managed services

Building Supply Chain Resilience and Compliance

supply chain resilience

As a connected set of companies that form the link between individual component sources and a final product, the supply chain bridges the gap between suppliers and the ultimate end user. When it works, it is an impressive orchestration of many moving parts working in concert to deliver products to customers. But what happens when a critical link in the chain fails due to business disruption, natural disaster, financial issues, or a problem within its own supply chain? In today’s globalized economy, companies’ supply chains are growing bigger and more complex. While these business relationships can deliver gains in productivity and profitability, they can come at the price of taking on additional risk exposure. Third-party risk management is the fastest growing governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) technology market and cited as most challenging aspect of a compliance program [Deloitte-Compliance Week 2015 Compliance Trends Report]. In fact, 77 percent of manufacturing firms report increasing supply chain complexity as the fastest growing risk in business continuity. Organizations are looking to technology to help ensure supply chain resilience, with a fierce focus on protecting their organization’s brand, reputation, assets, and data. Big supply chains call for big data Supply chain executives are placing great store in the potential of big data. In fact, an SCM Chief Supply Chain Officer Report showed that they believe big data analytics to be more valuable than the Internet of Things, cloud computing, and 3D printing. More manufacturing firms are adopting big data strategies to tackle a wide range of risk factors within the supply chain, including, minimizing risk within a global supply chain and managing supplier performance. Tip – Choose a big data analytics solution that is meant for business users and analysts who want an easy, fast way to access, blend, explore, and analyze data quickly without depending on IT or data experts, such as OpenText™ Big Data Analytics. You’re a good corporate citizen. Are your suppliers too? It has been well established that having a clear, effective corporate social responsibility (CSR) program is good for business. Many customers seek out and want to do business with vendors who share their values and compliance culture. For example, by demonstrating that a company’s supply chain is conflict-free, it will reassure stakeholders that the company is compliant and will engender trust among suppliers, consumers, and others. The SEC Dodd-Frank Act, Conflict Minerals rules, and the EU REACH mandate and ROHS Directive are just a few regulations forcing companies to take a hard look at their supplier ecosystems. However, compliance is threatened when suppliers fail to provide needed information. Only 22 percent of companies required to file conflict minerals reports by a June 2014 deadline did so – most stating that their supply chains were too complex, or that suppliers did not respond to questionnaires or did not provide complete or adequate responses. Further, since mandatory reporting in 2014, more than 70 percent of U.S. companies say they still cannot make a determination that their supply chains are free from conflict minerals. Tip – Firms are turning to sophisticated information exchange solutions for supplier self-assessment to ensure compliance in areas such as conflict minerals, anti-slavery, and sustainability, such as OpenText’s Conflict Minerals Reporting solution. Managing risk begins with onboarding process Given the vast amount of supplier data that exists across the enterprise, technology offers an easy way to import, structure, organize, and consolidate this data in one place, and then map it to the associated supplier risks, regulations, controls, locations, and products for better visibility. And a successful supplier information management program starts with the right supplier onboarding process. Tip – For B2B suppliers who use a defined EDI format to send and receive data, these suppliers easily buy into an onboarding system which uses a format they already use (typically high volume and large suppliers), such as OpenText™ B2B Managed Services. When it comes to supply chain disruptions, it is no longer a matter of “if” it will happen, but “when” the next incident will occur. Choosing a proactive approach and the right technology solutions will only improve your organization’s ability to mitigate, adapt, and respond quickly to threats as they arise – thus strengthening resilience in your supply chain.

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The Right Cloud to Meet Your Business Needs

cloud

When customers think of moving their Enterprise Information Management (EIM) to the cloud – the question is not so much whether or not to do it – as it is what type of cloud to use and how soon can they start. Recently at the AIIM First Canadian Chapter seminar in Toronto, we talked about managing information in a cloud world. With so many cloud models– like Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, multi-tenant SaaS and dedicated cloud managed services, customers can easily get overwhelmed and confused about what’s right for their business needs. Let’s simplify the different models with a building analogy: Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is like a piece of zoned land with utility hookups where you can build a house – there’s a company that takes care of sewers, electrical, phone lines, etc.. If there is a problem with the services you contact the company. If there’s a problem with the house – that’s your responsibility. Many times it is up to you to assess whether the problem is with the house or the infrastructure. Platform as a service (PaaS) is like a mobile home park, where there are shared services used by all residents, but individual land plots are rented on a timed basis. The common areas are updated all at once with some notice from the park. You may make some changes to your own trailer, but some changes are prohibited and others may need to be approved. Software as a service (SaaS) is like a condo building, where you own your own part of it, but it’s within a shared environment including several other units. Many of the building facilities are shared – there is one set of heating and cooling equipment, one pool, one garage, etc. and this provides economies of scale. Within your own unit some adjustments can be done, but there are restrictions – for instance you can increase or decrease the temperature, but only within a defined range. Dedicated (sometimes called hosted) is where you own the land and the home and have virtually complete autonomy, within minimal guidelines. Facilities within the house are dedicated only to this one house. When changes are required you are responsible, and can bring in help (managed services). On-premises is like a cottage, where you need to deal with a lot of the services yourself, such as water and septic systems. You can bring in someone to help, but it’s ultimately all your responsibility. Upgrades here may be more of a challenge. Managed services is like having a property manager, cloud or on-premises, to augment your own efforts (or that of your staff). Managed services saves you time and ensures an expert is managing for you. Hybrid (cloud to cloud, cloud to on-premises integrated scenarios) — is like owning a condo or a house and driving to a cottage.  You have different levels of service at each location but they share information. So what type of cloud is right for your EIM applications and solutions? The answer is – it depends on what your IT team has the resources to do – and what use cases you have. While providing some benefits of cloud, IaaS and PaaS still leave a lot for customers to do – they still have to manage their own middleware, security patching, and the applications themselves. The level of work on the application is similar to what it is when operated in the organization’s own data center. SaaS can be a great answer for specified use cases. It can provide agility and ease of operation with applications that meet a defined set of requirements. Applications such as OpenText™ Core, LEAP, Active Applications, Axcelerate and Extream fulfill use cases for many organizations in several industries. In many other cases, Dedicated or Hybrid cloud may be the key to meeting your business needs. In fact, according to Gartner: “The increased use of multiple public cloud providers, plus growth in various types of private cloud services, will create a multicloud environment in most enterprises and a need to coordinate cloud usage using hybrid scenarios.”¹ Most of our Enterprise ECM customers have multiple use cases and requirements which may that lead them to prefer dedicated or hybrid deployment. Some want control over timing for patching and upgrades, some have high availability, security, data sovereignty, data protection or corporate directives that necessitate a dedicated environment. For instance, our Life Sciences customers are working on life-changing innovations to cure disease and help people live longer, better lives. Many prefer to protect their Research & Development content in a private cloud dedicated environment, while utilizing SaaS for collaboration on clinical trial data. They don’t want a traditional multi-tenant SaaS model because they don’t want unnecessary patches or upgrades forced upon them in the middle of a big clinical trial or new drug launch. Some of our Energy and Engineering customers are using digital innovations to improve their resource recovery rates and reduce risk. They want their Standard Operating Procedures and other propriety information managed in a private cloud, while having their project-specific content such as drawings and memos that need to be viewed by partners and subcontractors through a SaaS application. The good news is that with OpenText™ Cloud Managed Services, we can provide fully managed solutions in dedicated private or hybrid scenarios, and also provide SaaS applications so businesses have flexibility to meet their business needs. OpenText manages the full stack and all the application related pieces– including: Infrastructure Middleware Security patching Updates Application/Solution Customizations Integrations Because the OpenText Cloud is purpose-built to support our applications, OpenText provides 99.5% availability at the application level – backed by an SLA, and certifications such as ISO and SOC up to and including the applications. For more information use Contact OpenText on the blog site or here. ¹ “ Market Trends: Cloud Adoption Trends Favor Public Cloud With a Hybrid Twist,” Gartner, August 4, 2016.

