Digital Transformation

Redefining The Customer Journey

customer journey

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

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Analytics at 16 — Better Insight Into Your Business

contact center analytics

It’s been 16 years since the dawn of Business Intelligence version 2.0. Back then, the average business relied on a healthy diet of spreadsheets with pivot tables to solve complex problems such as resource planning, sales forecasting and risk reporting. Larger organizations lucky enough to be cash-rich employed data scientists armed with enterprise-grade BI tools to give them better business insights. Neither method was perfect. Data remained in silos, accessible in days, not minutes. Methodologies such as Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), extract-transform-load (ETL), and data warehousing were helpful in computing and storing this data, but limitations on functionality and accessibility remained. Fast forward to today. Our drive to digitize analytics and provide a scalable platform creates opportunities for businesses to use and access any data source, from the simplest flat files, to the most complex databases, and online data. Advanced analytics tools now come as standard with connectors for multiple disparate data sources and a remote data provider option for loading data from a web address. These improvements in business analytics capabilities provide industry analysts with a rosy outlook for the BI and analytics market. One is forecasting global revenue in the sector to reach $16.9 billion this year, an increase of 5.2 percent from 2015. A Better Way to Work While business leaders are clamouring for more modern analytics tools, what do key stakeholders — marketers and the business analysts who support them, end-users, and of course IT and their development teams — really want in terms of outcomes? Simple: businesses want their analytics easy-to-use, fast, and agile. Leading technology analysts have commented that the shift to the modern BI and analytics platform has now reached a tipping point, and that transitioning to a modern BI platform provides the opportunity to create business value from deeper insights into diverse data sources. Over the last few years, OpenText has established its Analytics software to serve in the context of the application (or device, or workflow) to deliver personalized information, drive user adoption, and delight customers. Our recent Release 16 of the Analytics Suite is helping to enable our vision of using analytics as “A Better Way to Work.” The Analytics Suite features common, shared services between the two main products — OpenText™ Information Hub (iHub) and OpenText™ Big Data Analytics (BDA) — such as single sign-on, single security model, common access, and shared data. Additionally, iHub accesses BDA’s engine and analysis results to visualize them. The solution includes broadly functional APIs based on REST and JavaScript for embedding. Both iHub and BDA are available deployed either on-premises or as a managed service to serve business and technical users. Understand and Engage This focus drives our approach. At a high level, we enable two key use cases (as illustrated below). First, advanced analytics harnesses the power of your data to help you better understand your market or your customers (or factory or network in an Internet of Things scenario). Second, you engage with these users and decision makers with data-driven visual information like charts, reports, and dashboards—on the app or device of their choice. Whether you are looking to build smarter customer applications or harness the power of your big data to beat the competition to market, analytics is the bridge between your digital strategy and business insights that drive smarter decisions—for every user across the enterprise. Check out the Analytics Suite today and gain deeper insight into your business.

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EIM – Roadmap For Manufacturing Transformation

EIM

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

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Fax in Your B2B Digital Transformation

fax

The journey of digital transformation. It’s likely that your supply chain has already started the trip. If not, then it’s very likely to start soon. Catalysts may be corporate events like mergers and acquisitions; initiatives like supply chain visibility; or IT projects like an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system upgrade. Throughout the trip it’s important to consider your B2B partners — including distributors, transportation carriers, banks, insurance providers, or purchasing organizations — that help you deliver the level of quality in products or services that your customers expect. Your largest partners may already be on a similar journey of digital transformation so you can count on them to move forward with you, perhaps your mid-sized partners are as well, especially those with enough capacity or IT resources to support their B2B infrastructure. But what about your smallest partners? They may have little or no IT resources to support B2B processes and so rely on manual methods for invoices, purchase orders, delivery notices, and other B2B documents. To send these documents they will likely rely on a fax machine. If your business receives these faxes on a regular basis then you may have a community of small partners that could be left behind in the digital journey. It’s time to consider the fax in your B2B environment. According to a recent study, ‘The Current and Future State of Digital Supply Chain’, 48% of respondents rely on fax, phone, and email to interact with supply chain partners. That number reflects a vast amount of manual processes that could simply be accepted as the status quo. Businesses that seek to increase their visibility and transform their supply chain can lose sight of the fax—and the smallest partners as a result. With OpenText™ Fax2EDI, OpenText™ Business Network customers can automate fax-based processes with their trading partners. Cloud-based image capture services transform supply chain documents received via fax or email into machine-readable information, ready for integration into your back-office systems. So the next time you see a B2B document received through a fax machine consider the trading partner on the other end. Will they join in you in the transformation of your supply chain?

