Business Process Management

Join Santa Claus on his Journey to the Digital First World!

When OpenText acquired GXS in January 2014, little did the company know that they would also be acquiring a customer widely regarded as having one of the most secretive businesses in the world. Over the years, many companies have decided to outsource the management of their B2B environment and in 2008, GXS signed a Managed Services contract with its most high profile customer, Santa Claus Enterprises in the North Pole. Over the years I have kept in close contact with this particular customer as they have been a shining example of how to deploy the full portfolio of B2B solutions from OpenText. Each year, just before Santa’s busiest period, I have provided a summary of the enhancements to their B2B environment. The evolution of Santa’s B2B environment is documented via the blogs below, feel free to take a look through as they will also provide some interesting insights into what it takes to deliver millions of Christmas presents on just one night of the year. 2013 – Santa deploys the Internet of Things across his North Pole Operations 2012 – Santa begins to evaluate the information flowing across SantaNet and implements a Big Data strategy 2011 – OpenText Active Community gets rolled out across Santa’s trading partner community to improve day to day collaboration across his Present Delivery Network and he also gets nominated for B2B Heroes award 2010 – Santa evaluates how cloud computing and mobile devices could improve North Pole operations 2009 – Santa completes deployment of OpenText Managed Services and begins to embrace social media tools 2008 – OpenText Managed Services chosen to support Santa’s new B2B hub, OpenText Intelligent Web Forms deployed to create SantaNet Santa’s little helpers, namely his army of elves, were asked by Santa to review the portfolio of Enterprise Information Management (EIM) solutions from OpenText to see where further benefits could be made by automating manual business processes and digitising the remainder of his business operations. Many companies are embarking on a digital journey to improve the way in which different departments manage and get access to their corporate information. In fact ‘Digital Transformation’ projects are high on the agenda of many CIOs around the world at the moment and OpenText is in a unique position to provide a one stop shop to transform companies into a digital business. In August I received an email from Sonja Lundström, Santa’s trusted advisor and executive assistant, inviting me to go up to the North Pole to provide a digital business briefing for Santa and his executive board. Santa’s board members comprise of senior executives from some of the world’s leading toy manufacturers including Mattel, Hasbro and Lego. As with previous trips up to the North Pole, I was asked to check in at the Elf Air desk at a secret terminal at Schipol Airport just outside Amsterdam. This year I had the privilege of travelling on one of Santa’s new Airbus A380’s, a converted passenger plane that allows Santa, when required, to expedite the shipment of thousands of parcels to any one of his Present Distribution Hubs located in strategic locations around the world. The plane I travelled on, call sign ELF020, was one of a fleet of ten aircraft that Santa had chartered for the 2014 holiday season. 16 hours after leaving the UK I was checking into the North Pole Ice Hotel, a stone’s throw from the entrance to Santa’s primary toy manufacturing and distribution facility. I decided to get an early night as I knew the following day would be quite busy! The next day I walked across to Santa’s factory and I was whisked up to the executive briefing centre where I was introduced to Santa’s board members. Five minutes later and the main man himself walked through the frosted glass doors to the board room. Following introductions, Santa’s Chief Elf Information Officer provided an update on their current IT and B2B related projects. I have documented many of these projects quite extensively in the earlier articles which I listed at the beginning of this blog. Needless to say I was very impressed by the ROI that Santa had obtained by deploying OpenText Managed Services. Santa’s core B2B platform, the Present Delivery Network (shown above), processes billions of transactions each year and over the last five years, Santa had seen a 40% growth in new present orders through SantaNet, a web form based toy ordering environment that our company setup in 2008. The growth in new orders had come from the so called omni-channel effect with children placing toy orders through PCs, mobiles and tablet based devices. In addition to deploying a world leading B2B platform, Santa’s team rolled out their ‘Internet of Santa’s Things’ infrastructure, a high profile initiative to provide improved visibility across Santa’s Present Delivery Network. The Internet of Things has become one of the most talked about disruptive digital technologies of 2014, and Santa had no concerns about deploying his IoST environment and he certainly proved to be a digital trail blazer in this particular area. In addition, Santa had embraced a number of other disruptive technologies during 2014. Last year I discussed how Santa’s elves were using Google Glass in their warehouses to improve their toy pick rates. In addition to Glass, Santa had tested some other high profile disruptive technologies. A few years ago Santa invited Steve Jobs to his factory and following lengthy discussions Santa Claus Enterprises became a leading member of Apple’s beta test program. As soon as the early iWatch wearable devices were revealed to the world’s media in 2014, Apple despatched a shipment of iWatches for every elf in the factory. These came pre-loaded with a number of festive mobile apps to help improve the day to day efficiency of Santa’s team of elves. 3D printing was rolled out across Santa’s production department, not just for manufacturing proof of concept toy designs but to build scale models of new sleigh designs that would then be refined in Santa’s onsite wind tunnel. Sleigh research budgets have increased significantly over the years and 3D printing was helping to develop the most aerodynamically refined sleigh in the world. The final area of digital disruption that Santa embraced in 2014 was advanced robotics. Santa had heard that Foxconn, a leading contract manufacturer to Apple, was deploying up to a million ‘Foxbots’ across their manufacturing operations. Santa decided that he wanted to deploy ‘Elfbots’ to bring similar efficiencies to his own production operations. Santa is now working with Andy Rubin, head of Google’s newly formed robotics division, to define a development plan for his network of 2,000 Elfbots. Santa has done a great job of ensuring that he can seamlessly connect with the little children around the world. So in many ways Santa’s operations were already significantly digitally enabled but now that GXS had been acquired by OpenText there was scope for the deployment of further digital information tools. After all, many of the new disruptive technologies such as connected IoST devices were producing high volumes of unstructured data that would need to be archived, analysed and acted upon as required. After the CEIO had provided his updates it was time for me to take to the floor. I provided Santa and the board with a high level introduction to OpenText and they were very impressed with the joint customer base and the opportunities available to embrace new Enterprise Information Management solutions. Even though Santa had consolidated many back end business systems, such as his Elf Resources Platform (ERP), there were still many different information silos located within the various departments of his operations. Just finding the right information at the right time proved to be a challenge on occasions. To gain further efficiencies across Santa’s operations it would be important to ensure that all departments could feed off of a centralised digital information hub. This hub would be accessible any time, any place or anywhere, useful considering the global nature and complexity of Santa’s operations. OpenText solutions are divided across five key ‘pillars’, shown by way of the chart below, Santa’s B2B solutions are under the Information Exchange pillar. Before I had even explained each of the five solution pillars, Santa could immediately see that there was a significant opportunity to increase the footprint of OpenText solutions across his business. Santa said that he would like OpenText to become his trusted guide during his journey into the digital first world. But first he wanted me to highlight how OpenText could manage different types of information from the key stages of a toy’s lifecycle. I created the chart below to help illustrate some of the key process stages across Santa’s manufacturing operations. I have also overlaid, where appropriate the five key solution pillars as they apply to each stage of the lifecycle of a toy (which in reality could represent any manufactured product). Now I could go into detail around how OpenText can help manage information across each of these twelve process steps, but for the purposes of this article, let me just expand on five of these. Toy Design & Engineering – At this phase of a toy’s lifecycle, any information associated with the design of a toy will need to be centrally managed and archived in an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solution. Typical files managed at this stage include 3D CADCAM models, 3D printer files, 2D drawings, production related information and high quality rendered images and 3D animations. A Digital Asset Management solution from OpenText would allow Santa’s marketing elves and outside PR agencies to review and download high quality rendered images and videos for use in promotional materials. Information Exchange (IX), solutions such as Managed File Transfer, allows Santa’s design elves to send large file size design information anywhere across the external enterprise, including contract manufacturers. Procurement / Supplier Onboarding – This is part of the toy’s lifecycle that GXS, now Information Exchange, has been supporting over the past few years, from on-boarding suppliers and ensuring they can exchange B2B transactions electronically to providing back end integration to Santa’s ERP platform. In addition, it is important for a procurement team to work collaboratively with their suppliers and all proposal, contract and contact information will need to be centrally managed. The procurement elves may need to undertake some form of Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) assessments across their trading partner community. The area of GRC is becoming an increasingly important area for many companies and new regulations such as conflict minerals compliance needs to be adhered to and managed in an effective way. Just as an aside, Santa takes Corporate Social Responsibility really seriously, so much so that he would like to setup an Elf Information Management System (EIMS) to help with the day to day management of his elves and ensure the quality of their welfare whilst working in the toy factory. Plant Maintenance and Asset Management – Santa has an army of elves conducting proactive maintenance on shop floor related manufacturing and assembly equipment. Given the tight production schedule that Santa has each year, his elves ideally need quick access to maintenance and machine test procedures, 2D maintenance drawings and equipment test and compliance certificates. Even ensuring that Santa’s elves adhere to the latest Elf and Safety procedures has become a challenge over the years. The elves already have access to ruggedized tablet devices for use on the shop floor. Using Appworks, OpenText’s mobile app development platform, Santa’s elves would be able to get remote access to any information archived in the central content management system. In addition, the elves need to follow a standard process for maintaining each piece of equipment and OpenText’s Business Process Management (BPM) solution would be able to more effectively manage all the process steps involved with maintaining Santa’s production equipment. Can you imagine what would happen on the 24th December each year if the toy production lines are halted due to a malfunctioning assembly robot? Online Customer Experience – The SantaNet portal had worked well over the years and allowed the little children of the world to login to a portal and submit their present wish lists! At this stage of the toy’s lifecycle, various web related assets will need to be created and managed, eg product brochures, toy promotion videos and animations will need to be accessed by different elves across the extended enterprise and outside video production agencies. OpenText Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions are ideal for this purpose. Given the connected nature of today’s children, Santa would be able to setup a best in class ‘Young Person Experience Management’ offering that would leverage OpenText’s Web Experience Management offering. In addition, all other internal websites used by his elves could be upgraded with the latest portal technologies offered by OpenText. Recalls and Warranty Repair – The final stage of a toy’s lifecycle relates to the potential recall or repair of toys. Unfortunately not every toy delivered via the chimney makes it safely down to the fireplace and breakages can occur. Santa established a toy repair and recall centre ten years ago however many of the processes used to recover broken toys from the world’s children are quite lengthy and prone to delays due to the amount of manual paperwork that needs to be processed. In addition to repairs, sometimes toys have to be recalled, perhaps due to poor quality workmanship by Santa’s elves. Whether repairing broken toys or recalling faulty toys, Santa’s elves could significantly improve operational efficiencies by deploying OpenText’s Business Process Management (BPM) solution. BPM will ensure that every toy that needs to be repaired or recalled follows a strict series of process steps. This ensures that a consistent and repeatable repair/recall process can be established and this helps to improve Child Satisfaction Levels, a key metric used by Santa to keep the world’s children happy with their toys. In addition to providing an overview of these five solution areas, I explained to Santa that OpenText was looking at how the different pillar solutions could be integrated together. I also showed a new fast moving video which helps to describe the OpenText Cloud. To wrap up my presentation to Santa and the board I also discussed new development areas and highlighted a recent announcement concerning OpenText’s intention to acquire the business intelligence company, Actuate. Last year when I visited Santa Claus Enterprises HQ, I was shown the latest beta version of SantaPad, a Big Data analytics engine for processing toy consumption trends across the little boys and girls of the world. Actuate could potentially provide the business intelligence platform to significantly improve the big data analytics capabilities across Santa’s operations. Santa was so excited by this news that he requested a briefing of Actuate’s capabilities, as and when it was convenient for OpenText to do so. We had just gone over our two hour presentation slot with Santa and I decided to summarise how OpenText helps businesses move to a 100% digital business. Firstly OpenText can help to Simplify Santa’s back end platforms to manage enterprise wide business information, irrespective of which application the information was originally created in. Secondly, OpenText can help to Transform information from literally any format to another and ensure that digital information can be exchanged both internally across the elf community and externally across third party contract manufacturers and logistics providers. Thirdly, OpenText can help to Accelerate the adoption of digital technologies, which would allow faster business decisions to be made. Santa’s operations would ultimately become more responsive to changing consumer demand and increased competition from new emerging toy markets. This brought our meeting to a close and I had a number of actions to follow up on with my colleagues back at OpenText! In closing, Santa wished OpenText and our global customers Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year and he said he was looking forward to working closely with OpenText during 2015 and beyond. So it just leaves me to say season’s greetings and best of luck for 2015!  

