Digital Transformation

Clarity First. Clarity Always – Managing Marketing Content in the Life Sciences

life sciences marketing

Marketing from the Life Sciences industry is constantly under the spotlight. US state and federal governments have handed out some eye-watering fines to pharmaceutical companies for false claims. Yet, consumers, physicians and Life Sciences companies all want the same clarity and transparency in the information delivered. Life Sciences marketing management systems need to change before the industry loses its most important asset: stakeholder trust. Operating within any heavily regulated industry is challenging and the penalties for non-compliance are rightly severe. When people’s lives are at stake, it’s clear that the marketing information has to be reliable and trustworthy. A 2016 Public Citizen showing that pharmaceutical companies had paid over $35 billion in fines over the last 25 years demonstrates that these standards have not always been achieved. However, research suggests that the public retain high levels of trust in the marketing information they receive. Kantar Media suggests that 86% of adults have had some form of medical test and 66% have had an annual physical as a result of being exposed to TV advertising. In addition, Harvard University found that over three quarters of people felt that pharmaceutical companies did adequately explain the side affects and risks of their drugs. So, most people think that Life Sciences companies are doing the right thing. They just want to be sure they can rely on what they’re being told. The limitation of modern marketing systems This is where the marketing environments within many Life Sciences companies – especially large global organizations – are currently acting as an impediment. They are constraining the agility companies need in order to fully grasp the opportunities in innovation and market conditions. They are inhibiting the ability to deliver excellent and consistent customer experience in an increasingly omni-channel world. More importantly, the lack of end-to-end control and visibility across all marketing activity and assets leaves huge potential for the type of error or over-sight that can lead directly to huge fines. The situation is totally understandable. The last decade has seen an explosion of sales, marketing and creative solutions. The result is siloed marketing ecosystems where many solutions that are incompatible with each other. Sales enablement, marketing automation, social media management, creative production systems and more all handle vital, sensitive information – almost always without any centralized control. Project management systems are often localized and provide little or no integration into the other marketing and creative systems. Add to this the need to collaborate and share information with partners and external agencies – frequently on a country-by-country basis – and the full scale of the challenge becomes apparent. The holistic approach to Life Sciences marketing What is required is a change in thinking. Life Sciences companies have to move away from a project-based tactical approach to marketing – focused primarily on campaign delivery – to a more strategic approach around the effective management and optimization of all the company’s digital assets. OpenText calls this Marketing Content Management. Marketing Content Management enables a Life Sciences company to take complete centralized control of all its digital assets and marketing activities across the entire global organization and its extended marketing supply chains. It brings together all the disparate systems that currently form the marketing ecosystem and allows the organization to take a holistic quality approach to the marketing information lifecycle for the first time. Embedded analytics help companies assess the efficiency of their processes as well the effectiveness What is most important about this approach is the level of control that the company now has. It can now ensure that information is up-to-date and correct as it passes through the marketing process. Policies and procedures can be put in place to manage all digital assets from initiation to disposal. In addition, information can be securely shared with partners and agencies. The organization can ensure that everyone works to its standards and adheres to its policies. This delivers a new level of brand protection as the marketing department will have full visibility of how its marketing materials are amended and deployed by trading partners such as resellers and distributors. Marketing Content Management eases the burden of regulatory compliance on the Life Sciences marketing organization. It delivers the transparency and auditability that means the company can ensure the information within this marketing activities is correct and reliable – and it is easy to provide the information should a regulatory agency require. It is the foundation upon which customer trust can be built and maintained. Download our infographic on the 10 Best Practices for Life Sciences Marketing Content Management to take the first steps toward improving marketing quality and process harmonization.

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Government-as-a-Platform: Toward a Digital Infrastructure Designed With Agility by Default

government-as-a-platform

The change of US presidency brings a focus on the agility of government IT systems. A rule of thumb is that you have 60 days to implement large mandates – 30 days for smaller ones – in US state and federal governments. These expectations place a strain on aging government systems that may not be able to effectively respond. I wanted to take a look at whether the “Government-as-a-Platform” approach of the UK government may offer a model that other Public Sector organizations could follow to build agility into their IT infrastructure – and provide a solid foundation for increased Digital Transformation. Let’s face it. No government on the planet has a spotless record on IT project delivery. Examples of high profile IT failures are easy to find. Bob Charette, Contributing Editor of IEEE Spectrum provided one (slightly tongue-in-cheek) reason for this: “A lot of times the systems are politically mandated in the sense that you have somebody on the Hill or Congress who will mandate a system and they’ll mandate a particular period of time and they’ll mandate the amount of money to spend and they have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about.” It’s not just the Public Sector. The history of large-scale IT projects shows a large number of programs where the costs rose exponentially and the expected benefits weren’t achieved. An incremental, evolutionary approach is always more likely to deliver than a big bang. This is especially true for Digital Transformation and that’s why, in my opinion, a ‘Government-as-a-Platform’-type approach has so much potential. The concept behind Government-as-a-Platform is simple: To create a technology infrastructure based on common, reusable components – systems, services, process, analytics, etc – that can be adopted across all levels of government to build systems, work collaboratively and share information. Kit Collingwood-Richardson, Deputy Director at the UK’s Department of Work & Pensions said: “We are going to have to start bleeding between organisational boundaries and say, we’re not this department or that department, but here is the service that we offer as a collaboration between departments.” The UK government believes Government-as-a-Platform will contribute £10 billion of efficiency savings between 2017 and 2018. Government-as-a-Platform could be seen as a response to to the EU eGovernment Action Plan for 2016-2020. The main principles includes digital-by-default, the once-only principle and the modernization of Public Administration using ‘key enablers’ such as Electronic Identification (eID), Electronic Documents (eDocuments) and authentic data sources. The key advantage, for me, is that encourages Public Sector organizations to focus as much – or more – time and effort on transforming their middle and back-office systems as they have on multi-channel digital service delivery. There is a very good reason why this is important. A recent survey into the status of eGovernment in Europe found that 81% of public services are now available online – that figure falls to only 3% when looking at fully automated services. Although governments have made major strides to provide services digitally, the speed and ease of use have advanced poorly according to system users within the research. In effect, the digital channels are in place but the actual services still need to be properly transformed. This is where the Government-as-a-Platform concept wins. It provides the building blocks for systems and data to only be created once and then shared on a cross-government basis. The ability for all government agencies to have one single view of the citizen allows for much more cost-efficient and effective service delivery. It allows the agility for new systems to be created to meet the deadlines set within political mandates. It also gives a basis for innovation and a new joined-up approach to what new services are needed and how they’re delivered. For the citizen, it means the trust and confidence that their engagement with public sector bodies – whatever they are – will be based on the proper and correct data. In essence, what Government-as-a-Platform describes is a comprehensive Enterprise Information Management (EIM) infrastructure. It’s built on the ability to bring structured and unstructured data together and allow people to collaborate using all the content and information within the organization. This centralized control allows for the use of analytics to define the insight into data needed for new service provision. It’s interesting to note that the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) recently found that Big Data came third out of the 50 forces leading change for the Public Sector globally. As importantly, selecting an EIM platform from a service provider like OpenText allows government organizations to introduce an evolutionary approach to Digital Transformation. The legacy systems that still reside within every level of Public Sector don’t need to be ripped out. Instead, they can be integrated into the central EIM system so that the benefits of Digital Transformation are realized and a longer term migration plan can be established for those systems that can’t support the delivery of modern digital services.

