Automation

Revolutions. Industrial or Otherwise

The Fourth Industrial Revolution changes everything. Although it has many names—Industry 4.0, Digitalization, the Singularity, the Internet of Things (IoT), Connected World, Smart Home, Cognitive, etc.—it will be known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or 4IR. It is being driven by vast technology advancements and will change the nature of wealth, health and happiness, how we live, work, relate to one another, as well as how governments engage, regulate, serve, and protect. By 2025, 50% of the world’s GDP will be derived from digital (a process that is completely automated by machines, which does not require human intervention). This will have profound implications. The First Industrial Revolution (1750 – 1840) was powered by water and steam to mechanize production. Inventions such as the steam engine, iron working, textiles, cement, and railroads terraformed our landscape as humans migrated from rural (agrarian) to urban (city) settings in massive population shifts. Language and reading skills increased with the printing press and so our civilization advanced. Great libraries of the world were built and opened to the public. Revolutions ensued and Napoleon conquered most of Europe. The very fabric of society changed and great thinkers like Voltaire, Paine, and Rousseau agreed that society should be organized according to rules based on rational thought rather than religious ideology. Indeed, most western advances are based on rational thought, behavior, and market dynamics. This is changing in our time. The Second Industrial Revolution (1840 – 1969) was driven by electronic power to create mass production and predicated inventions such as cars, airplanes, the television, the telephone, and even the hydrogen bomb. It was the great age of iron, steel, rail, electrification, petroleum, chemicals, engines, telecommunications, and modern business management. It demonstrated the greatest increase in economic growth in the shortest period ever, introduced by mass production and modern manufacturing. The foundations of globalization were laid and great western populations rose up out of poverty while many deadly commonplace diseases were eradicated. Civil war defined America, Germany rose to power, and two world wars were fought. The Third Industrial Revolution (1969 – 2000) was enabled by Information Technology to automate production. Inventions included the integrated circuit, the personal computer, smartphones, the Internet, space exploration technologies, and the laser. In 1988, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of the world’s paper. Within a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt. Yes, digital technologies replaced film, but what Kodak failed to realize was the disruptive force around them, its opportunities, and the appropriate investment in them (thus, the defining “Kodak Moment”). The Fourth Industrial Revolution (2000 – present) not only digitizes production, but also “intelligence-based tasks,” which previously could only be handled by the human mind. This revolution is of a scope, scale, velocity, and complexity unlike anything else we have faced. Its effects will impact all of humankind, all industries, all countries, every facet of every glorious element of our society—revolutionizing business models, reshaping the world, and even redefining our very existence. The technological opportunities presented by this revolution will be unlimited and challenging, having the power to create and the power to destroy; and as we say in Vermont, any fool can burn down a barn. Extinction events happen. The Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event (i.e., the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs) decimated some 75% of the plant and animal species on Earth. Some add sentient machines and the Singularity—or the point at which a machine can think and act at or beyond human capability (thereby rendering us redundant)—to this list of possible present-day extinction events. This blog series highlights the power to create inherent in the 4IR as the Golden Age of Innovation, but it is important to note the perils that are equally present. In my next blog in this series, I’ll explore what makes the 4IR difference from the 3IR in more detail. To read more, download The Golden Age of Innovation. I’ll be taking this message on the road for the Innovation Tour and Enterprise World. Learn more. I’d love to hear your thoughts. To provide feedback, or if you would like to see additional topics covered in future publications, please add your comment below.  

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Is the Microphone Working?

Testing, one, two, three. Testing, one, two three. Can you hear me? Is the microphone working? Testing (tapping on the mic a few times). As I stated in the intro blog for this series, we are in the midst of the Golden Age of Innovation that many are calling the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Over the last decade, the top 20 U.S. technology firms have created over $1 trillion USD in value. U.S. venture investment topped $60 billion USD in 2016. Software is now contributing over $1 trillion USD in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the global economy. And there are 4.5 million professional software developers in North America alone—more than ever before. Innovation drives progress. Software and hardware innovation accounts for nearly 15% of all R&D, pharmaceuticals for almost 10%. In 2015, U.S. patent applications hit a record high, topping over 600,000. Half of the world’s best-known brands are now platform companies. In this golden age of innovation, we all need to be software companies. The ability to innovate at scale needs to transcend nations, cultures, and people. Many cultures find it difficult to innovate. My experience suggests there are three key ingredients to innovation: access to talent, access to capital, and an entrepreneurial spirit. The Fourth Industrial Revolution describes an era marked by digital innovation, exponential thinking, and unlimited potential. This will be a revolution of scope, scale, velocity, and complexity unlike any other in human history. But what will be the ultimate measure of this transformation: is it profit, peace, quality of life, or a new form of conscious capitalism? The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Better Life Index ranks Norway, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, Finland, United States, and Iceland as the top 10 countries for wellbeing. The United States would rank in the top three if not for: community, civic engagement, and work-life balance. I am not one to lecture on work-life balance. But democracy is not easy, and the great American experiment has invested deeply in a government of, by, and for the people, yet only 50% of eligible American citizens vote or experience civic engagement. This is shameful. In regards to community, despite progress over the last 100 years, 15% of Americans still live in poverty, which is completely unacceptable. My grandfather was born before planes, cars, televisions, telephones, and electricity were commonplace. He lived for 98 years (smoked for 60 of those and ate bacon and eggs every morning). He also worked on his farm every day until he passed, and left America only once to sail across the Atlantic to France to join the Allied Liberation Forces in WWI. There were many phenomenal aspects to my grandfather, but let me highlight the incredible human spirit of adaptability that led him to transition from horses to planes, from whale oil to electricity, from dirt roads to a nationwide transportation network. He also lived to see the first personal computer, and his grandson earn a computer science degree. As a software engineer, I have never seen a more gilded time to positively impact society and humanity through technology. This is the Golden Age of Innovation: And so begins the Fourth Industrial Revolution and our individual responsibilities for creating a better future. …Testing, one, two, three. Is the microphone loud enough? In my next post in this series, I will discuss each of the four industrial revolutions, highlighting their innovations and impact on business, society, and culture. To read more, download The Golden Age of Innovation. I’ll be taking this message on the road for the Innovation Tour and Enterprise World. Learn more. I’d love to hear your thoughts. To provide feedback, or if you would like to see additional topics covered in future publications, please add your comment below.

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Introducing The Golden Age of Innovation

By all accounts, we are entering the Golden Age of Innovation, which many are calling the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Some of the early innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are visible in consumer and personal use cases, such as gaming, shopping, and entertainment. But the vast majority of these innovations—like software, Artificial Intelligence (AI), medicine, robotics, and transportation—have yet to impact society or productivity. When they do, their effects will be exponential and staggering. All industries will be transformed over the next 10 to 20 years by technology. These transformations will affect us as individuals, as a society, as businesses and governments, and will change how we live, work, govern, keep the peace, and wage wars. My recent book, The Golden Age of Innovation, describes the impact of this technology-driven revolution, exploring the opportunities it presents and the risks we face as it unfolds. I’m pleased to kick off a new blog series based on this book. In this series, I will continue my exploration of digital transformation with a collection of topics addressing the radical impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution—from disintermediation to the subscription economy, automation, and the “Digital Self.” I invite you to follow the series, and together, we’ll discuss these topics in more detail: Is the Microphone Working? Revolutions. Industrial or Otherwise The Fourth Industrial Revolution The Impact on Business New Business Models Emerge Industries are Transformed New Skills are Required The Rise of the Machine The Impact on the Person The Digital Self The Impact on Government How Will We Measure the Golden Age? To read more, download The Golden Age of Innovation. I’ll be taking this message on the road for the Innovation Tour and Enterprise World. Learn more. I’d love to hear your thoughts. To provide feedback, or if you would like to see additional topics covered in future publications, please add your comment below.

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How Digital Transformation is Giving Humans More Time to Really Think

The pace of technological change today is being called the “fourth industrial revolution.” New solutions powered by artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and machine learning are enabling machines to handle processes that once required human decision-making. Just as mechanical muscle lowered the demand for physical labor in the first industrial revolution, today cutting-edge technology is reducing the demand for human intervention. The “migration” of tasks from humans to software and machines has been evident for quite some time. From ATMs to automated check-in at airports, technology has been performing relatively simple and repetitive tasks. Today, this transformation allows much more complex and nuanced tasks to move from human speed to machine speed, across industries that have remained largely untouched by machine intervention. Most recently, AI and cognitive systems have found a place in legal discovery, insurance applications, underwriting and claims processing, and the delivery of financial investment advice. In healthcare, telemedicine allows diagnosis and monitoring without the need to physically see a clinician, and a surgeon can operate from another hospital or country—just more examples of where jobs long understood as “human” are being displaced by technology. The automation option New opportunities for automation will continue to appear, as mechanization, automation, AI, and robotics replace human workers. But it’s not all doom and gloom. As “traditional” roles are replaced, new jobs will be created in the transition—jobs that require creativity, innovation, and strategic thought. As we do away with mundane work, the time gained through automation can be used to innovate, germinate ideas, and conceive new processes fueled by the kind of thinking that only happens when our minds have time to wander. The beginning of a sweeping societal change? The World Economic Forum, economists, analysts, and labor organizations have predicted a wave of job losses due to the surge in AI, robotics, and other technologies. We could see a net loss of 7.1 million jobs over the next five years in the 15 leading countries that make up approximately 65 percent of the world’s total workforce. But two million of the jobs will be offset by the creation of new positions that will support and foster the new wave of innovation, beyond what we see as credible or possible today. But as some roles are automated, others will come online; for instance, individuals who can build, develop and make sense of these sweeping changes. Developers, programmers, scientists, and technologists will—more than ever—be required to drive forward the accelerating pace of change. There will also be a greater need for economists, lawyers, and policy makers who can interpret how governance, intellectual property, and society at large will have to adapt. While algorithms may automate decision-making, it won’t be easy to replace leaders who can navigate this new fast-paced, intense change. At the end of the day, you may wonder if a machine could do your job. And the answer is that it could probably do some of it. And that’s okay, because automation will free us up to do more of the thinking required to come up with what’s next, perhaps with the help of a new robot friend or two.