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NAB Show 2016 – Not My First DAM Rodeo

OpenText at NAB

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

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Introducing Process Suite 16

Process Suite 16

Real-world business processes can be messy, inefficient and downright painful – we know! We have listened to your feedback, identified your key pain points, and now, are pleased to announce the solution to your business process problems: OpenText™ Process Suite 16. Our new OpenText Process Suite 16 Platform (Process Platform) delivers the power and flexibility you need to digitize, automate and integrate your business processes across functions, systems, machines, and clouds. Process Platform facilitates the process-flow of information throughout your business in human-to-human, human-to-machine and machine-to-machine interactions. And most importantly, these processes can be either structured or unstructured – providing you with the ultimate control to optimize and expand your business performance. The Process Suite 16 Platform was built to simplify the effort it takes to get to a business solution. At a high level, here are some of the new features that will help businesses achieve their desired business outcomes more quickly and easily: One Platform, Two Approaches: Most processes that span a business are at times structured (process), and at other times ad hoc (case). Process Suite 16 enables you to use a single system to easily manage these processes as they transition from structured to case and back again, which better supports the reality of your day-to-day business. Simplified Application Development: Process Suite 16 introduces a new low-code application development approach that provides an alternative to process-centric design. Instead of following a process-driven design, you can build a process application based on how the information needs to be processed. This is more intuitive for business experts and enables them to be directly involved in development. When IT support is required, developers work within the same environment to streamline communication and speed the time and success of delivery. Content Rich Processes: Content is managed with processes, and processes need content – whether it’s a form, document, media or voice file. Process Suite 16 allows you to bring everything together (including both structured and unstructured processes) easily, effectively and at the right time, which increases productivity within and across your teams and processes. Greater Integration Capabilities: Integrations that deepen the information exchange between Process Suite and OpenText Content, Analytics and Experience Suites as well as with external systems and applications. OpenText Process Suite 16 also includes many other new features including improved user experience, new pre-built applications and new mobile app development support. Visit Process Intelligence or read the Process Suite 16 Executive Brief to find out more.

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Eight Seconds! Your Deadline to Deliver an Engaging Web Experience

web experience management

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

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Achieve Deeper Supply Chain Intelligence with Trading Grid Analytics