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European iTour – Inspiration in 5 Cities

iTour

Over the last two weeks of March, the OpenText Innovation Tour took us to meet customers in London, Paris, Munich, Stockholm and Eindhoven. It was a great few weeks with inspiring keynotes and customer presentations, interactive sessions with customers and partners, and many informal discussions on topics of interest. Highlights of iTour included: Mark Barrenechea shared his vision on digitalization trends and their impact. He concluded that “We will all be software companies,” with examples such as the 100 million lines of code that are now part of modern cars. Mark also walked us through how the “Juice has to be worth the squeeze” with digitalization, and how Release 16 delivers on that promise. Mark and James McGourlay shared the stage as they elaborated on OpenText’s Customer Centric mission and measures. Muhi Majzoub shared the product roadmap and previewed demos of new solutions that will be launched in time for Enterprise World. Of particular interest was the Documentum Life Sciences Solution – which now includes Analytics as they were integrated in first few weeks after Documentum joined the OpenText family. Muhi also showed a preview of PeopleCenter, the new SaaS application being built on Process Suite. The ECM Product team also presented a more detailed roadmap with planned advances for Content Suite, Documentum, Leap and other products. Rooms were full to overflowing for these presentations and customer feedback was great. These events provided opportunities for quality discussions with customers. Customers are looking for help managing their system due to issues with quick and effective problem resolution when their EIM system is managed internally or by a general system vendor. This is a typical scenario that causes customers to consider moving their application into the OpenText™ Cloud where we can manage it for them. In some cases they would like us to manage the application on-premises and then migrate and upgrade it into the OpenText Cloud. Customers considering upgrades wanted to discuss upgrade strategies. Should they upgrade as is and then add new functionality as a phase 2? Should they add some new features on day 1 to show immediate benefits to their users? Should they upgrade on-premises and then move to the cloud, or move to the cloud and then OpenText does the upgrade for them? OpenText recommends that we meet with their team and jointly determine the business drivers for upgrading, the expected benefits, as well as providing initial upgrade guidance. When upgrading, customer goals vary and that can drive different strategies for the upgrade project. As one of our Professional Services presenters said, customers tend to do one upgrade every few years whereas our Professional Services team does them every day. We can help! European customers in particular are looking at data protection, privacy and the growing set of compliance regulations such as the mandate to keep EU data solely within the European Economic Area (EEA). There were discussions on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the new standard taking effect in 2018 and options for managing to this on-premises and in the cloud. It seemed like many of the conversations at this year’s Innovation Tour were more about when to move to the cloud and how to prepare for it, rather than whether or not to consider it. Regardless of industry, customers are increasingly looking for cloud and hybrid options. I came home tired and inspired after so many great meetings and discussions with customers, partners and colleagues from around the world. I can’t wait to continue the in-person discussions at Enterprise World in July!

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ECM Success in Today’s World Means Evolving to the Cloud

Evolving to the Cloud

OpenText™ Content Suite and Documentum content management solutions have been the cornerstone of thousands of organizations’ effective Enterprise Content Management (ECM) programs over the past 25 years. However the concept and practice of ECM are changing. Gone are the days of ECM being viewed simply as an electronic filing cabinet. Successful digital transformation requires ECM to actively aggregate, organize, and distribute content from every corner of the enterprise. This evolution means that almost every organization is rethinking the current and future role of their ECM platform. Many of our customers are realizing that a new approach to ECM is needed as shifting demographics and changing business models redefine how, when, and where work gets done. As the industry’s largest ECM vendor we talk to a lot of organizations about content management and we use those conversations to constantly advance the development of new ways to positively impact agility and innovation within the enterprise. Examples include everything from digital modernization to employee productivity to process integration. In today’s digital world, enterprises must have the ability to make changes faster and more flexibly in order to take full competitive advantage of new functionality and use cases. Our customers are asking themselves how they can free up strategic resources to make IT and technology like ECM a revenue center rather than an operational cost. Enter cloud. Cloud-based ECM is a Successful Reality We have many customers that have done the math, worked the angles, and arrived at the same conclusion: Cloud-based ECM allows them to extract the maximum value from ECM and provide users with the content they need, when they need it, and in the context of their business process. The cloud presents a step-change opportunity to be able to quickly deliver new functionality and deploy purpose-driven solutions integrated into leading applications, whether in the cloud or in a hybrid model. Evolving to the cloud means that your IT resources are released from the behind-the-scenes work like patching, monitoring, and time-consuming upgrading. They’re freed up to shift their focus to strategically delivering new solutions with ECM that can help positively impact business processes and drive business forward into the new digital world. Organizations are increasingly looking to consume ECM in the cloud and integrate ECM into purpose-built solutions. OpenText is evolving with this change and our acquisition of Documentum positions us as a next-generation Cloud Content Services Leader. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that there are as many constructs of cloud-based ECM as there are, well, clouds in the sky. Every organization has different use cases, cultures, and legacy infrastructures. And the tools to help you accelerate your ideal Digital Transformation are increasing every day. From enterprise-wide file sharing solutions to simple, no-code apps for specific tasks to comprehensive cloud-to-cloud or cloud-to-on-premises platform integrations, almost every ECM need can be accomplished today. And wait ‘til you see what’s going to be possible tomorrow. Can’t wait? Take a look at a recent webinar we did with AIIM for a sneak peek. The time to start the journey is now and here are what I consider to be my top three to-do’s to get you moving: Understand how you can leverage the cloud to better exploit content for business value. Do your homework and complete a full cost review before diving in. Put the customer first when developing new purpose-driven applications in the cloud.

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Are Neo-Luddites Giving Digital Transformation a Pass?

A feature does battle with a smartphone

At the beginning of the 19th century, English textile workers called Luddites destroyed weaving machinery to protest “the fraudulent and deceitful manner” in which the “modern” machinery was bypassing standard labor practices.  Their fear that technology was threatening their jobs has made Luddites synonymous with an opposition to industrialization and technological progress. Today, some of these Luddite-inspired trends are alive and well in the “neo-Luddites” who resist the pull towards a world where digital is the norm, rather than the exception. While they are not destroying the modern equivalent of weaving machines, they still show a resistance to technology. New Luddites and their turn away from the latest tech When it comes to technology adoption, only 28% of Americans hold strong preferences for being early adopters of new technology products, with 26% placing themselves at the opposite end of the spectrum, indicating a stronger preference for familiar technology products. These statistics confirm that certain segments of the population will always hang on to older technology, requiring businesses to offer customers the experience they desire, regardless of how they choose to interact. The latest tablet with high-resolution display is simply not for everyone, and those less inclined to adopt new tech won’t change just to engage with your company. Across the marketplace, lower-tech trends are surfacing. Recently, Nokia rebooted its 3310 in Europe, 17 years after its first launch. At around $51, its battery lasts an amazing 31 days but its features are designed for the customer who basically just wants their phone to make calls and not much more. Even in the workplace, the trend of lower adoption of new technology is evident, with one study saying that “old-school” methods of emails, phone calls, and texts still make up 75% of all communications with co-workers. The voices of those craving a less digital path are definitely out there. An omni-channel customer experience that includes everyone For this reason, organizations are wise to implement the full breadth of omni-channel capabilities, to accommodate customers whether on the company website, via mobile devices, or through more direct, potentially less digitized, communications. Catering to customers who prefer a super-rich, perfectly orchestrated website experience, as well as those who prefer a lower tech interaction, requires organizations to take an omni-channel approach that is mindful of each group’s unique needs. A truly omni-channel solution will allow you to deliver personalized experiences that give each user what they’re looking for at every point of interaction—physical or digital, direct or on any device—across every phase of the customer lifecycle. This approach allows businesses to maintain the high-touch, customer-centric service that all your customer deserve, whether neo-Luddite or early adopter. Digital transformation is happening everywhere, and though it is an imperative to remaining competitive, it doesn’t always track exactly with the personal technology choices and preferences of customers. Every business needs to capture information across multiple channels, whether data comes in from a call center as a voice file, or in clickstreams from online orders. Businesses have to be able to understand it all; structured and unstructured. Customers are in control, so your business has to be ready to handle those preferences. So when you encounter a modern-day Luddite, be sure not to bury your head in the sand; remain agile as you cater to the younger generations, and don’t ignore the preferences of your existing base. Remember that information is everything, and providing a unified and consistent experience for all customers will determine your success. Find out how your organization can get more value across the customer lifecycle. Check out OpenText Experience Suite 16.