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Business Network: Extreme Connectivity

Organizations that incorporate extreme connectivity into their business strategy are able to support accelerated business processes with anyone, anywhere, in any format, securely. Information exchange helps control how information is delivered across a business network. With data integrity and built-in security, organizations can execute transactions and share information to drive value and competitive advantage. As the volume of business transactions grow, organizations are relying on cloud-based data exchanged solutions like electronic fax and Managed File Transfer (MFT) to effectively manage their information exchange while reducing costs. The Business Network The OpenText Business Network is a set of cloud-based solutions within EIM that facilitates the efficient, secure, and compliant exchange of information between organizations. It is a combination of Business-to-Business (B2B) integration software, the OpenText Trading Grid, and Managed Services. The latest release of the OpenText Business Network represents the next step in the evolution of information exchange. We have made a number of improvements and additions to the OpenText Business Network, including: B2B Integration with Active Applications for Procure-to-Pay: This release features Logistics Track & Trace to follow the physical movement of goods for improved end-to-end supply chain visibility. Organizations can calculate new arrival times for in-transit products with Dynamic Pipeline Calculation. In addition, Deductions Management helps U.S. retailers identify and remove duplicate deductions, resulting in fewer disputes. Trading Grid Analytics: The integration of Trading Grid analytics for Managed Services and Active Applications provides added insight into operational and supply chain performance. Fax2EDI & Email2EDI: Customers are able to capture standard trading partner information, including paper and transport, to streamline the flow of goods, communication, and commerce across the Trading Grid. OpenText Release 16 brings together the right combination of services and technologies, helping connect and exchange critical business data in a secure, reliable, and scalable environment. This is extreme connectivity in action, powering information companies with deeper business process support and rich analytics across the extended trading ecosystem. As trading ecosystem grows, the Cloud plays an increasingly important and strategic role. I’ll discuss this in my next post in this series. Find out more: www.opentext.com/16.  

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Get Started on the Path to B2B Integration Maturity Now

B2B integration maturuty

OpenText recently sponsored a survey on B2B integration maturity which was conducted by SCM World (now part of Gartner). We set out to learn what constitutes B2B integration maturity and what impact that might have on a business. The research paper, available here, lays out a path to maturity based on answers to the survey from 115 participants from all over the globe. In previous posts we’ve looked at the steps, and the value of progressing along the path. The last portion of the report makes some specific recommendations for getting started and advancing along the B2B integration path. It’s time to get started now on the path to B2B integration maturity. When advancing business-to-business integration, an organization’s focus must be on the journey as much as it is on the destination. The B2B integration path framework is designed with the journey in mind, helping organizations to define and measure progress for themselves. A well-planned B2B integration deployment concurrently addresses issues such as working capital and process efficiency by aligning the three elements of people, technology and process to create tangible business value. SCM World Recommendations Extend the network. The very nature of B2B integration requires working with extended business networks. Purely introspective perspectives lead to the continuation of the status quo, whereas broadened perspectives create mutually beneficial opportunities now, and in the future. It is important to: Build capabilities and track progress. Mechanisms are available to accelerate progress and build the key capabilities needed to create sustainable advancements in B2B integration. In evaluating how building these capabilities enables future business growth, consider if it is best to build and maintain in-house capabilities or if it is better to partner with, or outsource to, specialists who focus on B2B integration tools and technology? Start the process. To begin the journey, companies must develop segmented business integration strategies that allow for immediate execution, as well as further advancement potential in the future. Learn and grow together with trading partners. Leverage experts outside your business; and Embrace the dynamism and fluidity of B2B integration as a long-term growth opportunity. Previous posts in this series: Don’t Be Immature – Impact Your Business With B2B Integration Maturity 5 Stages of B2B Integration Maturity – Pt 1 Does B2B Integration Have Tangible Business Benefits? Pt 2 The B2B Integration Maturity Landscape – Pt 3 First Steps in B2B Maturity – Pt 4 What’s Average B2B Integration Maturity? – Pt 5 Getting Ahead on the B2B Integration Maturity Path – Pt 6

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Not Another Cloud Buzzword for WFO?

WFO in Cloud

Do we really need more buzzwords to promote cloud? I think not! Here’s just a few I found today: Taking you up in the cloud I’m on cloud nine Reach for the clouds Join me in the cloud Working in the cloud The best part of waking up is cloud in your cup Ok, I made the last one up, so now, let’s take this more seriously. Since the release of OpenText™ Qfiniti Managed Services in late 2015, the OpenText WFO Software group has continued to research the potential and any pain associated with taking WFO to the cloud and as a service. In the end, we found that the thing decision makers are really seeking are answers, not hype. They want good answers to tough questions about adoption, about pricing, and “how the business can procure and adopt cloud safely”. So in response to this, we commissioned a technology adoption profile with Forrester and let Forrester ask the questions for us. Forrester took insights from an online survey of over 100 director-level and above decisions makers in US enterprises with at least 1,000 contact center employees, and asked questions such as: When thinking of investing in a workforce optimization solution, what benefits are most important to you? How do you expect your firm’s overall number of contact center seats to change during the next 12 months? What are your biggest obstacles to deploying WFO in the cloud? Why is your firm interested in using third-party managed or cloud services? WFO solutions have been driving customer experiences for decades, so perhaps answers to these questions will shape how WFO drives customer experience and managed growth for decades to come. If you would like more information about OpenText Qfiniti or OpenText Qfiniti Managed Services, we’d love to schedule a demo or answer YOUR questions about WFO and the cloud.  

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Cloud 16 – A Better Way to Work

Cloud 16

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

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Embracing Customer Centricity at Enterprise World 2015

AS2 FTP

Organizations today are competing on the basis of a differentiated customer experience. It is not enough to have the best products or services, but you must now differentiate on the experience that your end users have when doing business with you. After all, a product or service is only as valuable as the way in which its use is realized by your customers. But what does it mean to be Customer Centric? It’s not a technology – it is your Goal; it is a Journey for your customer that is tuned to meet their needs on every device, in every location, in every language, in every CONTEXT where you both interact. Every employee should feel empowered to work in harmony and deliver the best experience to the customer. Achieving this vision allows you to maximize the customer lifetime value – the more value the consumer receives, the more opportunities you have to upsell the customer and gain new customers from positive customer advocacy. Enterprise World 2015 gives you an opportunity to hear directly from organizations around the world that are on their own journey to create a better way to work. The Customer Experience Management track this year is focusing on key areas of digital transformation related to better customer engagement, better, business insights and better employee productivity. We have brought in leading Industry Analysts to share their research and trends happening in the Digital Experience driven world we live in today.  We also have some AMAZING companies sharing their own experiences in strategizing and executing projects to adopt a more digital approach to their business processes and customer/ constituent / partner interactions. You have to come hear their stories! Come join us in the journey to a better way to work – add these highlighted sessions to your agenda: Strategy – CEM 210 will discuss how achieving a customer centric vision requires strategy and architecture decisions. Learning – CEM 102 takes a look at how consumer trends are driving business transformation of business processes and user engagement across B2C and B2B organizations. CEM 101 takes a look inside financial services companies that have to engage their customers across B2B2C complexities. Implemention – The next step after an approved strategy is to identify a key project to get started. Tackling the Digital Workplace is the focus of CEM 112 where a global organization found the answer in implementing better content sharing and content management. Adoption – It takes a village…. employee adoption of a digital transformation can result in amazing increased productivity and customer satisfaction. CEM 100 takes a look at overcoming challenges at getting users to adopt new processes and technologies to be successful. Insights – CEM 110 is a Fireside Chat that delves into the importance of insights (from analytics to interactions) to innovate how you work inside and outside the organization Two key Technical sessions are related to Upgrading ( CEM 200) and the Roadmaps ( Expo) for OpenText Media Management, Web Experience Management, Customer Communications Management (StreamServe) and the latest PowerDocs application. Roadmaps are hosted in our Digital Experience Theater in the Expo – see the schedule on the mobile app agenda or at the Theater. We are also excited to showcase how 3-D printing can become a part of your communication strategy. Finally, the session on Tuesday titled “Optimize your supply chain with B2B Managed Services” is great if your organization could benefit from improved supply chain visibility and increased digital integration with suppliers or customers. This special educational session will focus on how to digitize and automate your supply chain and include an overview of the reasons to automate, and a discussion of how outsourcing B2B integration to an expert can reduce costs and shorten implementation times. We’ll share a couple examples of how OpenText customers transformed their B2B integration program through OpenText B2B Managed Services.

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Accelerating B2B Managed Services with SAP

For those of you new to OpenText but not new to GXS, you may not know that for twenty years, OpenText has been a close partner of SAP. In fact, SAP awarded OpenText their prestigious SAP Pinnacle Award the last 8 years in a row. OpenText is the established leader in managing unstructured information in context of business processes in a SAP environment. Now, SAP and OpenText have announced an extension to this already successful partnership to include OpenText B2B Managed Services. OpenText B2B Managed Services is an outsourced solution for managing day-to-day B2B operations required when exchanging a wide variety of transactions with trading and business partners. Running on our B2B integration platform known as the OpenText Trading Grid, part of the OpenText Cloud, OpenText extends the SAP Business Network with its reach to the more than 600,000 trading partners currently connected to the OpenText Trading Grid. This partnership is a recognition of OpenText’s leadership in B2B Integration. Of course, supporting SAP with OpenText B2B Managed Services is nothing new. OpenText/GXS has worked with many companies around the world to manage their SAP and B2B integration projects. Whether it is helping companies integrate to multiple global instances of an SAP platform or providing integration to a newly installed instance of SAP, OpenText has a wealth of experience with managing such projects.