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Top 5 ECM Activities at Enterprise World

Enterprise World brings people together and sparks off planned and unplanned opportunities. It’s a place where new acquaintances, friends and mentors can be made because at Enterprise World, everyone there shares a commonality of purpose and interest. Face to face networking connects you with new people and ideas that will expand your thinking and your social networks in the months and years to come. The keynotes and breakout sessions enable you to learn what you know you need to know – but additionally the chance encounters and conversations will allow you learn things you didn’t even know you needed to know, leading you in new directions. Immerse yourself in a new way of thinking at Enterprise World. There are 99 ECM and Discovery sessions in addition to BPM, CEM, Cloud and Industry sessions. So which ones are they key ones you don’t want to miss? Here are my top 5 ECM choices. ECM Keynote. Wednesday, Nov 12th 10:50 AM – 12:00 PM. The ECM Keynote includes Cheryl McKinnon Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, Inc. identifying the top trends shaping ECM today. Also hear about new product enhancements, product roadmaps, customer stories and more… Real Customers Speak : Business Transformation through Information Governance. Thursday, Nov 13th 1pm – 1:45pm. This Interactive Customer Panel, moderated by Barclay Blair of the Information Governance Initiative, will draw out the real world experiences of 3 customers with live Information Governance Program in play in the Energy Sector, Local Government and a national railway. ECM-213 Tech Talk: Best Practices – Upgrading to Content Server 10.5. Wednesday, Nov 12th, 1:55 PM – 2:40 PM. The latest release of Content Suite Platform simplifies the upgrade process for administrators by providing many new tools and dashboards. Join the development team to learn about golden copies, cluster management, upgrade companion and tips from the field. ECM Lab. Tuesday, Nov 11th and Wednesday, Nov 12th 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM. The ECM Lab in the Expo hall is the go to place to get to know all the latest innovations that are being added to the Content Suite Platform in December . Customer Roundtables. Register for these exclusive opportunities to ask questions of customers who have implemented ECM.  I’m looking forward to Enterprise World because it brings everything and everyone together. Thousands of OpenText customers, employees and partners immersing themselves in today’s greatest technologies and sharing ideas to simplify, transform and accelerate the journey to their digital future.

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Choosing the right fax server: Production Faxing and Application Integrations

Production Faxing If you have identified a business process or workflow involving faxes that are generated “automatically” (typically without human involvement), this section is particularly important. Automated faxing, or production faxing, is a term used to describe a means by which the application sends documents to the fax server, and the fax server then delivers the documents reliably as faxes, secure email or both. A fax server that has production fax capabilities should integrate seamlessly with back-office applications that produce batch-oriented documents. As a result, the fax server ingests the document from the back-office system, creates and formats the documents, and then delivers them as individual faxes, complete with notifications of delivery status and a traceable audit trail.Seek a solution that offers tools to receive data from network folders or print streams of large batch jobs (invoices, purchase orders, for example) and can reliably send them to unique recipients–fully unattended and automated. A production fax solution should have the ability to create automated notifications of the progress of each production fax batch job, and more importantly, each document within the group.Most fax servers will integrate with virtually any back-office applications with integration tools, modules and APIs, including those that support embedded scripting command languages, XML, JAVA, and COM. However, some fax servers offer pre-built, certified integrations to applications such as SAP® and Oracle®.Connector for SAP – Check to see if the fax solution has a prebuilt connector for SAP so that you can create, send and receive faxes from SAP. You can customize fax cover sheets either through SAP or the fax server. Use this integration to send batches of faxes at once where you can submit faxes to be grouped into a batch and sent later at a prescheduled time. Need to adjust your dialing rules? Advanced integrations allow configuration of special dialing rules that can modify outgoing fax numbers above and beyond the SAP “exception rules”. Connectors for Oracle – Check to see if your fax server has a prebuilt connector for Oracle so that you can create, send and receive faxes from Oracle systems such as Oracle E-Business Suite foundation or Oracle 9i applications. Use this integration to automate workflows with Oracle systems, making document delivery pains a thing of the past. Application Integrations There is a second subset of integrations known as application integrations–a good example of this is fax servers interoperating with Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems. It can be thought of as production fax in reverse. They are similar however inasmuch as they both are considered automated application integrations–meaning the workflows (whether inbound or outbound related) are both unattended by personnel and thus fully automated. Fax servers should offer specific integrations to the most popular systems. Alternatively, fax servers should provide a comprehensive set of custom integration tools to build integrations ad hoc. Inbound fax documents and their metadata can be delivered outside of the fax server where a multitude of applications can access these documents and their metadata. Preferably, a fax server would have pre-built integrations for leading document management applications to send existing documents, create a new document as a fax, and drag and drop a document into the explorer view of the fax library. Search for fax servers with pre-built ECM integrations with: · Microsoft SharePoint® · IBM FileNet® · OpenText eDOCS · OpenText Content Server And finally, many organizations have built custom integrations for their in-house applications to interface with their fax servers. Most fax server providers offer a complete suite of integration tools like APIs, SDKs, and command languages to get the jobs done efficiently. Custom integrations require that a fax server offer a suite of tools including XML, JAVA, COM and advanced Web Services. Integrating a fax server solution with ERP, ECM and other back-end applications is one of the most efficient uses of fax server capabilities. Understanding your integration needs will help you evaluate and choose the right fax server for you. Coming up next – Choosing the right fax server: Easy Routing and Storage of Electronic Fax Documents. 1. What is the Business Need? 2. Desktop, Email and MFP Integrations 3. Production (Automatic) Faxing and Application Integrations 4. Easy Routing and Storage of Electronic Fax Documents 5. Security, Privacy and Compliance 6. Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery 7. Ease of Administration and Administrative Tools 8. Telephony Compatibility

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Choosing the right fax server: What is the business need?

