mobile device, to desktop website, to eCommerce platform, or even a physical interaction? Remember that your customer’s digital experience is the sum of the perception of each interaction they have with your brand, and any single below par interaction can diminish that experience. Today most customers are engaged with brands through a variety of digital means. The digital world is driving a disrupt-or-die transformation. Allied with these trends is an increasing shift for as many physical and virtual assets in the value chain to become digitized, intelligent, and incorporated into the end-to-end business process. One way to address this need to transform is to look across the organization for opportunities to infuse great digital experiences into mission critical processes. Managing the way you engage with your customers ensures better customer experiences and helps build ongoing relationships. The customer is at the center of every business transaction and keeping the customer engaged has never been more vital than it is now in a digital world. Traditionally, a new customer initiates a relationship at the recommend or awareness stage and cycles through defining a need, researching a product, evaluation, making a purchase, taking delivery, using and maintaining a product. More and more of this type of behavior and interaction is happening online with the customer only choosing to engage with a business late in the sales cycle, if at all. If the customer has had little, or no follow-up from the company they purchased from, or had a bad customer experience, they will generally move on to a new supplier for any subsequent purchase and the opportunity for additional revenue has been lost. Investment in a strong customer engagement strategy and technology will result in a customer becoming a brand and product advocate who will recommend the product or brand to others, as well as wishing to continue to build on the existing relationship through additional purchases and interactions. Instead of leaving the sales cycle, the engaged customer loops back into it. Positive customer experience is all about removing the friction from the process. The easier something is to do, the better the experience. Customers increasingly expect these transactions to seamlessly transition from one digital platform to another while retaining a consistent personalized experience, with data, information, and assets moving seamlessly from one environment to another. It is tempting to try to address this by breaking down as many operational and siloed business and technology platforms as possible. This is often an impractical approach that leads to mismanaged expectations, delays, and higher than expected costs. It is better to bridge the silos in a way that allows data to flow between them and to build on a suite that can work with tools. Instead of trying to break down silos, bridge them into irrelevancy by delivering a Customer Experience Management solution that focuses on delivering high impact content (usually visual), strong transactional integration, interactive customer communications, and allows you to conduct meaningful analytical analysis to continuously refine the experience. With an exceptional digital experience in place, it is not only the customer, but also your supply chain, distributors, and your employees, who will benefit.

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Unstructured Data Analytics: Replacing ‘I Think’ With ‘We Know’