supply chain analytics

In an earlier blog I discussed how analytics could be applied across supply chain processes to help businesses make more informed decisions relating to their trading partner communities. Big Data analytics has been used across supply chain operations for a few years, however the real power of analytics can only be realized if it is actually applied across the transactions flowing between trading partners. Embedding analytics to transaction flows allows companies to get a more accurate ‘pulse’ of what is going on across supply chain operations. In this blog, I would like to introduce a new offering as part of our Release 16 launch, OpenText™ Trading Grid Analytics. The OpenText™ Business Network processes over 16 billion EDI related transactions per year and this provides a rich seam of information to mine for improved supply chain intelligence. Last year,OpenText expanded its portfolio of Enterprise Information Management solutions with the acquisition of an industry leading embedded analytics company. The analytics solution that OpenText acquired is being embedded within a number of cloud-based SaaS offerings that are connected to OpenText’s Business Network. Trading Grid Analytics provides the ability to mine transaction flows for both operational and business specific metrics.  I explained the difference between operational and business metrics in my previous blog, but just to recap here briefly: Operational metrics can be defined as: delivering transactional data intelligence and volume trends needed to improve operational efficiencies and drive company profitability. Business metrics can be defined as: delivering the business process visibility required to make better decisions faster, spot and pursue market opportunities, mitigate risk and gain business agility. Trading Grid Analytics will initially offer a total of nine out-of-the-box metrics (covering EDIFACT and ANSI X12 based transactions), which will be made up of two operational and seven business metrics, all of which are displayed in a series of highly graphical reporting dashboards. Operational Metrics Volume by Document Type – Number and type of documents sent and received over a period of time (days, months, years) Volume by Trading Partners – Number and type of documents sent and received, ordered by top 10 and bottom 10 partners Business Metrics ASN Timeliness – Number of timely ASN creation instances as a percentage of total ASNs for a time period Price Variance – The actual invoiced cost of a purchased item, compared to the price at the time of order Invoice Accuracy – Measures whether invoices accurately reflect orders placed in terms of product, quantities, and price by supplier, during a specified period of time Quantity Variance – The remaining quantity to be invoiced from a purchase order, equalling the difference between the quantity delivered and the quantity invoiced for goods received Order Acceptance – Fully acknowledged POs as a percentage of total number of POs within a given period of time Top Partners by Spend – Top trading partners by the economic spend over a period of time Top Products by Spend – Top products by economic spend over time Supply chain leaders and procurement professionals need an accurate picture of what is going on across their trading partner communities so that they can, for example, identify leading trading partners and have information available to support the negotiation of new supply contracts. Trading Grid Analytics is a cloud-based analytics platform that offers: Better Productivity – Allows any transaction related issues to be identified and resolved more quickly Better Insight – Deeper insights into transactional and supply chain information driving more informed decisions Better Control – Improved visibility to exceptions and underperforming partners allows corrective action to be taken earlier in a business process Better Engagement – Collaborate more closely with top partners and mitigate risk with under-performing partners Better Innovation – Cloud-based reporting portal provides access any time, any place or anywhere More information about Trading Grid Analytics is available here. You can also learn more about the benefits of supply chain analytics.

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What is a Business Network?

Business network

Companies do business outside of their so-called ‘four walls’.  Meaning, they rely on other businesses to accomplish their objective; hence, the importance of business-to-business (B2B) collaboration.  Companies source raw materials, semi-finished goods or services from other companies to manufacture products or to deliver services.  In turn, they sell those products and services to other businesses, consumers, or patients. Along the path to a finished product or service, many other organizations are involved — transportation carriers, distributors, banks, agents, insurance providers, purchasing organizations and more. The list is long.  Among these organizations, procure-to-pay, order-to-cash, corporate-to-bank and other business processes take place.  It’s a complex trading partner ecosystem, one that is always in flux, depending on current market or geopolitical environments. Supporting all of these business processes, of course, is information.  Emails, orders, invoices, ship notices, customs documents, designs, inventory status, pricing, and more. This list is long as well.  Information flows are necessary to support business flows, although often the business applications that run these business processes are not optimized for efficient information flow — especially when that information comes from many different types of systems, in different formats, sent by different protocols, and in different media (XML, EDI, paper, fax, email, etc).  That is where business networks come in. Business networks are cloud collaboration platforms that extend business processes and applications with the required information flows to digitize and automate key business processes.  Business networks are the fiber that hold the economic tapestry together.  A business network may be focused on a specific business process (e-invoicing), on a certain function (indirect procurement), on a specific industry (Automotive), or on a geographic region (EMEA). Ideally, your business network spans all of the above, delivering flexibility and growth of your digitization efforts into the future, regardless of where they may go — buy-side, sell-side, direct and indirect procurement, multi-industry, and global.  This is the OpenText™ Business Network. OpenText Business Network simplifies the inherent complexities in trading partner ecosystems, by providing a single connection that digitizes all information flows, whether they are suppliers, customers, banks or other valued partners — anywhere in the world. As a result, customer requirements can be complied with, suppliers managed, and organizations can focus on delivering their core business objectives.  OpenText Business Network is comprised of multiple solutions, from B2B integration, community management, procure-to-pay, fax, secure messaging, and notifications to provide a complete portfolio of B2B Managed Services solutions. With Release 16, Business Network goes beyond information flows to deliver unparalleled opportunity for digital transformation across extended business communities.  The OpenText™ Business Network Cloud 16 offers hyper automation, pervasive integration, and deep visibility, enabling leaders in the digital economy to leverage information across their extended ecosystem, incorporating trading partners and business processes. Release 16 represents a $2B investment over a 3-year time period to support digital transformation and create a better way to work.  It represents how OpenText is moving beyond Information Exchange (our former name), with a new Trading Grid Analytics service, broader procure-to-pay process support, expanded trading partner enablers and new mobile interfaces that enable anywhere, anytime access. Begin your journey and explore OpenText Business Network Cloud 16!