Many organizations begin their quest to implement a fax server based on a business need that is driving the project. This goes beyond your boss telling you to “Go out and find us a fax server – stat.” Usually, you’ll be asked, “What is your business need?” but you should also consider, “What is your business pain?” Understanding the “business pain” is an important first step. Ask yourself if you have these typical business pains regarding faxing: · Do I have to reduce costs by eliminating fax machines? · Do I need to increase productivity by making it easier for employees to fax? · Do I need a faster way to process incoming faxes? · Do I exchange sensitive and private information that needs to be secure and protected? · Is faxing a bottleneck in a workflow or business process? Once you’ve identified your business pain(s), it can sometimes make it easier to then identify how you will use the fax server: the business need. This is important to evaluating the capabilities that you will need in a fax server. Understanding how fax is used is key to choosing the best fax server for your organization. Here are some questions to consider: · How do my users need to fax – from desktop applications, MFPs, inside email applications?  Tip: Determining the “source” of the content will help identify the most efficient way to fax the information. · Is there a business process or workflow involving fax that can be more efficient with a fax server? Tip: Identify the workflow/business process and the line of business owner/stakeholder. · Has the line of business owner/stakeholder mapped how fax documents flow in and out of this business process or workflow? Tip: Interview the line of business owner/ stakeholder to see how the process works today and how it would ideally look with a fax server implementation. Map out the flow of fax documents (inbound and outbound) to see where efficiency,  productivity and cost savings can be gained. · What types of applications need to be integrated with fax? Tip: Make a list of all of the back-end applications that are part of a workflow or business process for fax (ERP, CRM, document management, etc.) and any vertical application systems (software specifically developed for healthcare, legal, financial, etc.). Do users need to fax from applications such as Microsoft Office? Do you need to integrate fax with your existing email application? The more comprehensive the list, the better prepared you will be to evaluate fax server capabilities. Now that you’ve identified and documented business needs and how fax is used in your organization, you can now move on to evaluating the next key capability of a fax server – Choosing the right fax server: Desktop, Email and MFP Integrations. 1. What is the Business Need? 2. Desktop, Email and MFP Integrations 3. Production (Automatic) Faxing and Application Integrations 4. Easy Routing and Storage of Electronic Fax Documents 5. Security, Privacy and Compliance 6. Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery 7. Ease of Administration and Administrative Tools 8. Telephony Compatibility

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Talk to an OpenText Hero: Getronics Optimizes BPM in the Cloud

Getronics, winner of the 2013 OpenText Heroes Award for Best Implementation of Cloud Services , uses OpenText Cloud Brokerage and Business Process as a S ervice (BPaaS) to orchestrate a variety of application services they provide to their customers. The OpenText solution enables Getronics to remove organizational and technical silos, and enable process-led agile operations in the delivery of those services, while helping Getronics’ customers save money and reduce internal costs when moving to the cloud. Hear from Tim Patrick-Smith, Group CIO of Getronics as he explains how OpenText Cordys (now Cloud Brokerage and BPaaS) helped their business reach its vision. Want to hear more from Getronics? Register for the “ Process Efficiency at Your Fingertips: Discover BPM Optimization in the Cloud ,” webinar featuring Alex Howe, Senior Enterprise Architect at Getronics, or join him at Enterprise World 2014 on November 9-14th.

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Breaking Bad: How technology is changing Media & Entertainment

Inspired by the upcoming Emmy awards broadcast, and with a nod to last year’s awesome Best Drama winner Breaking Bad, let’s take a look at the impact of technology innovation on the Media and Entertainment industry and what it will mean for those companies to win an “IT Emmy.” As consumers, we have all directly experienced the dramatic changes happening throughout the Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry. From music to television, books and movies, new and innovative technology has been a major, and at times quite disruptive, factor in reforming the industry’s business models. It is only karmic then that M&E companies are using technology in turn to create solutions that deal with the underlying changes in long established production practices and distribution approaches. OpenText sees enterprise information management (EIM) technologies playing an important role in those solutions. It’s been said that the larger lesson of Breaking Bad is that “actions have consequences.” To help me take a closer look at both the actions and the consequences for M&E, I’ve invited my colleague and industry expert, Charles Matheson, to answer some top of mind technology questions for publishers, broadcasters, movie studios and advertisers alike. Deb Miller: Charles, the Media & Entertainment industry seems to be going through a real transformation driven in large part by technology innovations. Traditional business models have been turned upside down or, in some cases, simply ceased to exist. What segments of the M&E industry are suffering from technology disruption? Charles Matheson: Business model disruption has been in effect for the past 15 years and the first segment of the M&E industry to feel the sting of technology disruption was the music industry in the early 2000’s. The emergence of digital music files or MP3’s that could be shared or sold blew up the decades-old business model of recording and distributing music. In a half decade the music industry saw billions of dollars evaporate from the business with devastating results. Just try to find a record store in your town. The other segments of M&E saw what happened to Music and determined that it wouldn’t happen to them, so adoption of new information technology and an innovation imperative drives their strategic planning and decisions. Media companies across the board have decided it’s safer to ride the technology wave than it is to resist and get buried by it. Deb Miller: Each segment of the M&E industry is different and will face different business pressures and innovation challenges. Are some segments handling this business transformation better than others? Charles Matheson: One key enabler has been the adoption of business process management disciplines and technology starting at the inception of a project, book, show or advertisement. Modeling and mapping a business process, even one as iterative as film production or website development, has proven to deliver results. Cost savings and performance improvements through process and case management are obvious benefits, especially those focused on serving the customer. However, increasing revenue may be the real “gold statue” winner for BPM. For example, a BPM based application that helps manage Intellectual Property and licensing can have a tremendous impact. Deb Miller: How are the segments using technology to enable this business transformation? Charles Matheson: Each segment has its challenges, but they are not in denial or resistant to change. The two segments of M&E that took the hardest hit early on were music and newspapers in the publishing segment. The advent of a ubiquitous free network caused major disruptions in key pieces of their respective business models. Music was freely, if illegally, distributed through services like Napster and news was aggregated through portals while classified advertising moved to specialized web sites like Craigslist.com. Advertising jumped on the new technology early on and perceived it, correctly, as a tremendous opportunity. Other segments like publishing, studios, broadcasters and game developers have changed their business models to adapt and prosper. Deb Miller: How are distribution models changing to meet the new business environment? Charles Matheson: Motion pictures used to be cut, approved and canned for distribution and released in a series of “windows” for consumption. The first “window” was theatrical release followed by a series of other “windows” which generated revenue for the property. Sell it to airlines for in-flight movies or premium cable channels, then network television and finally VHS or DVD distribution. With digital distribution this model stops working, so now films are distributed to as many resellers as possible in the shortest time frame possible – in other words, all the traditional “windows” of distribution are collapsing. The inaccessibility to films gave them great value; but that power is diminished in a networked world so ubiquitous distribution at a lower price point is the new way. This has a ripple effect all the way down the chain of production and accounting and requires new IT systems and applications to address the new paradigm. Deb Miller: What kind of new applications are media companies implementing for distribution? Charles Matheson: I’m a member of MESA (Media & Entertainment Services Alliance) and we spend a lot of time focused on digital distribution as the fastest growing segment of the M&E business. This is creating new challenges for content owners and distributors. Omni-channel distribution is the new imperative and media companies are looking for software platforms that intelligently push the right content in the best format for any device. These solutions need to be rock solid yet flexible and intuitive for the editors producing content and the end user consuming it. They need to be able to deliver highly personalized content over any network. Deb Miller: So that’s a great example for the movie business, do you have other examples that you can share? Charles Matheson: That’s just one example of a changing business model for motion pictures; there are many other examples I could give just within that same segment. The impact of DI (Digital Intermediate) in the editing process, the impact of digital cameras and the increasing size of digital files, the increased number of file types and devices that need to be supported for distribution all force organizations to modify their business process and technological infrastructure. Book publishers for example, are being forced to change and adapt their business to the new competitive environment. To the dismay of bibliophiles everywhere the book is inexorably moving from paper to bits displayed on e-readers and tablets. The new “digital book” is a very different property than its paper bound predecessor and publishers need to reimagine what it is they’re selling and how they sell it. Magazine publishers, at least the ones that will survive, are already way down this transformational path and the print product is becoming a supplement to a powerful online brand with video, polls and questionnaires, social media integration and relevant links to additional information “outside” the property. Deb Miller: How are M&E companies meeting this challenge of huge and growing volumes of digital media? Charles Matheson: Media companies must have a robust digital asset management (DAM) system, preferably one that is integrated with tiered storage. Using disk storage for these large files is not practical or cost-effective and managing petabytes of video requires the use of object storage or LTO (Linear Tape-Open) tape systems. LTO is being used in production and the DAM system must know where content is located and how long it will take to retrieve it. Deb Miller: These are really powerful specific examples of “actions and consequences” for the M&E industry. What would you say are common issues and solutions that apply across all segments in Media? Charles Matheson: Digital asset management is a broad and fundamental imperative for media companies. All segments must effectively manage their content and that content or asset is at this point, by and large, digital. Ironically, because it is so important, almost all media companies have purchased or developed “in house” multiple DAM systems that don’t integrate with each other, so having a federated view and access capability to multiple repositories is vital for performance and innovation. This is an internal business process problem for media companies and the complexity is shielded from consumers and investors, but managing digital assets in the media creation supply chain costs a lot. The digital distribution of content is also a common problem for all media companies and with advances in the network infrastructure and the explosion of end user devices, screen types and sizes, this issue is overwhelming. Leveraging cloud services for software and storage has become important for all media companies, as has the adoption of social networking software for building audience externally and collaboration internally. Federated Media Access is the most common solution to solving the problem of multiple repositories containing valuable content. This can be accomplished in two ways: first by aggregating and storing metadata from different repositories in one single master database with links or pointers back to the actual content or second, by having an application that integrates to multiple repositories and gives the user real time search and access to the content. Deb Miller: With so many technology hurdles and outside competitive threats, what can M&E companies do to gain competitive advantage and win the “IT Emmy?” Charles Matheson: As a rule, Media companies run two parallel IT organizations. One IT shop focuses on traditional IT systems that one would find in any large enterprise. I’m talking about financial systems, email, CRM and other internal properties like the corporate intranet. The other IT organization is focused on creating content like books, magazines, websites, movies or TV programs and advertising plus all the marketing material associated with those properties. These two IT shops use very different technology to achieve their goals and they are not vertically integrated – in fact, often the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. The integration of production IT with business IT will improve productivity, reduce cost and spur innovation and that is where media companies will focus their energies in the future. There are only a few companies who have operational experience in both back-office IT and media production environments, and they are poised to lead the next wave of business transformation in M&E. A version of this article first appeared in CMSWire. Illustration from Shutterstock. Shutterstock_155281778

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Making ECM Easy: Accelerate User Adoption and Productivity