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6 Considerations for Charting Your Digital Course

Today’s digital disruptors make headlines across the sectors with sweeping changes in data management, analytics, and customer experience. A wave of change is rolling in as organizations automate the way customers buy, the way suppliers fulfill orders, the way manufacturing happens, and more. As customers and business professionals, we are witnessing how digital transformation is restructuring the face of business and, ultimately, our world. Jumping the information hurdle An initial challenge for large organizations moving towards a digital future is getting a handle on the terabytes of information and content generated by employees and systems each week, along with the information collected from websites and contact centers. These volumes add up to far more data than any human could read, process, and fully understand. And, on its own, this information is of no use; we have to be able to use it to generate value, improve service, and increase customer satisfaction. Without a doubt, information holds intelligence and your ability to get to that insight is what helps you to compete. To that end, here are six thoughts on charting a digital course for your business: Increase your competitive preparedness. Digital transformation can help your business quickly adapt to shifting customer demands, making it possible to compete with old and new rivals. Use a digital approach for a big win. The ability to go digital can level the playing field for some businesses, allowing them to have a huge impact on established markets, companies, and brands. What you may not have been able to do manually, or at scale, you can launch into with a digital approach. Gain an advantage with analytics. Sticking with out-dated methods of managing and analyzing data, keeping processes manual, and only operating at human speed puts your business at risk of being outperformed by competitors. You can regain your advantage by implementing intelligent systems to detect and analyze predictive trends. Unlock the value of information you already have. By using data and information analytics with content and process management technologies, you can uncover valuable ‘digital breadcrumbs.’ This insight can help your business to make intelligent changes to create products that better suit customer requirements, improve organizational efficiencies, and implement self-regulating business processes that save time and money. Use automation as a differentiator. Automating tasks that previously required human intelligence can now take place using digital processes. Consider the way Tesla Motors releases over-the-air updates to improve the functionality of their electric cars, just as if you were downloading mobile phone software. Not only are owners spared a trip to the garage, but Tesla cuts the expense of scheduling and managing customer visits. Create a digital culture in your organization. Don’t go digital for digital’s sake. Adopt a well-planned strategy to understand where digital can deliver the best benefits for your business, and start there. Let this go hand-in-hand with fostering a cultural change in your organization that acknowledges how employees may view the impact of a digital-first approach on their own roles. To explore how to move forward with your digital transformation, take a look at how OpenText Release 16 enables companies to manage the flow of information in the digital enterprise from engagement to insight.

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Top Tech Trends for 2017

Information technologies are accelerating at an exponential rate, ushering in the fourth industrial revolution. This is a digital revolution and the pace of change is unprecedented. This revolution incorporates machine learning (think parallel processing and neural networks) and the concept of self-assembly or self-programmability. As technologies continue to advance, they accelerate the progress of other technologies, and so on and so on. To illustrate this, we can look at the evolution of disruptive technologies. In 2016, everyone was excited about the promise of 3-D printing. Now, we’re gearing up for 4-D printing, an emerging technology that will enable us to print objects that reshape or assemble themselves on-the-fly, based on intelligent data. To make this level of self-assembly a reality, we will need dynamic and agile systems. Enter the Internet of Things (IoT) as the digital platform of the future. But the potential of the IoT has evolved into the “Intelligence of Things”. Even Uber, the popular ride sharing app, has advanced its concept of on-demand travel to incorporate a fleet of electric aircrafts (called “Elevate”) to lift us up and out of the chaos of gridlocked ground traffic (yes, just like in “The Jetsons”). The old approach to technology development moved linearly at the speed of human coders. The new model progresses exponentially at the speed of data, intelligence, and self-assembly. Based on this new model, here are my top picks for technology trends that will dominate in 2017: 1. AI and Advanced Machine Learning: The Automatic Enterprise Thanks to parallel processing, big data, cloud technology, and advanced algorithms, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are becoming more powerful. As tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple invest in AI, it is becoming more mainstream. People already interact with virtual personal assistants (PAs) like Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant. Facebook successfully created technology to identify people’s faces with its facial recognition app. Recommendation engines and robo-advisors are becoming a reality in financial services. And robotic butlers are delivering room service in hotels around the world. The analysts are jumping on board, with Forrester predicting that investments in AI will grow 300% in 2017 and Gartner forecasting that 50% of all analytical interactions will be delivered via AI in the next three to five years. These are impressive numbers. But how will these investments pay off for the enterprise? Are computers really more intelligent than people? Many jobs will disappear through automation and others will change significantly as the enterprise becomes more automated and intelligent. Over the next few years, some of us could be answering to robo-bosses. From a productivity perspective, we spend a third of our time in the workplace collecting and processing data—AI could all but eliminate this work. Every job in every industry will be impacted by machine learning. The upside? The opportunity to think exponentially means that the potential applications for these technologies are limitless. For businesses, understanding cognitive systems, big data analytics, machine learning technology, and AI—and how to leverage them—will be critical for survival. In the short term, these technologies will give organizations faster access to sophisticated insights, empowering them to make better decisions and act with agility to outpace their competitors. 2. The Year of Intelligent Things: A Smarter You in 2017 The capability of smart machines increases substantially as they are infused with standalone intelligence. AI and machine learning will be embedded into everyday things like appliances, cars, sensors and drones. Even our thermostats will continue to become more intelligent; they will not only learn our heating and cooling preferences, but also analyze factors like on- or off-peak use, weather forecasts, and previous consumption patterns to give us recommendations to reduce utility bills. This intelligence will be coded into apps. These apps will be driven by data and context, they will synthesize vast amounts of information, learn our behaviors, and react and adapt in real time to deliver relevant and personalized outcomes. Whether they make us more productive at work, optimize our health, or manage energy and utilities consumption in our homes, intelligent things and apps have the power to direct our actions and influence our interactions to help us make better decisions and, ultimately, improve our quality of life. 3. Get Ready for Your Digital Twin In 2017, advances in connectivity and machine intelligence will enable us to demonstrate the large-scale advantages of digital twins. A digital twin is a dynamic software representation of a piece of equipment or system that emulates the original’s materials, measurements, component parts, and behavior. More importantly, a digital twin also includes data that is unique to the asset it represents. Digital twins are created and maintained to allow simulation, analysis, and control. Initially developed by the military for aircraft, digital twins are gaining traction in other industries, such as renewable energy and manufacturing. The GE Digital Twin has created cloud-based computer models of wind farms which connect turbines while collecting and analyzing data to make them 20% more efficient. Black & Decker has digital twins of assembly lines and materials in one of their factories and has reported improvements of 12% and a 10% increase in throughput. Over the next year, organizations will use digital twins to boost efficiency, optimize design and performance, and improve quality. Over the next five years, billions of objects will be represented by digital twins, including equipment, facilities, environments, processes, and even people. For every physical asset there will be a virtual copy running in the Cloud. Their potential lies beyond demonstrating proof-of-concept to mirroring an entire supply chain to support globalization and promote economic gain. In the not too-distant future, our own digital twins will help us make better decisions. As the next version of the virtual PA, an algorithm-based identity will maintain all of our preferences and relevant data, prompting us to act based on this information through notifications, reminders, recommendations, and more. 4. The Evolving Mesh App and Service Architecture With all the apps, networks, devices, and channels, how do you make the experience seamless for the user? This is a question that will influence tech R&D in 2017. The “digital mesh” refers to everything that is connected across digital ecosystems—from people to processes to things. As more services and apps connect across more channels and networks, the digital mesh is growing and as it does, it is fundamentally altering the user experience. Consumers expect a seamless experience that flows across a shifting set of devices and channels, combining the physical and virtual. This kind of ambient user experience requires that the supporting platforms, technologies, and architectures must also change. Enter Mesh App and Service Architecture (MASA), a modern architecture that allows for modular, flexible, and dynamic solutions. MASA connects devices, apps, services, and other information sources in a consistent user experience across the digital mesh. It leverages cloud and server-less computing, containers and micro-services, and dynamically supports user needs as they interact with their technology and devices. MASA is an architectural shift that will require significant changes to enterprise infrastructure and R&D. 5. The Best Defense is a Good Offense with Adaptive Security Adaptive security tops the CIO agenda. While moving to digital presents enormous opportunity for business growth, it also presents great risk for cybercrime. In 2016 alone, cybercrime was the second-most reported economic crime. As the number and sophistication of cyberattacks increases, an effective enterprise security becomes more critical than ever. The traditional (reactive) approach that relies on antivirus software and firewalls to protect the perimeter and responds to incidents as they occur is just not good enough. In 2017, the enterprise will go on the offensive, assuming that its network is constantly under attack. To pre-empt cyberattacks and information leaks, organizations will implement an adaptive security architecture with continuous, real-time monitoring, big data, and analytics. As the next generation of security, an adaptive architecture delivers the preventative intelligence needed to uncover anomalies and potential threats and prioritize risks. 6. Digital Platforms Lay the Foundation for the Future Digital platforms will continue to play a prominent role into 2017 as foundational platforms for transformation. For enterprises that have already transformed, they will be key to supporting future growth. In particular, Digital Experience (DX) platforms and the IoT will be essential. The year 2016 bore witness to a pivotal tipping point with shoppers making more than half of their purchases online. As this number continues to rise, DX will become an integral digital platform for the enterprise. In 2017, the digital customer experience may be the only interaction consumers have with a brand. It will be important for organizations to get this experience right the first time. We also saw an estimated 5.5 million new devices connect to the IoT each day in 2016. This exploding ecosystem of tightly interconnected devices and people will only get smarter. The result will be digital environments that respond to each individual in highly personalized ways. In 2017, we will build a new world. Using digital platforms and leveraging the existing IoT infrastructure, interconnected intelligent devices will transform the way we interact with each other and our environments. 7. A Hyper-connected Global Ecosystem Creates New Opportunities Over the past few years, business networks have been driving opportunity for business. In 2017, as business networks expand into new ecosystems, they will transcend geography, industry, and language to create exponentially more opportunities for digital enterprises. Much of the technology required for this ecosystem (like AI, robotics, sensors, and the IoT) already exists. A culture of information sharing and collaboration is required to connect the dots. Data and standardization are also fundamental for the development and sustenance of digital ecosystems. When business networks are reliably and securely connected, they can be layered with intelligence. As information is added, the ecosystem and opportunities for growth will only increase. Organizations are connecting across industries to form digital ecosystems with the customers at the hub. Auto manufacturers like Tesla and Fiat are partnering with technology companies to integrate GPS, navigation, social media, and entertainment services in ways that are transforming the driving experience. Adding intelligence for predictive maintenance and servicing integrates suppliers into the network to deliver efficiency and convenience. Taking advantage of the emerging concept of the connected car, it’s only a matter of time before standardization enables cars to tap into a broader range of networks, like smart transportation systems that automatically locate vacant parking spots, for example. When all of these services are connected in the self-driving car (or aircraft), we will truly be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. 8. Customer-Centricity Drives Transformation In 2017, customer-centricity will drive transformation across all industries. In 2009, Uber created history by disrupting an entire market. Today, the company supports global operations and is valued at over $60 billion USD. What is the secret of its success? Many would say disruptive technologies or even intelligent data but, in fact, Uber’s customer-centric approach played an even greater role in the company’s success. Uber stepped into a market that needed an overhaul to offer more responsive and convenient travel for consumers. By focusing on the customer, Uber was able to quickly build trust. And while it is true that technology has given consumers more choice than ever before, technology is only an enabler. The key to success lies in customer-centric approaches, technologies, and business models. Over the coming year, digital leaders will shift from marketing digital products and services to embracing customer-centric operations. They will invest in IT to become more responsive. Customer-led self-service will be a requirement, along with AI and predictive analytics, innovation, and the agility needed to adapt to changing customer needs. In the digital world, consumers have come to expect higher levels of service. The fight for differentiation will be won by excelling at customer experience and this can only be achieved through customer-centricity. Whether you’re ready or not, the fourth industrial revolution is here. We are witnessing incredible breakthroughs in every industry, driven by disruptive innovation. And the possibilities for application are unlimited. To quote Sun Tzu: “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.” I wish you all a Happy New Year and great success in 2017.