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Digital Transformation and Thoughts From Gartner Symposium

Digital Transformation

I recently had the opportunity to attend and present at the Gartner Symposium in Dubai on behalf of OpenText. This was a three day event held at the Madinat Jumeirah complex and the second of the Gartner Symposiums I have attended now, having been to the same event in Cape Town last September. It was a very good event, well organised by OpenText and Gartner, with a great attendee list. The key thing I found interesting from Gartner was their definition of an organisations Digital EcoSystem. This extends in all directions with Intelligence at the core, expanding out into Customers, Things, EcoSystems and IT Systems (which is not a million miles away from what I presented, happily!). Gartner’s top 10  top 10 Strategic Technology directions for 2017, which they broke out into three categories (Intelligent, Digital and Mesh), was also interesting and I went to many breakouts on this topic. My session was straight after the opening keynotes on the first day and it was the only speaking session at that time. The title of the session was “7 ways to drive Digital Transformation in your organisation”. The OpenText team had done a great job promoting the session with flyers all round the auditorium so over a third of all attendees were present, with standing room only. My 20 minute session was minutes straight before the private Gartner analyst sessions and breakouts started (and the first official break!). So what did I present to the assembled executives? As I went through drafting the deck and looked at other decks from similar events it occurred to me that one of the big challenges with Digital Transformation (and not Digitization – see this great post here on that topic) is that it could be hard to know where to start. Sure, everyone has Digital Transformation on their agenda and understands that they need to become more digital. They probably also know that they should have started this a couple of years ago and be further along their transformation journey. But it’s a very big topic to transform an organisation and so knowing where to start could be the part that is holding companies back. In OpenText we have 6 sets of solutions (pillars) that make up Enterprise Information Management (EIM). These are Content, Experience, Analytics, Discovery, Network and Process. Each of these can enable transformation across an Enterprise in different ways, be it providing a new content platform for an organisation to enable compliance, enabling different ways to market or streamlining enterprise processes. In my role in OpenText I look after our EcoSystem products (SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and SalesForce). We focus our attention on 7 ‘enterprise systems’ (based partly on the SAP Digital Core) that are present in every organisation whether you are a small startup or a large construction company. The 7 systems are IT, Finance, Products, Assets and IoT, Suppliers, Workforce and Customers. One of our key strategies is to take content, and place the content in the context of the lead application, only by having Content and Process in Context can transformation be effective. Digital Transformation – where to start What I couldn’t find in any of my research was a presentation that mapped the 6 Pillars into an organization’s Enterprise Systems – to maybe give some ideas on where to start. Transformation doesn’t have to affect every single of an organisation at once, it can be in a single Enterprise system, for example transformation of HR, or Finance. There are some obvious synergies in our solutions – our Experience solutions linked to a transformed customer experience; our Content solutions linked to IT providing an enterprise wide solution for Content Management and Archiving; and of course our Analytics solutions linked to IoT and Big Data. Also, the combination of more than one pillar such as Content and Process to improve Finance processing. In fact even in obvious areas like Experience Suite and Customer Experience by applying more than one pillar can dramatically increase the effectiveness of transformation initiatives (for example, Customer Experience is pretty meaningless without robust Analytics to measure the effectiveness of new experience). The presentation is below and highlights synergies and customers who have started their transformation by combining the solutions and systems. Each reference covers one or more of the pillars (solutions) around a particular business transformation (and are all available to read in more detail on the OpenText website). In summary So the key message from my session was: Look at the specific areas of the organisation to transform first. Combine the different solution pillars from OpenText with the Enterprise Systems that we recognise in the EcoSystem and start your transformation from there. From the feedback I received at the event and in the private sessions between attendees and myself it seemed like the presentation served its purpose. As always, I appreciate any comments, feel free to connect with me, my details are in the presentation!

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Stuck in the “Now” can Hold Back the Future of Oil and Gas

Oil & Gas

Several Oil & Gas capital project leaders I met with in Amsterdam recently have had me thinking – are we forward-looking enough in our industry? I’ve blogged before about what I believe is an opportune moment, amidst the changing price of a barrel of oil, as a chance to reinvent. On the technology side, ideas we dreamed about just a few short years ago have already taken off. When I say taken off, I mean literally. Drones are having a big impact in solving accessibility issues. On a current major offshore build, for example, I know a construction team using drones to access difficult locations and photograph construction work, enabling engineers to remotely verify construction quality and completion. In the past, this would have would have required a team of engineers on the rig, could have been dangerous to accomplish, time consuming and expensive. Bu, on the business side, there seems to be less creativity in introducing changes. Very few companies I know have a plan to transform to lighter weight, faster-moving types of companies. In the automotive industry, for example, we can see a significant shift to using hired expertise for various car components. The network of suppliers is well understood, and it is routine business to combine different talents together until the car is cost-effectively delivered. Technology companies do this as well, such as Cisco and their “liquid” workforce. It gives them flexibility, or in cloud language, elasticity, to contract and expand more rapidly. In the Oil & Gas industry, we may be focused too much on today. While it’s understandable that to ensure survival, cost cutting and personnel reduction may be needed, where is the strategic thinking to rebuild once the market rebounds? How will each level of the industry, from upstream to downstream, create a new future? The only reason we have drones checking remote pipelines now is because visionaries dreamed up better ways of doing things yesterday. I have heard from executives in our industry that there is a willingness to restart, including interest in contracted engineers to perform more work across the value chain. Certainly, there are technologies already in place to support a more dispersed, virtual team, from WhatsApp to telepresence. Our challenge now is to envision that new energy entity, and the innovative forms and operating models it may use to pull apart from the pack. What are your ideas for changing how our businesses are run? Comment below.

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Digital Transformation Just Can’t be Doing More of the Same

digital transformation

Einstein famously described insanity as repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting different results. Recent research from Gartner found that the Digital Transformation efforts of many Financial Services firms were, in effect, hoping that “doing ‘more of the same’ will equate to improved performance”. While this isn’t insanity, it’s not exactly transformational either. There has been a great deal of investment throughout the Financial Services industry to provide an omnichannel digital customer experience. But this  has yet to reap the expected benefits of Digital Transformation. Gallup has noted: “Although banks are offering more channels, they are not realizing desired outcomes such as reduced costs and higher customer engagement.” The principle reason for this is that, in many cases, banks have simply used digital technologies to underpin the business processes that were already in place. They have been able to make small efficiency improvements but nothing that is transformative. Recently, finews.com noted that digitization efforts had not really altered the core products and services offered by traditional banks. This is a statement that’s equally true in other areas of Financial Services such as Insurance – if not more so. Insurance remains 50-year-old business processes, information siloes and legacy systems that no longer meet business needs. Any organization will struggle to build the extensible, collaborative and agile business structures in those circumstances. They inhibit financial services firms fully benefiting from Digital Transformation and from delivering excellent customer experience. McKinsey suggests that this requires a two-pronged approach – Digital and operational – with the first step being to move beyond the product and service departmental silos that have so long underpinned the Financial Services model. The consultancy recommends that the business should be aligned to the key customer journeys for the firm. This recognizes that a customer journey – such as opening an account or making a claim – encompasses a number of business functions, processes and IT systems. Customer-facing journeys for a bank according to McKinsey, can typically be divided into seven categories: signing up for a new account; setting up the account and getting it running; adding a new product or account; using the account; receiving and managing statements; making changes to accounts, and resolving problems. Similar journeys can be easily mapped for Insurance firms or Investment brokers. Digitization – both of customer experience and day-to-day operations – is one of the five ‘levers’ necessary to achieve the Digital Transformation required to a customer-centric model, according to McKinsey. It sits alongside lean process design, intelligent process automation, advanced analytics and business process outsourcing. While it’s undoubtedly true that all are necessary to maximize investment in Digital Transformation, trying to do everything at once is extremely risky. An early focus on digitization is my preferred approach for a number of reasons. First, it offers a number of operational and cost ‘quick wins’. Just replacing paper-based processes with digital ones increases productivity and efficiency while reducing the cost associated with manual processing and paper storage and management. Making content digital – especially when you can bring structured and unstructured data together – can significantly reduce risk and facilitate effective compliance. This may sound very much like ‘doing more of the same’ but it isn’t. I believe that digitization is the foundation upon which other McKinsey levels are built. It is difficult to imagine how you can apply advanced analytics and intelligent process automation unless you have full control of the data within your organization. Gartner suggests that digital maturity for Financial Services companies requires that CIOs focus their firm’s participation in an expanded ecosystem that includes customers, competitors, suppliers, regulators and stakeholders from other industries. This allows for better customer connection and engagement – as well as driving innovation – within the dynamic digital markets that all Financial Services firms are facing. It also requires a sound digital platform upon which to build these new connections and services. Let me give you an example. OpenText, SAP and Delaware Consulting have recently been working with an insurance company in Asia. The firm had over 800 different types of correspondence – which totaled over 50,000 separate documents that were all printed and mailed each day. The company realized that it could make huge cost and productivity improvements if it could replace its paper-based correspondence. That was only the start. The company set about using its digitization program to radically alter how it engaged with customers. It built a completely new level of experience for its customers based around a self-service portal that went much further than simply automating the exchange of document types. Customers can receive information, ask questions, upload documents and administer their accounts. Each customer now has a personalized portal that they can access any time, anywhere and through any device. Digitization has been a foundation for this insurance company to deliver true Digital Transformation. The firm implemented the OpenText™ Extended ECM (xECM) solution to create a centralized repository of all customer information. Its agents now have a single source of truth on every individual. They now have up-to-date, real-time information when dealing with customers. The program has given the firm the ability to take an enterprise-wide view of the systems and services it needs that can help target its operations towards the specific journey of each of the customers. Digital Transformation has to be built from the ground up. It starts with replacing paper-based processes but it must gone much further. Digitization is the platform to create the business innovation and customer engagement for success. In its 2017 CIO Agenda, Gartner found the banking CIOs lagged behind other industry leaders when it came to investing in Digitization. The company recommended that Financial Services firms should dedicate as much as 40% of their IT budgets to Digitization by 2018. We can be certain that consumer demand will continue to grow and competition will continue to accelerate through digital-only financial service providers. Perhaps Gartner’s estimate will yet prove to be too conservative.