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Anyone who reads our blogs is no doubt familiar with structured data—data that is neatly settled in a database. Row and column headers tell it where to go, the structure opens it to queries, graphic interfaces make it easy to visualize.  You’ve seen the resulting tables of numbers and/or words everywhere from business to government and scientific research. The problem is all the unstructured data, which some research firms estimate could make up between 40 and 80 percent of all data.  This includes emails, voicemails, written documents, PowerPoint presentations, social media feeds, surveys, legal depositions, web pages, video, medical imaging, and other types of content. Unstructured Data, Tell Me Something Unstructured data doesn’t display its underlying patterns easily. Until recently, the only way to get a sense of a big stack of reports or open-ended survey responses was to read through them and hope your intuition picked up on common themes; you couldn’t simply query it. But over the past few years, advances in analytics and content management software have given us more power to interrogate unstructured content. Now OpenText is bringing together powerful processing capacities from across its product lines to create a solution for unstructured data analytics that can give organizations a level of insight into their operations that they might not have imagined before. Replacing Intuition with Analytics The OpenText solution for unstructured data analytics has potential uses in nearly every department or industry. Wherever people are looking intuitively for patterns and trends in unstructured content, our solution can dramatically speed up and scale out their reach.  It can help replace “I feel like we’re seeing a pattern here…” with “The analytics tell us customers love new feature A but they’re finding new feature B really confusing; they wonder why we don’t offer potential feature C.”  Feel more confident in your judgment when the analytics back you up. The Technology Under the Hood This solution draws on OpenText’s deep experience in natural language processing and data visualization.  It’s scalable to handle terabytes of data and millions of users and devices. Open APIs, including JavaScript API (JSAPI) and REST, promote smooth integration with enterprise applications.  And it offers built-in integration with other OpenText solutions for content management, e-discovery, visualization, archiving, and more. Here’s how it works: OpenText accesses and harvests data from any unstructured source, including written documents, spreadsheets, social media, email, PDFs, RSS feeds, CRM applications, and blogs. OpenText InfoFusion retrieves and processes raw data; extracts people, places, and topics; and then determines the overall sentiment. Visual summaries of the processed information are designed, developed, and deployed on OpenText Information Hub (iHub). Visuals are seamlessly embedded into the app using iHub’s JavaScript API. Users enjoy interactive analytic visualizations that allow them to reveal interesting facts and gain unique insights from the unstructured data sources. Below are two common use cases we see for the OpenText solution for unstructured data analytics, but more come up every day, from retail and manufacturing to government and non profits.  If you think of further ways to use it, let us know in the comments below. Use Case 1: On-Demand Web Chat A bank we know told us recently how its customer service team over the past year or two had been making significantly more use of text-based customer support tools—in particular pop-up web chat. This meant the customer service managers were now collecting significantly more “free text” on a wide range of customer support issues including new product inquiries, complaints, and requests for assistance. Reading through millions of lines of text was proving highly time-consuming, but ignoring them was not an option. The bank’s customer service team understood that having the ability to analyze this data would help them spot and understand trends (say, interest in mortgage refinancing) or frequent issues (such as display problems with a mobile interface). Identifying gaps in offerings, common problems, or complaints regarding particular products could help them improve their overall customer experience and stay competitive. Use Case 2: Analysis of Complaints Data Another source of unstructured data is the notes customer service reps take while on the phone with customers. Many CRM systems offer users the ability to type in open-ended comments as an addition to the radio buttons, checklists, and other data structuring features for recording complaints, but they don’t offer built-in functionality to analyze this free-form text.  A number of banking representatives told us they considered this a major gap in their current analytics capabilities. Typically, a bank’s CRM system will offer a “pick list” of already identified problems or topics that customer service reps can choose from, but such lists don’t always provide the level of insight a company needs about what’s making its customers unhappy.  Much of the detail was captured in unstructured free-text fields that they had no easy way to analyze.  If they could quickly identify recurring themes, the banks felt they could be more proactive about addressing problems. Moreover, the banks wanted to analyze the overall emotional tone, or sentiment, of these customer case records and other free-form content sources, such as social media streams. Stand-alone tools for sentiment analysis do exist, but they are generally quite limited in scope or difficult to customize.  They wanted a tool that would easily integrate with their existing CRM system and combine its sentiment analysis with other, internally focused analytics and reporting functions—for example, to track changing consumer sentiment over time against sales or customer-service call volume. A Huge, Beautiful Use Case: Election Tracker ‘16 These are just two of the many use cases for the OpenText solution for unstructured data analytics; we’ll discuss more in future blog posts. You may already be familiar with the first application powered by the solution: the Election Tracker for the 2016 presidential race. The tracker, along with the interesting insights it sifts from thousands of articles about the campaign, has been winning headlines of its own. Expect to hear more about the Election Tracker ’16 as the campaign continues. Meanwhile, if you have ideas on other ways to use our Unstructured Data Analytics solution in your organization, leave them in the comments section.

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“Exclusivity” is a Bad Word When it Comes to Patient Information Sharing

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In a new Market Spotlight by IDC researcher Judy Hanover, she discusses the often rocky road of patient information sharing in healthcare, the contentious topic of interoperability as it relates to patient information sharing, and the importance of getting it right.  Judy will be presenting her findings on 24 March in a webinar – “The Rocky Road to Patient Information Sharing in the Health Network”. Interoperability is one of the most widely used terms in healthcare information exchange today.  It eludes many healthcare organizations that are struggling to achieve it, forcing many to give up the cause along the way.  Yet, interoperability is not a lost cause, and achieving it doesn’t need to be either. So, why do so many healthcare providers, networks and organizations struggle to achieve interoperability when exchanging patient information across multiple providers?  The answer is usually found in technology gaps and exclusivity, rather than “inclusivity”. Despite the claims of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) vendors regarding EMR systems, these widely used tools have done little to help the exchange of information across different EMR systems.  A recent survey of nearly 3,000 medical professionals state that the biggest barrier to interoperability is EMR technical incompatibility. Eighty-six percent of those surveyed stated that the major barrier to interoperability of health systems is “EMR systems that are not capable of sharing information with other EMR systems because of technical shortcomings or incompatibility”[i].  This presents a barrier with forbidding impact: the inability to effectively exchange patient information leads to incomplete medical records, missed or delayed diagnosis, repeat tests performed because of missing information, and so the list goes on. Surprisingly, the same survey found that 63% of respondents stated the #2 reason for interoperability was “EMR vendors’ unwillingness to share information with competing EMR systems despite being technically capable”.  Is this right?  Not only are EMRs not playing nicely, they may be actually boycotting the game? Is there a network of exclusivity among the vital patient information trapped in disparate EMR systems? Surely EMR system information exchange should be inclusive to enable easy and efficient sharing of patient information with anyone, anywhere – always? Hanover states in her report, “As it became clear that the wide array of EHR products that went into use would not create an interoperable healthcare ecosystem on their own, the Direct Project was initiated in 2010 to develop standards and protocols to facilitate interoperability and healthcare reform.” What if you could bypass the technology gaps, shortcomings, and incompatibility of exchanging information between EMRs?  And instead, leverage technology designed to provide interoperability and rich patient information exchange among systems, regardless of the underlying platform?  Inclusivity, rather than exclusivity. Join IDC analyst Judy Hanover on 24 March, as she presents her findings in a Market Spotlight entitled, “The Rocky Road to Patient Information Sharing in the Health Network”.  This webinar will highlight the current landscape of patient information sharing, how care fails when messaging does, and future trends in healthcare. [i] Interoperation Research Study, data fielded by EAS Planning, April, 2015.