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Saving Trees Could be Saving Your Business

Saving Trees

For the last quarter century, the use of paper has given way to digital images. But the switch goes far beyond awareness or an effort to save trees. The move toward digital in the enterprise started with an eye toward the bottom line; reducing physical space needs, automating manual processes and improving records retrieval. The notion that going green saves some green has taken on a broader impact for business more recently. Cutting paper use improves key drivers like productivity, accessibility and compliance. In fact, according to AIIM, the biggest driver for organizations’ adopting scanning and data capture is improved search and share (53%). Only 27% of organizations point to an environmental policy for ditching paper. For the last two decades, capture technology has been used as a best practice to eliminate paper. But many companies have yet to implement capture in their processes. It’s hard to understand why because digital assets benefit both organizations and their customers. Digital capture frees data from file cabinets, making it accessible by all employees and, ultimately, their clients as well. Email import is a great example. Companies receive an email with an invoice, doc, or other attachment. The recipient prints it, processes it, and then maybe scans it again to send it back. But why? Technology is available now to eliminate the urge to create more paper. Innovative companies leverage capture technologies to automatically open and process emails and attachments. Not only is the email auto-classified for content, but also the attachment can be opened and transaction processed with no manual interaction. Here’s a great use case. A top insurance company and current customer in the Netherlands has fully automated their email processes, and cut that staff from 34 to 5. In the old paper-based, manual processing world, the staff had to: Open and read each incoming email Open and print the attachments Push the attachments through a manual mailroom process to route and classify the content By automating email with capture, the company not only eliminated paper, but also drastically reduced the element of human error inherent in manual processes. Automated email processing also improves customer satisfaction, allowing companies to interact with customers quickly and accurately. In fact, according to AIIM, the biggest benefit of paper-free processes is faster customer response (43%). The insurance company now sends customers an immediate response and auto launches claims management processes. As a result, they arrive at settlements much faster and drive higher customer satisfaction. But simply streamlining is not enough. It’s crucial to examine fundamental business practices and blow up the internal status quo before being left behind by an outside “disruption.” Take a look at taxi companies, who did not develop apps to allow payment, tracking, and driver ID before Uber came along and forced their hand. Mobile capture is helping organizations make these leaps forward. Many banks now offer mobile check deposit to their customers, eliminating age-old, tedious and inconvenient in-person interactions with tellers. Other advances include using mobile devices to snap and send pictures of a W2 or other document for a loan application. This is a real-life example from a leading financial services organization that embedded Captiva’s mobile capture capabilities into their mobile app. Customers get fast service and real-time interactions anywhere, anytime. The lender, using great image quality and OCR, immediately ingests data and processes transactions much faster. No paper needed! Mobile capture solutions create a direct interface to customers, helping organizations understand consumer behavior patterns. What do customers want? When is an interaction successful? Such insight is invaluable, and drives innovation. Few advancements in technology have led to more “disruption” than the introduction of the cloud. We hear many B2B customers are planning a SaaS buy with capture services in the next two years. Capture as a Service (CaaS) allows organizations to hone in on eliminating paper at the edges of their organizations, like at branch offices. The CaaS provides an alternative to paper processing at remote locations by using intuitive capture apps that process without the heavy footprint of a dedicated scan client. Our LEAP app, Snap, opens the door to these capabilities by providing them in an ergonomic capture interface. Because it’s cloud-based, a Snap environment and Snap users can be provisioned in minutes enabling remote users access to the same rich set of functionality such as real-time auto-classification and field validation that users expect faster than ever. As an example, LEAP Snap drives innovation by providing these capabilities proven capture services in a CaaS environment. Paper may never go away fully, at least not in the near future. But companies can create clear, measurable business benefits by reducing or eliminating paper and paper based manual processes. AIIM reports that 59% of organizations achieved a payback in less than 12 months from their paper-free projects, including 26% in 6 months or less. 84% achieved payback in less than 18 months – the highest AIIM has ever recorded. But eliminating paper is not a destination, it’s a journey. Truly innovative companies find ways to fundamentally change the way they do business by interfacing with customers at their first point of contact, and eliminating paper in the process. In honor of AIIM’s World Paper Free Day #WPFD, today we celebrate the digital business.

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CEB TowerGroup Analysts Release new Research on Banking and ECM

ECM, Banking

Banking has had a long relationship with technology, with more than 90% of retail banking executives citing that they have the technology currently, or are planning to implement or improve.  However, the pace of change has accelerated due to competitive and regulatory forces, as well as rapidly maturing technologies such as cloud, mobility and analytics. FinTech upstarts have been challenging established institutions and are now similarly challenged as those established banks get more comfortable with digital transformation.  “Technology is transforming our business radically, across every aspect of our business.  A process that has been going on for some time, but has accelerated…  We actually create the prices and the information that then gets communicated.  It gets processed directly, payments get made automatically, much more efficiently, much more cheaply, and without error.” – Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman & CEO Goldman Sachs “The financial services business has been a huge user of technology, not just recently, but for the last for 50 or 60 years. We literally used to move pieces of paper around when you buy a security. The difference today is that much faster, people can access things any-where, any-time. People want 24 x 7 services. I always look at our job – we’ve got to make things better, cheaper,  faster for you.   The mobile device is probably the device (not just for millennials any more) for alerts, moving money, bill pay, knowledge, offers, marketing.  It’s getting faster, quicker.” – Jamie Dimon, Chairman & CEO JP Morgan Chase Recent research published by CEB TowerGroup analysts point to a number of interesting conclusions: Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Business Process Management (BPM) are as relevant now as ever for transactional automation and compliance. It has reduced processing times and enabled and scaled access to services across time-zones and convenience-zones. Paper is still a major challenge to banking institutions, many of whom lack cultural acceptance and skills to more broadly apply these technologies. Customer engagement is moving from live (in-person) interaction, to leveraging digital channels. Mobility is also a major trend for account opening and servicing. Coupled with traditional ECM services, a combination of customer document delivery (customer communications management), business process (or case) management and eForms, e-signatures, mobility and cloud deployment are technologies that promise to greatly improve customer experience, with conversational and highly optimized workflows. There is a gap between a Banking executives perceived importance and confidence of a firm’s ability to execute key initiatives. The CEB TowerGroup analyst report, Going Paperless to Become Digital, discusses their detailed research and highlights changes in the adoption of ECM solutions, particularly as it relates to paper handling and the move to digital channels. It also shares a analysis of ECM product capabilities, including those from ECD, with special interest to the needs of the banking industry.

