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