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ON DIGITAL-First Fridays: The Digital Mindset

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Today’s startups are tomorrow’s Wall Street winners. These are the businesses who are not afraid to risk it all. They are not afraid to fail. They are the game changers, the disruptors, the new thinkers. They are creating a sharing, Subscription Economy based on Digital and information. The Digital Mindset is the cacophony of ON DIGITAL. It includes these top 10 tenants: Immediacy Urgency Ease of use (aka not just easy, but intuitive) Grabbing subscribers Scaling really fast Redefining business models (aka disruption) Creating a sense of community A journey-based approach Always on My data is omni-present and accessible anywhere, anytime The Digital Mindset is driven by disruption, immediacy, scale, centricity on journeys, experience, and a sense of real-time. Just like we have an IQ and EQ, we also need to develop a DQ, a digital quotient, where strategy, culture, people, and capabilities converge. Once your organization has the Digital Mindset, it will move with speed and purpose. The Digital Leaders are ahead of the game. They have identified opportunities for digital transformation. They are thinking and acting in entrepreneurial ways, and shaking off the shackles of legacy to move forward. They have adopted a Digital Mindset. And the Digital Mindset stands out in the crowd. You can spot it a mile away. Embrace it. Promote it. Give it freedom from structure and convention. To digitalize or not to digitalize is NOT the question. There is no question. Digitalization changes everything. The way we think, who we compete against, how we innovate, how we experiment, the customer journey, our supply chains, the workplace, our pace and cadence. It has shattered entire industries, displaced market leaders, introduced new business models—radically changing consumers, corporate cultures, and mindsets. If you do not have the mindset, you cannot even get out of the gate. You are simply throwing Krugerrands down the toilet. Creative leadership will succeed. A transformational leader has to overcome outmoded structures and old management styles to empower Millennials to self-direct, make decisions, experiment, generate ideas, and take risks. The pace of change in markets underlies the urgency with which the enterprise must transform itself. The time to disrupt business and capture opportunity is now. To operate outside of traditional comfort zones and partner with startups or build out capacity to diversify products and services. These are ways to scale and grow new revenue. It’s time to take stock. What is your digital quotient? How digitally mature are your operations, your workforce, your supply network? Do you have the strategy, culture, technology, and mindset it takes to transform your organization into a digital enterprise? If you recall, I began the ON DIGITAL-First Fridays series with an anecdote about Hernán Cortés’ conquest of the Aztec Empire in 1519. After what could only be seen as a catastrophic failure, his troops felt there was nothing left to do but to admit defeat and sail back home. But, before they could, Cortés burned his fleet and gave his troops a simple choice: Conquest or Die. And so, Cortés’ lesson endures. True transformation requires a pervasive shift throughout your enterprise. The only path forward is to digitalize. Standing still is always the riskiest action to take—you are an easy target. Change is always the safer path. It really is Digital or Die. Thank you for joining me on this transformative journey. I hope you found this informative. We are all information companies. In my next series, I’ll elaborate on this. For more thoughts ON DIGITAL, download the book.  