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Automating Secure Information Exchange to Optimize Processes Across the Enterprise

Information Exchange

Today’s business and economic climate present enormous challenges to organizations. Companies are under increasing pressure to cut costs, streamline processes, and boost efficiency, while improving customer loyalty and strengthening vendor relations. Demands for speed, security, and reliability in communications turn up the pressure. To remain competitive and profitable in this environment, companies have invested in back-end applications to improve business processes and bring them closer to their customers and suppliers. Back-end applications, such as SAP, Oracle and other powerful applications, generate huge volumes of information in the form of documents. These documents provide the roadmap for interactions with customers and suppliers, dictate business cycles, and can determine profitability or failure. As a result, it is crucial for organizations to efficiently and cost-effectively distribute them to their internal and external stakeholders within stringent time constraints. Companies that take advantage of automated production fax and electronic document delivery capabilities to distribute documents can further extend the process efficiencies of applications and devices while reducing costs and improving response times, thus significantly impacting overall business performance. Enter a New Era of Secure Information Exchange Solutions for automating document delivery bridge the gap between generating information in applications and disseminating information so that it flows directly to the people who need it, when they need it. This eliminates time-consuming, error-prone manual processes while increasing productivity. To remain competitive, companies need to be able to quickly, securely, and efficiently disseminate business information to customers and suppliers in an automated and secure way. Integrating back-end systems and secure information exchange solutions provides an automated method to cost-effectively distribute information. Secure information exchange solutions with enterprise-grade faxing takes a centralized and global approach that facilitate the automated, secure, and compliant exchange of business information inside and outside of the organization, from any system or repository, in the cloud, on-premises, or as a hybrid deployment. Everything to do with capturing, controlling, managing and automating business processes related to fax-based information—core fax-driven processes to multi-function device management, email and desktop faxing, fax automation, and compliance and security measures for fax operations—is supported in an effective secure information exchange solution. Driving Value Across the Enterprise Organizations can capitalize on significant cost and efficiency gains by automating fax-dependent business processes as part of their automation strategy. Enterprise fax solutions automate time-intensive, manual, paper-driven processes to reduce paper-based operational costs, increase employee productivity, and decrease the risks associated with unsecure communications. Accelerating business processes. By automating secure information exchange, organizations increase process velocity and accelerate the exchange of business-critical information with anyone, anywhere, with proven and trusted technology. Optimizing the reliability, reach, and cost efficiency of fax-based secure information exchange. Enterprise-grade solutions with process automation close the communication gaps that hinder effective process execution. Cutting the cost of information exchange processes. Automate workflows, accelerate communications, and facilitate compliance with security and records-keeping mandates, all while lowering costs of information exchange, especially as fax-based processes. Additionally, enterprises can significantly reduce the administrative burden of fax-based infrastructure by moving the management of systems to the cloud. Improving flexibility without sacrificing security. The ability to reach customers, business partners, and other stakeholders in a fully automated process. Increasing compliance and security of information. Extending governance policies across all information channels to maintain a fully transparent audit trail and manage the flow of information in a defensible manner strengthens the ability of organizations to confidently address regulatory inquiries and litigation calls. Watch these short videos on information exchange for a deeper perspective or read more about automation of secure information exchange.

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The Future of Information: The Impact of the Digital Revolution

This Digital Revolution is not about job creation, it is about job destruction. As many as 25 to 40 million jobs will disappear as a direct result of extreme automation and extreme connectivity. The greatest losses will occur in white-collar office and administrative roles. Its Impact will be Profound We experienced similar waves of automation when Material Requirements Planning (MRP) replaced Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and ERP shifted to CRM, and these were replaced by e-business suites. When this happened, jobs were created, many of which were offshore. New research shows that over the next two decades, nearly half of all jobs will be susceptible to automation. The Digital Revolution will bring an increasing reliance on self-service technology, sensors, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, and artificial intelligence (AI). These will transform the workplace as menial tasks and some non-routine jobs are digitized through robotics and process automation. These systems will make businesses more efficient. AI will be pervasive. Based on advances in computing, automation will include the processing of languages, images, and data. As paper is removed and processes automated, clerical work will be eliminated. Other jobs that will be impacted include customer services, sales, and support. Robotics and 3-D printing will render low- and even middle-skill-level jobs redundant. Extreme automation will make robotics more mobile, giving them a greater range of movement and functionality. M2M communications will enable machines to process data and make decisions based on this data as we move toward more intelligent, cognitive systems. In many cases, the intelligence that these systems deliver will be more accurate, immediate, and safer than humanly capable. Digital is playing a larger role in our economy. By 2020, 25 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will not be touched by a human hand. This is significant. A quarter of the world’s GDP will be digital. The economic impact of digital is vast. Internet maturity correlates with wealth creation. It is used by companies in every industry. Businesses that use the Internet tend to grow more quickly, export two times as much as those that don’t, and create more than twice as many jobs. Despite these statistics, many companies are off to a poor start on the journey toward digital transformation. While organizations are taking advantage of digital technologies, many economies remain digitally immature. This means that the ability to unlock the value of digital is far from being realized. Key disruptive forces are impacting the enterprise on its journey to digital transformation. In my next post, we’ll take a closer look at these.

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The Future of Information: Extreme Automation and Extreme Connectivity

We’re in the middle of a Digital Revolution. Like previous industrial revolutions, similar forces are having significant impact. From innovations in mechanization in the early 18th century to mass production in the late 19th century and ensuing developments in computing, two forces are causing massive change, and they are extreme automation and extreme connectivity. Extreme Automation and Extreme Connectivity Extreme automation describes an increasing reliance on robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in all aspects of our lives. It includes disruptive technologies like three-dimensional (3-D) printing, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine-to-machine communications (like sensors), and cognitive systems. Extreme connectivity happens when all of these systems interact and communicate with each other and people in real time. It is 4 billion users connecting with 1 trillion devices across fifth generation (5G) wireless networks. When extreme automation is combined with extreme connectivity, the power of our computing systems increases exponentially. The global Internet is being fueled by advances in connectivity and capacity. These advances aren’t happening in baby steps; they are 1,000-fold gains in capacity, connections for trillions of devices, and from a user perspective, incredibly low latency and rapid response rates. As more people connect with more machines, we are moving closer to zero-distance connectivity with technology. The impact of these forces—extreme automation and extreme connectivity—will be profound. As new economic systems and new business models emerge, a wide range of businesses that act as intermediaries will become obsolete. Automation and AI will replace many low-skill jobs and even some middle-skill, routine jobs, offsetting human capital costs. Entirely new jobs, companies, and sectors will be born. Only the organizations that embrace digitization with the flexibility to innovate will be able to overcome barriers to business to reinvent themselves, their workforce, and their markets. The Digital Revolution will destroy jobs. In my next post, we’ll explore the impact of the Digital Revolution. Download The Future of Information – OpenText Release 16 white paper to discover how OpenText can help you navigate the Digital Revolution.

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Expanding the OpenText Business Network: OpenText Completes the Acquisition of ANX

I am pleased to announce we have completed the acquisition of ANX, a leading provider of cloud-based information exchange services in the automotive and healthcare industries. ANX will be integrated into the OpenText Business Network for more efficient, secure, and compliant information exchange between organizations. For organizations in the automotive and healthcare industries that need to digitalize their partner ecosystems and supply chains for greater efficiency and agility, the addition of ANX delivers a proven automation and integration platform in the Cloud. ANX expands the OpenText Business Network with industry presence and domain expertise, deep customer relationships, and the addition of product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions to complement supply chain management solutions already delivered in the OpenText Business Network. The OpenText Business Network is the world’s leading ecosystem of trading partners with automation, integration, and deep visibility across all B2B functions, enabling compliance and accelerated time-to-revenue. The integration of ANX solutions with our existing Business Network solutions provides customers with even more partners to connect to and collaborate with. OpenText is committed to supporting the Cloud and digital transformation across business networks. To succeed in the digital world, organizations require modernized platforms, a consolidated infrastructure, integrated B2B systems, and a highly customized (or customizable) supply chain network.  Outsourcing to the Cloud helps our customers streamline operations, reduce costs, facilitate the end-to-end flow of information, and accelerate business transactions securely—all while supporting future growth. We look forward to working with the ANX team to further enhance the OpenText Business Network, expanding our scale, reach, and global community of trading partners. Please join me in welcoming the ANX team, customers, and partners into the OpenText family.    