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Are we in Danger of Confusing Digital Transformation With Digitization?

digital transformation

Digital Transformation has been at the top of the priority lists of Public Sector CIOs for some time now. Yet, Deloitte research has shown only 41 percent of Public Sector leaders are satisfied with their organization’s current reaction to digital trends. Perhaps, part of the reason for this under-achievement can be found in Gartner’s study of public and private CIOs that put digitization as top of their priority list. With a focus on digitization, we may be in danger of missing the truly transformative potential of digital technology. Let’s not understate the importance of digitization though. There are great cost and efficiency benefits from converting paper-based to digital-based processes. Deloitte report into the Digital Transformation efforts in Australia found that a paper-based transaction was over 3000 times the cost of an online transaction. But, when the OECD countries signed its recommendation in July 2104 that ‘government’s develop and implement digital government strategies’, the organization made explicit that digitization was only a first step. An OECD report states: For me, the danger in digitization lies in an over-emphasis on the citizen experience to the detriment of the operational and process improvements inherent in Digital Transformation. I agree with Rick Howard, Research VP at Gartner when he says: “digital government is currently being deployed as an extension of earlier e-government initiatives, which largely preserved existing operational or service models”. Famous examples of Digital Transformation in the Public Sector – like gov.uk in the UK and census.gov in the US – demonstrate just some of the benefits of digital service provision. The more that e-government moves beyond digital information provision to end-to-end digital process the more benefits Public Sector organizations will achieve through customer engagement, targeted service provision and efficient business operations. The UK – currently the world’s leader in e-government according to the UN – has put in place a policy of ‘digital by default’ for all new services. The UK government sees success as multi-dimensional. It stated: Perhaps some early Digital Transformation programmes have been framed from the citizen to the government agency rather than from the agency out. So, we have looked at the interfaces and channels for good citizen engagements and not spent enough time on the back-end stuff. However, there is evidence that Public Sector organizations are increasingly turning their attention to the systems and processes needed to support Digital Transformation. The 2017 NASCIO survey of the technology priorities of US state CIO’s place system consolidation/optimization and legacy modernization in second and fifth places respectively. To fully reap the benefits of Digital Transformation, Public Sector organizations have to move beyond a closed business system model to introduce a platform that extends across and beyond the organization. Gartner’s Howard neatly sums it up by saying: : “In government, the system business model’s function is to deliver value isolated to the citizens within allocated jurisdictions, budgets and risk tolerance. In contrast, a platform provides the business with a foundation where resources can come together — sometimes very quickly and temporarily, sometimes in a relatively fixed way — to create value that may extend beyond budget and jurisdictional boundaries”. Implementing an Enterprise Information Management platform provides such a foundation for government agencies to re-engineer their business processes while creating the secure citizen engagement across channels that characterises effective digital government services.

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Putting the X Factor Into Customer Experience

content

For many years now we have heard that organizations must look to improve their customer experience to stand a chance of retaining their existing customer base. This, we have been told, is the cornerstone of customer engagement – but what exactly is customer experience and why is it here now? How did we ever manage without it? The fact is our propensity to always be connected means we are bombarded with information and what feels like a vast array of choices to buy the same product with the only real variations being factors like price and delivery time. What fundamental difference is there in the myriad of offers we are exposed to that leads us to choose one supplier from another? There is one ingredient behind customer experience and customer engagement that has preceded the Internet and still makes a big impact on our behavior and brand loyalty today. Walk through a modern airport or drive through the suburbs of a city and you will be exposed to advertising hoardings, walk into a dentist surgery or add yourself to mailing lists and you will encounter lifestyle magazines. These are all forms of customer experience and engagement that rely on one characteristic – they grab our attention. Often they do not lead with product data such as price or specification, they cannot measure and analyse how successful they are (unless you take into account passing traffic volume, print circulation), they simply grab our attention through something that appeals to us as humans beings – stimulus. Most often it’s visual, in the case of lifestyle magazines they might even try to appeal to our olfactory senses to advertise a scent – indeed some magazines even just smell good! But if we go back to the advertising hoardings and the lifestyle magazines examples for one moment it is easy to see that visual stimulus provides the X factor that excites us, it grabs our attention and leads us to follow up. The common name for this stimulus is content. We have all heard the phrase “every company is a media company1” and of course this is true to varying degrees – every company produces content to grab customer attention and this has transformed from a rather small set of content to what can only be described as a tidal wave of diverse material. Some talk about a “content shock2” where we are overwhelmed to the extent that we are unable to consume more, but the real issue here is that the valuable content that grabs the attention is buried amongst the volume of mediocre material. Every company faces this challenge. We have also seen that CMO’s are starting to recognize the value of content but do not prioritize its management3. Content has intrinsic value – it is expensive to produce so like any valuable material it should be collected, curated and put to use where it can have maximum impact. Could it be that we are so focused on the customer experience where we measure, analyse and try to predict our customer’s next step that we are forgetting the one factor that defines what we are? Content provides stimulus and grabs our attention. Getting our attention is the first step in becoming a customer. Lets start looking after that content. 1 – “Every company is a media company” by Tom Foremski 2 – “Content Shock: Why Content Marketing is Not a Sustainable Strategy” by Mark Schaefer 3 – “CMOs believe in value of visual assets but don’t prioritize their management” by Lisa Hoover McGreevy – Fierce Content Management

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European Energy CIOs Reap Benefit of Digital Transformation – and That’s Just the Start