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Celebrating International Women’s Day 2016

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Every March, people around the world get together to celebrate International Women’s Day. Celebrated since the early 1900s, International  Women’s Day is a day to recognize not only the economic, political, and social achievements of women, but also to advocate for greater gender equality. This year’s theme, #PledgeforParity, encourages everyone to pledge to take concrete steps to help achieve gender parity more quickly. Whether helping women and girls achieve their ambitions, to calling for gender-balanced leadership, this year’s theme calls on all of us to become leaders within our spheres of influence to help accelerate gender parity. Today marks my second International Women’s Day at OpenText, and on this day I’d like to reflect on what we’ve accomplished. Personally, I’ve received mentorship and support from my peers and managers to help me grow, learn, and become a better employee. Over the year, the men and women in my professional sphere of influence have provided me with guidance, insight and learning opportunities that have been instrumental in furthering my career in the tech industry. I’ve become involved in a number of engaging and interesting projects. From photo opportunities to creating promotional videos, I’ve been exposed to new and exciting areas of the company and the communication industry. Thanks to the support of my managers and the education opportunity that OpenText offers, I’ve been able to take courses about technical writing and document design. The support I received, both financial and professional, to take these courses has allowed me to gain additional skills that will serve me well as a technical communicator. Last November, I was selected to attend Enterprise World 2015 in Las Vegas on behalf of the Customer Experience team. While there, I attended engaging sessions on the future direction of the company and the industry, and was able to network with professionals from across the tech industry–including OpenText employees and partners, representatives from federal governments, and private sector industry professionals from around the globe. Back at OpenText, we’ve also spent time increasing our internal networks, encouraging the women around us, and working on building each other up. One Tuesday, a note was left in the women’s washroom encouraging women to leave an affirmation for their fellow women in tech. The response was overwhelming and show the strides we’ve made over the year to support and encourage our colleagues. As the well-known advertising jingle from the 60s says, “You’ve come a long way baby.” And yet, there is still progress to be made, according to OpenText CEO and CTO Mark Barrenechea, in his blog post celebrating International Women’s Day today. Looking forward to the year ahead, I’m excited to be part of a company in which diversity, equality, and a commitment to reducing the gender gap continue to be front and center, and I look forward to seeing the progress we make in 2016. This International Women’s Day, I pledge to continue supporting my fellow colleagues, to continue working to reduce the gender gap in the tech industry, and to help make the world a better place for all – one day (and industry) at a time.  

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ON DIGITAL-First Fridays: New Digital Foundation

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Digital is impacting every aspect of enterprise IT infrastructure. Achieving balance between supporting new business models (the business) and delivering support and services (technology) is hard. To survive in the digital world, radical shifts will be made in enterprise architecture, core IT competencies, and development approaches. For any organization that is “re-born digital,” this requires implementing a New Digital Foundation. This means no more legacy infrastructure. No more siloed repositories. No more disconnected data. A New Digital Foundation is a modernized platform approach that includes extreme automation, predictive analytics, centralized and consolidated architectures, and lightweight development tools Follow the disruptors and you’ll see that their processes are digitalized from end-to-end. This means every transaction, every process, and all of the data that flows in between is digital. Their underlying systems are fast and configurable. They support technologies that enhance automation, like sensors, machine-to-machine communications, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). This is extreme automation, and it lies at the core of any digital business. When processes and data are fully integrated, predictive analytics can be applied to add value all across the supply network—to offer insights into better performance, customer behavior, and product innovation. Consolidation is key. Consolidating different operating systems and applications onto a single platform is one of the most challenging IT projects, but the risk of not consolidating is greater. It could mean obsolescence. Adopting a consolidated, modern platform produces benefits in process efficiencies and reductions in IT costs. Standardization is achievable. Silos of information are united and more secure. But consolidation does more than this: It helps to lay the groundwork for Digital. With a consolidated infrastructure, your organization will be better equipped to add digital technologies and hyperscale your capabilities. A consolidated infrastructure paves the way for a modular approach, based on the development of lightweight, easy-to-integrate apps. Flexibility is a key element in future, pristine enterprise architectures, along with the ability to include global operations in a digital supply network. Whether you’re a born-digital startup or a re-born incumbent, the future of your business is intrinsically tied to building a New Digital Foundation. In many cases, this will mean rethinking your existing platform strategy, or re-platforming entirely. It may sound daunting, or even crazy, but, remember throwing away the Mainframe and client-server platforms? Welcoming (and implementing) a modernized platform approach is the only way forward. But none of this is possible without the right mentality. In my next post, I’ll look at what it means to have a “Digital Mindset” and how this attitude sets the leaders apart from the laggards. For more thoughts ON DIGITAL, download the book.