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Top Tech Trends for 2016

WFO

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.” – Peter Drucker In the Internet era, we talked about being “amazoned”. In the digital world, we talk about being “ubered”. But what does it mean to be ubered? In simple terms, it means you’ve been disintermediated. The term is fitting, because Uber is perhaps the best example of digital disintermediation available today. Uber is marginalizing established competitors using a digital business model. As a provider of transportation, their model satisfies the laws of economy, matching supply with demand by directly connecting drivers and customers. The middleman has gone the way of the Dodo. But they’re not stopping there. True to the digital world they operate in, Uber is continually re-inventing itself. Experimenting with food delivery (UberEATS) and bike messenger (UberRUSH) services, Uber is disrupting its own business models to deliver relevant services to its customers. They could very well deliver your next pizza. New technologies and diminished barriers to entry have created an ecosystem with unlimited business potential. There are now abundant opportunities to “uber” any business in any industry.  So what does the future hold during this time of massive digital upheaval? I see the following trends having the most significant business impact in 2016. The IoT will be reality In 2016, we’ll work smarter, not harder. Human beings, appliances, homes, factories, cars, businesses, and cities will become more interconnected. If these items aren’t already, they’ll soon be “talking” to the Internet of Things (IoT). In a few short years, there will be more than 25 billion devices generating data about every topic imaginable. We’ll see broader enterprise adoption of the IoT due to its economic impact (which analysts estimate to be between $4 trillion to $11 trillion in the next few years), as well as in terms of opportunities to improve productivity and gain better business insight. The IoT will cause massive disruption through better automation, integration, and communication. Insurance companies are deploying sensors and software to monitor how drivers behave and generate risk profiles using big data analytics that accurately align to or construct on-demand products to suit individual behavior. Thermostats communicate with residents and accumulate behavioral data to formulate the most energy efficient and comfortable schedules and settings. Software agents move money, stocks, goods, and people around the world, routing, optimizing, and transacting innumerable times a year—and these are just three examples already in enterprise use today. They will quickly evolve and proliferate into 2016. As we move forward through 2016 and beyond, more devices, agents, sensors, and people will join the IoT. Perhaps we will even progress as a society to a post-scarcity economy and information itself will become our commodity of trade. Monetizing the exchange of information, micro-licensing, and transactions become prominent tasks as our automation and machine-to-machine networks take care of daily needs. Imagine algorithms as apps for applying big data analysis over the connected masses of information generated by the IoT and its billions upon billions of connected devices in every aspect of our lives. Owning the data, analyzing the data, and improving and innovating become the keys to corporate success—all empowered by a connected digital society. Though this may have some Orwellian overtones, the IoT is really about the Zen of Things—our application of software and technology to help customers consume products and to help businesses build better products and deliver better services. In 2016, the IoT will continue to combine big data, analytics, the Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, and automation to propel industries forward and create the next industrial revolution. Social Media takes over the world Social media sites are supporting populations that are bigger than entire nations. Facebook has 1 billion subscribers, Instagram has 400 million active users each month, over 300 million Twitter subscribers post 500 million tweets in 150 countries daily. These are massive numbers. Social media sites are diverse and always “on”. They are the new marketing forums. Your biggest opportunities are here because the most eyeballs are here. In 2016, digital engagement on social media sites will no longer be optional, it will be a business requirement. Digital consumers have power. The new Digital Echo Chamber of Social has awesome powers of creation and destruction, and it needs to be actively managed. In the old days, if a customer was dissatisfied with a product they would speak to a manager and get their money back. Today, they post blogs, comments, ratings, or reviews on social media sites, potentially reaching millions of peers in hours and at no cost. Managing social reputation and being actively engaged is an absolute must. The moment a tweet or post goes live, consumers comment and share. Often, by the time a business has reacted, the story has gone viral. Digital memory is infinite and digital consumers are fickle—remember, your competitors are just a click away. The good news is, you can follow, monitor, and participate in the social interactions your customers are having. They’re more than willing to tell you what they want. You just have to be listening because the inverse is also true: a single customer sharing a positive experience can reach the same audience at the same speed to the benefit of the active Social Enterprise. Millennials enter the management ranks and reshape the world In 2016, we will see Millennials enter management-level roles. These young leaders will radically restructure all aspects of business—from productivity tools to HR policies (like working from home and remote offices), and organizational structure to corporate cultural—essentially reinventing the workplace as we know it. As managers, Millennials will be in a position to transform corporate culture, accommodating expectations like social media freedom, device flexibility, and a high tolerance for risk taking. Innovation will be a key competitive differentiator and its application will be based on new ways to collaborate that include crowdsourcing and co-creation with customers. Communication will be open, two-way, and always “on”. The office of the future will take root in 2016. Holographic images, interactive surfaces, and video conferencing will begin to replace the boardroom in earnest. The mobile office will replace the cubicle and work and life will reach an equilibrium and intermixing we haven’t seen before in this digital age. As Millennials undergo a professional “coming of age”, the enterprise will follow suit. Culture will be a determining factor for failure or success in the digital world. Millennial managers will pull from a global pool of talent, hiring the best employees from around the world to create highly skilled, dispersed teams. Organizations with cultures that can attract (and keep) top talent will emerge as winners, changing the game and disrupting traditional business models—and even entire industries. Fast-growing, no-profit SaaS companies will collapse The rise of Internet-based, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies over the years has been tied to a new model: cash over time, rather than the traditional cash upfront model. But, the aim of profitability remains the same: no more waiting. Cash is still king and businesses need profit. Many of these so-called multi-billion dollar businesses have no revenue, no asset value, no employees and no chance of survival, as long-standing, cash, asset, idea, and employee-rich companies reorganize to compete. Nimble, fast, and flexible is great—and the startups have done a great job in cornering that market. Enterprises might learn slowly, but they learn. And the further along they are on their journey towards digitalization, the more market share they can win back. So, as quickly as the fast-growing, no-profit SaaS companies have appeared, they will now begin to collapse. Digital becomes top priority for CEOs It’s clear that in 2016 digital disruption will impact all markets. Earlier this year, I predicted that 50% of all market leaders will be obsolete in the coming decade because of digital disruption. Competition will come fast and furious from unforeseen sources. In a 2015 CEO survey, 58% of CEOs surveyed consider the rapid-fire rate of digital disruption a challenge to their business. But where there is risk there is also opportunity: 80% believe that disruptive technologies (mobile, the Cloud, analytics) will bring tremendous value to their business. That’s a heartening statistic. To capitalize on opportunity, CEOs will need to understand how disruption impacts all functions of their organization. In 2016, CEOs will become the drivers of digital transformation initiatives, incorporating them in their corporate strategies and all parts of the business. Adaptive and creative leadership will succeed. Across the C-Suite, transformational leadership will overcome outmoded structures and old management styles to empower Millennials to self-direct, make decisions, experiment, innovate, and take risks; while providing the systems, structure and governance to protect the company, its assets and information from this ‘digital sandbox’ style cultural transformation. CEOs will have to obsess even more about the customer and rethink customer value and experiences. They will extend their ecosystems with a new willingness to partner to discover new consumers and markets. Over the next five years, CEOs will lead by example, adopting a Digital Mindset. The Digital Mindset is driven by disruption, immediacy, and scale with centricity on journeys, experience, and a real-time-ness. Just like we have an IQ and EQ, organizations need to develop a DQ, a digital quotient, where strategy, culture, people, and capabilities converge. The CEO will lead this charge. Whether you’re ready or not, the next wave of disruption is here. For more insight into what 2016 has in store, read my book ON DIGITAL. I wish you all a Happy New Year and great success in 2016.  

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Prepare for e-Invoicing with New 2015 Billentis Report

Is your organization still using paper in your invoice processes? Are you aware of new initiatives governing invoicing that may affect your organization? If your organization has yet to implement e-Invoicing then the new 2015 Billentis report on e-Invoicing is a significant first step in learning more about the market, benefits, and best practices for electronic invoicing. OpenText is proud to sponsor the new 2015 Billentis report on e-Invoicing, Entering a new era. The report extensively covers the many facets of e-Invoicing and is a great resource for anyone considering the automation or compliance of their organization’s invoice processes. Even if you’ve seen the report in previous years we encourage you to find out the new research findings for 2015. Some of the topics you find in the report include: Different e-Invoicing models Global landscape and reasons for invoice optimization by region B2B, B2G, and B2C activity in European market Market trends affecting development of e-Invoicing Challenges and solutions for accounts receivable/accounts payable departments Best practices for e-Invoicing projects Whether you are looking to improve the invoice processes of your accounts payable, accounts receivable, or both, OpenText can provide the solutions and expertise to help you reduce manual processes, reduce costs, and move toward profitability. Download the 2015 Billentis report on e-Invoicing now or reach out and contact us today to learn more about OpenText B2B Integration!

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Digital-First Fridays: Operating at the Speed of Digital