Realizing your new ECM’s projected Return on Investment—and other Information Governance benefits—is very dependent on how quickly your users start adopting the new system. Often times, your people have been doing their jobs without this new system for many years, and now you need to convince them that they “need” to make a change. As we have all learned over the years, people really don’t like change. Even if they aren’t thrilled with the current ways of doing things, at least they know how to get the job done. I’ve read several studies that show that ECM implementations can struggle with user adoption. So how can you ensure that your teams will use your ECM system and not try to work around it? In a July 2013 Forrester Research, Inc. report, Improve ECM Satisfaction Levels Through Agility, Analytics, And Engagement (subscription required for access), Cheryl McKinnon identified “several essential practices for business process management (BPM) professionals that have direct applicability to ECM practitioners: 1) identify opportunities to design for specific interactions; 2) add contextual information to activities; 3) apply empathy for users and how they interact with the system; and 4) explore abductive reasoning skills (i.e., push the envelope and imagine scenarios outside of traditional comfort zones). Problems can be reframed; instead of blaming the user for not embracing ECM software, you might ask how to make ECM easier, luring people away from reliance on paper.” Sitting down with users in each department and asking them to help you design “their” user experience will usually create avid adopters, but only if you can deliver. The trick is to create interfaces that tailor the user experience for each role or interaction without having to change the core ECM code, which often requires expensive proprietary coding skills, could bypass critical permissions and auditing, and almost always requires recoding when the ECM is upgraded. User adoption is critical to the success of your ECM project, but this is a high price to pay. Over the past several years, OpenText has resolved to address this by providing our customers with several standards-based tools to enhance and tailor user experiences to meet specific business user needs. About a year ago we purchased Resonate KT, the company that developed the WebReports and ActiveView products for our ECM Platform (Content Suite). Just a couple of months ago, I was asked to help market Content Intelligence, which bundles this technology into a complete package and also includes a stack of pre-packaged dashboards and tools to help customers get started. The marketing materials addressed all of the concerns outlined above, which was very exciting, but I wanted to hear how this technology actually performed for customers. I have since spoken with several customers, and I’ve got to tell you that I’m amazed at their stories. They have really been able to create user experiences that meet each department’s unique needs, even if those needs included documents and metadata from other systems. They have also all told me that when they upgraded their Content Server, these customizations “just worked.” Wow—now I’m impressed! Here is a brief description of the solution, but please continue reading down to the customer story. That is what really convinced me. OpenText Content Intelligence bundles ActiveView and WebReports tools, as well as a complete set of instantly deployable and easily modifiable prebuilt reports, actionable dashboards, and applications via the Report Pack, to make it easy for organizations to optimize the business user experience, drive adoption, and tailor applications to suit specific requirements of their Content Server deployment. Improve user adoption by making OpenText Content Server look and feel the way your business users want it to Limit or eliminate training costs by making it easy for users to work with your ECM system Easily develop and deploy applications tailored for your organization’s specific needs without outsourcing or the need for specialized development resources (HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, AJAX) Make sure that consistent metadata is available and applied so that users can find what they need, when they need it and ensure the reliability of reports and dashboards Build role-specific dashboards and automated content reports to avoid the need for users to burden IT with requests or learn how to create reports on their own Lower TCO and improve ROI by making OpenText Content Suite a natural extension of the way that business users create and interact with enterprise content I had the pleasure of meeting with Michelle and Melanie at Santee Cooper and I was thrilled to hear how they have used Content Intelligence technology to create very specialized interfaces for each of their departments. They are even using this to sync documents and data from five other systems so they can provide their users with the information they need in each tailored interface, without requiring them to log in to these other ERP, HR, Finance, and Asset Management systems and then try to track down this information for themselves. This sync also enables them to leverage OpenText’s Records Management on all of this critical content, helping ensure that they meet their regulatory mandates while offering their users a central point of truth for this business-critical information. That is what I call making ECM easy for your users. Here is a quote from our discussion that summarizes the benefits they have realized: “We’ve used WebReports, the foundation of Content Intelligence, since 2004 to deploy tailored solutions for each department’s needs to ensure quick user adoption and greatly increase productivity and ROI. Over the years, we’ve been impressed with the effortless upgrades, especially given our complex content and data integrations with systems like Oracle eBusiness and Maximo. It is evident that Content Intelligence will help customers get an immediate head start in visualizing and managing Content Server information and creating their own tailored applications, views, and integrations.” Melanie Bodiford, ECM Technical Lead, Supervisor Application Support at Santee Cooper Please have a look at the Content Intelligence Executive Brief to learn more about this solution and the user adoption and productivity challenges that it is helping to address.

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Top Four Ways to Make the BPM Business Case to IT Stakeholders

Does anyone know the challenges, requirements, and issues you face in your job better than you do? Who better understands that when you’re trying to resolve a case, you need to be able to instigate workflows, collaborate with everyone involved, and be able to check-in on the status at anytime, anywhere, and on any device? That means that when it comes time to find a solution for better process efficiency, it’s more often than not the line of business driving the initiative. However since one of the biggest challenges users reported as a roadblock in their BPM implementation was a conflict over process ownership between IT and business stakeholders*, it’s imperative that you get equal buy in from the line of business and IT. You see, even though organizations of all sizes, business models and industries talk about the essential nature of IT and business alignment, achieving that balance is often easier said than done. Part of the challenge is the growing complexity and interdependencies of business processes, as organizations strive to break down traditional operating silos not only by sharing information but also by creating “cultures of collaboration” that help integrate and better leverage essential business processes. In particular, enterprises want to use technology to unify and strengthen the three pillars of their organization: people, processes and information. The successful integration of these three elements is at the heart of long-term, demonstrable business performance. Another key concern IT and business leaders have with BPM is how best to utilize it in order to go past nice but unspectacular incremental improvements in favor of disruptive, revolutionary enhancements that help the organization achieve competitive advantage. Despite the desire to do more with BPM, according to a recent study from Forrester Research, 59% of enterprise architecture respondents use BPM not for strategic requirements, but rather for finding bottlenecks, refining processes and reduce operating costs, which is not a great way to get a good ROI. Instead, the right solution needs to have significant functionality, high performance and can be deployed in a variety of architectural designs for maximum flexibility while still meeting the need for speed and agility. Four key components to look for in your BPM solution: Packaged applications : Look for applications that capture best practices and domain-specific components, and package them into turnkey applications that require only configuration and light customization to meet the need of an organization. Solutions accelerators: By utilizing prebuilt and reusable components, developers in the line of business or IT can build applications using coarse-grained service components and prebuilt application elements, reducing the time to value and utilizing service delivery best practices built into the components. Model-driven development : Robust modelling environments to develop applications using BPMN-based process modelling tools, or CMMN-based case modelling (the emerging standard for case management modelling), are also important. The platform should also include a service-oriented architecture-compliant framework so developers can create, utilize and reuse Web services in the development of applications, and also leverage the enterprise service bus functionality for more complex integration work that goes beyond typical Web services integration. Code-level development: The solution should provide resources and support for developers that includes code snippets, comprehensive libraries, reusable elements and services, and developer communities for developers to engage with others. With these tips in mind, you’ll not only be able to find a BPM solution that fits your needs, but also one IT can stand behind because of its flexibility to constantly adapt to changing requirements without reinventing the wheel each time. It’s also important to note that the way applications are developed is usually a mix of these for different solutions, and sometimes even within the same solution, so it’s imperative to have all of these available to you. Now you can work with IT and find a solution that evolves with your organization, instead of working against it. Want to learn more about how to make the business case for BPM? Download the Tech Target white paper, “ Selling the Benefits of Business Process Management for IT and Business Stakeholders ” today. *InfoWorld BPM Survey for OpenText 2014

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5 Ways to Enable Differentiation in Transaction Banking

Differentiate or die. This is a key business and marketing principle. This provocative phrase reminds us that the Natural Laws also have very real implications, outside of physics, in the world of business. At OpenText GXS, we have identified five basic rules that will put Banks and Financial Institutions on a path to differentiation. This blog is intended to help build your strategic agenda for business transformation, or simply to map out discussion items with your clients. 1 – Make it easy to do business with you Right from the start, the customer experience commences with the Account Opening and Know Your Client (KYC) processes. This “business on-boarding” is where the client’s Finance teams are coming to grips with intensive banking paperwork, sharing details of signatories, accounts structure, etc. First impressions count; you must make your clients’ tasks easy and stress-free from the very start. At the very least, the Bank should leverage self-serve tools such as Client Community Management, or Business Process Modelling (BPM) workflows to collect client information, which will become critical as part of the technical on-boarding and the on-going BAU operational relationship. Internal SLAs or SLOs between the Bank’s various on-boarding teams will allow predicable and consistent client experience, with dates and timelines you can commit to 2 – Step up your game with a service-oriented Banking channel Typically, your client’s priority is to optimize the way they operate their order-to-cash and purchase-to-pay cycles, while optimizing working capital. Historically, banks are servicing a few points of needs coming out from these processes, such as payments, cash management, trade finance, investment banking. These are multiple facets of the same processes for the customer; the least you have to do is to present the access to those services in a consistent and simplified way. This is often called a “consistent cross-channel experience”, with the principle of a technical “Single Pipe” between the client and the Bank. However, a single pipe on its own is not enough; the Bank needs to meet consumer-type expectations for user experience meaning you need to step up your game. 3 – Shift your staff’s focus to activities that deliver unique value There is no valid economic model or competitive logic in running large IT empires, when business partners and solution providers can do it better, faster, cheaper and with the same levels of security. Banks should be able to focus their resources where real competitive advantage can be gained, making a measurable difference to the bottom line. Cloud technology and Managed Services bring unprecedented scale for Enterprise IT functions and the lines of business supported. Channel Technology, client on-boarding and Industry Standards are only means to an end; everyone needs to comply and provide the same components. Why task your most valuable people on activities that are complex but not distinctive, when others are outperforming you effortlessly in the same areas using external providers? 4 – Create value within the customer’s environment Running a global treasury strategy has its unique challenges, with only a fraction of the associated internal challenges are exposed to the Bank. Financial Institutions need to start to show interest in the deeper needs of their corporate clients, offer to cross the bridge and literally integrate business processes rather than just the technology. Resource and market pressures mean that corporates increasingly rely on their vendors for advice, innovation and cost reduction. Successful banks will need to offer business consulting skills, deep domain expertise and best-in-class delivery. Remember that clients are expecting to receive and consume this advice in a very different way to a consultancy project; this should be factored within the fabric of the commercial and operational relationship. SMEs, mid-market clients and larger corporate customers are all leveraging Cloud technology in a shape or form, making them a very educated and clever buyer when it comes to consuming the Bank’s services and products. 5 – Don’t sell; challenge, advise and map their buying process Clients have changing expectations and attitude towards Financial Technology and Banking. In only a few years from now, a generation of Millennials will bring new expectations about how Banks will need to treat them as customers. These demands will need to be met immediately, in a personalized, social and consultative manner. The bank must also be prepared to demonstrate the value they provide throughout the term of the partnership. Client feedback shows that a key driver of customer loyalty is the Bank relationship director offering unique, valuable perspectives on the market, educating them on issues and outcomes. Let’s conclude with one last provocative thought: “Measure what matters most, but don’t let what you measure become what matters most”. Are your organisation’s metrics around Transaction Services really rewarding differentiation? At OpenText we are keen to further discuss those items and spell out the success stories we enabled with our Banks and Financial Institution clients. Feel free to contact me directly or come over and visit our booth at SIBOS in Boston in October 2014.