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WEBINAR: Electronic Signatures with OpenText and DocuSign

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If you have ever purchased or even refinanced a home, you have experienced the hundreds of signatures and initials required to get this done. I’ve had my share of waiting for, and paying for, FedEx packages—or even worse, trying to get my all-in-one printer to print and then fax back 50+ pages. I must have re-tried one fax 10 times with all of the paper jams. Then, when I thought all of the pages finally went through, I was told that they “didn’t get it” and I would have to start all over. This is not what you want to hear when your rate lock is about to expire! A few years ago, I bought another house, but this time I was told that everything could be done online. I signed and initialed tons of pages in no time. I hit submit and I was done! Did I mention that this fantastic time-saving tech was from a company called DocuSign? While we often hear that all successful businesses will one day be 100% digital, tedious, manual processes like obtaining signatures make that reality seem eons away. As I experienced, documents are often printed, then sent out via overnight mail or faxed, and then they are signed, returned, and stored. Aside from the costs associated with that cumbersome process, organizations risk losing visibility into the status of the document by breaking the digital workflow—leading to lost documents and a struggle to correctly determine where to store or archive the document. To improve efficiency in signature processes, OpenText provides several solutions for electronic signatures—and has recently also partnered with DocuSign to provide its Digital Transaction Management (DTM) solutions. DocuSign’s DTM solutions enable organizations to obtain secure, managed, and legally compliant electronic signatures anytime, anywhere, and from any device. The time and burden that employees associate with paper signature processes is reduced. DocuSign also helps to ensure enterprises meet compliance and information governance standards through its complete, easy-to-monitor audit trail—capturing all activities associated with the document, time stamps, and the location of where the document was signed. DocuSign has use cases in sales, human resources, finance, IT/operations, legal, marketing, facilities, support, product management, procurement, and more, and its benefits include: Return on Investment (ROI) – DocuSign creates an immediate ROI, with its instant savings on print supplies and shipping costs and long-term savings of costs and time due to faster workflows for closing sales, onboarding candidates, and much more. Customers report saving more than $30 per envelope. Customer Experience – Faster workflows and the reduction of tedious steps—such as locating fax machines or shipping locations—mean happier customers, as well as happier employees. Compliance – When documents are printed and mailed around to individual participants, form fields might be missed, and documents could easily get lost in transition. DocuSign helps enterprises with a faster workflow that includes system controls to ensure forms are filled out properly and documents are never lost—and its complete audit trail lets users know which step of the process a document is in every step of the way. For more on how DocuSign for OpenText can help your enterprise achieve these benefits, please view our webinar recording here.

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ON DIGITAL-First Fridays: Experimentation at Scale

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The Web is the greatest and most accessible research lab that ever existed. The ability to rapidly deploy and iterate and reiterate (often in randomized experiments) at mass scale is one of the most significant platforms for innovation in the field of technology today. In the pre-digital world, we test marketed an idea or feature with a working group. In the digital world, you have the opportunity to think differently and create experiments at massive scale. Large Internet companies are already doing this. Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Facebook, Google, Groupon, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix, Yahoo, and Zynga are using Experimentation at Scale to drive innovation and improve their online products and services. Whether you have 10 or 100 million subscribers, you can add a new button or feature to your website and see what happens. Instantly, all your subscribers can see it. Don’t like where it’s going? Turn it off. Instantly. Experimentation at Scale helps organizations make data-driven decisions about product development based on consumer behavior. It’s especially valuable when it’s used with Agile Development. Highly scalable systems can be engineered to process data, support millions of users, and run hundreds of simultaneous experiments. This is a new approach to engineering; standard testing and debugging techniques don’t belong here. It’s about immediate causation and correlation. The goal is to conduct a large number of experiments, rapidly, to evaluate and learn at a faster pace and a larger scale. Running thousands of experiments at the same time can produce results that typical approaches—based on iterative product releases, fixes, and customer feedback—do not. The outcomes are focused around larger effects based on data and the sheer number of users involved. Experimentation at Scale can make huge leaps forward in innovation. Then there’s the bottom line. Imagine if just a percentage of a percentage of revenue was increased by experimentation, and then multiply this by hundreds of thousands. It could mean increases in revenue by hundreds of millions of dollars. The key to effective Experimentation at Scale is the ability to admit that mistakes will happen, to iterate, and consider each idea. Digital experimentation has awesome potential. As the boundaries between reality and digital blur, Experimentation at Scale will play a critical role in the evolution of science, technology, and medicine. And it can change the way you do business. In my next post, I’ll look at how a modernized platform approach will enable organizations to harness the potential of digital while capitalizing on the opportunities it presents. For more thoughts ON DIGITAL, download the book.