It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change. – Charles Darwin We live in a time of unprecedented change. In every sector, digital technologies are changing the rules of business by enabling new business models. Startups are reshaping entire industries, combining technologies like cloud, social, mobile, and analytics to deliver more targeted customer products and services. These technologies are empowering organizations to bypass the traditional costs associated with barriers to entry and connect directly with consumers to meet their needs. Startups are disintermediating the market leaders. Over the next five years, executives expect digital disruption to displace four out of ten incumbents—or 40 percent of established market leaders.[1] This is a startling prediction. Part of the reason why this will happen is because startups are able to operate and scale at a very fast pace, innovating very quickly—a pace that larger incumbent organizations (with their legacy systems) can’t match. This is the speed of digital and its potential is uncharted. With more people connecting and sharing ideas in a global, digitized marketplace, the pace of innovation will only increase exponentially. The formula is ten times the innovators at one-tenth of the cost and 100 times the power. Digital Disruption is Stronger and Faster[2] In a Digital World, the development of new products will evolve from sprints to hyper-connected dashes. Product features will be crowdsourced and collective. Feedback about consumer experience will be collected to upgrade features, improve delivery, and serve niche markets—in real time—removing the developer “safety net”. Every single disgruntled consumer will tell 1,000 potential customers about a bad customer experience. Brands will be built up and destroyed on social networks. Product ideas will be shared across yottabytes (one trillion terabytes) of data and millions of people, as innovation cycles are faster, compressed, and even approach the spontaneous. Business Models are Advancing Disruptive technologies are fueling a subscription-based economy. As business moves to the Cloud and mobile access becomes pervasive, the requirements for on-demand services are deposing the mainframe in enterprise infrastructure. Digital innovators are focused on creating exceptional experiences for the digital consumer and benefiting from a lifetime of customer value. As product experiences move to new platforms, companies are measuring their value based on recurring metrics over one-time metrics. In a Digital World, organizations will have to embrace digital disruption or they face the risk of losing market share or becoming obsolete. They will have to disrupt or die. To keep pace, organizations will have to reinvent themselves. They’ll have to digitize their information and operations. They’ll have to innovate at the front end to capture the mindshare of digital consumers and modernize their back offices to integrate their operations more efficiently across the supply chain. And they’ll have to restructure their IT departments to support a digital workforce. They’ll have to operate at the speed of digital. All of our customers have embarked on this journey of digital transformation. Here are a few examples of how they are disrupting their business using the Cloud, analytics, process automation, and mobile computing to simplify their volumes of information, digitize their operations, and accelerate opportunities for success: Mitsubishi Motors is outsourcing its B2B e-commerce capabilities to the Cloud and achieves stronger integration with its suppliers in Europe, without making additional investments in headcount or software. Dell Services is setting new standards of excellence within the IT services industry. Using analytics has helped them drive positive change, increase value, and improve engagement with organizations worldwide. First United Bank is using a BPM solution to help it achieve its goal of going paperless. To date, the Company has digitized over 200 processes and converted over 2.5 million documents and images into digital format for considerable business improvements, including overall growth and customer satisfaction. The City of Barcelona has a comprehensive digital strategy that embraces delivering more targeted and mobile services to its constituents, based on the innovative mobile identification system called “mobileID”. Find out how you can capitalize on digital disruption. In my next post in this series, I’ll explore what it means to function as a digital business. Read my book, Digital: Disrupt or Die. [1] “Executives Expect Digital Disruption to Displace 4 in 10 Incumbents by Industry within Next Five Years,” Webwire, June 24, 2015, http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=198501 (accessed July 2015). [2] James McQuivey, “Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation,” Forrester Research, Inc., 2013.

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Five Reasons Why Cloud B2B Platforms Contribute Towards Greener Supply Chains

In my last blog, available HERE, I discussed how B2B automation contributed towards developing greener supply chains. I also explained how our cloud based Trading Grid platform was connected to over 600,000 businesses who collectively exchange over 16 Billion transactions per year around the world. In this article I thought I would take a slightly different look at how cloud based B2B environments contribute towards developing greener supply chains. Today’s CIOs are accelerating their deployment of cloud based environments as they offer many operational benefits for companies. For example introducing improved infrastructure flexibility to react to market demands, simplifying the management of global business applications and of course providing improved predictability of long term fixed costs for managing applications. Here is a short video introducing OpenText’s cloud. However as well as these operational benefits, there are a number of green related benefits that are probably not appreciated when a company decides to deploy a cloud based infrastructure.  Companies today have a choice of running on premise, hybrid or full cloud solutions however for the purposes of this blog I will discuss green benefits relating to full cloud based environments.  When companies deploy a full cloud solution they will obtain some significant indirect green benefits: 1. Reduction in paper usage due to the automation of manual based business transactions – Many companies have struggled to encourage all their trading partners, especially those in emerging markets, to exchange information electronically. Instead, many smaller suppliers still use manual paper based processes. For example in China the fax is still seen as one of the main business related communication methods. Also, there are various systems for exchanging shipping related documentation between logistics carriers and across customs and border control agencies. The very nature of cloud based environments means that they are quick to deploy, easy to use and simple to maintain on a daily basis, in other words ideal for use in the emerging markets and help to ensure you can achieve 100% trading partner enablement. The use of web based forms to replicate paper based form content means that even the smallest or least technically capable trading partner can simply enter or view information directly via a web based portal environment. Paper based versions of web forms can still be printed off if required, but in a cloud environment this is more of an on-demand process. Once information is entered via web based forms it automatically gets fed into some form of Software-as-a-Services application hosted within the cloud environment. 2. Lower power consumption requirements due to retiring legacy server and network hardware – This is one of the most important green related benefits that a company can realize by adopting a cloud based B2B infrastructure. Many companies around the world have spent millions of dollars establishing their own in-house data centres or server based infrastructures. From  investing in highly available power supply infrastructures with uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) with diesel generator backups, extensive lighting infrastructures, through to implementing complex networking and air conditioning systems.  When you combine all of these data centre infrastructure related assets together they contribute significantly towards a company’s overall carbon footprint. 3. Less data centre related equipment packaging to dispose of – In-house data centres require numerous servers, storage devices, networking equipment etc and these typically arrive from the IT suppliers in large, over packed boxes containing cardboard, wood, plastic and polystyrene.  Once these pieces of equipment have been delivered, the packaging needs to be disposed of carefully or recycled but some could end up as landfill.  In addition, depending on where your data centre equipment would traditionally be sourced from, the associated 3PL & transportation companys’ carbon footprint would also be considerably reduced. 4. Minimizes travel requirements for IT implementation resources – Many companies have established global IT teams to support their business operations.  However in some cases there may be a need to extend an IT infrastructure into an emerging market such as China or India.  In most cases companies will struggle to secure local resources to both implement and maintain a regional data centre and IT staff from other regions will be flown in at great expense to ensure a new IT infrastructure is up and running as soon as possible. Over the years companies have got use to flying IT staff around the world to support their remote operations, but how many companies have actually calculated the volume of greenhouse gases that have been created travelling to these locations and having data centre related hardware delivered by 3PL providers? 5. Encourages enterprise adoption of low powered mobile devices – The exponential growth in the adoption of mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones, combined with the development of mobile apps to get access to cloud based enterprise resources has helped to reduce the power consumption requirements across the internal and external enterprise.  Up until a few years ago, enterprise resources were accessed through power hungry laptop and desktop PCs.  The introduction of simple to use mobile apps has helped to extend the battery life of devices such as Apple’s iPad. These devices have also transformed how employees work remotely and whilst on the move, ie less battery recharging required.  Another benefit of offering mobile access to cloud based resources is that information is available anytime, anyplace and anywhere so for example logistics carriers can process shipping information in a shorter time, minimizing border control related delays and thus ensuring that shipments reach their destination in a much shorter period of time. If you would like to find out more about OpenText’s Cloud then please click HERE.

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How B2B Automation Helps to Develop Greener Supply Chains

green banking

Developing a greener and more sustainable supply chain has been on the agenda of CEOs for many years and in fact just looking back through my archive of blogs that I have written over the years, the first green related blog that I wrote was in 2007. This was at a time when companies were being made to think more carefully about how they design their supply chains to help reduce carbon emissions. Back then, our company issued supply chain sustainability assessments to demonstrate how much greener a business would become by automating their manual B2B transactions by sending them electronically across our global B2B network, Trading Grid. Even though sustainability has pretty much become engrained within every CEO’s corporate agenda now, I just thought it would be useful to remind you of the benefits of B2B automation. Using a very smart website developed by the Environmental Paper Network, a coalition of over 100 non-profit organizations working towards the sustainable production and consumption of pulp and paper, it is possible to calculate the environmental savings that can be made by removing paper based transactions from a business. Each transaction would use the same size piece of paper, ie an invoice, purchase order etc and each electronic transaction equates to 2 pieces of paper. Rather than having an exhaustive maths lesson on how I derived the figures below, I have merely highlighted the key figures for each of the two scenarios, but I can provide evidence of my calculations if you need it 🙂 Scenario 1 – a manufacturing company currently processes 1 million invoices per year across their European based supply chain. Using the criteria above, this then equates to a total paper weight of 9 metric tons or the equivalent of 228 trees. Now by automating these 1 million paper based transactions via a B2B network such as Trading Grid, it will provide the following reduction in the company’s impact on the environment. Reduction in Net Energy Used The Paper Calculator includes an energy credit for energy that is created by burning paper – or the methane that decomposing paper creates – at the end of its life. The Net Energy takes the total amount of energy required to make the paper over its life cycle, and subtracts this energy credit. If most of the energy used to make the paper is purchased, then the energy credit might make the Net Energy lower than the Purchased Energy. The average U.S. household uses 91 million BTUs of energy in a year. – Scenario 1 saves 375 million BTU’s, the equivalent of about 4 homes/year Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions Greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2) from burning fossil fuels and methane from paper decomposing in landfills, contribute to climate change by trapping energy from the sun in the earth’s atmosphere. The unit of measure is CO2 equivalents. The average car emits 11,013 pounds of CO2 in a year. – Scenario 1 saves 55,877 pounds CO2 equiv., the equivalent of about 5 cars/year Reduction in Water Consumption Water Consumption measures the amount of process and cooling water that is consumed or degraded throughout the life cycle of the paper product. The largest components of water consumption come from the production of purchased electricity, and the use of process and cooling water at pulp and paper mills. Water volume indicates both the amount of fresh water needed and the potential impact of discharges on the receiving waters. 1 Olympic-sized swimming pool holds 660,430 gallons. – Scenario 1 saves 186,117 gallons, the equivalent of < 1 swimming pool Reduction in Solid Waste Includes sludge and other wastes generated during pulp and paper manufacturing and used paper disposed of in landfills and incinerators. 1 fully loaded garbage truck weighs an average 28,000 pounds (based on a rear-loader residential garbage truck) – Scenario 1 saves 22,215 pounds, the equivalent of < 1 garbage truck/year Scenario 2 – OpenText Trading Grid, the world’s largest cloud based B2B network, connects over 600,000 businesses and processes over 16 billion transactions per year. So assuming we are removing the equivalent number of pieces of paper from a supply chain this would equate to a total paper weight saving of 145,151 metric tons or the equivalent of 3,647,010 trees per year. I think you will agree these numbers are quite astounding, but let’s look at the environmental impact for the equivalent paper based transactions: Reduction in Net Energy Used – Scenario 2 saves 6,008,526 million BTU’s, the equivalent of about 66,022 homes/year Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Scenario 2 saves 894,034,654 pounds CO2 equiv., the equivalent of about 81,175 cars/year Reduction in Water Consumption – Scenario 2 saves 2,997,875,351 gallons, the equivalent of about 4,511 swimming pools Reduction in Solid Waste – Scenario 2 saves 355,449,950 pounds, the equivalent of about 12,701 >garbage trucks/year So as you can see, the numbers speak for themselves, automating supply chain based transactions can help your business to develop a greener and more sustainable supply chain. In my next blog I will discuss how moving from software to a cloud based B2B environment can help to develop greener supply chains.