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OpenText and SAP team up to provide global B2B Managed Services

For twenty years, OpenText has been a close partner of SAP. In fact, we won an SAP Pinnacle Award the last 8 years in a row. This year, OpenText was recognized as a SAP Pinnacle Awards 2015 Winner “Solution Extension Partner of the Year” in category Value Creation. So with a successful partnership like that – what do you do to improve it? Extend it SAP and OpenText have announced an extension to this already successful partnership to include OpenText B2B Managed Services. OpenText B2B Managed Services is a comprehensive B2B outsourcing solution that provides companies with the people, processes and technologies necessary to maintain complex B2B e-commerce programs. B2B Managed Services operates on the OpenText Trading Grid, part of the OpenText Cloud, a fully hosted integration platform and includes mapping, trading partner on-boarding, data quality and connectivity services. With B2B outsourcing from OpenText, companies can build and grow B2B networks without making additional investment in hardware, software or human resources. OpenText extends the SAP Business Network with its reach to the more than 600,000 trading partners currently connected to the OpenText Trading Grid. Supporting SAP with OpenText B2B Managed Services is nothing new. OpenText has worked with many companies around the world to manage their SAP and B2B integration projects. Whether it is helping companies integrate to multiple global instances of an SAP platform or providing integration to a newly installed instance of SAP, OpenText has a wealth of experience with managing such projects. Read the press release here.

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How B2B Integration Drives Superior Supply Chain Performance

Today’s manufacturers face a constant challenge of balancing supply chain efficiency with the investment placed in their B2B integration platform. To try and get a better understanding of whether increased use of B2B solutions and services impacts the performance of a supply chain, OpenText sponsored a new B2B integration related study with IDC Manufacturing Insights. This blog will briefly summarise some of the key findings from the study. IDC conducted a one hour qualitative survey with 270 global manufacturers across the automotive, high tech and consumer product goods sub-sectors. We had representation from eight countries including Brazil, China, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, UK and North America. In order to try and develop the hypothesis, IDC asked a number of questions about current B2B implementation initiatives across the 270 companies and they also asked questions relating to key supply chain metrics across each company. I spent a few months working with IDC on this study, so let me just highlight some of the B2B responses first. The first question looked at the key business initiatives that companies were embarking on over the next three years and international expansion into new markets was the key project as shown by the chart below. It is interesting to note that while many companies are trying to improve supply chain visibility and improve supply chain responsiveness they were not as high up in the chart as international expansion, develop more services and reduce operational costs. Indeed diversification into new sub-sectors is a key activity for many manufacturers today, for example high-tech companies exploring new opportunities in the growing electric vehicle market. In order to try and understand how pervasive B2B technologies were across the companies surveyed, the next question asked about the volume of electronic transactions that were being conducted today. Given the consumer driven, fast moving nature of the automotive and high tech sectors, I guess it is no surprise that it is these two industries that are exchanging transactions electronically with more than 75% of their trading partners. CPG on the other hand has a relatively low level, probably due to the fact that many CPG goods are manufactured in countries such as India and China where the use of B2B tools is relatively low when compared to other manufacturing hubs around the world. The study found there were a number of business drivers for companies needing to improve their B2B environment over the next three years. According to leading analysts, the manufacturing sector is going to be the fastest growing adopter of new Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) regulations. This was confirmed by the responses to our study which said that increased regulatory compliance was the number one reason why companies were increasing investment in their B2B infrastructure. This was closely followed by an increasing pressure from customers to adopt B2B integration processes. The survey showed that there was a marked shift in terms of the key barriers to adopting new B2B services. One of the main barriers in the past was getting top level management buy in that B2B integration could bring significant benefits to the business. Our study showed that this barrier was the least likely to prevent a new B2B project from starting. In fact the number one barrier to increased B2B adoption was competing IT projects such as ERP. ERP is typically the number one focus area for CIOs and as such tend to get the most budget and resources to deploy. ERP systems typically have to be live by a specific date and if the date slips then IT resources from other projects are pulled in as required. This could leave other IT projects such as a B2B on-boarding project severely exposed. Even when companies have deployed an ERP and B2B environment, our study showed that nearly 40% of companies had still not integrated their ERP and B2B platforms together. Here at OpenText we find ERP B2B integration projects as a key driver for companies adopting our B2B Managed Services environment. In terms of the benefits gained from B2B integration, companies cited lower inventories as the main benefit. This was most apparent from nearly 60% of automotive respondents who have invested heavily in recent years following the last economic downturn and to help support their global expansion initiatives. As I highlighted at the beginning of this blog post, the study was truly global in nature, covering all the major manufacturing hubs around the world and I just wanted to briefly highlight some of the key findings by region: 71% of German companies trade electronically with less than 50% of their trading partners 80% of Japanese companies said that inventory reduction was a key benefit of B2B integration 62% of US companies trading electronically with more than 50% of their trading partners 27% of Chinese companies trading electronically with more than 50% of their trading partners 57% of South Korean companies said that supply chain complexity was a key barrier to B2B adoption One of the major goals of the study was to find out how companies were progressing in their understanding of how modern B2B technologies can help drive superior business results. To achieve this, it was important to get an understanding of the perceived performance of specific supply chain activities. Once these supply chain metrics were analysed it would then be possible to see if there was any correlation between supply chain performance and the impact of B2B technologies. Here are some examples of the metrics that were measured as part of the analysis: 50% of US companies can process an invoice in under one hour 73% of Chinese companies have an average time to market of less than 120 days 90% of Brazilian companies perform up to two inventory turns per month 87% of Chinese companies deliver greater than 95% perfect orders 60% of Japanese companies have an average customer order delivery time of less than 7 days Overall, there were some interesting findings from a supply chain metrics point of view and I will write a separate blog that examines some of these results. But in the meantime I just wanted to include one chart relating to a specific business process that is seeing increasing levels of digitisation, namely invoicing. The chart below highlights the time it takes for the surveyed companies to process an invoice. The real-time numbers shown below would indicate companies that have adopted electronic invoicing solutions. Acknowledging that the supply chain metrics would be different for each industry, average metrics were created for each industry and IDC then identified ‘top performer’ companies for each metric, ie companies with a performance that significantly exceeds industry average. Building upon this analysis, four ‘performance groups’ were defined according to the amount of times each company was over performing their industry average. Leaders – Companies that are “top performers” in 4 or more metrics Experts – Companies that are “top performers” in 2 or 3 metrics Beginners – Companies that are “top performers” in just one metric Laggards – Companies that are never “top performers” Now I could just provide the final chart that shows the correlation between B2B integration and these four performance groups, however to get a better understanding of this study and the responses we got from these 270 global manufacturers, I would actively encourage you to download a copy of the study, which is available to download FROM HERE. IDC drew a number of conclusions from the results of the study and the complete list of recommendations are available by downloading the study, however some key points include: Start from Business Integration to Achieve Collaboration – To obtain a comprehensive view of the extended supply chain and collaborate with business partners you should first be able to integrate with them Redesign Supply Chains – Having a collaborative information exchange process is core to being able to support global trading partners and ensure that supply chains are resilient in the face of volatile demand or unexpected supply chain disruptions Acknowledge the Opportunity of Elevating the Role of Your B2B Infrastructure – B2B infrastructures are in many cases still considered a commodity tool, but moving forward manufacturers will need to make it: ‘The central information exchange layer of the organization’ In summary, the study demonstrated that manufacturers can achieve hard benefits by improving their B2B related processes. In fact the study demonstrated that there was a strict correlation between having a pervasive, more modern and collaborative B2B platform in place and being a leader in supply chain performance. To get a better understanding of the analysis and to get IDC’s direct response to the findings from the study I would encourage you to DOWNLOAD the study and if you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact OpenText. Over the next few weeks I will take a deeper look at some of the industry specific results from the study

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Did You Know That 80% of High Tech Companies are ‘High Adopters’ of B2B Integration Technologies?