Energy

According to new research from IDG and OpenText, over 90% of Energy companies in the UK and Nordic region have Digital Transformation programs in place. These companies are beginning to realize significant benefits from their digitization effort. But, Energy CIOs say, there’s much more to come. Pricing instability places focus on operational efficiency Our research showed that pricing affects energy businesses in two ways. First, the volatility in oil prices makes it difficult to properly manage supply and demand. As one UK Energy CIO put it: “Much of the sector’s focus has been on the oil price dynamics of supply and demand, and the implications for capital efficiency.” A Finnish CIO explained the flip side of pricing: “To thrive in the market amid increasing competition, we are forced to decrease our prices regularly … To add to our worries about pricing, as we are a customer-centric company we need to invest heavily on customer satisfaction measures. We also have to provide a fair price to customers along with transparent customer services.” The results of pricing pressures were neatly summed up by another UK Energy CIO: “Profit maximization is the top business concern of energy producers as they work to change the cost and process efficiency of their operations.” Digitization advanced in operations The responses to our survey from Energy CIOs suggest that early Digital Transformation efforts have focused on operations and customer experience. Managing supply and demand is a huge issue for the Energy companies surveyed, with them placing load balancing as both one of the largest industry challenges and the second biggest opportunity for digitization. It appears that many companies have made good progress in this direction. One Nordic CIO expressed a feeling common to many of the CIOs questioned: “With the help of digitization, we have connected our physical assets with the virtual environment, which helps to provide efficient output and can be monitored from different locations. Demand and supply can easily be handled, and all operations can be controlled from one location with the help of centralization of data.” The results of these efforts can be impressive. One CIO reported: “Digitization has helped us to improve operations and increase flexibility available throughout the value chain. Digital Transformation has boosted profitability by 20 to 30 percent.” Big Data ties operations to customer experience Without a doubt, one of the main benefits of Digital Transformation lies in the ability to effectively exploit Big Data. It was seen as the largest opportunity for digitization and a staggered 98% of companies surveyed said they already drew on data analytics and predictive data to make decisions. One Swedish CIO said: “We have noticed the positive outcomes of digitization through increases in productivity and can easily monitor the supply and demand processes of our organization. With the help of digitization, we can easily interact with our customers and understand their needs and receive feedback on a regular basis.” An UK CIO put a figure on this ability: “We are using advanced analytics to enhance service quality, lower costs, and preserve and deepen customer relationships. By digitizing a single core process, we can cut process costs by 20 percent in the first year while also improving customer satisfaction.” Analytics drives customer experience It’s clear from our research that all CIOs understand the power of data analytics and most are already applying the insight to improve customer services. The drive is towards delivering a highly personalized, highly individual service to boost customer loyalty and retention. “We have been adopting integrated customer services and this has helped us move from being ‘energy-centric’ to ‘customer-centric’. We have been using increasing volumes of customer data to better understand consumer behavior. A tremendous opportunity exists to develop innovative, digitally-enabled products and services, bundled to provide an integrated customer service,” said one UK CIO. Another spoke for most others when they commented: “We have been offering consumers the ability to view, monitor and purchase electricity online, on mobile and via social media. From this we have been able to offer a differentiated, modern service by providing convenient, cost-effective and personalized access to Energy packages at a range of price points.” In fact, personalized product and service development allied to personalized pricing was a common theme in this research. As a Swedish CIO stated: “In our organization we already provide various options for customers to choose from. These rates can be modified according to customers’ needs and usage. We continually work on launching new packages for customers’ requirements.” Smart Grids will make customers into partners Continually improving the experience delivered to customers will be a focus for investment for European CIOs, according to our research. A major part of this will be down to the effects of Smart Grid implementations. An UK CIO commented: “The electrical grid will underpin the future Energy network. It will enable bi-directional flows of electricity, transmit information and price signals, and ensure the optimal balance of supply and demand. This will enhance grid reliability, reduce losses, and integrate distributed resources that can help decarbonize the system. The digital grid will generate a continuous flow of data on consumption behaviors, load variations, revisions to price signals and supply response data that will help raise the efficiency of the entire system. Another CIO explained the benefits to customers and suppliers: “Power grid helps customers to make it possible to monitor and adjust their energy use through smart meters and home energy management systems that offer 24/7 usage readings. Power grid allows direct communication with end-user equipment to reduce consumption during these peak periods, lowering the need for costly standby power plants.” In effect, Energy CIOs expected that Smart Grids will help form a partnership-like relationship with customers where customers take more control of the demand side – encouraged by personalized incentive pricing – enabling the Energy company to more efficiently and cost-effectively manage supply. This may still be a few years away and the environment will be further complicated by the decentralization of power production and distributed energy resources but it seems like the direction of travel for the CIOs surveyed is already fixed. Want to find out more about how Digital Transformation is affecting UK and Nordic Energy companies? Attend the OpenText Innovation Tour taking place in London (March 21) and Stockholm (March 29). Book your place today.

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Celebrating Our Customers, Celebrating Your Success

We pride ourselves on many things here at OpenText: we are the undisputed leader in EIM, we are one of Canada’s top 100 employers and hands down; we work with the absolute best customers in the industry. As we mark the one year anniversary of our OpenText Elite™ Customer and Partner loyalty program, it’s important that we take time to say “thank you.” Technology is changing the world and we’re so proud of our customers and the amazing things that are being done with OpenText software: Together we enable doctors to access crucial patient data, pharmaceutical companies to bring lifesaving drugs to market, and keep planes safely maintained and on time, to name a few. Better Together I travel quite often to meet OpenText customers and one thing that always sticks out is the overwhelming number of customers who share their digital journey with us and I can tell you; we deeply value that feedback. I’m continually blown away by our customers’ dedication and excitement. Our customers make us who we are and drive our continued innovation to support their digital transformation. Nothing excites me more than learning how a customer is leveraging OpenText solutions to gain business efficiencies, lead in their markets or transform the world. Here is just one example from our customer, Solenis, a leading global manufacturing company: “…Implementing OpenText has increased our efficiency and helped drive down costs. And we have met our number one goal of helping key staff focus on the business, so we continue to grow, innovate and get our sales teams what they need in the field.” Charles Wallace, Chief Information Officer, Solenis …and here is just a small sampling of our amazing customers from around the world: OpenText Elite™ Celebrates a Big Milestone Thanks to our OpenText Elite™ program, we have a fantastic way to reward our customers for their willingness to share their success with others. Over the last year we have had over 500 members join – a truly incredible testament to our customers’ commitment and support. For those of you who have not joined OpenText Elite™ yet, it’s never too late. Here’s why you should join the OpenText Elite™ Program: 1. Recognition as an industry leader: It brings us great joy as a team to acknowledge the amazing things our customers do with OpenText as they lead the way the technology world changes. “It is a truly humbling experience to be recognized as an OpenText Elite™ winner by an industry leader, OpenText. HEINEKEN has always strived for improvement through innovation in the F&B sector and being acknowledged for our hard work is rewarding.”                                    Sofia Sergeenko                   Functional Consultant at Global Solutions, HEINEKEN 2. Connecting with future customers so they can learn from your success: We want to provide an opportunity for our customers to showcase how we’re changing the software landscape together. “I feel that my contribution makes a big difference when engaging with future customers of OpenText. Regardless of the time it takes out of my busy schedule, sharing how we use OpenText products brings value not only to them but to our organization as an OpenText Elite™ member.” Sonia Diaz-Sotomayor Senior Consultant, IT/IS, Bell Canada 3. Obtaining early access to insight and roadmaps: We value our customers’ input and relish the opportunity to have them help shape our roadmap and the future of OpenText. “By being part of the OpenText Elite™ Customer Loyalty Program, our organization obtains early insight into OpenText roadmaps and has the opportunity to influence the execution of those roadmaps.” Wouter Van Der Heever Enterprise Information and Performance Systems Management, DISTELL 4. Forming connections with like-minded industry leaders: Our customers are thought leaders who are shaping the industry through their innovative and transformative use of OpenText technology. “OpenText Enterprise World allows us to make connections with people in our industry and we help each other by advising on the best ways to implement. It is very valuable.” Clint Wentworth Manager IS Project, NuStar   5. Gain rewards and recognition: We put our money where our mouth is – our customers are the lifeblood of our business and we want to ensure that they know how important they are to us. #LoyaltyRewarded “Abu Dhabi Airports is excited to share how our efforts are recognized and rewarded as an OpenText Elite™ Award winner. This motivates the whole team to develop ways to utilize the features OpenText applications provide us.” Hamed Al Hashemi VP Information Technology, Abu Dhabi Airport   We are thrilled with the progress we’ve made in our first year and look forward to the continued growth of our OpenText Elite™ Loyalty Program. Thank you for your support and partnership, and happy anniversary, Elite! If you’d like to learn more about the program, please reach out to elite@opentext.com.