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Empowering Government with a Digital Agenda

Like private businesses, governments are driven by information. Consider the amount of information associated with a single citizen: a birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, student loans, social security, health-related services, etc. Now multiply that across an entire population. If information is the new currency, then many government organizations are rich—so rich, in fact, that some don’t know what to do with this wealth (of information). The rate at which governments can effectively use their information as an asset is impacted by departmental or application silos. As illustrated below, information that should flow securely and effortlessly across departments, partners, and citizens is often disconnected and processes are fragmented. When this happens, governments don’t have a consolidated view of their information, which means they don’t have an accurate view of their resources, projects, or citizens. The result? Agencies work harder, not smarter. A digital agenda helps government organizations optimize their performance, without compromising governance and security. As part of implementing a digital agenda, digitizing information and processes is a critical first step. It lays the groundwork for collaboration and agility by removing silos that can hamper access and productivity—allowing information to flow freely across departments. Digital transformation requires coordination and collaboration across departments, sectors, jurisdictions, and policy domains; a host of changing relations and communication patterns; and a shift to citizen-centric service delivery. Implementing a digital agenda is critical. Broadly speaking, a digital agenda consists of three phases: Overhauling operations to improve efficiency and profitability. Agencies must reduce costs and increase competitiveness by digitizing their information and processes. Bringing agility into business processes to quickly adapt services and operations. Information processes and platforms need to be relevant for digital citizens, a new workforce, and emerging technologies. Delivering new services to citizens with continuous collaboration and innovation. Efficiency hinges on increasing the speed of information delivery through integrated systems and across projects. Many governments are making great strides in mandating the adoption of a digital strategy. Here are some examples of digital transformation at the federal level in government agencies in the U.S., Canada, and Europe: The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), Office of the Federal Detention Trustee (OFDT) has the typical mandate to do more with less. Their average daily population exceeds 55,000 prisoners in federal custody with an annual budget of more than $1 billion. Improving time and cost savings across the organization is paramount. By automating administrative activities like prisoner designation, OFDT has eliminated manual, paper-based processes and the use of outdated file-sharing methods (fax, postal mail and FedEx), at a projected cost-savings of $38.8 million. A Security Enterprise in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) relies on an e-government process automation solution to improve its performance. The automated, collaborative nature of this solution enables the agency to efficiently manage 4,000 Foreign Military Sales (valued at $49 billion) while effectively fulfilling its mission and characterizing its motto: “Strength in Cooperation”. CIZ (Centrum Indicatiestelling Zorg) oversees the Dutch Ministry of Health, handling over one million cases a year and supporting over 18,000 users. Challenged by a lack of business process control around the handling of cases combined with siloed data (spread across 17 databases), CIZ implemented an integrated case management solution so they can adapt more quickly to changes in legislation. By digitizing key processes, CIZ has been able to meet their target of processing 100 percent of their cases, reducing costs and increasing citizen satisfaction. Transport Canada works with over 50 partners (including Crown corporations, port authorities, and airport authorities) to ensure a safe, secure, efficient, and environmentally responsible transportation system. Fulfillment of their mission is based on timely and informed decision-making. Transport Canada relies on a combined information and records management solution to enable collaboration with all stakeholders, including citizens. Through digitization they have consolidated more than four million records in a single library, bringing together 5,200 users across 117 sites—the largest single library deployment in the Canadian Public Sector. In a Digital-First World, governments will have to support digital business models with new processes. Whether by design or by decree, government organizations will be required to build an e-government infrastructure that digitizes information-based processes. In doing so, they will unlock the potential of information to empower both public servants and citizens, and improve their ability to govern in the process. Agencies around the world are already reaping the benefits of an integrated digital agenda—such as increases in productivity and revenue that amount to cost savings in the millions of dollars; easier access to information through complaint, standardized IT infrastructures; decreases in costs and inefficiencies with automated processes; and improvements in citizen relationships and satisfaction through innovative services. It’s evident that the rewards far outweigh the effort. And the technology is available. You can read all about how governments around the world are implementing digital agendas in my book e-Government or Out of Government. 1. Paul Tellier and David Emerson, “Seventh Report of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee on the Public Service,” Clerk of the Privy Council, March, 2013: http://www.clerk.gc.ca/eng/feature.asp?pageId=314 (accessed December 2013).

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Accessible PDF Discussion: A Solution for High-Volume Customer Communications

To help them achieve complete web accessibility, organizations require a viable technology solution for automatically generating high-volume (i.e., enterprise-level) personalized customer communications in Accessible PDF format. Such a solution would give blind and visually impaired people immediate and equal access to electronic documents, which they currently do not have. This series of blog posts explains why demand is increasing for customer communication documents in Accessible PDF format, describes current industry practices for producing these documents, and introduces a new technology option that enables organizations to keep PDF format as their default electronic format for high-volume, web-delivered documents of record while enabling full accessibility and usability of those PDFs for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. In recent blog posts we examined the Drivers behind Web Content Accessibility, Best Practices for PDF and Accessible PDF and Approaches to Generating Accessible PDFs. In this post, we will examine a new, patented, state-of-the-art technology solution that is specifically designed to generate high volumes of Accessible PDF. You can also access the complete white paper on this topic, Enterprise-Level PDF Accessiblity: Drivers, Challenges and Innovative Solutions. New Technology for Generating Enterprise-Level Accessible PDFs A first-to-market, enterprise-level technology for automatically producing personalized customer communications in Accessible PDF format is now market available. The new technology converts print streams, documents, and data into Accessible PDFs, either in high-volume batches (i.e., thousands, millions) or individually on demand (dynamically in real time). Organizations can use this type of innovative technology to simultaneously improve customer experience for people with visual disabilities and comply with relevant accessibility legislation such as the ADA, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act, and the CVAA. Accessibility Rules Unlike manual remediation, this automated technology leverages a sophisticated, inherently flexible rules model, ensuring that each source document, whether in PDF or print stream format, completely incorporates the specified accessibility rules. Accessibility templates can be easily edited to ensure production continuity of recurring (e.g., monthly) high-volume transactional documents. Organizations may need to secure accessibility expertise (at least initially) to define PDF accessibility rules for each document type, although the various document authors and creators require no specialized accessibility knowledge because the automated technology includes a highly intelligent graphical user interface. Quality Control Visual PDF tag inspection and usability testing is not required on every page, as it is with manual remediation. Instead, quality control can be maintained with automated and manual accessibility/usability testing on small batches of documents. This patented technology utilizes PDF/UA format (ISO 14289-1) and incorporates the Matterhorn Protocol2 to generate Accessible PDF output that has been independently tested and found to conform to WCAG 2.0, Level AA, by nationally and internationally recognized prominent advocacy organizations and well respected worldwide accessibility firms. Deployment This innovative technology can be deployed as a traditional on-premise traditional or virtual software installation, or as a cloud-based solution. Observed Effect on Traditional Format Production Recent cloud deployments of this new technology are having an unexpected, positive effect on the production of traditional alternate formats such as Braille, large print, and audio. These traditional formats, like manual PDF remediation, can be time and cost intensive to produce, and can delay the delivery of customer communications. The rich, structured output from this automated technology has allowed for automation of the production of traditional formats, including Braille, large print, and audio, lessening the labor resources needed for manual processing. Each personalized communication statement or notice can be produced more efficiently, reducing cost and delivery time for alternate hardcopy formats. ePresentment Options With the advent of affordable, scalable technology for automatically producing high-volume Accessible PDF documents, private organizations and government agencies suddenly have a number of new options for presenting online customer communications. For example, organizations can provide Accessible PDF communications by default, creating an inclusionary environment while meeting legislative mandates. This delivery scenario enables blind and visually impaired people to access their personal information at the same time as other customers, without the delays associated with requesting alternate hardcopy formats. Or, instead of producing Accessible PDFs by default, organizations with existing systems for online presentment of PDF documents may choose to provide customers with on-demand conversion to Accessible PDF format, both for current PDFs and archived documents. For online users, this would mean replacing an inconvenient exception process with merely a few button clicks. Implications for Organizations and Individuals This innovative technology solution for enterprise-level PDF accessibility offers blind and visually impaired people equal (and instant) access to electronic documents, empowering them to be more independent, make more timely financial and other critical decisions, and participate more fully in the 24/7 digital world. Imagine, individuals who prefer digital technology can finally say “No, thanks” to exception processes, accommodations, late-arriving hardcopies in alternate formats, and other such hassles. For blind and visually impaired people who do not currently request documents in alternate formats, and instead rely on family, friends, and support workers to help them manage their affairs, this technology gives them another avenue for becoming more independent. With the arrival of this groundbreaking automated technology and its ready availability to organizations producing customer communication PDFs, 20+ million blind and visually impaired Americans have an opportunity to use their buying power to affect meaningful change. They can achieve this by patronizing service providers that offer instant online access to Accessible PDF versions of bank and credit card statements, phone bills, insurance documents, and other routine (yet vital) communications. Likewise, they can demand a comparable level of service from government agencies, non-profits, and institutions of higher education. This type of technology is a game changer for industry, for government, and most importantly for blind and visually impaired people who deserve equal access to the entire internet, including websites, web content, and web-delivered documents. For more information on this technology, visit ccm.actuate.com.