A few weeks ago I posted a blog summarising the automotive related results from a recent B2B study that OpenText sponsored. The aim of the study was to see if there was a direct correlation between B2B integration and how it impacts supply chain performance. I will take a look at the CPG related results in my next blog but as I am spending this week in the heart of Silicon Valley over on the US West Coast I thought it only appropriate to discuss the high tech results in this blog article. We recently hosted a webinar with IDC to discuss the findings from the study. You will be able to get access to this and other downloads related to our study at the end of this blog. The global high tech industry is going through a major renaissance at the moment, new business opportunities being presented in the automotive industry, wearable devices and the internet of things sectors. In fact I would say that high tech companies are investing more in the internet of things related technologies than any other industry sub-sector at the moment, for example Intel’s investment in a new generation of chips for embedded devices. With all this focus on new investment areas it presents further opportunities for consolidation across the industry and only last week NXP semiconductors announced their intention to acquire their smaller rival Freescale Semiconductors. Continued M&A activity will present new challenges for B2B managers across the industry as they are forced to consolidate multiple B2B networks on to a single global B2B network. Increased regulatory compliance such as Conflict Minerals compliance is starting to be adopted by more regions around the world as a way of removing so called ‘3TG’ minerals from global supply chains. Increased regulatory compliance is driving a need for companies to think about how they manage their trading partner communities and how ultimately they should be working more collaboratively with their global trading partners. Finally this week will see high tech supply chains gearing up for the launch of the next big consumer must have gadget, Apple’s iWatch is finally being released. Apple is a past master at readying their supply chain for such product launches but it does nicely illustrate how the high tech industry has become so consumer driven in nature. So now let me discuss a few of the high tech related results from our study: 79% said they exchange B2B transactions electronically with their trading partners . I guess there is no surprise here that high tech companies have a high expectation to exchange business documents electronically with their trading partners. As with the automotive industry, the high tech industry is truly global in nature and in the case of semi-conductor chips they are manufactured in a multi-stage process that embraces many different production and finishing locations around the world. To try and encourage greater participation from its trading partners around the world, the high tech industry introduced its own highly successful XML based document format called RosettaNet which is still very much in use across the industry today. 58% said that B2B adoption had reduced their procurement costs. Greater visibility into the supply chain and in particular inventory locations around the world meant that high tech companies could reduce their procurement costs by being able to better optimise inventory from multiple locations around the world. In addition, the costs and time to manually process transactions across the procure to pay process can be reduced by providing high tech trading partners with the right B2B tools according to their technical capabilities. 54% said that shipment status was one of the most important B2B transactions in use across their industry today . Knowing when supplier shipments are going to turn up at the factory gate is crucial to the smooth running of today’s production lines. Connecting to a single, global, cloud based B2B platform such as OpenText Trading Grid provides the end to end visibility that high tech manufacturers require. It is not just improved visibility into the direct materials supply chain but also in the aftermarket repair business where field service teams need to know when spare parts will arrive, being able to tell a customer that their high tech product will be repaired by a specific date is key to improving customer satisfaction levels. 47% said that competing IT projects such as ERP were a barrier to starting B2B projects . Given that ERP projects such as a major SAP deployment are the most expensive and hence high profile IT project under the control of the CIO, it is no wonder that ERP projects tend to get 100% attention from IT resources during a roll out phase. Having all IT resources diverted to an ERP deployment can potentially disrupt other IT initiatives such as a B2B program for example. Then again I would argue that if 47% of high tech companies see ERP as a barrier to B2B adoption, I would say that during ERP implementation this provides the ideal opportunity to think about integrating ERP and B2B platforms together. ERP B2B integration is a key reason why many high tech companies have deployed our Managed Services platform to provide a single outsourced integration platform. So the barrier in this case certainly provides the opportunity for B2B integration. 42% said they processed invoices in real time with trading partners . In Europe for example, with 28 member countries of the European Union, there are 28 different tax compliance laws, 28 different ways to apply digital signatures and 28 different ways to archive invoices. If you are a high tech company based across the border in one of the Eastern European countries such as Slovenia then navigating your way through invoicing compliance in Western Europe is a complex process. The high tech industry is not only consumer driven but it is fast moving in nature and its suppliers need to make sure they can be paid quickly in order to make sure that they can fulfil orders to their numerous customers in a timely manner. Adopting B2B integration and in particular electronic invoicing can significantly reduce invoice processing times and by working with a company such as OpenText that offers electronic invoicing solutions it means that you can work with suppliers in any country, irrespective of the invoice regulations that may be present in these countries. In fact one further piece of analysis that we did as part of this project found that automating invoicing processes through the use of B2B integration technologies such as electronic invoicing had increased the speed of invoice processing by 156%. Overall, the high tech industry had the highest level of electronic B2B exchange of all the industries surveyed with nearly 80% being ‘high adopters’ of B2B integration technologies. As mentioned earlier this is due to the fast paced nature of the industry, with nearly 99% of high tech respondents performing two inventory turns per month, and the need to have a highly responsive supply chain network that can adapt to continually changing market dynamics. This is amplified by the diverse range of trading partners involved across the high tech supply chain, from contract manufacturers (who make products for many different customers) to distributors, and fabless semiconductor manufacturers to raw material providers. Exploiting new market opportunities over the next three years was one of the key initiatives being undertaken by high tech companies. 57% of South Korean respondents, of which a high proportion were from the high tech industry, said that supply chain complexity was a key barrier to B2B adoption, however I would argue that if companies chose a cloud based B2B platform then this would not only help to reduce supply chain complexity but it would help to provide the flexibility and scalability that the fast moving high tech industry urgently needs. If you would like to download your own copy of the new B2B study from OpenText then please complete the registration form here. When you have registered you will also be able to get access to an on demand webinar that we recently recorded with IDC, a copy of the webinar slides and an infographic that illustrates some of the key findings from the study.

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Forget the Oscars, Tata Motors Won a Bigger Award in Mumbai