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Gore Mutual Wins Award for app Powered by OpenText Exstream

customer experience

Excelling in customer experience is a critical component to outperforming your competitors and delivering lifetime customer value. As millennials and Gen-Zers are become the norm – 75% of the labor force will be digital born by 2025 – insurers are realizing they must be able to deliver digital communications and do it quickly because digital natives don’t like to wait. Gore Mutual recognized this and is already incorporating digital communications in its customer communications strategy. The innovative Canadian insurer was recently recognized by Celent as a Model Insurer for its work in developing uBiz—the first fully ecommerce commercial insurance platform in Canada. Gore Mutual received the Digital and Omnichannel Technologies Award. Gore Mutual was looking to deliver a total digital experience to appeal to a new customer segment – home-based businesses. Gore Mutual leveraged technology from OpenText™ Exstream, Infusion and Accenture to create uBiz – a platform that plugs directly into broker websites, replicating their design palette to provide their small business customers with a seamless experience. Find out more about OpenText Exstream for insurers here.

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Removing Digital Barriers for the Visually Impaired

visually impaired

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

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Cloud 16 – A Better Way to Work

Cloud 16

As organizations form their digital strategy, cloud is a critical consideration. Organizations that capitalize on new digital methods will be the ones that thrive; building new relationships with their customers and suppliers, optimizing their processes and creating new revenue streams. These organizations demand speed, agility, flexibility, and scalability that can be realized by taking advantage of cloud and hybrid cloud benefits. In short, they demand a “Better Way to Work.” The OpenText Cloud provides a global, secure cloud environment optimized for delivering Enterprise Information Management (EIM) solutions. We own and operate our own cloud, with a global infrastructure and operations across more than 40 data centers and satellite centers around the globe. Our commitment and expertise in cloud security, privacy and trust are key reasons customers trust us to manage their critical applications and information. We have invested greatly into our cloud and virtually all of our products are available to customers in the OpenText Cloud. OpenText Cloud 16: A Better Way to Work   Cloud 16 extends the flexibility for customers to operate in cloud, hybrid cloud and cloud-to-cloud scenarios. Customers have a plethora of integration and deployment options available to them so they are able to have their business problems addressed exactly how and where they need it. This release includes massive innovation across all of the EIM areas with advances in OpenText Cloud Managed Services, Business Network Services and OpenText SaaS applications. The Cloud 16 Digital Platform: Content Cloud 16: Delivering enterprise content management applications in the cloud to accelerate deployment, provide superior managed services and drive productivity through digital transformation. ECM in the cloud can be easier to deploy and less expensive to maintain than building and hosting your own infrastructure, and it can provide maximum flexibility while freeing up IT resources. It is quickly and easily scalable, so businesses can seamlessly adapt and expand without needing to install new hardware. Making the move to cloud means that IT resources can shift the management of ECM solutions to vendor experts, allowing IT to focus on the business critical operations that can help fuel business transformation. Highlights of Content Cloud 16 include: Managed Services for Content Suite 16- Upgrading and maintaining on premises applications can be a costly and daunting task. Let us upgrade your Content Suite into the cloud and we will manage it for you. Amplify the value of your existing applications