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Challenges & Opportunities In Energy’s Digital Transformation

Innovation Tour

In this post we introduce guest blogger Martin Veitch, Editorial Director at IDG Connect UK, who will present at the Innovation Tour in London on March 21, 2017. The energy sector’s focus has historically been on the oil price dynamics of supply and demand. The implications for capital efficiency, business intelligence, data management, and enterprise information management technologies are now changing the once physical nature of energy. Globally both companies and business leaders are now grappling with a world that is more volatile and more complex, yet demands greater agility, more speed, and more digital competence. It’s a topic we’ve studied in depth, surveying senior executives in energy companies across the UK, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. I’ll be presenting the research findings in greater depth and explaining why digital transformation is so crucial for the energy sector in my upcoming presentation at the OpenText Innovation Tour London on 21 March. Obviously I don’t have space to cover all of the main findings and implications from our research in this blog, so I’d like to touch on just some of the industry-wide challenges and degree of digitisation we are seeing. The biggest challenges the research discovered are around maintaining service levels, and avoiding down-time, which are both crucial for the energy industry as every down-time second impacts the bottom line. The second biggest challenge cited by our respondents involves customer retention and meeting industry regulations. New industry disruptors are more agile and able to adapt to new regulations faster, giving them a competitive edge in winning market share. And of course, just about every company is concerned about making enough money to maintain, repair and replace infrastructure and assets – especially the capital investments required in both digital technology as well as physical plants. Which leads to another issue – the current lack of digital skills and what to do about. (I’ll be touching on how some companies are addressing these challenges in my presentation). Respondents say the best opportunities for digitalisation lie in the ability to store and search media rich content effectively and gain insight to make better decisions. The three obvious areas of digitisation – keeping up with supply and demand and load balancing, administrative workflows, and customer contact – still have a long way to go in many energy companies. Most are focused on the front end looking at digital interaction with customers for workable and attractive solutions, but successful digital transformation requires a holistic, end-to-end view. But lack of budget, management buy-in, and being able to point to a hard ROI remain big barriers to digitalisation. There’s still time to get your house in order – most respondents in our research expect full digitisation to become a reality in the next 5-10 years. But the runway is getting shorter. As technology disrupts business models, adoption accelerates and competition increases, digital readiness will become one of the deciding key factors in long term success. If you look at every other industry that has gone through disruption, history shows that technology powers the winners – period. If you’d like to hear how the leading energy companies are getting their house in order, join me on the 21st March at the Innovation Tour.

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Analytics is Key to Digital Transformation in UK Manufacturing

digital transformation

When TS Elliot famously wrote ‘Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?’ he could easily have been speaking about the vast amounts of data produced by every manufacturing organization today. It’s the new lifeblood of business, but only if it can be properly harnessed. Recently research from OpenText and Sapio Research suggests that knowledge of data analytics is still in its infancy and is holding back Digital Transformation efforts within UK manufacturing companies. Manufacturing is one sector where Digital Transformation will have the biggest impact. It goes far beyond the process of digitization to improve productivity and efficiency. It provides the opportunity to embrace product and market innovation in a way that drives completely new revenue streams. Little surprise then that 80% of respondents to our ‘Digital Transformation in Manufacturing’ survey placed it as a key priority for their business. Change is accelerating While the transition to digital processes is disrupting the sector, it has taken companies some time to put in place the plans to respond. In fact, a full 90% of respondents who had plans admitted that they have begun implementing them within the last 24 months. Worryingly, almost one fifth of respondents didn’t have a plan. It’s very clear from our research that companies understand the value in the data created with any Digital Transformation program. When asked what they considered the key benefit of Digital Transformation, the ability to improve decision-making based on big data analytics came top of the list. Strategies are becoming actions Companies have started work on creating the environment where big data analytics can be fully exploited. Our survey showed that over 50% of respondents has already begun digitizing unstructured information into a contextual framework with a further 34% planning to do so within the next 18 months. In addition, almost half had introduced processes that filter and analyze internal data to help optimize business insight, with 47% planning to do so within the next 18 months. In terms of business operations, the ability to organize and analyze data is already producing benefits for manufacturing companies. When asked, almost two thirds of respondents said they were already using analytics to improve productivity. Over half the companies surveyed were using analytics to achieve supply chain efficiencies. Yet, more business oriented objectives are still lagging behind with only 40% of respondents said they were using analytics to enhance their levels of customer engagement. Analytics skills is still a barrier While our research report shows that real progress has been made in both Digital Transformation and the implementation of data analytics, it remains a barrier. In fact, handling and analyzing the vast volumes of data create ranks as the second and third most significant hurdle to the adoption of Digital Transformation. Manufacturing companies are struggling to gain visibility of all data held in various silos within the business. It is very interesting to note the affect that survey respondents see these legacy, non-integrated systems spread throughout the organization having on their business. Over 70% said that disparate and legacy systems had a negative impact on scalability, 60% said it impeded business agility and 70% felt it held back business innovation. There is an urgent need for organizations to consider implementing a robust infrastructure that supports data analytics as an enterprise-wide capability. With investment a major challenge for Digital Transformation programs, manufacturing companies need a centralized system that can provide complete control and visibility across all its information – both structured and unstructured – and allow advanced analytics to be applied for real-time business and operational decision-making. OpenText™ Content Suite is a Enterprise Information Management (EIM) system that provides the building blocks to underpin an organization’s Digital Transformation while connecting with legacy systems and information silos to maximise investment and speed the transformation and implementation processes. It includes the powerful OpenText™ Analytics Suite, including OpenText™ Big Data Analytics (BDA),  whose advanced approach to business intelligence lets it easily access, blend, explore, analyze and display data. Want to find out more about how Digital Transformation is affecting UK and Nordic manufacturers? We are presenting the results of our Digital Transformation in Manufacturing Survey at the OpenText Innovation Tour in London (March 21) and Stockholm (March 29).   Join us at either event and find out more.

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Digitalisation: Hits and Misses in the Energy Industry

energy

In this post we welcome guest blogger Dario Nazemson, Business Unit Manager, IDG Connect Nordics who will present at the Innovation Tour in Stockholm on 29 March. The speed and scale of the digital transformation is impacting multiple industries, including energy. Whilst much of the sector’s focus has historically been on the oil price dynamics of supply and demand and the implications for capital efficiency, the speed and scale of advancing digital technologies like business intelligence, and data and enterprise information management are now digitally transforming the once physical nature of the energy industry. Companies and business leaders are now grappling with a world that is more volatile and more complex, yet demands greater agility, more speed, and more digital competence. It’s a topic we’ve studied in-depth, surveying senior executives in energy companies across the UK, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. I’ll be presenting the research findings in greater depth and explaining why digital transformation is so crucial for the energy sector in my upcoming presentation at the OpenText™ Innovation Tour Stockholm on 29 March. As I don’t have space to cover all of the main findings and implications from our research in this blog, I’d like to touch on just some of the industry-wide challenges and degree of digitisation we are seeing. The biggest challenges the research discovered are around maintaining service levels, and avoiding down-time, which are both crucial for the energy industry as every down-time second impacts the bottom line. The second biggest challenge cited by our respondents involves customer retention and meeting industry regulations. New industry disruptors are more agile and able to adapt to new regulations faster, giving them a competitive edge in winning market share. And of course, just about every company is concerned about making enough money to maintain, repair and replace infrastructure and assets – especially the capital investments required in both digital technology as well as physical plants.  Which leads to another issue – the current lack of digital skills and what to do about. (I’ll be touching on how some companies are addressing these challenges in my presentation). Respondents say the best opportunities for digitalisation lie in the ability to store and search media rich content effectively and gain insight to make better decisions. The three obvious areas of digitisation – keeping up with supply and demand and load balancing, administrative workflows, and customer contact – still have a long way to go in many energy companies.  Most are focused on the front end looking at digital interaction with customers for workable and attractive solutions, but successful digital transformation requires a holistic, end-to-end view. But lack of budget, management buy-in, and being able to point to a hard ROI remain big barriers to digitalization. There’s still time to get your house in order – most respondents in our research expect full digitisation to become a reality in the next 5-10 years. But the runway is getting shorter. As technology disrupts business models, adoption accelerates and competition increases, digital readiness will become one of the deciding key factors in long term success. If you look at every other industry that has gone through disruption, history shows that technology powers the winners – period. If you’d like to hear how the leading energy companies are getting their house in order, join me on the 29th March at the Innovation Tour. You can register here.