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What if you could reduce the time to launch new services from months to weeks?

 Your business needs are changing constantly and if you don’t have solutions in place to increase agility and flexibility, you won’t be able to stay competitive. While you’re waiting for a custom BPM solution to be built, your competitors are passing you in the market, your organization isn’t running at its optimum efficiency, and likely by the time it’s finally ready, your business needs have already changed again. It’s an endless cycle that needs to stop now. AEGON Religare Life Insurance Company is the perfect example. They’re a three-way joint venture between the Netherlands-based AEGON, an international life insurance, pension, and investment company and India’s Religare, a leading integrated financial services groups, and Bennet, Coleman & company, India’s largest media house. As you can imagine trying to be process efficient and incorporate real-time integration of systems and information across infrastructure of that size was a massive challenge. They needed to launch operations across 14 independent systems at 25 locations on the first day. Not to mention, the Indian insurance market serves over 21 languages and a number of unique local cultures in a population exceeding one billion. Therefore scaling and adapting processes to meet increasing volumes and customer acquisition and retention was a huge challenge, especially when combined with their need to meet an aggressive time-to-market. Watch the video to hear Srinivasan Iyengar, COO of AEGON Religare, discuss how they overcame this hurdle and managed to deploy a solution in days, not months. Want to learn more about how you can make the case for better process efficiency? Read the Tech Target white paper, “Selling the Benefits of Business Process Management for IT and Business Stakeholders.”

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Customer Experience is not only Marketing’s responsibility

Business Processes gives power to Customer Experience Let me give you an example of how you might want to integrate your customer experience with your business processes. Let’s say a dissatisfied customer posts an angry tweet about your product or company. This can be captured and analysed via sentiment analysis and eventually used to initiate a resolution process within your company. Another example would be a Facebook post suggesting a new feature that can kick off a product enhancement process. It’s obvious that customer services with the necessary information at hand and the ability to resolve questions or issues quickly are essential to maintaining happy customers. A survey done by Forrester found that 1/3 of the companies still don’t have access to such basic information as “where is my order?” Another example would be if you have an e-commerce site selling for example snowboard gear. Your customer heads to the site to buy a new board. He gets information about what other people that bought this kind of board also look at. He goes through and checks out his basket. He makes the payment with his credit card online. Once he’s done, he gets an email with an order confirmation and an offer on a special price trip to the Alps. This offer is valid until 7.00 pm tonight. He thinks it looks interesting so he clicks the link and it opens up the offer. However, he does not have time to finish this off so he leaves the site continuing with some else. And as the day passes he forgets about he offer. At 5 pm a customer service rep calls him up, asking if he needed more information to be able to go a head and book the trip. This way you have connected your customer experience with your customer service function. Instead of just letting him forget about the trip you make sure a process is triggered within your company so that the customer service rep calls the customer up or sends and email to remind him. Different customers have different needs, making a one-size-fits-all service model does not work. Integrating Business Process Management with your Customer Experience gives you the flexibility you need to make the customer experience tailored to your customers and their current situation. To get the complete picture of a customer to be able to give the best customer experience through your entire company, easy access to document and information stored about your customer is essential for customer service and sales. This is where connecting Enterprise Content Management with Customer Experience gives you the opportunity to get a 360 degree view of the customer. Going back to the example of the snowboard buyer, the customer service should have full visibility into the order the customer placed using the online store. They should easily be able to access all documents related to that product to be able to give the customer the best experience possible. Also all information about the customer like customer contracts, customer emails, customer interactions/conversations and so on should be easily accessible to customer service as he is speaking with the customer. Giving the best customer experience possible. Another example would be a customer in a car accident could initiate an insurance claim using a mobile phone by simply taking a picture and submitting it via a mobile application. Data like location and time is captured automatically, saving the customer hours on the phone. BUT, this kind of information needs to be stored and managed according to regulations not just stored anywhere. How do you create a 360-degree view of your content and customer in an easy and efficient way so that you can deliver a great customer experience? http://www.opentext.com/campaigns/experience-suite/expert-webisodes.htm

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Getting the Most from Your B2B Network