and never worry about upgrades again. Content Suite Platform Cloud Edition- Optimized for the cloud, this package lets customers quickly purchase and deploy in cloud and hybrid-cloud scenarios. This new package combines cloud operational efficiencies with the flexibility and configurability you would expect from an on-premises deployment. OpenText Core and Content Suite integration-Customers can now securely collaborate in the cloud with Core and have content governed with Content Suite. Archive Center Cloud Edition- An enterprise archiving service running in the OpenText Cloud as a public cloud service. Customers only pay for what they use each month, based on the number of users that log on, transaction volume, and the volume of storage used. Without the need for up-front investment in infrastructure and software, it offers a cost-effective solution that scales with user’s needs. More information on Content Cloud 16 Experience Cloud 16: Empowering businesses to increase user engagement and improve customer satisfaction while avoiding time spent on managing applications or infrastructure. Experience Cloud 16 includes: Managed Services for the Experience Suite so you can upgrade your current implementation into the OpenText Cloud and have us manage it for you. Media Management Cloud Edition brings simple, cloud-based media management that is easily purchased and quickly deployed. Communications Center Enterprise brings tailored Customer Communications as a managed service in the OpenText Cloud. Communications Center CRM provides document generation with Salesforce integration. SAP DAM and SAP Document Presentment are also available as managed services. More information on Experience Cloud 16 Process Cloud 16: Enabling businesses to rapidly automate their business processes and have the platform managed by EIM specialists in the OpenText Cloud. Key innovations in Process Cloud 16 include: Process Suite as a managed service, with expert management by EIM specialists. Process Suite has several advances including entity modelling, case management and analytics integration providing process intelligence. Contract Center provides a complete solution for all types of contracts including buy-side, sell-side and other legal agreements. More information on Process Cloud 16 Business Network 16: The evolution of information exchange, OpenText Business Network provides a cloud ecosystem of interconnected trading partners with hyper automation, pervasive integration, and deep visibility across extended business processes, enabling compliance and accelerated time to revenue. The largest B2B network in the world powers customers’ extended trading ecosystems—now with embedded supply chain analytics, mobility for anytime, anywhere access, and deeper support for the entire procure-to-pay processes. Key advances in this release include: Logistics Track and Trace Supply chain analytics Trading partner digitization Invoice compliance Enhanced EMEA data sovereignty Mobility More information on Business Network 16 Analytics Cloud 16: Providing embedded analytics for EIM applications and for custom content sources, fully managed by EIM experts in the OpenText Cloud. Big Data Analytics Cloud Edition is a complete advanced analytics managed service in the cloud. It includes advanced analytics software, maintenance, cloud management plus professional and learning services to accelerate Big Data initiatives. Analytics integration with EIM Suites allows customers of all types to take advantage of advanced and predictive analytics. More information on Analytics Cloud 16 For existing on-premises customers, it is time to consider upgrading to the OpenText Cloud. For new customers, now is the time to subscribe to our cloud offerings and realize the benefits of agility, flexibility and scalability in solving your business problems. Whatever application, solution or information flow your organization requires to meet your business need, we can help to manage your cloud, hybrid cloud or cloud-to-cloud implementation. Experience a better way to work!

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The Future of Information: Introducing OpenText Release 16