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HIMSS16: OpenText Prescribes Healthier Patient and Business Outcomes

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This year’s Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference is right around the corner.  As a HIMSS North American Emerald Corporate Member, OpenText is proudly participating in the event, taking place February 29 – March 4 in fabulous Las Vegas. This year’s event is shaping up to be a great one.  Not only will OpenText continue to showcase the #1 fax server in the healthcare industry, OpenText RightFax, but joining the conversation is OpenText Analytics, a powerful analytics tools to help make better business decisions and drive better business outcomes. Join us at HIMSS and talk to our industry experts to learn how OpenText is driving greater productivity, efficiency and security in the healthcare industry. With so many reasons to talk to the healthcare experts at OpenText, we’ve narrowed it down to our favorites…. Top 3 Reasons to Visit OpenText at HIMSS Save money. Make the shift to hybrid faxing with RightFax and RightFax Connect: Hybrid faxing combines the power of your on-premises RightFax system with the simplicity of RightFax Connect for cloud-based fax transmission. Learn how to save money and make your RightFax environment even easier to manage. Drive compliance. Better patient information exchange with RightFax Healthcare Direct: RightFax is the only fax server that combines fax and Direct messaging in a single solution with RightFax Healthcare Direct. Learn how you can accelerate your road to interoperability with Direct through this new innovative solution. Make better decisions. Learn about OpenText Analytics products and revolutionize your reporting and analytics infrastructure. This will give you the tools to build the best data-driven enterprise apps. With live data analytics seamlessly incorporated into your apps, you can track, report, and analyze your data in real time. Be sure to visit OpenText at Booth #12113 Hall G, and learn how OpenText will help you save money, increase the security and compliance of patient information exchange, and make better decisions through data analytics.

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ON DIGITAL-First Fridays: Trust and Security

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The Internet is the Autobahn for Digital. And if you’ve ever driven on the Autobahn, you know that it can be a daunting—even dangerous—stretch of road to navigate. The same can be said of the Internet. The security state of the Internet is fragile, and it is up to companies and employees to take control. Digital raises your profile, raises your risk, and requires new techniques to build, earn, and keep trust. From governments to healthcare providers to employers, all of our valuable and highly confidential data floats around behind firewalls, hidden in the Deep Web. On the Public Web, millions of people access their personal data every day. Transactions are made and money is exchanged—but how safe is the Internet? I recently read in the Financial Times that customer data at a large telco was breached in the process flow between themselves and a credit check company as credit checks were completed on phone purchases. And some “bad actor” had been breaching this data for years. Wow. It’s not the Internet that’s not safe, it’s the businesses that protect information that are not safe. Our economy is online, and companies are more vulnerable to cyberattacks. If trust breaks down on the Internet, then the Internet as an economic platform will collapse. The list of casualties grows every day, with big names falling victim to cyber breaches. The attacks are becoming more sophisticated and harder to trace. And they’re becoming more frequent. You need to assume you are under attack every day, that the bad guys are on your network, and that other nation states may not share your integrity. Ultimately, you need to build a moat around your most important systems. Most companies forget that security is all about “back to basics”. Employees must be educated. Hardware and software should be up to date. And your perimeter needs to be defined and protected. When it is a trusted environment, the Web is one of the most significant platforms for innovation in the field of technology today. I’ll explore “Experimentation at Scale” in my next post in this series. For more thoughts ON DIGITAL, download the book.

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Time to Get Your Head Into the Cloud