Two weeks ago I was on a Eurostar train bound for Brussels. I was attending the 122nd EDIFICE plenary, a high tech industry association that GXS™ has been involved with for more than 25 years. EDIFICE works with leading high tech companies to develop best practices and new standards for deploying B2B solutions and services across the high tech supply chain. I have been attending EDIFICE events for the past six years and I have found the sessions to be incredibly informative in terms of understanding the B2B challenges faced by today’s high tech industry but also to allow me to network and share experiences with companies such as HP, Cisco, Infineon, Texas Instruments and Xilinx. In fact the attendee list for these events quite often reads like a who’s who in the high tech industry. For more information on EDIFICE, please visit www.edifice.org. Each member company of the EDIFICE community is invited to sponsor plenary events and on this occasion OpenText™ GXS™ had the pleasure of hosting the event with a theme of ‘Getting the Most from Your B2B Network’. I have presented at several EDFICE events in the past but this event provided me with the first opportunity to introduce OpenText, a company that very few people in the audience had heard of before. I delivered the key note presentation for the event and this allowed me to introduce the world of Enterprise Information Management (EIM) and how this is likely to impact the world of B2B moving forwards. In the future, companies will be able to get even greater value from their B2B network due to the availability of powerful EIM solutions from OpenText. So what I wanted to do for this particular keynote presentation was to explain how companies could get more out of their B2B platform, ie once connected to a B2B Network such as OpenText™ Trading Grid™, what could you do with the B2B information flowing across the network, either internally or externally across the extended enterprise. I also wanted to demonstrate that a B2B network can be used for a lot more than just exchanging EDI messages. So with this in mind I thought I would just recap the ten points that I discussed during my keynote presentation to highlight how companies, when connected to a global B2B network, can get more out of their platform: 1. Enabling 100% Trading Partner Connectivity – In order to get a good return on the investment in your B2B network you need to make sure you can electronically enable 100% of your trading partner community. Many companies struggle to on board their smallest suppliers who are quite often located in emerging markets where ICT and B2B skills are limited. OpenText has a range of B2B enablement tools that can help a business to exchange electronic business information, irrespective of the size or location of the supplier. From sending PDF based business documents via secure messaging/MFT, implementing Fax to EDI based solutions, through to Microsoft Excel based tools and web forms, there are many tools available today to help a company onboard their smallest suppliers. 2. Simplify Expansion into New Markets – Many companies today are introducing lean and more flexible supply chains to allow them to be more responsive to constantly changing market and customer demands. Many companies struggle to establish a presence in a new market, either because they do not have a local presence in the market or they do not know how to connect a remote operation, in terms of a plant and its domestic suppliers, to a centralised B2B platform. The benefit of a cloud based platform such as OpenText™ Trading Grid™ is that you can scale up or scale down your B2B activities as required by the needs of the business. With over 600,000 companies conducting business across Trading Grid today and a B2B network which stretches into every major manufacturing and financial hub around the world, Trading Grid significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to establish a ‘B2B Presence’ in a remote market. Even if you currently work across multiple network providers in different countries around the world, consolidating onto one cloud based provider can certainly help to improve the bottom line for your business. 3. Overcoming Regional Complexity Issues – Many businesses today are required to adhere to various regional compliance regulations. For example the area of e-Invoicing compliance is an incredibly complex area that companies have to embrace. For example some countries such as Mexico and Brazil mandate electronic invoicing whilst each of the 27 countries in the European Union have country specific rules for dealing with VAT compliance, archiving and applying digital signatures. OpenText GXS has implemented B2B projects all over the world and hence we have the experience to shield your business from the complexity of dealing with a myriad of regional specific B2B standards and e-Invoicing related regulations. 4. Improving Accuracy of Externally Sourced Information – If you spend $50,000 on a luxury car with a high performance engine, you wouldn’t pour low grade oil into the engine now would you? The same applies to a B2B platform, where information entering the platform can come from many internal and external sources. In fact in one study conducted a few years ago we found that over a third of information entering ERP comes from outside the enterprise. Now what happens if poor quality information enters your B2B platform, gets processed and then enters your ERP environment? All it takes is for an external supplier to enter the incorrect part number or quantity on a shipping document for example and this information will slowly propagate its way through your business. What if you could implement business rules to check the quality of information entering your business according to specific rules templates? Applying business rules and hence improving the quality of B2B information will help to improve operational efficiency, in terms of reducing manual rework, in relation to how information flows across your extended enterprise. 5. Increasing Resilience to Supply Chain Disruptions – Global supply chains have been severely disrupted by many natural disasters in recent years. Companies have been trying to build increased resilience to supply chain disruptions and having access to a single, global B2B platform can help minimise supply chain disruption. Utilising a cloud based platform allows companies to access their B2B related information anywhere in the world, irrespective of where disruption may be occurring. For example many Japanese companies are starting to embrace cloud based B2B platforms as it helps to introduce flexibility into their B2B strategies and also minimises any disruption to their supply chain and production operations. Having every trading partner connected to a single, global B2B network allows you to quickly identify points of weakness across your supply chain during a period of disruption and to take remedial action as required. 6. Adhering to Regulatory Compliance Initiatives – Businesses today have to embrace a variety of industry specific regulatory initiatives. In addition, many companies have established their own compliance initiatives and they expect their trading partners to adhere to these regulations. In many cases suppliers are being asked to adhere to these compliance initiatives as a condition of doing business with them. In the automotive industry suppliers have to undertake an annual quality assessment known as Materials Management Operations Guideline Logistics Evaluation (MMOG/LE) and in the high tech industry companies with headquarters in North America now have to demonstrate that they do not source conflict minerals across their global supply chain. Many compliance related initiatives in place today require some form of assessment to be conducted across a supply chain and the two examples I highlighted above use spreadsheets as the basis of the assessment process. However for this assessment to be effective, companies require up to date contacts for each and every supplier across their supply chain and they need to make sure these assessments are conducted in a timely manner. OpenText GXS can provide a platform that can centralise the management of supplier related contact information, which in turn helps to significantly improve day to day communications and collaboration with a trading partner community. 7. Conducting Transaction Based Trading Partner Analytics – One of the benefits of operating the world’s largest B2B networks is that it can potentially provide a significant source of data to analyse trading partner related trends. As we know, Big Data analytics is becoming an increasingly important area for companies to embrace, but quite often they do not have the internal skills or knowledge to process the information or transactions flowing across their supply chain. OpenText Trading Grid processes over 16 billion B2B transactions each year and this can potentially provide a rich source of information for companies to leverage and allow real time decisions to be made in relation to the management of their supply chain operations. 8. Initiating Process Based Transaction Flows – Many companies have implemented numerous business processes to manage different aspects of their operations. From managing production lines through to inventory replenishment, having a strong process centric approach to running a business is key to winning a competitive advantage in the market and increasing customer satisfaction levels. B2B related transactions have sometimes had a loosely coupled relationship with business processes but many supply chain processes are becoming so complicated today, especially supporting global manufacturing operations for example, that coupling business processes more tightly with B2B transaction flows makes increasingly more sense. For example, managing transactions relating to a reverse logistics process used in the consumer electronics sector. OpenText has significant experience in the Business Process Management space and when eventually combined with OpenText Trading Grid this could potentially offer a different way for supply chain directors and logistics managers to look after their trading partner communities. It is still early days in the OpenText and GXS integration process but this could be a big growth area in the future. 9. Achieving Pervasive Visibility of all Transactions – Achieving true end to end visibility has been high on the agenda of nearly every Supply Chain professional around the world. The introduction of powerful smart phones and tablets has only increased the desire to get access to B2B related transactional information, any time, any place or anywhere. It is already possible to introspect transactions as they flow across OpenText Trading Grid, but the next logical phase would be to make these transactions actionable in some way via a remote device. OpenText has an interesting suite of mobile development tools called Appworks which will help to considerably accelerate the development of B2B related apps which connect into the Trading Grid platform. 10. Integrating to ‘Internet of Things’ Devices – The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to completely transform the way in which companies manage their supply chains in the future. With billions of intelligent devices expected to be connected to the Internet over the next decade, companies will have access to significantly more information from their global supply chains. From IoT connected storage bins, forklift trucks, containers, warehouses, lorries and in fact anything that is part of a supply chain has the potential to send information back to a centralised IoT hub via a simple internet connection. In the same way that we talk today about integrating B2B platforms to ERP systems, tomorrow we will be doing the same level of integration to IoT related hubs. This is a subject that I have discussed extensively via an earlier blog of mine.

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Supply Chain Soul

When you think soul, what comes to mind? For me it’s the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin — but there’s another contender who’s giving Aretha a run for her money. Supply chains. They probably aren’t the first thing you think of when you hear the word soul. But the highly resilient supply chains that lead today are nobody’s “Chain of Fools.” They run with a combination of brains, heart and yes, soul. And this combination is exactly what it takes to drive future success for companies who compete on the basis of their supply chains in ever faster moving markets. Let’s take a look at some outstanding examples. Supply Chain Brain: Making Supply Chains Smarter From “farm-to-fork,” “biotin-to-beauty” or “cotton-to-clothes,” we depend on supply chains to transform raw ingredients and components into products, and then deliver what we want, when we want it. Supply chain “brains” in the form of technology software and hardware are becoming increasingly important to meet consumer demand and deliver the “perfect order.” Every year, technology analyst firm Gartner recognizes its Top 25 Supply Chain companies that “best exemplify the demand-driven ideal for today’s supply chain.” Past top 25 companies range fom McDonald’s and Walmart to Johnson & Johnson and Unilever. The Gartner top 25 list provides best practices that can be emulated and over time, those practices have spread well beyond the list. Business Process Management (BPM) technology helps knowledge workers make smarter decisions not just about physical flows, but also about the financial flows over the supply chain. In some instances, technology can be applied to replace humans in the supply chain and in others technology can be used to make the human element in the supply chain that much smarter. Both approaches help ensure products can continue to flow cost effectively to the customer point of sale and ultimately to the consumer. For example, Revlon was struggling to keep up with the workload of its high volume retailer claims. The financial impact was significant with chargebacks amounting to 20 percent of gross revenues. Credit claims processors were overburdened and were often unable to review claims or contest them if appropriate. The document collection process by itself took 30 minutes on average per claim. After implementing its case management solution, Revlon reduced processing time by two-thirds, giving the company the opportunity to process all claims at a net reduction of employee time of over 50 percent. Zappos is perhaps best known for their very cool customer service, but it is automation in their supply chain that helps them ensure they can deliver on their “wowful happiness” brand promise to the consumer. Zappos has implemented an advanced supply chain system in their warehouse operations from vendor Kiva Systems. At the risk of being called a supply chain geek — you’ve got to check out these cool robot pickers! As supply chain experts realize, a technology advantage in your warehouse gives you a cost advantage over your competitors, and also a speed advantage on the delivery side. This proved so important that ultimately Amazon, who acquired Zappos, also acquired Kiva. A telling stat: Using its non-Kiva-enabled order management processes, Zappos.com can fulfill an order in as little time as 48 minutes or as long as three and a half hours. With the Kiva system: 12 minutes, every time. Supply Chain Heart: Focusing on the Customer Companies like Zappos focus on the connection of its brand with the customer, and to do this means better understanding of buyer behavior and motivations. That means getting to the heart of not just what they are thinking but what they are feeling. And in turn, it means acting on what they learn from the customer, integrating sensing capability into the core of the experience and the supply chain. Fast moving consumer goods and the big brand retailers who present them to the target customer are especially interested in developing their supply chain “heart.” A top company is distinguished by its ability to efficiently produce and deliver the items that are in highest demand by consumers, while developing loyalty and trust towards the brands. By connecting to the customer desires, Walmart’s world leading supply chain not only means stores rarely run out of a product, but they rarely have to write off unsellable merchandise. Case in point is the cautionary tale about the effective use of customer behavior data. As the case study goes, customer data revealed that female shoppers wanted low prices on detergents, and they wanted detergents in large enough quantities that they didn’t have to buy a box more than once a month. But the packaging they wanted was boxes small enough to carry easily to the car. Walmart integrated that consumer-focused information into their supply chain packaging and pricing. At the same time, a Walmart competitior stuck with a policy of selling huge boxes of detergents. On a unit-basis, their boxes were priced about the same, but Walmart’s detergent sales quickly dwarfed the competitor. Walmart has integrated this packaging approach throughout their supply chain, pressing suppliers to condense the same amount of product into smaller packages, driving increases in revenue per-square-foot over the competition. While suppliers may feel pressure from this approach, it is a strong example of ensuring the supply chain is connected to customer demand and aligned with buying behaviors. Today’s customer-centric experience model rewards those who make it simple and rewarding for the buyer. A “customer first” mentality has to prevail throughout the business including orchestrating the supply chain and presenting products across omnichannels — from “brick and mortar” stores to the web to mobile apps. This will mean that the C-Suite will need to collaborate to be successful. The CIO will need to work with the Chief Marketing Officer, who increasingly owns the web experience and the customer data, and both will need the Chief Supply Chain Officer to be responsive in meeting customer demand. Supply Chain Soul: Leading the Charge for Sustainability Delivering for the customer can also serve a higher purpose, and when it does supply chains are showing us their “soul.” Staples, members of a Supply Chain Leaders council I supported a few years back, has focused on sustainability goals for their business and talks about what they are doing as Staples Soul. Staples Soul recognizes the close connection between our success and our ability to make a positive impact on our customers, our associates and the planet. We believe Staples Soul helps to make us an employer and neighbor of choice, differentiates our brand and allows us to grow profitably and responsibly.” For example, several years ago Staples first rolled out new packaging technology, entitled “Smart-size” packaging from Packsize, focused on delivery boxes that are custom fit to each order. The move was driven by online customer demands and customer requests. Staples is one of the largest e-commerce companies in the world, with more than half of the company’s revenue derived from e-commerce. As Don Ralph, then head of supply chain for Staples, explained: we had been working with our suppliers under the banner of sustainability and challenging them to reduce their packaging by about 30 percent for a multi-year period. We said we need to be doing the same thing, because customers were asking for it and it is the right thing to do.” Benefits include 60 percent reduced air pillow use and 20 percent reduction of average cardboard box size, which Staples estimates is an annual carbon footprint reduction of 30,200 tons, or roughly 120,000 trees. More shipments can fit on each line haul and more orders in each delivery truck, coupled with just-in-time packaging with Smart-size cutting costs and warehouse space from storing delivery boxes.” Kimberly-Clark Corporation, recognized as one of the 2014 World’s Most Ethical Companies, have a strong focus on sustainability. For example, they have a plan to source 50 percent of wood fiber to alternative sources from traditional trees by 2025. They have already reached $100 million in sales of the Scott Naturals product line in just five years from launch, demonstrating the competitiveness of inserting recycled fiber into the supply chain. As Greenbiz highlights in their STATE OF GREEN BUSINESS 2014 report, “The challenge for sustainable business is to identify growth models that result in reduced environmental impact.” Staples and Kimberly-Clark are proof points that a company can generate both business and environmental benefits by leading the way in sustainable business practices, with supply chain as foundational to these efforts. Supply Chain Impact I am continually fascinated by the impact supply chains can wield and how they affect our daily lives. The supply chain is central to how businesses organize suppliers and partners, serve customers, and indeed drive how entire industries are structured. In my view, it’s all about supply chains having brains, heart, and let’s not forget soul. Injecting brains into the supply chain helps companies drive speed and efficiency. Supply chains with heart can connect and strengthen the relationship of the business customer and the consumer. And, supply chains with soul are ultimately how we all win on this shared planet. A version of this post first ran on CMSWire.