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Bye-Bye Repetitive Marketing Tasks, Hello Compelling Customer Conversations

For nearly two decades, email has been the main message bearer in marketing. But with tightening regulations, it is becoming less and less viable to simply email your database—not to mention the ‘email fatigue’ we all feel; it’s simply becoming a less effective tactic. As marketers look to uncover alternative ways to get their message out, many organizations are opening deeper, more effective dialogues with customers through compelling content. Today’s customers desire interactive conversations with organizations, to get to know not just the product but the organization behind it. Email as a marketing tool will be dead in 5 years or less, and marketers need to think quickly about what will replace it in the age of the digital customer. Content and conversations, self-service and self-selection will form the epicenter of B2B and B2C marketing. Creating rich, engaging and, most importantly, timely customer interactions from initial contact through to buying takes time, data and a deep understanding of both current and future customer requirements. And while many of today’s marketing leaders recognize this, most would admit that they just don’t have the insight they need to really deliver on a customer-centric approach. But, today’s marketing automation tools can help create digital experiences. These tools nurture close relationships, and engage customers at every step of the decision journey to drive brand loyalty, revenue, and customer lifetime value, freeing up marketers to focus on creating compelling content. The Power of Content Content alone is not enough. It must be compelling. It must be engaging. And, it must be optimized to reach your customers at each touch point. Compelling content draws audiences in to your message. They begin a journey with the brand, from awareness to consideration to decision and advocacy. Unlike email, the ultimate interruption-driven marketing tool that pushes your message, content and experience marketing drives the journey through engagement with your customer, and is more efficient—costing over 60% less (62% less) than traditional campaigns. The Journey There is no single “channel” that today’s marketers can rely on to engage with customers. Customers today interact via multiple avenues, whether through social channels, a brand’s “owned” digital properties or more traditional routes like the media. In each case, the customer must experience a continuous, personalized and authentic digital journey that offers the best experience at every point of interaction and in every phase of the lifecycle. With a lineup of engaging content, customers can delve into the information they are looking for in their preferred medium. For instance, almost 50% of Internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store (Google, 2016). In a recent report on demand generation, 96% of B2B buyers said that they want content with more input from industry thought leaders, and over 50% said they relied on content as they researched buying decisions—from both the vendors and independent third parties. With all roads leading to the power of engaging and personalized content, it’s time to re-focus on the future of marketing. The Freedom to Create More Content Knowing how important content is, it’s time to balance your efforts. The bottom line is this: a big driver of today’s conversion rates is compelling content. The better the content, the better the conversion rate. But with all the technology and touch points and channels in play, there’s no question that marketers are making tough choices on where to spend their time. Automate your marketing processes and free your big thinkers to create the kind of content that speaks to your audiences in personal terms. For more information on how you can automate your marketing operation, check out the OpenText Experience Suite.

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Regulatory Matters: Collaboration is key for Life (Sciences) in 2017 – Part Two

Regulatory

The Life Sciences sector is very innovative. The Boston Consulting Group found that almost 20% of the world’s most innovative companies came from the sector. In fact, PwC suggests that Healthcare will surpass Computing as the largest industry by R&D spend by 2018. Shining a light on the innovation paradox Yet, for all the effort, there is still a lack of new products. Last year marked a six-year low for new drug approvals by the FDA. The rise of treatment-resistant superbugs has shone a light on the fact that there hasn’t been a completely new antibiotic for over 30 years. The poor return on R&D investment explains the paradox between innovation increase and new product decrease. Deloitte found that returns on research and development investment at the top 12 pharmaceutical companies fell to just 3.7 percent in 2016 from a high of 10.1 percent in 2010. While many Life Sciences executive remain upbeat about the development of new medicines, it’s clear that two factors will drive success: achieving improved operating efficiencies internally and creating more strategic alliances externally. The Internet of Things will increase the focus on cybersecurity In 2014, the Financial Times found that cyber security for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries worsened at a faster rate than any other sector. As the sector becomes more and more IT driven in terms of innovation, R&D and manufacturing, cyber crime has been increasing in areas such as intellectual property (IP) theft, international espionage and denial of service attacks. As the sector looks to embrace digital transformation and the Internet of Things (IoT), cyber security is likely to be top of every CIOs priority list. The trend towards preventative and outcome-centric models relies on the ability to monitor and measure the health of individual patients. Whether wearables or other intelligent medical devices, the requirement for some form of online connectivity creates a vulnerability. At a recent cyber security conference, experts showed how items such as an insulin pump can be hacked. This represents a real threat to the individual but also raises the possibility of devices such as pace makers being used to launch denial of service on other targets. Addressing cybersecurity concerns, the FDA has issued guidance to medical device manufacturers to mitigate and manage cybersecurity threats. The excitement around IoT has to be tempered with the need to deliver water-tight security. This stretches way beyond the ability to gain access to user devices. It has to encompass data in transit and the management and storage of data within the life sciences company itself. Security-by-Design – built into all OpenText solutions – will become a foundational element of every part of the IT infrastructure for healthcare and pharmaceutical companies. Achieve operational efficiencies to improve margin and time to market With the focus firmly on value-based medicine, personalized care and population health, the Life Sciences sector is experiencing new levels of convergence and collaboration. Companies have begun to transform their business operations through collaborative product development and new service development. The ‘not invented here’ model is no longer appropriate for increasingly complex and expensive product lifecycles. As Deloitte points out: “Collaborating throughout the product development lifecycle is becoming an increasingly common and effective way for biopharma and medtech companies to offset mounting R&D costs, funding shortfalls, increasing disease complexity and technology advances”. In 2017, life sciences companies are transforming their traditional, linear supply chain into a supply chain of dynamic, interconnected systems that integrate their ecosystem of partners. This new supply chain modality allows organizations to extend their value chain beyond product development into the enablement of care in an increasingly outcome-based healthcare environment. By creating a secure, open and integrated supply chain, organizations are able to reduce cost, increase quality and manage risk across the partner ecosystem. It provides the foundation to quickly and easily extend the partner network for Life Sciences. As you evaluate your business strategies and priorities over the next 12-18 months, collaboration with trusted partners like OpenText can prepare your organization for the challenges ahead. Contact me at jshujath (@opentext.com) to discuss how we can help. If you missed the first blog in this two part series, you can view it here.

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Regulatory Matters: Collaboration is key for Life (Sciences) in 2017 – Part One

Life Sciences

Life Sciences, like life itself, is constantly evolving. The rigid, product-based environment of complementary but discrete healthcare specialists is rapidly being replaced with a fluid ecosystem where growing and global value chains and strategic alliances drive innovation and price competitiveness. Secure collaboration is key as Greg Reh, Life Sciences sector leader at Deloitte says: ” All of the pressures that life sciences companies are under, be they cost, regulatory or operational, in some way shape or form can be de-risked by adopting a much more collaborative approach to R&D, to commercialization, to manufacturing and distribution”. As increased collaboration touches every part of a Life Sciences business, there are a number of trends that will affect most companies during 2017. Prepare for uncertainty in the compliance landscape There has been a great deal written about the affect that the Trump administration will have on regulatory compliance.  Amid all the uncertainty, Life Sciences companies can’t take a ‘wait and see’ attitude. One thing we do know for certain is that new legislation and regulations will keep coming. Whether the pending regulations on medical devices in the EU  or MACRA  (the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act) in the US, regulatory change does not stand still – not even for a new president! We also know that there is greater focus on enforcement. According to law firm, Norton Rose Fulbright, almost one third of all securities class actions in the US in 2016 were against Life Sciences companies, a figure that had risen in each of the previous three years. The company noted that 56% of claims in 2014 were for alleged misrepresentations or omissions. In response, companies have been placing focus on effective marketing content management to develop appropriate quality control on promotional and advertising materials. In addition, enforcement is becoming more stringent is areas such as TCPA and FCPA – where last year the global generic drug manufacturer Teva International agreed to pay $519 million to settle parallel civil and criminal charges. Within extended value chains, compliance becomes an increasingly collaborative process to ensure that information is available to the regulators. However, in compliance, collaboration is working both ways. Life Sciences companies need to be more collaborative as global regulators and enforcement agencies are already cooperating with each other. As global regulators and agencies share information and work together, it becomes even more important to manage compliance risk across the organization and beyond. Consumer price sensitivity continues to drive value-based pricing models According to Statista, the sales of unbranded generic drugs almost doubled between 2005 and 2015. In Japan, the government has an objective of substituting 80% of branded drugs with generics by 2020. There is increasing price sensitivity within both the buyer and regulator communities. Within many economies, the depressed fiscal environment limits the potential for healthcare spending. Governments and insurance companies want to shift payment for product sales to patient outcomes. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) wants 90% of all Medicare payments to be value-based by 2018 . This value-based pricing model places extra burdens on drug companies but also offers opportunities for the organzations to maintain the profitability within branded drugs. It provides the opportunity to look ‘beyond the pill’ to look more at the patient and what they’re doing. This requires end-to-end evidence management systems that exploit the masses of data created through managing patient outcomes to deliver value-added services around patient wellbeing, rather than simply selling more or more expensive drugs. At OpenText, we would expect most digital transformation efforts to include an element to enable the correct environment for value-based pricing, especially as operational efficiencies and time to market are improved. Part Two of this blog is available to read here.