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The cloud is not a passing trend, it is no longer just about storage and content access. The cloud is helping companies to transform how they do business in the digital world. According to Forbes Insight, 95% of organizations agree that strong information management is critical for business success. No surprise there. As the amount of information flowing through enterprises explodes and knowledge workers become increasingly dispersed, efficiently and effectively getting them the quality information they need to be productive has never been more critical. In fact, over the next decade, most established businesses will sink or swim based on how well they address this core concept. Of course, we’ve all heard hundreds (thousands?) of times that the cloud needs to play a critical role in achieving this. Not to sound like a broken record, but it does. It has to. The physical, on-premises requirements to keep up will soon be out of control and unmanageable. The statement above about sinking or swimming can just as easily be applied to adopting cloud-based technology. Just like every organization is different, there is no single reason why companies are moving some, or all, of their ECM infrastructure to the cloud. Top of mind reasons include; business agility, better access to information, quicker time to deployment, and cost reduction: According to IDG’s 2015 Enterprise Cloud Computing Survey, “48% of enterprises are moving to the cloud to replace on premise, legacy technology today. 46% are adopting cloud applications and platforms due to their speed of deployment, and 43% are focusing on lower total cost of ownership (TCO). 50% of mid-market organizations are adopting the cloud to gain business continuity.” Regardless of the reason, what’s supremely encouraging is that decision makers are steadily becoming more conscious of what the cloud entails and the benefits of incorporating it. Long gone are the days of alternating swings between visions of fluffy, white cotton balls with content lazily living out its days, and dark storm shadows rife with issues related to security, compliance, support, configuration, and cultural upheaval. The cloud has become a stable, trusted thing; it’s defined, distinct, and the benefits are tangible. Take security, for example. One of the main hurdles to cloud adoption for a long time, there is a shift underway as enterprises become more comfortable with cloud security protocols and begin to realize that the security provided in the cloud is sometimes better then what they have behind their own firewall. Cost is another of the hurdles. The cloud now has enough of a track record that enterprises can confidently trust the more predictable maintenance costs and know that the barriers to getting started are almost always much lower. So, yes, people are comfortable with this cloud concept. It works. Organizations are beginning to think they should do something big with it. And that’s the important next step. The cloud should not be about taking what is already in place and simply pushing it to a new medium, it should be about using the opportunity to assess your current business processes and information workflows and envision what they would look like in a perfect world. Are they still relevant? Are they giving your people and processes what they need to be successful tomorrow? Do they match your customers needs? Your partners? Your supply chains? This is a golden opportunity, the possibility for a step-change that’s never really presented itself to organizations before. Think about how you can fine tune, make better, make more agile, and enable a successful next decade. ECM in the cloud is not a one size fits all, nor is it software alone. Whatever is best for your organization can more than likely be realized through the cloud. There are cloud models for public, private, or hybrid deployments that allow your organization varying degrees of protection, management, and cost. There are also cloud service options which can be utilized to ensure transitioning ECM in the cloud is accurate, easy, and trusted. Also, there is a range of services to support an organization’s business, including network operations, cloud engineering, customer support services and client enablement. Is your organization ready to put ECM in the cloud? I’m pretty comfortable in saying, yes. But it’s time to explore for yourself. Take the first steps by learning about the unique OpenText approach to cloud offerings and services.

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ON DIGITAL-First Fridays: The Experience of Community

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#thisbrandsucks All it takes is a single tweet or post and a groundswell of followers—or detractors. The Experience of Community can build brand loyalty almost overnight, and it can tear it down just as quickly. Remember “United Breaks Guitars”? A Canadian songwriter wrote a trilogy of songs about how United Airlines broke his guitar during a flight and the videos went viral, receiving 15 million views on YouTube. The songs were a public relations fiasco for United, who failed to respond quickly enough to undo the damage to its image, demonstrating the power of one disgruntled digital customer. Or how about the Lululemon SNAFU? One of the co-founders blamed women’s bodies for a dysfunctional product line, causing mass outrage from female consumers and contributing to a 20% drop in the company’s stock. But what happens when a brand is able to harness the power of its community? Using the #AirbnbHV hashtag, the Airbnb Hollywood & Vines campaign collected more than 750 global submissions in a video contest. It then edited the top picks into a short film about travel and adventure. As a result of the campaign, Airbnb received 75,000 Twitter impressions with 10,000 new followers in only five days. In the analog advertising world, these results would have come with a hefty price tag, over a considerably longer timeframe. Instead, they used digital to get big results at very little cost. These results aren’t limited to business-to-consumer markets. Companies like GE, Deloitte, and InVision are using the community experience to share ideas and engage with their consumers. While Digital provides new opportunities to connect online, it’s about the people, not the platform. In successful communities, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Choice flourish. And this is a good thing because feedback allows for better content, better products, and better services. Control should be minimal. Allowing a community to self-direct leads to greater interaction and innovation. If this is not part of the Experience of Community, members (and potential brand advocates) will leave. In the old days, if a customer was dissatisfied with a product they would speak to a manager and get their money back. Today they post blogs, comments, ratings, or reviews. And the moment a tweet, video, or post goes live, users can comment and share. This happens faster than companies can respond, and when they do respond, the story has spiraled out of their control into a PR crisis. Once customers complain, they can move on. Your competitors are just a click away. In the digital world, community building is a necessary component of a digital business. So is building and maintaining trust. If your user base cannot trust your services, you will not succeed. In my next post, I’ll explore the concept of digital trust and security in more detail. For more thoughts ON DIGITAL, download the book.