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How Today’s Engineers are Embracing a Virtualized Digital First World

In today’s digital first world, companies face a continuous challenge to ensure that mission critical business information can be accessed anytime, anyplace or anywhere. In order to access digital information, IT infrastructures must cater for a variety of computing platforms with varying levels of performance, mobility and graphics capabilities. In an earlier blog article I discussed how the distribution of digital information has slowly become more pervasive across the manufacturing business. I highlighted how traditionally the design department of a manufacturing company was seen as the early adopter of new technologies. Design based information is typically large in file size and is graphically intensive with real-time rendering being required to visualize 3D product related designs. This presents a challenge when trying to view large 3D CAD models across different hardware platforms. Over the years, as technology has advanced, more and more departments have been able to access digital information in different ways and this has introduced a number of challenges: Ensuring the security of information so as to avoid unexpected security leaks Providing a way to adhere to regional data sovereignty laws so that information can be retained in-country or in-region Deciding whether digital information should reside on a behind-the-firewall server infrastructure which is only accessible via a VPN connection or hosted in a cloud-based infrastructure for greater accessibility Driving a balance between application performance and IT infrastructure costs to ensure that applications are available 24/7 and the business is not impacted due to a network outage or slow connectivity to remote users of network resources Making certain that engineering-based users, irrespective of location, have access to design-based applications and there is no lag in performance of the applications used, especially when manipulating complex 3D graphics When I started working for one of the leading CAD/CAM software vendors in the early 1990s, all design-based applications were hosted on UNIX workstations, at that time a mix of Silicon Graphics, DEC Digital, HP, Sun Microsystems and IBM machines. Fortunately my company had very good relationships with the hardware vendors and we were able to get the latest workstations for demonstration purposes. Our 3D graphics based applications at that time were ideal for showing off the performance of the UNIX workstations. However from a customer point of view, these workstations were very expensive and unless you were the size of company such as Ford, Boeing or Caterpillar, then it was difficult to get access to sensibly specified UNIX workstations for running CAD/CAM applications. Over the last twenty years, PC-based workstation technology began to improve exponentially and some of the larger discrete manufacturers started to make the shift towards PC-based hardware solutions; and this had a knock on effect with the UNIX market. Coming from the EDI side of OpenText’s business, I know the importance of some of the more ‘mature’ technologies. Companies will not stop using EDI and other mature technologies because they offer benefits that no other technology can offer in the market and the same can be said of UNIX workstations. Over the years I have seen a split in the market. Automotive, aerospace and heavy industrial companies have been using Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions from PTC, Dassault and Siemens and are today running these applications on highly specified PC-based platforms. However in the high tech and energy sectors, particularly oil and gas, there is still a very heavy dependence on using UNIX-based workstations, especially in a virtualized environment. But why is there a difference in UNIX versus PC usage between these different industries? Typically in the automotive, aerospace and industrial sectors, manufacturers will produce complex 3D models of their final products. These 3D models are being used for downstream manufacturing processes such as CNC machining or 3D printing and other business processes such as marketing. The products manufactured in these industries lend well to being viewed in multi-platform viewing tools, for example taking a customer on a virtual tour of their new car, simply by using fly through viewing technology on an Apple iPad. Manufacturers can use PLM technology to build complete virtual models of their products and in addition to manufacturing and marketing, this digital information can be used for real-time simulations and even for through-life service and support applications. A whole eco-system has evolved to support these particular PLM solutions in PC-based environments. One of the reasons for this is due to the customer need to access digital information about a product through any type of platform, from PCs, tablets and all the way through to smartphone devices. By comparison, the high tech industry uses Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools to design the circuity on their silicon chips. Running simulations is another common requirement across semi-conductor manufacturers, being able to test circuit designs and ensure that chips are operating per their intended design parameters. Both of these design related processes require high powered workstations to complete the work in a timely manner. The oil and gas industry also performs numerous different types of simulations with analysis of ‘seismic surveys’ being one of the most common. Being able to analyse seismic surveys to construct 3D models of rock formations in near real time to help identify potential pockets of oil and gas can significantly speed up the overall exploration process. But how can remote UNIX users ensure that they can get un-interrupted access to networked UNIX resources in order to run such simulation processes? In another scenario, what if Shell for example was working with external design partners such as Halliburton on a new oil processing plant and these partners needed joint access to 3D design information? What if the design partner did not have access to UNIX workstations, let alone the design applications to open up the 3D CAD models? Today’s design environments are truly collaborative in nature and this is why a virtualized UNIX environment offers many benefits for companies operating in the high tech and oil and gas sectors. UNIX workstations have long been regarded as the design automation workhorse of these industries which is why today; UNIX workstations are still being used extensively in these particular industry sectors. There is another reason why UNIX workstations are so popular in the oil and gas sector. This sector has traditionally retained staff for a long period of time and many design staff will have been in the industry when UNIX workstations started to take over from mainframe-based environments in the late 1980s. However energy and high tech companies face another challenge when compared with their peer companies in the discrete manufacturing sectors mentioned above, the flexibility that PC-based platforms have over UNIX. But there is a solution which I will discuss in a moment. Over the last twenty years manufacturers have globalized their operations to support their customers, entering new markets such as China or India. They would typically establish new manufacturing plants and in some cases establish regional design offices to support local customer needs. For example in China the consumer typically prefers to be driven rather than drive the cars themselves. Many car manufacturers have setup remote design offices in China, requiring them to buy high-end, PC-based workstations and PLM design software licenses to run on those PC workstations. So this is great news for the discrete manufacturer who can scale up their design function quite easily by adding more PCs to their network infrastructure, but what about the semi-conductor manufacturers and oil and gas companies that also need to diversify into new markets and globalise their operations? How can they scale up their UNIX infrastructure to support the needs of their global business? As companies globalize their operations, they need to provide remote access to network resources such as the design applications used across the high tech and oil and gas sectors. For example Cadence and Intergraph respectively provide design applications for these particular industries, but how do you scale your UNIX-based design infrastructure without adding significant costs to your business, i.e., purchasing more UNIX workstations and at the same time not compromising on network security? The high tech industry has been plagued with network hacking issues over recent years. Designs for the latest semi-conductor chips are stolen from corporate networks and before you know it a cloned semi-conductor chip has been manufactured in the Far East. But if you need remote access to a UNIX based infrastructure how can you ensure that the connectivity between the remote user and the location hosting the UNIX application is secure? My first experience of using a virtualized computing infrastructure was back in the late 1990s when Sun Microsystems introduced their Java based Ray workstations. You popped your smart card into the Ray workstation, this provided a form of identification to the workstation, and you were then presented with a thin client that was able to access UNIX applications hosted in a remote data centre location. At the time I was building complex demonstration environments and the Sun Ray offered a unique way to access information that would traditionally have required a full blown UNIX workstation. Now admittedly the processing power on the early Ray workstation was not great for manipulating graphics and in fact later in its life the Sun Rays were used for running more general business applications rather than high end PLM solutions. But the concept of running applications remotely on thin clients was certainly a great idea and one which is still in wide use to this very day, especially in the high tech and energy sectors. However the technology used to run remote UNIX applications has moved on considerably. Here at OpenText, we offer a number of solutions to help companies manage, archive and access their digital information, irrespective of the type of platform you might be running on. OpenText Exceed VA TurboX, ETX, is a remote access connectivity solution, which allows organizations to deploy UNIX applications virtually to their users by keeping them running on UNIX servers, while allowing users to remotely access them through a web browser and achieve the same user experience than if they had the application installed on their desktop, no matter the distance between them and the data centre, both securely and centrally managed. ETX is ideal where the user needs to run high performance applications:- UNIX applications are accessible from anywhere in the world with no decline in performance, always secure and centrally managed ETX lets people work and collaborate virtually on UNIX applications from Windows, Linux and UNIX desktops anywhere in the world It removes the limitations and the complexity of traditional remote access solutions by offering the fastest connection to your business wrapped in a uniquely intuitive user experience Designed for the enterprise data center, it improves the security, manageability and availability of your UNIX applications So whether your business is in high tech, oil and gas or other industry sectors such as financial services where virtualised platforms can help reduce operational costs across your IT infrastructure, ETX can help companies take a big step into the digital first world. ETX allows companies to get products to market or deliver capital projects to their customers in a much shorter timeframe. Companies are able to improve how computing resources are deployed and it allows a centralized, private cloud to be established. ETX allows employees to be more productive through 24/7, global access to corporate business information and finally this is all achieved through a highly secure and regionally compliant solution. If you would like a free trial and further information on our ETX solution then please visit our dedicated web page by clicking here.

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