OpenText

Revolutions. Industrial or Otherwise

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

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Is the Microphone Working?

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

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Documentum and OpenText for Life Sciences – Moving Beyond FUD

documentum

Now that a couple of months have passed since the ink dried on the OpenText deal for Dell EMC’s Enterprise Content Division (ECD), I thought it was good time to offer my viewpoint on what this acquisition means specifically for Life Sciences. Some have questioned OpenText’s commitment to Documentum and future investment in the platform. Some have questioned the amount of investment that will be made to product/solution enhancements and innovation. However, only OpenText has the depth and breadth of Enterprise Information Management (EIM) solutions that can deliver the future that Documentum customers deserve – while offering a whole series of synergies for existing OpenText customers. Sir, step away from the FUD… I don’t want to dwell too much on the past but I’d be sharing no great insight to say that Documentum was never a perfect strategic fit for Dell or EMC. EMC had made it explicit that continued investment in the platform might be limited. It was an open secret that the company would look to divest itself of ECD. The only question was to whom. Many industry experts had suggested that the venture capital route was most likely, but this would always have left the shadow of future disintegration and sell-offs of the Documentum solution set. OpenText offered a completely different approach. Our solution sets are complementary and together offer a path to further develop and innovate in the ECM space. Our competitors – even those that have tried to spread some FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) – would struggle to suggest that we are not a perfect fit. More importantly, the OpenText deal ensures the investment that the Documentum platform requires to fulfill customer needs. In technology solutions, as we are all acutely aware, if you’re standing still then you’re going backwards. It would have been unthinkable to let that happen to Documentum. In reality, this deal marks the end (not the continuation) of the uncertainty about Documentum’s future. Where do we go from here? The Documentum Life Sciences Solutions Suite was the pinnacle of EMC’s approach to take a solutions-based approach to delivering on customers’ pain points. I’m afraid the first thing we’ve done you may find fiendish. We’ve put the word ‘OpenText’ in front of it! The next thing we’re doing is setting out a roadmap to ensure the platform meets your needs today and into the future. We’re doing exactly the same thing with other ECD product sets – such as LEAP – so that existing Documentum customers can be reassured that our solutions will always remain a strategic investment. But, as I said, standing still is going backwards. Our belief in the Documentum platform was only part of the reason that OpenText was interested in this deal. Our strategic direction has long been to assist our customers to access the full potential of EIM. This means bringing ECM together with enhanced records management, analytics, and BPM into a single, coherent, end-to-end platform. We believe that this approach is the only way to fully release the value of information held within an enterprise and provides the foundation for Digital Transformation. Life Sciences companies can select (or maintain) either the OpenText or Documentum ECM platforms and expect to receive the same level of native integration into OpenText’s Discovery, Case Management and Customer Experience portfolios, as well as industry-specific solutions, reflecting our combined decades of experience and best practice. Bringing immediate value to customers Beneath this strategic direction, there are a number of actionable synergies that can immediately benefit both OpenText and Documentum Life Sciences customers: Extended solution portfolios – In areas such as analytics and B2B integration, existing Documentum customers can build out the capabilities of the Documentum for Life Sciences Solution Suite and leverage best-in-class OpenText solutions, such as Marketing Content Management for Life Sciences. Existing OpenText customers can benefit from ECD solutions such InfoArchive. Enterprise Application Integration – OpenText’s close relationships within its partner network introduce seamless integration with enterprise applications such as SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, and Microsoft for Documentum customers. Cloud and IaaS – The OpenText Cloud delivers the ideal platform as Life Sciences companies to transition from on-premise to Cloud-based solutions. You have the confidence that you are with one of the world leaders in Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). I know it is natural to be cautious when large deals like this happen – and only time will show that what I’m saying will happen – but I’d like to think that you are as excited as I am about what this means for current and future customers. To summarize, the OpenText Documentum for Life Science Solution Suite has the investment it needs and a talented team to drive its functionality forward. Additionally, we’ll continue to help Life Sciences organizations realize the potential of EIM to deliver the real benefits of Digital Transformation. If you’d like to find out more about how this new union will affect your organization, please contact your Account Executive or click here and someone (maybe even me!) will call you. In addition, OpenText will be unveiling its strategic plans in more detail at this year’s Enterprise World, in Toronto, Canada, where we will have a full Life Sciences program designed to help maximize your investments in OpenText (including Documentum) platforms.