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PBS Adopts OpenText Media Management

A major press announcement at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, “PBS Adopts OpenText Media Management to Support Range of Media Assets,” revealed the latest strategy for PBS in managing digital assets for their network of more than 350 member stations. A key part of that strategy is DAM and process management. “As a public media enterprise, managing and sharing an increasingly rich and complex universe of assets is a growing challenge. We were seeking an asset management system that could meet a broad range of needs,” said Chris Contakes, PBS Vice President, Information Technology. “We were looking for a solution that would help us develop the ability for producers, member stations and PBS to create, distribute and exchange rich assets efficiently and effectively. Being able to assign specific end users to deliverables along with timelines and scope of work offered us complete visibility into our processes,” continued Contakes. “The OpenText system offers us a digital asset management solution to manage assets as deliverables with assignments and due dates in order to meet PBS’s promotional and programming timelines.” OpenText worked closely with PBS, establishing a proof-of-concept to demonstrate not only how OpenText Business Process Management (BPM) and Media Management are integrated, but the value of managing processes throughout the entire digital media workstream, or supply chain, for digital assets. At OpenText, we recognize this as the Create-to-Consumean information flow. The Create-to-Consume information flow interacts with many departments in an organization. Media organizations, like PBS, are recognizing that the traditional linear workflows are overwhelmed as marketing, promotion and omni-channel distribution of media content continues to grow. At NAB2014 OpenText demonstrated the Create-to-Consume information flow based on the themes identified in working with PBS and common to the media and entertainmant industry. We mapped out a workstream demonstrating the flow of a project from the initial pitch or project commissioning, production, finalization and approvals, to Omni-channel publishing and programming. Integrated with OpenText Business Process Management, the demo started with the orchestration and management activites associated with making a program, production or even a marketing campaign. At NAB we showed how a team collaborated on a program pitch, getting the green light and then the system created a project structure in OpenText Media Management. This notified project members, assigned tasks and set up a folder structure to start gathering and sharing content. Once initiated, these parallel streams for video production, photo shoots, graphics production for DVD packaging were all able to collaborate, with status and progress being tracked througout the work-in-progress production processes. Final approval was directed from the Media Management system for all the deliverables, including marketing campaign assets, program information, product catalog, video promos etc. One area of keen interest to NAB attendees was monetization, where we showed an integration with e-Commerce, in which assets populated a product catalog for an online store allowing customers and partners to download or order content. The marketers and website producers had access to all the assets in Media Management. Integration with OpenText Web Experience Management and Customer Communication Management allowed automated customer communications and the ability to seamlessly build out the webpages and microsites with video promos and images for a rich and engaging experience. The primary goal of the demonstration was to show the digital media workstream as an ecosystem with many interdependent and interrelated applications and activities – DAM, WEM, BPM, e-Commerce, Work-in-Progress, Approvals and Omni-channel delivery all working together in a specific use case. Managing an ever-increasing number of people, processes and technology is a growing challenge for organizations. OpenText has a broad portfolio of products and experise in enterprise information management to help companies struggling with a digital media strategy. Understanding the value of the digital media workstream and how coordinated, collaborative processes bridging the creative production side with downstream deliverables for marketing and consumption can help put your company on a path to greater success.

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Guest Blog: Evan Quinn, Research Director – Enterprise Management Associates

Guest Blog Post by Evan Quinn, Research Director – Enterprise Management Associates How quickly are organizations deploying new applications to introduce new processes? And, is the deployment speed meeting expectations? Apps Should Match or Lead the Business Organizations are in constant flux – new or changing employees, customers, partners, markets, ideas, decisions, operations, products, services, competitors. Companies that try to stand pat lose. Don’t be fooled by “brand” which may make a company look solid and unmoving to the general public. Successful companies adapt constantly, sometimes reactively and unconsciously, sometimes proactively and consciously. The same holds true for applications, whether in-house or from software vendors, old or new. Therefore, the question needs to be expanded in scope to include (a) enhancements to current applications in addition to (b) new applications, since both have material impact on the business. Companies that do not commit to ensuring their applications reflect business change, preferably at the rate of business but optimally just ahead of business, place a yoke around their ability to compete. What good are applications if they are running behind the business? The “automation” and “productivity” ROI of apps turns into a drag on business performance when the apps loses touch. Therefore, CEOs, CIOs, and Line of Business executives that make keeping their apps up to snuff a top priority, and that includes building new apps if called for, are executing a winning formula. Organizations should be constantly deploying new or enhanced apps, if they aren’t something is amiss. BPM and iPaaS are the Answers Even with a commitment to keeping apps on aligned with the business there are only so many resources – analysts, developers, support staff, budgets, and time are in limited supply. BPM in general, and the concept of iPaaS in particular, integration Platform-as-a-Service, offer a set of proven best practices and tools to help companies keep up, and even pull ahead. Any application that reflects important business processes that has not been documented by BPM diagrams is like visiting a new country without a map or GPS. Without that map of the processes and the corresponding data, analysts and developers fly blind when determining how to service new requirements, and when trying to innovate. Without BPM, companies become dependent on local knowledge stuffed in developers’ and analysts’ heads, and are at risk when those experts find new jobs. Thus companies successfully using BPM both avoid risk and enjoy reward. The next step after BPM, iPaaS, offers an opportunity to build new apps out of existing, proven processes. Based on BPM, and rendered as APIs, iPaaS helps analysts and developers quickly build and deploy more innovative apps and process sets without reinventing the process wheel each time. I like to call these “integrative applications” because they typically reflect true, optimized, complex business flows, rather than a restricted set of imagined business processes. In summary: Most companies are in a constant state of change regarding business processes, and should be. Applications, old and new, should therefore also change to reflect the nature of the business. Organizations, like it or not, are always deploying new apps and enhancing old apps, or else their IT is out of business alignment. BPM is the best available set of tools and practices to add reliability and speed to keeping apps in touch with the business. iPaaS offers a new layer on top of process integration to rapidly build and deploy new apps to reflect optimized process flows, adding productivity to developer and analyst work, and ensuring better business outcomes. All that said, the business should never be satisfied with the speed of new app development and app enhancement. IT should directly feel and respond to, even ask for, the pressure that the business feels.

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The Importance of Client Lifecycle Management for Transaction Banking

In today’s competitive environment, financial services firms are faced with the challenge of maximizing revenue, reducing attrition, and maintaining customer relationships. That means adopting a holistic approach when it comes to developing true customer-centricity—which is the cornerstone of client lifecycle management for transaction banking. My colleague, Deborah Miller, recently blogged about “How Business Process Management adds Value in Financial Services.” Her blog provided insights from Jim Sinur, Gartner Emeritus, a thought leader in applying business process management to innovative and intelligent business operations. Jim provided examples of how BPM enables start-ups, improves customer service and accelerates claims management in the financial services sector. These examples illustrate a concept known as “client lifecycle management,” encompassing: On-boarding Establishing new accounts, products, and services for new or existing clients Processing a mix of paper and electronic information, stored in file cabinets and disparate legacy systems Ensuring compliance with bank policies and procedures Ongoing Relationship Management Processing add/change/delete requests for authorized signers, products, and services Growing the relationship through ongoing, personalized communications Migration Moving clients from legacy systems to end-state, target systems Supporting data migration, new documentation, validation of existing users and services Client lifecycle management is especially important for serving corporate and institutional clients. Using whatever terminology your institution prefers—transaction banking, wholesale banking or cash management services—corporate and institutional clients continue to generate significant fee-based revenue for financial services firms. As such, there continues to be intense competition to win customer loyalty, especially with the increasing number of acquisitions and mergers. For this reason, financial services institutions (FSIs) are building a strong case for developing an effective client lifecycle management program. Technology is a key enabler for an effective client lifecycle management program. As Jim Sinur discusses, the FSIs were an early adopter of business process management (BPM) technologies. For transaction banking, BPM was initially focused on managing customer service inquiries about late payments, missing statements, loan advances, and the like. When implemented across the client lifecycle, business process management (BPM) provides an underlying technology platform for process automation and case management that supports business agility, collaboration, efficiency, and helps you to respond quickly to the needs of your clients and support staff. But as Brian Wick discusses in his blog, “The Four Biggest Trends Changing BPM ,” FSIs are struggling to keep up with dramatic changes in the way employees and customers interact. These changes are a result of four evolving trends: Cloud, Mobile, Social and Apps. OpenText has launched a dedicated micro site, the New Era of BPM, to help you understand how next generation BPM technology solves the problem of ever-changing client lifecycle management requirements. Achieving true customer-centricity isn’t a “set it and forget it” process. Retaining corporate customers (and their lucrative fee-based business), requires you to look beyond client onboarding as a one-time event and more towards an integral, ongoing component within the client lifecycle management process.