Last week I had the pleasure of attending our Innovation Tour event in Mumbai, the first leg of a multi-city tour of the world to showcase our Enterprise Information Management solutions and how they help companies move to the digital first world! The event was very well attended and it was good to see keen interest being shown in our new offerings such as Actuate and Core and our other more mature EIM solutions. Enterprise World has traditionally been our key event of the year, but the Innovation Tour provides a way for OpenText to get closer to our customers around the world, Mumbai was no exception with keen interest shown in our expo hall. I have been to India before, two years ago in fact, to meet with an automotive industry association that looks after the ICT needs of the entire Indian automotive industry. Back then, the discussion was focused around B2B integration. However, last week’s event in  Mumbai showcased all solutions from the OpenText portfolio. One of the interesting solution areas being showcased by one of our customers was Business Process Management (BPM) and it is only fitting that one of our Indian based customers won an award for their deployment of BPM. Why fitting? Well, India has long been the global hub for business process outsourcing, so I guess you could say there is a natural interest in improving the management of business processes in India. OpenText has a strong presence in the Indian market. OpenText presented a number of awards during the event, and Tata Motors was the worthy winner of the award for the best deployment of BPM. Incidentally, Tata Motors also won the global Heroes Award at last year’s Enterprise World event for their deployment of our Cordys BPM Solution. So who are Tata Motors, I hear you ask? Well, they are the largest vehicle manufacturer in India with consolidated revenues of $38.9 billion. Tata Motors is part of a large group of companies which includes Tata Steel, Jaguar Land Rover in the UK, Tata Technologies and many other smaller companies that serve the domestic market in India. Tata Group is fast becoming a leading OpenText customer showcasing many different EIM solutions. For example, Jaguar Land Rover uses OpenText Managed Services to manage the B2B communications with over 1,200 suppliers following divestiture from Ford in 2009. Tata Steel in Europe also uses our Managed Services platform to help consolidate eleven separate EDI platforms and three web portals onto a single, common platform. So, simplification and consolidation of IT and B2B infrastructures is a common theme across Tata Group, and Tata Motors is no different with their implementation of OpenText BPM. Tata Motors has struggled over the years to exchange information electronically with over 750 vehicle dealers across India. Varying IT skills, multiple business processes, combined with having to use a notoriously difficult utilities and communications infrastructure across the country was really starting to impact Tata Motor’s business. In addition, their IT infrastructure had to support over 35,000 users and there were over 90 different types of business application in use across 1,200 departments of the company. So ensuring  that accurate, timely information could be exchanged across both internal and external users was proving to be a huge problem for Tata Motors. Step forward, OpenText BPM! Tata Motors decided to depoy our Cordys BPM solution as a SOA based backed platform to connect all their business applications and more importantly provide a common platform to help exchange information electronically across their extensive dealer network. Even though they had deployed Siebel CRM across their dealer network, Tata Motors faced a constant challenge of having to process a high volume of manual, paper based information, quite often this information would be inaccurate due to mis-keying of information. A simple mistake, but when scaled up across 750 dealers, it can have a serious impact on the bottom line and more importantly impact customer satisfaction levels with respect to new vehicle deliveries or spare parts related orders. Tata Motors had a number of goals for this particular project: Implement a Service Oriented Architecture – Primary objective was to setup a SOA environment for leveraging existing services and hence avoid re-inventing the wheel. They also wanted to use this platform to streamline the current integrations between multiple business systems. Process Automation / Business Process Management – They had a lot of manual, semi-automated of completely automated processes. Manual or semi-automated processes were inefficient and in some cases ineffective as well. Some of their automated processes were actually disconnected with actual business case scenarios. So the goal for implementing BPM was to bring these processes more nearer to ‘business design’, thus improving efficiency and process adherence. Uniform Web Services Framework – Tata Motors goal was to try and establish a single source of web services that could convert existing functionalities of underlying service sources into inter-operable web services. So, what were the primary reasons for Tata Motors choosing OpenText BPM? It was a SOA enabler, its business process automation capabilities, comprehensive product for application development, minimizes the application development time and improved cost effectiveness. Their BPM implementation covered two main areas: Enterprise Applications Integration – mainly deals with inward facing functionalities of employee and manufacturing related process applications. They had many applications but they had a common fault, they did not follow SOA principles. Web services had to be developed inside every application which was very inefficient from a time and resources point of view. In addition, if an application had to connect to SAP then it was an independent, unmanaged and insecure connection. Customer Relationship & Dealer Management Systems Integration –Tata Motors is the biggest player in the commercial vehicles sector in India and one of the biggest in terms of passenger car related sales, with over 750 dealers scattered across India. The dealerships are managed using Siebel CRM-DMS implementation but with many changes being rolled out across the system it needed a supporting platform to effectively manage this process. Cordys became the primary environment for developing CRM-DMS applications. So in summary, Cordys BPM has been integrated with SAP, Siebel CRM-DMS, Email/Exchange Server, Active Directory, Oracle Identity Manager, SMS Gateway and mobile applications across Android and iOS. The Cordys implementation also resulted in a number of business benefits including, improved process efficiency, stronger process adherence, built on a SOA based platform, significant cost and time savings. The project has already achieved its ROI ! Moving forwards OpenText BPM will act as a uniform, centrally managed and secure web services base for all applications used across Tata Motors landscape, irrespective of the technology in which it is developed. The platform will also provide an evolving architecture to mobilise existing applications and they plan to integrate to an in-house developed document management system. Finally, the go forward plan is to move their Cordys implementation to the cloud for improved management of their infrastructure. I have visited many car manufacturers over the years and one company head quartered in the Far East had over 300 dealers in Europe and each one had been allowed to implement their own CRM and DMS environments to manage their dealer business processes. Prior to the acquisition of GXS (my former company) by OpenText, I had to inform them that GXS didn’t have a suitable integration platform to help seamlessly connect all 300 dealers to a single platform. With OpenText BPM we can clearly achieve such an integration project now and Tata Motors is certainly a shining light in terms of what is achievable from an extended enterprise application integration point of view. Congratulations Tata Motors! For more information on OpenText BPM solutions, please CLICK HERE. Finally, I just want to say many thanks to my OpenText colleagues in India; it was a very successful event and a team effort to make it happen. For more information on our Innovation Tour schedule, please CLICK HERE

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How do you Manage a B2B Environment Following Divestiture?

There has been one story dominating the media in the UK over the past few months, Scotland’s attempt to seek independence from the United Kingdom. Despite losing the referendum to go their own way, Scotland will gain extra powers from the UK government to help offer a better standard of living for their population and improve growth prospects for the country. The interesting thing here is what would have happened if Scotland had broken away from the UK. Everything from running the public services and utilities infrastructures, through to managing revenue generation initiatives such as setting tax levels through to the technology infrastructure to support the running of the country in an independent capacity. Not to mention the currency, border control and defence spending issues as well. Even though the independence vote was lost, there are synergies here with companies that are going through a similar situation, namely going through some form of divestiture from their parent organisation. There have been countless divestitures in recent years as companies look to cut costs and at the same time raise valuable funds to grow their business or diversify into new markets. The chart below from Deloitte highlights some of the reasons why companies divest operations. Whenever a company goes through a divestiture process, one of the most important things to ensure is that the business can continue operating with minimum disruption. This is not easy, especially when IT infrastructures have to be untangled between the two organisations. The divestiture process is incredibly complex and it will affect all areas of a business, including the external supply chain. Unravelling a B2B infrastructure from a parent company can appear at first to be a monumental task, not only having to establish the technical components of the new B2B infrastructure but also ensuring that external trading partners can be effectively managed during the transition process. For this reason many companies will establish transition teams to oversee all aspects of a divestiture process. At the end of the day the newly divested business must continue to make money from day one and so the role of the transition team, especially relating to managing the new B2B infrastructure is critical. Now there are a number of options open to the transition team with respect to the B2B infrastructure. Taking the right course of action or direction for the divested operation’s B2B strategy is a critical decision, if you go in the wrong direction it could restrict future growth opportunities for the business. So which path do you take? Firstly, a divested operation could continue to use their existing B2B platform which for many companies would probably be the easiest option for them to follow. However there are complexities with extracting the B2B platform from the parent company and then continuing to manage trading partner relationships etc. Secondly they could decide to introduce a brand new platform themselves or adopt the B2B platform from the new owner. Either of these options will mean severe disruption to the divested operation’s business processes and trading partner relationships. Finally they could decide to outsource the management of their entire B2B platform to a trusted partner. Following a divestiture, especially if the company is acquired by a private equity firm, the company will need to be focused on their core competencies. This will be manufacturing goods and bringing revenue into the business, not having to worry about how they manage their B2B infrastructure on an ongoing basis. Therefore out of the three possible options, outsourcing is the best possible route for managing a B2B infrastructure and any accompanying trading partner relationships. After all what does a private equity firm know about running a B2B infrastructure? This is where OpenText™ Managed Services can help. Whichever route the divested operation decides to take, they will have a relatively short period of time to transition to the new B2B platform. Typically, a parent company would give the divested operation anywhere between 6 to 18 months to become totally self-sufficient in how they manage their B2B infrastructure. Establishing a B2B infrastructure in a divested operation is intrinsically linked to the overall IT infrastructure that will also need to be established in the divested business. Networks and routers have to be setup, internet connections have to established, PC’s and Laptops have to be configured, email systems have to be setup for each user. In addition, ERP systems have to be rolled out, CRM systems have to be setup within the sales and marketing departments and IT systems have to be deployed in new warehouses and logistics facilities. Now I haven’t even discussed what needs to be done from a B2B perspective yet, but already you can see that the IT infrastructure alone, which will help to support the B2B platform, is incredibly complex. As for the B2B infrastructure, the divested operation will need to develop or possibly migrate document maps to the new platform, this could typically range from 100 to a 1000 maps. Not all of these maps would need to be created from scratch, in one example I have heard about recently, one third of the maps for a divested operation were brought across from the parent company, one third were transferred, but required a few customisations and the remainder needed to be created from scratch. Mapping is a complex and time consuming process, would your company be able to undertake this internally?, would your B2B team have the skills to do this or would those skills remain with the parent company? Another common area of concern is how to integrate to an ERP platform. A manufacturing company, especially one with manufacturing plants all over the world will have to somehow re-integrate its B2B platform to the ERP platform. The longer this process is delayed, the more chance there is for duplicate data being entered into purchasing systems, which then leads to a lot of manual rework and rekeying of data to ensure the view of the information in the ERP platform is similar to the view in the B2B environment. Being able to integrate these two platforms as quickly as possible, to ensure one seamless, real time view of information is essential. Again, would your company be able to undertake this integration activity yourself or would you have to seek help from an outside provider? The other area of importance from a B2B transition point of view is managing the external community of trading partners. During the transition phase, the company still needs to be able to order and take delivery of goods from suppliers, they will still need to get their manufactured goods distributed around the world and more importantly each trading partner will need to be kept up to date with what is happening during the transition to the new B2B environment at the divested operation. OpenText™ Managed Services has helped over 800 companies outsource the management of their B2B infrastructure. With many years’ experience of supporting some of the biggest companies in the world, OpenText is well positioned to help divested operations maintain continuity with their B2B platform and their trading partner community. There are five key areas where Managed Services has been deployed to help divested operations manage their B2B infrastructures. Document Mapping – This is by far the most popular outsourcing request that we have seen, potentially hundreds of document maps will need to be transferred to the divested operation. Companies could decide to move the maps as is, move and modify or write completely new maps. Either way, the divested operation is unlikely to have in-house skills to create their own maps. In fact mapping skills are likely to remain within in the parent company. OpenText has a dedicated mapping centre of excellence to create document maps of any type and skills to map to ERP systems or to any specific industry standards. ERP Integration – As with document mapping, a divested operation may lose access to valuable ERP implementation personnel following a divestiture. OpenText has been working with many companies to help integrate their B2B platform to ERP related business processes. This ensures that externally sourced information can flow seamlessly into the ERP system. OpenText™ Managed Services has been integrated with a range of different ERP platforms, including SAP where we have experience of creating a range of IDOC document types to support key business processes. Trading Partner Management – Trading partners will need to be managed during and after a divestiture has taken place. The newly divested operation will have to maintain these relationships so that supply chains are not interrupted and the supply of goods can continue as normal. OpenText offers, a number of trading partner management offerings, in local language around the world. This includes training the trading partners in how to use all aspects of a new B2B service, testing connectivity and document exchange capabilities and finally offering a number of performance dashboards so that the trading partner community can be effectively monitored. Global B2B Support – Loss of support from a parent organisation means that global B2B support services will have to be provided to maintain global trading capabilities. OpenText offers a truly global 24/7 ‘follow the sun’ support service. End users are able to speak with multi-lingual support representatives who will be fully trained in the specific capabilities of the divested operation’s business processes Technology / Legacy Platform Upgrade – Divestitures provide the ideal opportunity to upgrade or introduce new B2B technologies. In the past, the parent company may not have allowed certain technologies or processes to be introduced simply because they did not have the skills to implement or support them. OpenText supports both legacy and the latest internet communication protocols, thus ensuring that trading partners can be connected irrespective of which communication protocol they may prefer to use. OpenText also offers a number of web based B2B solutions that allow any trading partner, no matter what their technical capability, to trade electronically with the divested operation. For more information on how OpenText™ Managed Services can help your business please click here or alternatively take a look at the SlideShare presentation below. In a future blog I will discuss how companies are using periods of restructuring to undertake digital transformation projects.