Process Suite 16

We are in the midst of a Digital Revolution and for every company it is digital or die. To succeed, organizations must embrace digital transformation or risk being disintermediated. Success will depend on the ability to embrace extreme automation, extreme connectivity, and cognitive systems – engineered together in a single and integrated digital platform. Today, I am pleased to announce the general availability and launch of OpenText Release 16. As the most comprehensive, integrated digital Enterprise Information Management (EIM) platform in the market today, OpenText Release 16 offers our customers a unique opportunity for a coordinated digital transformation that yields the benefits of scale and single-vendor interaction. Only OpenText offers the breadth of capability and solutions or the capacity to deliver these capabilities from a single release and platform. OpenText Release 16 is composed of two major product components: OpenText Suite 16 and OpenText Cloud 16. Each is made up of tightly coordinated features to drive digital transformation across the following OpenText product suites: Content Suite enables better governance and control of business information. Content Suite is Enterprise Content Management (ECM) reimagined and moves beyond information governance to foster collaboration, increase productivity, and deliver insights based on enterprise information. New capabilities include: Workspaces that connect information silos for better collaboration and true connectivity gains Social interaction with content to improve collaboration, deepen engagement, and enrich searches Process Suite delivers more agile and flexible processes for better performance and innovation. Process Suite empowers organizations to realize the benefits of extreme automation and connectivity with features such as: A low-code application development approach for the citizen developer Increased visibility into processes for smarter business decisions Experience Suite offers better engagement with employees, customers, and partners. In this time of intense disruption and competition, Experience Suite delivers omni-channel experiences that satisfy and delight with innovations like: A state-of-the-art interface with customized widgets and anytime, anywhere access to content A responsive design approach for content delivery across multiple channels Analytics Suite provides an easier way to access, blend, explore, and analyze big data. OpenText Analytics Suite includes cognitive capabilities for deeper levels of insight as well as: A lightweight development tool that easily embeds analytics capabilities across enterprise systems Expanded out-of-the-box connectivity to work with over a dozen sources–from Apache to XML to Salesforce Business Network is a set of cloud-based solutions that facilitates efficient, secure, and compliant exchange of information between organizations. The latest release of the OpenText Business Network represents the next step in the evolution of information exchange with the right combination of Business-to-Business (B2B) integration software, the OpenText Trading Grid, and Managed Services. New functionality includes: The integration of Trading Grid analytics for added insight into operational and supply chain performance Logistics Track & Trace to follow the physical movement of goods for improved end-to-end supply chain visibility The Cloud is quickly becoming a business imperative and, as such, plays a big role in Release 16. We want our customers to have the Cloud in their arsenal, so we have made Release 16 available in the OpenText Cloud, and as on-premises or hybrid deployments. Release 16 is infused with analytics. Everything from Content Suite to Process Suite to the Business Network has been designed to leverage the power of analytics, bringing significantly more value to enterprise information. This release is part of the movement from systems of record and engagement to systems of insight in the technology shift to cognitive systems. OpenText Release 16 delivers a variety of innovations of significant value to new and existing customers. The combination of cloud availability, an open stack, massive new functional capabilities, and deeper integrations make OpenText Release 16 a destination release for anyone looking to take EIM to the next level. This release represents the next generation of digital, bringing customers one step closer to more intelligent systems, allowing them to realize greater benefits like lower costs, higher efficiency, greater output, and innovation opportunities. As a platform of fully integrated EIM suites, OpenText Release 16 is the transformative platform of choice for information companies. At the end of the day, we are all information companies. And OpenText Release 16 is the key technology enabler. To discover how OpenText Release 16 can help you on your journey to digital transformation, download the white paper. For more information, visit www.opentext.com/16 or read the press release.

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Improving Vendor Compliance Through Deduction Management

vendor compliance

For retailers, vendor compliance programs are designed to help streamline and standardize the management of expense offset with vendors and/or suppliers. If you are a retailer buying from hundreds (maybe thousands) of vendors, having the ability to ensure shipment and supply chain consistency can save you significant operational costs. But this can create challenges for vendors, who may sell to hundreds of retailers, and need to follow the guidelines for each retailer and/or customer. In order to help with the complexity for both the retailer and the vendor, retailers publish vendor compliance manuals with standards and expectations for doing business with them. (Note –  if you do a web search for “vendor compliance manual” you can see examples of these by various retailers). But, as a retailer, simply publishing standards often isn’t enough for vendors to comply with, unless there is also some form of incentive as well. The incentive typically takes the form of penalties for non-compliance, also known as “chargebacks” or “deductions”. The process for capturing non-compliance, applying penalties, allowing the vendor to challenge specific deductions and then billing or reducing payments can be complex and time-consuming. If the process takes too long, a vendor may send multiple non-compliant shipments before they can be advised of any wrong-doing. Since the real goal of chargebacks is not to generate revenue, but to reduce non-compliance, timely notification and clear communication is essential to a successful program. So how can a retailer automate this process? The simplest answer is through a deduction management solution. One option is the OpenText™ Deduction Management solution, a cloud-based system for capturing non-compliance, automating internal reviews, notifying vendors, managing the dispute process, and scorecarding vendor performance. You can read more about the OpenText Deduction Management solution and view a demonstration of the mobile deduction capture feature running on an Apple iPad Mini below.  

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Creating Interactive Dialog With Your Customers

interactive dialog

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

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Why You Should Be Delivering a Continuous Digital Experience

digital experience

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

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

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

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

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

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ON DIGITAL-First Fridays: The Digital Mindset

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

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Celebrating International Women’s Day 2016

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

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