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2017. The Year Distributed Becomes Mainstream for Utilities?

Utilties

There’s been a great deal written about the regulatory uncertainty surrounding the new President but one thing is certain: the influence of renewables and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) will continue to grow. So, will 2017 be the year that Utility companies fully embrace DERs and what will this new business model look like? The growth of DERs The challenges of loss of revenue due to DERs and the justifiable concern of the utilities that the DER users are not paying their fair share of Grid maintenance costs will need to be taken into account by regulators when they are making the Rate Design policies. At the same time, the Utilities are also beginning to see the opportunities that DERs bring to an aging infrastructure, badly in need of modernization allied with increasingly stagnant demand. Regardless of the new administration’s attitude to the EPA, the Clean Air Act or the Clean Power Plan, it is clear that the US government is keen to legislate in a way that Utilities companies are rapidly adapting to DERs ties grid modernization to the integration of DERs. Indeed, we are beginning to see more and more evidence of Utility companies investing in DERs as a means to abandon or defer upgrades to existing bulk generation and transmission/distribution assets. There are at least two reasons for this: renewable energy – especially solar – is rapidly reaching price parity with traditional energy sources, even natural gas. In some cases, solar and wind are proving, on average, most cost-effective than natural gas. The second reason is that Utility companies understand they need to change from a ‘cost centric’ to a ‘customer centric’ model to survive. Utilities companies are rapidly adapting to DERs While Utility companies struggle with stagnant or declining demand which has meant them seeing any impingement from DERs as a serious competitive threat, customers have been faced with rising costs and declines in the quality of service including unexpected power outages and planned rolling black-outs. So, the growing customer demand for DERs is completely understandable. It is not seen by most as a money-making scheme but more as a way of improving energy provision services in a way that may lower the cost to them. It is that context that has seen Utility company executives quickly turn their attention to the opportunities – not the threats – of DERs. It is instructive that in the State of the Electric Utility Survey 2015, 56% of the utility sector respondents said they understood the opportunities of DERs but were unsure how to build a viable business model. A year later, they had begun work on those models – with the majority favoring partnership with third party providers as the best route. Seizing the DER opportunity Whether acting as an aggregator for DER providers and microgrids or developing completely new supply chains, the Utility companies can lower the cost of DER market entry while protecting existing revenue generation and beginning to explore entirely new service opportunities away from bulk generation into niche and targeted supply. For this to succeed, two things must happen. First, Utility companies that have traditionally provided an end-to-end service must learn how to work in what ABB has neatly termed the energy neighbourhood.  ABB states: “Adopting the energy neighborhood perspective can help bridge historic silos in the energy market, which have been hindering the evolution of more flexible, efficient, sustainable, and environmentally friendly energy systems. By working together more, or at least consulting each other more regularly and proactively, utilities, DER operators and customers can make mutually beneficial decisions about assets, business operations and resources.” Secondly, The ability to communicate and share data and information across this neighborhood becomes essential and proactively adopting digital is going to be a key requirement in Utilities. The DER market already requires sensors and meters to regulate quality and output, the type of ecosystems being built for Utilities to integrate DERs into the grid require complete transparency and visibility. The Utilities, DER companies and customers working together have to be able to make complete sense of the structured and unstructured data involved in service delivery. Coping with this level of digital disruption was recently covered in an interesting blog from OpenText CMO, Adam Howatson which you can read here. In practice, terms of service, SLAs and production and maintenance schedules will need to be combined with generation data and ratings engines to ensure that every party is sure that they and others are fully meeting their obligations. This is especially true with the trend towards Time of Use (ToU) and other demand-side rating design as a means to more effectively compensate DER providers. The challenge will be to implement new types of software – such as EIM – that can act as a central, integrated platform of communications, content sharing and data analytics both within the Utility company and beyond to connect and engage with customers, DER providers and, of course, the regulators. Successful integration of DERs with the existing grid is going to be critically important, as DERs are forecasted to have a big impact on the “Duck Curve” – Net Load forecast curve for the 24 hours of the day. California System operator, CAISO, has performed detailed analysis of net load forecasts till the year 2020 and has shown the need for steep ramping of resources and possibility of over-generation risks. CAISO is also working with the industry and policymakers on rules and new market mechanisms that support and encourage the development of flexible resources to ensure a reliable future grid. American Council for Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has recently reported that Utilities can drive a 10% reduction in peak demand by using demand response capabilities and reduce the impact of the steepening Duck Curve.  New EIM software as an integrated platform for communications will be crucial for the Utilities. It is essential for the successful sharing of content and structured and unstructured data with all the stakeholders including DER providers, Customers and System Operators and for introducing new Demand Response technology initiatives. Read more on page 2 to find out about regulation, and regulators taking center stage.

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What are the key Strategic Initiatives for 2017 for OpenText and SAP?

S4/HANA

As always in early January a few of us attend the SAP FKOM (sales kick off) event in either Barcelona, Singapore or Orlando. This is a great opportunity to meet with SAP Sales teams and introduce people to our joint solutions. As we prepared and attended this year, we defined a number of key strategies for 2017 and beyond – Journey to S/4HANA, Cloud and IoT. Journey to S/4HANA At a recent UK conference, the number of customers who had migrated to SAP was only 5% meaning that there are a lot of customers who are planning, or yet to start their migration to S/4HANA. The solutions we offer can both speed up the migration and reduce the costs of the migration. When migrating to S/4HANA organisations should ask themselves “Do I need to move all my content from all these systems?” and “As part of my migration, can I decommission some of these applications” and to save time, the answers are No and Yes respectively. With our solutions a customer can store all non-live data in a fully compliant archive, before migrating only the live enterprise data into the S/4HANA Platform. This will save money when purchasing S/4HANA Appliances up front. And, of course, since all the content that is archived can be accessed from the S/4HANA applications, customers can safely decommission their legacy applications, saving money on hardware, software and support costs as well as reducing their carbon footprint and helping the environment. Finally, by maintaining an effective archive strategy, customers can also keep the growth of the S/4HANA platform controlled and predictable. The graphic above is an indication of the savings over 3 years that can be achieved for an average-sized SAP implementation. Cloud We are committed to offering our solutions in both the OpenText and SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud (HEC)  as well as certification for other clouds such as Azure; and offering the correct cloud pricing structures, and quick start solutions. Our latest cloud release is Extended ECM for SuccessFactors. This solution allows SuccessFactors users to view the employee file within the SuccessFactors UI, rather than having it in two separate applications or in extreme cases, archived in a paper file somewhere. As with the example provided above, time and cost savings can be impressive. In addition, not only does xECM For SuccessFactors allow for viewing the employee file, it also supports the automatic generation of employee letters (for example, in response to employee queries, performance reviews, etc.) thus automating the process whilst delivering personalised letters in paper and electronic format. Other OpenText for SAP solutions will be certified and released for the cloud over the coming months, so keep watching for more announcements. IoT In the EcoSystem world of OpenText and SAP the IoT is one of the most discussed topics. It is probably the largest industry buzz-word over the last 12 / 18 months and could enable new business models for almost every organisation. With over 5 million devices being registered each day the relevance of ‘Things’ is increasing. A lot of ‘Things’ are generating structured data, which means a massive increase in structured data storage is coming for SAP customers. Machine learning and AI are key topics when dealing with unstructured data – how to interpret, decide and respond to the new data correctly. But what about the content? I recently watched a great whiteboard session detailing an entire data-driven scenario around the IoT Fridge, reporting faults, that lead to repair cycles, supplier interaction, billing, shipping of parts and a lot more scenarios. This was a great example of the SAP Digital Core but at no point was content mentioned, even though a large amount of the process above was automated, content is still being generated – in the form of employee work orders, billing, invoicing, customer warranty information, guarantees, receipts and supplier invoices for example. So, as the IoT and associated topics continue to be delivered and new use cases are invented, there is also going to be more and more content generated, and that needs to be managed effectively by OpenText. We will be attending the SAP Innovation Forums all across EMEA in the coming months and I will be in Dubai in 2 weeks at the Gartner Symposium. If you are also attending feel free to reach out to me for a chat about the above, or anything related to OpenText and SAP.

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