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Does the Migration to ISO 20022 Give You a Unique Chance to Review Your Current Integration Solutions?

Historically the usage of ISO 15022 and ISO 20022 formats has been driven by financial institutions and therefore used for their business transactions. As it comes to Corporate-to-Bank transactions, corporates are demanding bank-agnostic standard formats for all business transactions. This helps to automate financial processes within their ERP systems. Financial institutions are being forced by both corporate demand and market regulation (SEPA in EMEA) to adopt these formats. This is an opportunity to also standardize within the bank’s firewall to maximize benefit and indeed drive the potential for additional value-added services within the richer data set offered by the new ISO formats. Cases other than ISO 20022 have forced the adoption of new formats. EMIR (European Market Infrastructure Regulation) has compelled many players in the derivatives space to connect to CCPs. So while some businesses may be using ISO 20022, others are still far away from easily adopting it for all business lines. Regulations will continue to drive more standardization, automation and therefore more flexibility. What have we learned from standards migrations? Migration to a new standard costs time and money. It doesn’t matter if the migration is mandatory or simply to reduce the number of formats we are using. We face a lot of additional, recurring and costly migration initiatives which should not be seen as a core competency in the Financial Services world. Even worse, not only does migration or adoption of a new format, protocol or market practice cause additional work and cost, it also has a negative impact on project management and dependencies. Why? Because it takes away resources from other projects which may not be mandatory, but are key to your efficiency.  This situation creates the unique chance to review your current B2B integration needs and to assess the advantages of using B2B experts to perform all of the day-to-day activities such as mapping, connectivity, onboarding, testing, monitoring and end-user support on your behalf.  Your in-house staff is freed to focus on activities that deliver unique value and competitive advantage to your company, without being distracted by maintaining technologies that are complex, but not distinctive. And what if only some of your clients want to migrate, but not all? You then need to manage old formats as well as new ones. How Can You Mitigate These Issues and Still Move Towards Standards that Customers and Markets Demand? Whether you are a large, medium or small player in the market, you need maximum flexibility to do business with your counterparties. To do that, you must consider how you will enable all of these requirements: •Easy onboarding of new clients •Adequate time to decide exactly which formats you need to adopt currently and in the future •Ability to focus on your clients’ needs •Faster time to revenue •Acceleration of new product launches •Increased control over project performance This may be a good opportunity to explore a solution that meets all of your organization’s business integration requirements. A managed services approach could help you manage complex format translation, allow you to focus on your core business, and eliminate challenges around current and future migrations.

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5 Ways to Enable Differentiation in Transaction Banking

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

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What’s the Difference Between Van Morrison and a Value Added Network?

Well put simply one is still doing the same thing they were doing more than forty five years ago and the other has evolved into something very different, but which is which? When I was a child, my parents were constantly playing Van Morrison music in the background whilst I was trying to build intricate engineering models with my Meccano set! In fact the late sixties were quite busy with Van Morrison launching what was to be a very successful solo career, the first EDI messages started to be exchanged and I was born around this time as well. When I joined GXS back in early 2006 I was introduced to the world of hub and spoke communities and Value Added Networks but this was at a time when the company was busy repositioning itself into something very different. After I joined GXS I started to hear terms such as the company being ‘more than just a VAN’ and as soon as I heard the VAN acronym I had flashbacks to when my parents were playing Van Morrison records, may be it was because the name ‘Van’ had been so engrained in my mind from a very early age! Anyway time moves on, GXS has evolved and under new ownership of OpenText™, the world’s largest provider of Enterprise Information Management solutions, Trading Grid™, as our B2B network is called, is going to evolve still further and will strengthen the link between the internal and external enterprise. Moving EDI messages from one mail box to another is still part of our business, however the key growth area is our Managed Services offering and this is perfectly timed with the global interest in moving to cloud based services as a way to develop leaner, more scalable IT infrastructures. OpenText™ Trading Grid™ is essentially a network, something that our company has offered for many years and it helps to connect companies together to allow them to undertake business with each other. Trading Grid™ provides the single entry point into an enterprise and allows you to connect to many different external trading partners. So using this analogy Trading Grid™ is a business or B2B Network, not just any B2B network but one that is processing more than 16billion transactions each year. Once connected to Trading Grid™, companies can potentially connect with over 600,000 other businesses that are also making use of this network today. The former GXS company now sits under a business unit called Information Exchange and this business unit includes services such as Secure Messaging and Rightfax solutions to name but a few. The most staggering number shown below is the amount of commerce being transacted across Trading Grid over a one year period. So in the same way that Van Morrison’s music was initially released on records, you can now download a complete digital set of his music from Apple’s iTunes, in the world of EDI, the Trading Grid™ network has evolved into offering cloud based B2B integration services. This is significant progression in my mind! In my last blog post I discussed how companies can get more out of a B2B Network and during my keynote presentation at EDIFICE I cited several examples of different consumer and business networks. The so called ‘Network Effect’ is transforming how both people and companies communicate with each other. From personal networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn, through to consumer networks or eco-systems which offer multiple services from with an environment such as iTunes or Google. Finally there are business networks such as industry specific ones such as Exostar and then B2B networks such as OpenText™ Trading Grid™. People have become use to connecting to a network and then using different services that reside on these particular networks. In the case of Trading Grid™, these additional services could be processing invoices across each of the 28 countries that make up the European Union, connecting to global banks via our SWIFT Bureau service, tracking the lifecycle of business transactions, through to managing the day to day collaboration between potentially thousands of trading partners and then providing direct integration with back office business systems such as SAP and SAGE. Three years ago I saw the above image posted on the internet which highlighted all the interactions between different users on Facebook over a fixed period of time. As you can see, all the Facebook interactions neatly define a map of the world. Given that I look after the industry marketing for the manufacturing vertical at OpenText™, I was curious to see the type of network that could be formed by companies connected to Trading Grid™. For the purposes of the graphic below, I have removed the names of the companies but it quickly became apparent that if an automotive supplier is connected to Trading Grid™ then they would be able to undertake B2B with virtually any of their trading partners located anywhere in the world. I won’t bore you with the details on all the individual B2B solutions used by these companies but once I created the above diagram, using a very small subset of our overall automotive customer base, there were some interesting observations. North American companies were very keen to try move towards using cloud based services (represented by the Managed Service, MS icon), European companies were keen on using their own home grown B2B platforms combined with our messaging platform, Trading Grid Messaging Service (TGMS) and the Japanese companies were moving away from behind the firewall B2B solutions to cloud based services. The Japanese observation was probably as a result of the recent natural disasters that have impacted the country and their desire to spread their production risk around the world. In fact the automotive industry is truly global in nature and when OEMs move into a new country such as Mexico, their key suppliers are expected to move quickly into the country with them. Only a cloud based B2B infrastructure can provide this level of flexibility and scalability. As I highlighted in an earlier blog relating to the Internet of Things (IoT), the B2B network as we know it today is going to evolve still further. For example information from billions of connected devices across the supply chain will provide an end to end view of shipments that we have never experienced before. So just when today’s CIOs have started to embrace Cloud, Mobile, Big Data and Social Networks, along comes the IoT, considered by many as one of the most disruptive technologies of our times. Needless to say OpenText™ will embrace these disruptive technologies as part of our 2020 Digital Agenda and we will help guide CIOs through this period of significant ‘Digital Disruption’. So if you would like to learn why our B2B network is significantly more than just a VAN, then please visit our website for more information on Trading Grid™ and our future 2020 Digital Agenda. So just in case you haven’t worked out by now, after 45 years Van Morrison is still producing music and it is the EDI VAN that has evolved into a cloud based B2B Network. In closing it is interesting that Van Morrison’s latest album is called ‘Born to Sing’, a bit like Trading Grid, ‘Born to do B2B’