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ON DIGITAL-First Fridays: A New Asset Class Emerges. Data

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We live in a digital world. A testament to this new reality is the growing value of digital content: we design complex products, manage our pipelines, transfer cash, procure trillions, hire employees—all in the form of digital content. This is the new digital reality. Information is the new currency. The impact this is having on society, business, and government is profound. Will data replace the Dollar, the Euro, the Yen? It certainly has started to. New businesses and whole industries are emerging to support the digitalization of content. Google, Facebook, and Twitter have built their businesses on the economics of data. They’re collecting it, analyzing it, and monetizing it at great profit. Data is new digital legal tender and everyone’s getting in the game. As it is commoditized in its various formats, businesses will have to find ways to reward customers in exchange for their data. Marketers will have to be more sophisticated in their use of personal data. Individual consumers will sell their personal data to organizations that are currently benefiting from collecting vast amounts of it for free. This will become common practice. When we consider the rate of increase in the amount of data generated by today’s society, we can understand how this new business model is a lucrative one. There is more data in more formats being exchanged at faster rates than ever before. Each day, we produce massive streams of data. As a result, every digital business has data to monetize. In a digital world, organizations will use analytics to mine their data for information and insight to improve business performance, to protect against fraud and risk, to get to know their customers better, and to capitalize on new opportunities. If data is the new asset class, then analytics is the next frontier in deriving value from information, uncovering “moments of truth” that empower organizations. Analytics has the power to transform facts into strategic insights that deliver intelligence for profound impact. But where there is opportunity, there is also risk. Data is vulnerable. Like money, data can be stolen. As information grows in value, so will the need to protect and manage it—and this will be increasingly mandated by governments and regulatory bodies. As a new asset class emerges, so will a new role: The Chief Data Officer. As the executive advocate for data management, the Chief Data Officer will use the exploding volumes of data and analytics to improve decision making and identify new revenue opportunities. Across the organization, every function will want access to data and insights about their operations. The Chief Data Officer will make this possible by optimizing the management of data (integrating, deploying, securing, governing) and mobilizing their organization around an information management strategy. Good data and analytics lead to strategic insights that can be used to engage customers. In my next post, I’ll look at how organizations can use these insights to not only engage customers, but to harness the power of a community of digital customers. For more thoughts ON DIGITAL, download the book.

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ON DIGITAL-First Fridays: The Internet of Things

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The convergence of technology and the Internet has created a perfect storm for innovation. Self-driving cars, refrigerators that suggest recipes based on their contents, warehouses that automatically replenish stock, and equipment that schedules its own maintenance… these sound like futuristic, sci-fi fantasies—but they are all available today. The IoT is transforming the world as we know it, creating a giant, global network of devices and machines that are connected, communicating, and exchanging data. Current estimates find that in the next decade, the IoT will add trillions of dollars to the global economy. The rapid growth of the IoT will be driven by low-cost sensors and beacons, cloud computing, analytics, and mobility. It promises a future in which every sector will be part of a hyper-connected world. While the IoT is viewed by many as a nebulous, futuristic concept, in reality, it already exists: we wear pedometers, smart watches, and cameras; our pets are microchipped; and we drive cars with built-in sensors. Wearable devices are becoming mainstream, contributing to the trend of the “quantified self”—or data-driven knowledge gained through tracking with technology. Thanks to the IoT, many of our everyday appliances will have the ability to self-monitor and communicate with a network—think Marge’s fully automated “Ultrahouse 3000” in the Simpsons. Over one-third of U.S. consumers already have IoT devices like the Nest Learning Thermostat and smart TVs in their homes. Consumers are collecting their own first-party information, and they’re using it to improve their lifestyles. Once everything is digitalized and automated across the IoT, organizations will become equally “self-aware”. Just as the quantified self is able to make healthier choices, the quantified enterprise will be empowered to make more strategic business decisions based on more accurate information. Measuring the impact of the IoT is difficult, but its potential is enormous. As the IoT introduces new streams of data, enterprises that are equipped to manage and mine exploding volumes of information will come out on top. In the digital world, data is emerging as a new asset class. In my next post, I’ll look at the opportunities (and risks) data presents and how, when coupled with analytics, organizations can transform business information into strategic insights for competitive advantage. For more thoughts ON DIGITAL, download the book.

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