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Guest Blog: Industry Analyst Neil Ward-Dutton Shares His Thoughts on BPM Trends

Guest Blog Post by Neil Ward-Dutton, Co-founder and Research Director at MWD Advisors 1) Generation Y aka the Millennials: The networked generation place a great importance on communicating and sharing at each stage of their decision-making processes in their personal lives, what is this generation looking for when it comes to Business Process Management? The shift we’re going to see in the needs companies have in managing their business processes is partly about the needs of a workforce with new expectations around communication and collaboration, but it’s also partly about the increased role of automation generally in business. We’re seeing that automation is taking more and more routine tasks out of the hands of people, and into the bits and bytes of software systems – general administration, sales, marketing, operations management and other jobs are all being squeezed. What this means is that the jobs that are left, and the jobs that companies focus on nurturing, are going to be more and more creative and collaborative knowledge-based roles. So we’ll see leading companies look to support more collaborative-based approaches to decision making and work co-ordination where people are involved – and they’ll look to software systems to provide that support. Part of this is about the expectations of millenials, but not all of it. 2) What are the specific challenges with case management vs. process automation. Is there an increase in Case Structures vs process structures, and how does that affect the tools used for automation? There are quite a few challenges that businesses need to think about when pursuing case management implementations to support processes, vs. pursuing ‘traditional’ structured process automation implementations. Some I’m seeing relate to analysis and design notations, methods and skills; in the structured process automation world these things are all quite well understood and more or less accessible (though experienced people are still really expensive). In the case management world, we’re only just seeing the first notation standard emerging; and there’s no cross-industry established body of knowledge around how you design a case management application. Other challenges kind of spring from that – I’m thinking specifically here, for example, of the challenge of working a productive implementation method. Getting subject-matter experts and users involved in process improvement is always a critical success factor, but getting productive engagement, ideas and feedback from a group when designing a case management application can be harder – because the behavior of a resulting application isn’t readily discernible from any kind of map you can draw, in the way that it is with a structured process automation project. By definition case work is collaborative, dynamic, non-deterministic and requires expert discretion. 3) How important are integrations for process automation, and can BPM be used with core apps to engage users and add flexibility and agility to an organization? Integrations are absolutely critical to most process automation projects! You can get value from a BPM project without implementing any integrations with existing systems, but if you do you could be missing out on some massive efficiency and quality gains. Looking at it the other way around: process applications can absolutely add value to existing core systems of record, by creating a more user-centered and process-based environment in which work can get done that’s much more flexible than the core underlying systems. 4) How quickly are organizations deploying new applications to introduce new processes? And, is the deployment speed meeting expectations? Of course, the time it takes businesses to deploy new applications to introduce new processes varies massively – some of it is to do with the maturity of the business, some of it is to do with the complexity of the processes in question, and some of it is to do with the tools they have available. Best-in-class businesses can sometimes develop and deploy simple process applications in just a few weeks, particularly for relatively straightforward administrative processes. At the other end of the scale, I’ve seen some businesses struggle for years and fail to implement process applications because they didn’t have the right tools or the right skills in place.

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Guest Blog: Industry Analyst Peter Schooff Shares His Thoughts on BPM Trends

Guest Blog Post by Peter Schooff, Managing Editor, BPM.com 1) Generation Y aka the Millennials: The networked generation place a great importance on communicating and sharing at each stage of their decision-making processes in their personal lives, what is this generation looking for when it comes to Business Process Management? Dynamic processes empowered by social and mobile. While work has changed almost beyond recognition for Gen. X and beyond, this is the norm for Millennials. And the rate of change is accelerating, so processes that are not dynamic and do not reflect the way we work today and in the future will simply not last. 2) What are the specific challenges with case management vs. process automation. Is there an increase in Case Structures vs process structures, and how does that affect the tools used for automation? At some point in the future, processes will be everything that can and should be automated, and what we call a case (or dynamic process) are those things that need some type of human input. So there certainly will be an increase in case structures, and the challenge is deciding what needs human intervention vs. what can be automated. Your business will depend on it. 3) How important are integrations for process automation, and can BPM be used with core apps to engage users and add flexibility and agility to an organization? Very important…processes need to be end-to-end, so they need to cross silos and integrate as much as possible. That also means BPM must integrate with other important business apps, otherwise you’ll end up with processes that are the opposite of smart.

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2020 Agenda: Are You Ready?™

The pace of business has accelerated. We’ve seen more change in the last 20 years than in the previous 100. Change is the new constant. Organizations must be nimble to adapt to evolving market needs driven by competitive forces, disruptive technologies, and new strategies for growth. Agility is key to capitalizing on innovation and achieving success. Business dexterity requires the seamless integration of business with management processes. High performing companies work to align operational speed (executing quickly) with strategic vision (increasing time-to-value) and speed-to-deployment. In most enterprises, there’s a speed gap: it’s the difference between the time it takes to switch gears at the operational level to support business strategy (3-6 months) and the time it takes to implement IT solutions or infrastructure to facilitate strategic initiatives (6 -10 years). This gap results in ineffectual processes that are implemented too late, after business requirements have shifted or are no longer valid. The consequence of this gap is a disparity in the mapping of application development cycles to suit business needs. To facilitate the alignment of processes and true business agility, a flexible process management system is required—one that automates processes while giving business users the ability to customize and configure solutions to meet their business needs. I’m pleased to announce that our new Process Suite includes cloud, mobile, and social services to maximize flexibility, deployment options, and business agility. It makes business processes accessible to a wide range of users, enabling them to define, modify, and execute processes faster, according to rapidly changing business requirements OpenText Process Suite is a comprehensive automation and case management system that delivers more than improved efficiency, offering an optimized end user experience and a broad spectrum of development options for both IT and business users. Process Suite delivers sustainable performance advantage through: Fast time-to-value: For the highest levels of agility and shortest time-to-value for process and case management solutions, Process Suite drives continuous process improvement across the enterprise. Flexible development: IT and LOB organizations can develop and deploy solutions to suit their specific needs—from packaged applications to assembled and configured applications, model-driven development, and code-level development. Extensible EIM services: Process management can be extended to include comprehensive EIM capabilities, from enterprise content management to customer engagement, information exchange, and information discovery—all in one environment. Broad deployment options: The platform was built from the ground up for public or private cloud-based deployment, giving organizations the option to deploy on premise, in the cloud, or in combination using a hybrid solution. OpenText Process Suite is a full-featured Business Process Management (BPM) solution that bundles platform, applications, and add-on technologies, including BPM Everywhere, a Process Component Library, an AppWorks Gateway, Case Management, Cordys Cloud Provisioning, Process Intelligence, and more. Outpace your competitors through aligned operations, strategic vision, and IT infrastructure. Increase agility, innovation, and time-to-value with OpenText Process Suite. Find out more.

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Guest Blog: Industry Analyst Bruce Silver Shares His Thoughts on BPM Trends

Guest Blog Post by Bruce Silver, Independent Industry Analyst – Bruce Silver Associates 1) Generation Y aka the Millennials: The networked generation place a great importance on communicating and sharing at each stage of their decision-making processes in their personal lives, what is this generation looking for when it comes to Business Process Management? As long as it boosts their self-esteem and doesn’t ask them to do too much, they are probably fine with BPM. Actually I suspect they have no idea what it is. 2) What are the specific challenges with case management vs. process automation. Is there an increase in Case Structures vs process structures, and how does that affect the tools used for automation? I think the big challenge of case management is to accept that it is a style of process management, part of a continuum based on degree of predefined structure, rather than something else entirely. Many vendors want to make it something completely separate and are confusing the public. There is definitely an upswing in interest in case management, and traditional BPM vendors are adding case capability to their suites much faster than case vendors are adding BPM. To me it’s pretty clear who is going to win. 3) How important are integrations for process automation, and can BPM be used with core apps to engage users and add flexibility and agility to an organization? There is Big BPM and Little BPM. Application integration is probably the dividing line. Big BPM relies on an integration bus and analytics for operational visibility. Little BPM (and case) probably focus more on REST integration with popular social/mobile apps. Both have their place. A platform that combines both would be best. 4) How quickly are organizations deploying new applications to introduce new processes? And, is the deployment speed meeting expectations? Speed of development and deployment is always an issue. It’s never fast enough. “Appification” of common process solutions is a possible answer, certainly in Little BPM. For Big BPM, custom UIs and shifting business requirements will probably continue to slow the pace of dev/deploy.

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