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What’s the Difference Between e-Commerce, EDI, B2B Integration and B2B Collaboration? And why Should you Know and Care?

e-commerce

There are lots of different terms used to describe B2B process automation. I am often told that the terms are confusing, partly because they are so inter-related, so, I thought this would make a useful blog. Here’s my take on the meanings of these terms. I hope that this provides clarification for you. First, electronic commerce (e-commerce) is a very common term that refers to the exchange of information via electronic media such as the Internet and private communication networks. There are two types of e-commerce: Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-commerce – this is the term that most people are think of when e-commerce is mentioned. Every day, we experience B2C e-commerce, whether it is booking airline tickets and hotel reservations or buying books, shoes and clothes online. Business-to-Business (B2B) e-commerce – as its name implies, B2B e-commerce is the electronic exchange of information between two businesses, rather than between a consumer and a business. Electronic data interchange (EDI) is the most commonly used B2B e-commerce technology today. It is the computer-to-computer exchange of business documents, such as purchase orders and invoices, in a standard electronic format between business partners. You can use standards such as ANSI X12, EDIFACT, or an XML-based standard such as RosettaNet in the high tech industry. EDI has been in use across many industries, including retail, banking, manufacturing, high-tech and services, since the 1980s and it remains a game-changer. In order to achieve the benefits of EDI, the businesses involved must aim to be as tightly integrated as possible with each other. Twenty first century corporations expect a network of business partners – their suppliers, their customers, their logistics providers, their banks – to function online. There are two types of B2B Integration: (1) Integration at the data level –automation of the exchange of business documents between business applications, such as automating the exchange of all the documents in the procure-to-pay process. (2) Integration at the people level – enabling B2B collaboration between the people in different companies during business processes such as dispute resolution and new vendor registration. INTEGRATION AT THE DATA LEVEL For two businesses to tightly integrate at the data level, they need to automate the following tasks: Connect electronically – usually via the internet using a secure communications protocol, such as AS2, SFTP, or FTPS Exchange data electronically in a format that can be understood by the computer systems at each company – usually via an EDI standard format, which can be immediately understood Translate the EDI data to the format of each company’s in-house system – typically accomplished by using special EDI translator software INTEGRATION AT THE PEOPLE LEVEL – COLLABORATION For two businesses to tightly integrate at the people level, and truly collaborate to resolve issues or plan new initiatives, they need a central repository of critical information about business partners, such as details related to e-commerce readiness, regulatory compliance, consumer product safety, supplier diversity programs and environmental responsibility surveys. Furthermore, they need the information management tools to simply and easily: Enable business partners to maintain their own company and contact profiles, thus keeping partner information fresh and up-to-date Perform mass communications to appropriate segments of the trading partner base without relying on out-of-date spreadsheets on various employees’ computers Roll out compliance initiatives (e.g., send a 20-question survey to suppliers regarding the greenhouse gas initiative) to all or a subset of your partner community Audit business partners’ compliance with various initiatives Capture, share, and collaborate on performance-related data that helps to rapidly resolve multi-party disputes and discrepancies with full traceability and audit control. For example, this can result in improvements like a reduction of over-payments resulting from unprocessed or poorly negotiated shipping, pricing or claims disputes These data-level and people-level B2B integration tasks can be accomplished via 3 different approaches: 1. a “Do-It-Yourself” approach, in which you are responsible for purchasing and maintaining all of the connections and software systems that address both types of integration 2. a “Managed Services” approach, in which you outsource the responsibility for all the B2B integration tasks 3. a combination of both 1 and 2. If you’d like to learn more about why B2B Integration is becoming increasingly complex and what you can do about it, I recommend that you watch this Gartner webinar, “Roadmap for Improving Your Integration Strategy, the 7 Things You Must Know (and Do) About Integration”.

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2020 Agenda: Are You Ready?™

By the year 2020, technologies like the cloud, mobile devices, big data, and the Internet of Things will have digitized our world in many ways. Society is already being profoundly transformed by these disruptive technologies. Entire sectors and old business models have been swept away as consumers find new ways to consume and access information, news, entertainment, and products and services to meet their daily needs. By 2020 all of the major operating functions of the enterprise will be digital, driven by the needs of three stakeholder groups: suppliers, employees, and customers. Suppliers: Buyer-driven platforms will continue to spread to the digital world for dynamic and real-time results, expanding on Just-In-Time (JIT) manufacturing to optimize supply chains and meet customer demand. Employees: At least half of an organization’s workforce will be comprised of “digital natives”—a technically savvy generation that grew up with easy access to the Internet and other digital channels across many devices. Empowered by mobile and social technologies, this highly-agile workforce will help the enterprise on its journey to digital transformation. Even now, digital natives are entering the workforce. Customers: Organizations will connect directly with customers to deliver highly-personalized products and services, create exceptional and compelling experiences, and tap into the wisdom of the crowd to source new markets. Customer expectations around responsiveness, delivery, and interactivity are already rising. The year 2020 will see a convergence of these forces into a nexus that the enterprise can capitalize on to create competitive edge. Organizations will need to digitize every process and re-configure their businesses to ensure competitiveness and effectiveness. To keep pace with evolving consumer and business needs, the enterprise of today will have to transform itself into the digital enterprise of tomorrow. Information lies at the heart of this transformation. In the digital age, information is the new currency—it holds the key to innovation, growth, and opportunity. Information leads to greater insights, better business decisions, higher customer satisfaction, greater agility, and optimized business performance. But how do organizations unlock the potential of information without compromising productivity and security? Enterprise Information Management (EIM) is the key transformative technology. EIM is the set of suites and practices that maximize the value of information while minimizing risk. EIM powers the 2020 Innovation Agenda. An EIM strategy will help transform your organization into a digital enterprise to support highly targeted, omnichannel marketing, a productive and inspired workforce, and streamlined distribution across your digital supply chain—all while ensuring governance and security. We have a comprehensive toolset that can help you re-conceptualize your information platform with our EIM Suites, Trading Grid, AppWorks, and Managed Services. Enabling 2020 is a multi-year journey. Let’s start it together, today. Read the 2020 Agenda White Paper.

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Adoption of Cloud B2B Services Continues to Grow in Japan

It has been 18 months since I first discussed how Japanese companies were taking a keen interest in moving to cloud based B2B services. In that particular blog entry I highlighted five reasons why Japanese companies were considering a move to cloud based B2B platforms. I wanted to take the opportunity to revisit each of these reasons and update according to some of the industry trends that I have been seeing over the past 18 months. I also wanted to provide some personal insights from my recent trips to Japan. As you will see it certainly provides some validation in terms of my original findings relating to cloud B2B adoption across Japanese companies. Reason 1. Introduce Flexibility: Japanese manufacturers need to scale production as seamlessly as possible to ensure they can meet varying consumer and market demand levels. By moving a B2B environment to the cloud, it allows companies to build flexibility into their supply chain as required by the needs of the business and the cloud also offers a secure, ‘neutral’ environment into which key suppliers or business partners can be connected. Update – Over the past 18 months we have seen Japanese companies continue to rethink their production footprint around the world. There has been significant interest in setting up new plants in Brazil and Mexico to leverage low cost labour in these countries as well as use these locations as a springboard into the lucrative North American market. Mexico is one of the most important automotive manufacturing hubs in the world at the moment and that importance will grow further over the next few years. Nissan is certainly taking the lead in terms of trying to build a flexible production footprint, not just to service their production requirements but those of their partners Renault and Daimler as well. In fact over the last 18 months we have seen a number of new industry partnerships emerge, one of the most significant being Toyota and BMW who are working together to develop a new sports car. In addition I believe we will see a new round of investment in the so called MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey) countries, a new set of emerging markets that I discussed at length in an earlier blog entry. Considering the investment placed by Japanese companies in the existing BRIC countries I would expect Japanese companies to take the lead in investing in the MINT countries as well. It is interesting as I studied Flexible Manufacturing Systems when I was at University over twenty years ago but these systems were for use within the confines of a production plant. Now, these FMS environments need to work across multiple plants and connecting to a single, cloud based environment is key to the success of these production environments. In fact the analyst IDC coined the phrase the ‘Global Plant Floor’, a great description of what many manufacturers would like to achieve, today. Building flexible, scalable production environments should now be on the agenda of every manufacturer that has truly global aspirations. Reason 2. Implement Modernisation: Japanese manufacturers have relied on bespoke, behind the fire wall software solutions to manage their global production facilities. The cloud is going to drive a revolution in how IT environments are managed and maintained on an on-going basis and IT resources can be re-deployed on to other IT projects within the business. Update – Over the past 18 months I have had two trips to Japan, one trip focussing on the high tech companies and the second trip looking at automotive companies. On each trip it was interesting to see which companies were taking the bull by the horns so to speak and were proactively looking to upgrade their B2B platforms. Since I posted my last blog relating to Japan we have had many enquiries from Japanese companies wanting to move to a Managed Services environment. Interestingly most of these companies are in the high tech sector but in each case they wanted to move away from their legacy communications network and on to a single platform that would give them the future proof communications infrastructure that they need to compete on the global stage. It may be due to the shorter life of high tech consumer electronics products that makes it easier for these companies to identify a window where they can move to a new platform. In the automotive sector it is not so straight forward as cars will normally have a five year life cycle and it is not so easy to identify a suitable migration window to a new B2B platform without disrupting production in some shape or form. From an automotive perspective one B2B application that is likely to see rapid adoption over the next few years, based on some of the discussions I have had in recent months, are Managed File Transfer applications. The reason for this is that car manufacturers are de-centralising their design offices and hence they need the ability to exchange very large files between different locations. The increased trend for partnering with other vehicle manufacturers, for example BMW and Toyota, has also led to a need to be able to share design information. I would expect this trend to continue into the foreseeable future and cloud MFT based solutions will be perfect for this application. Reason 3. Initiate Consolidation: Japanese manufacturers have expanded their production facilities all over the world, building out extensive internal networks and deploying multiple B2B hubs. Cloud based B2B environments, such as GXS Trading Grid, are helping Japanese companies consolidate their global B2B hubs and networks and at the same time contribute some way towards future proofing their B2B platform. Update – As highlighted above, the pace of consolidation to a single B2B platform appears to be quicker across high tech rather than automotive companies. This could be due to the fact that production operations are generally outsourced across the high tech industry as they tend to utilise more contract manufacturers. So it is the contract manufacturers such as Foxconn and Flextronics that need to develop cloud based platforms to connect with their own suppliers. In fact over the past 18 months we have seen many more consumer electronics companies such as Sony outsource their manufacturing to an external provider and I think this trend will continue. In general we have seen more companies consolidate onto a Managed Services platform, either due to a lack of internal resource availability or a desire to route all transaction based traffic through a single provider. In addition to B2B networks, many Japanese manufacturers have built their business around home grown ERP platforms. However these ERP platforms are becoming expensive to maintain and with an increasing desire to embrace mobile, social and Big Data technologies, these companies will need to upgrade their ERP environments as well. ERP upgrades and ERP instance consolidation provides an ideal opportunity for considering B2B Managed Services. I believe we will see Japanese companies focus on both upgrading/consolidating their ERP and B2B environments moving forwards and this will be a good thing for all concerned, especially for vendors such as OpenText. Reason 4. Improve Collaboration: Japanese manufacturers are now embracing collaboration and co-opetition in order to respond to changing consumer and market demands. Therefore cloud environments utilising feature rich, web based applications that can be accessed anywhere across the business help to encourage collaboration between two or more partnering companies and their respective supply chains. In addition they offer companies improved predictability and visibility of long term costs associated with running cloud based B2B platforms. Update – As highlighted earlier, we have seen more and more examples of Japanese companies needing to work with their competitors in order to exploit new market sectors. This need to embrace co-opetition has forced Japanese companies to change the way they work, especially with western partners. Using a cloud B2B platform is ideal for companies who wish to work jointly on a project as they can use a hosted platform for just the length of their joint project without much risk to their respective back end IT environments. One thing I found during my trips to Japan was that more and more Japanese companies were becoming increasingly interested in how western companies were implementing and conducting B2B, for example what document standards were being used and how they connected to their trading partner communities. This demonstrated to me that a significant cultural shift was underway in terms of proactively wanting to learn about how companies were using B2B in other markets and how they could deploy similar cloud B2B platforms across their own operations. The mere fact that more Japanese companies were willing to use a cloud platform meant that they were also willing to work more collaboratively with trading partners around the world. I still believe that the Japanese Earthquake in 2011 was the catalyst for this urge to adopt new collaborative ways of working. Reason 5. Increase Resilience: Japanese manufacturers are having to build stronger resilience into their global operations in order to minimise future supply chain disruption. Cloud environments help to foster collaboration amongst trading partners around the world and more importantly helps to speed up communications out to a trading partner community during a time of crisis. Update – Increasing resilience to future supply chain disruptions has been one of the more important issues that Japanese supply chain directors have needed to address over the past 18 months. Dual sourcing of suppliers, mapping out supplier networks and identifying potential points of weakness in a supply chain have all been addressed from an operational point of view. From a data centre point of view, moving to a cloud based environment hosted by a third party provider helps to ensure that business related transactions and information flow across a state of the art data centre infrastructure. Even though Japanese companies have not had to test their back up and fail over processes in a major way since the 2011 earthquake, these companies are in a much better position today, from an increased resilience point of view, than they were before. The investment they have made in setting up new plants in different regions around the world will also help to protect against future supply chain disruption. Using a cloud B2B platform has provided the speed and flexibility to move production anywhere in the world.

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OpenText Acquires GXS

On November 5, 2013 we announced our intention to acquire GXS Group, Inc (GXS). Today, I am pleased to report the acquisition has closed and to welcome GXS employees to OpenText. Together, we will work to advance our global leadership in Enterprise Information Management. This acquisition expands and strengthens our business in significant ways: 1. GXS expands our Information Exchange portfolio and strengthens our EIM leadership position With the acquisition of GXS, we’re expanding our Information Exchange portfolio with the addition of B2B integration and managed services. The GXS Trading Grid is a cloud-based platform for the secure, reliable, and automated exchange of supply chain and other commerce transactions across complex global networks of customers, partners, and employees. This acquisition makes OpenText a market leader in both B2B integration services and cloud-based fax services. On a macro level, it strengthens our overall EIM market leadership position by extending information management capabilities beyond a single enterprise, giving our customers the ability to manage critical information as it flows within the enterprise and externally, across their entire supply chain. 2. GXS delivers a global managed services infrastructure GXS is a leading provider of B2B integration and managed services – offering outsourcing services that include all of the hardware, software, staff and resources required to manage an entire B2B platform. Combined with our existing OpenText managed services (from EasyLink and others), this acquisition strengthens all our EIM offerings with a global cloud-based infrastructure and an infusion of managed services expertise to scale our business and tackle the toughest of customer demands. 3. GXS expands our customer base and market reach GXS is a healthy, profitable business that expands our cloud services business and is key to our intelligent growth. GXS currently delivers B2B integration solutions to approximately two-thirds of the world’s Fortune 500 companies. The acquisition of GXS will put OpenText inside the core of these customers and allow us to introduce GXS customers to other OpenText services and licensed products. In addition, this acquisition also expands our line-up of target buyers to include supply chain and procurement professionals, giving us new entry points and reinforcing our presence in key strategic verticals such as financial services, manufacturing, CPG and retail, as well as in key geographies including the US, Latin America, Asia, and Japan. Today, we are growing as a company. We are expanding and enriching our business in critical ways. This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to innovation, to quality, and to a comprehensive vision of Enterprise Information Management. While a press release was issued today, I will communicate with the markets in greater detail on January 23rd as part of our FY14Q2 earnings announcement. Please join me in welcoming GXS employees, partners, and customers to the OpenText family.

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