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Introducing The Golden Age of Innovation

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

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General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – How can Customers use OpenText and SAP for Timely Deletion

GDPR

In part 1 of this blog, we discussed what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) means for enterprises and how data and content, which is generated and stored in the course of day-to-day business processes in SAP is subject to this regulation. Our example was the incoming vendor invoice on paper, which is scanned, attached to the SAP transaction via ArchiveLink and then securely stored on the OpenText™ Archive Center. This paper invoice may contain a contact name of the supplier, a phone number, an email address, all data that when combined together could identify an individual, such as an employee of the supplier. This personal data is protected by GDPR. Let’s recap: Collecting and processing data is legitimate as long as it serves a justified purpose, as defined by GDPR, “if data processing is needed for a contract, for example, for billing, a job application or a loan request; or if processing is required by a legal obligation …” Justfied purposes for storing and retaining personal data include laws that govern retention of content, such as tax relevant data and documents, where retaining the scanned vendor invoice or a customer bill is not only justified but an obligation. BUT: When the legitimate reason for the procession has expired, the transactional data and the attached ArchiveLink document need to be deleted. In our example above, the scanned vendor invoice needs to be retained as long as taxation laws require, but be deleted just after this retention period, which is 10 years in Germany for example. This means that enterprises are advised to set up retention rules to govern the necessary retention AND put processes in place that will delete data and attached content in a timely fashion, when it is no longer needed, or when the justified purpose for retention has expired. Retention Management for SAP® Data and Related Content Neither OpenText nor SAP can provide legal advice or guidance in this matter, but they do offer software capabilities that help customers set up policies and procedures for retention and deletion of transactional data and attached content. The products that play together here are SAP® Information Lifecycle Management (SAP ILM) and OpenText™ Enterprise Content Management solutions for SAP: OpenText™ Archiving, Document Access and Extended ECM for SAP Solutions (see OpenText Suite for SAP). SAP ILM provides records management for SAP data and can also be configured to apply the same retention schedule to the attached SAP ArchiveLink documents. However SAP ILM itself does not provide the storage for data and documents but relies on ILM aware platforms for this purpose. OpenText Archiving, Document Access and Extended ECM provide the compliant ILM aware platform for ILM data files and ArchiveLink documents. These solutions store the content, enforce the retention and holds from ILM and pass it up to the hardware level, and, at the end of the lifecycle, execute the deletion request coming from SAP ILM. SAP ILM acts here as leading application for the retention management of SAP data and attached ArchiveLink documents. So far so good, if you only look at SAP data and attached ArchiveLink documents. Enterprise Wide Records Management However, personal information in business documents does not stop at the boundaries of the SAP applications. You will also have content outside SAP, which you want to retain and manage, put under records management and execute timely deletion when the reason for retention has expired. This is where Extended ECM for SAP Solutions comes into play. Extended ECM provides DoD certified records management for SAP ArchiveLink documents as well as NON-SAP content, which can be related to SAP business objects via the ECMLink module. A customer that wants to benefit from the DoD certified records management for documents can use Extended ECM for all unstructured content inside and outside SAP, whereas SAP ILM provides the records management for SAP data. If SAP ILM is to delete data which relates to Extended ECM content that has not yet expired, both solutions can synchronize, so that business documents in Extended ECM will not be orphaned by SAP ILM. At the same time, Extended ECM represents the ILM aware storage platform for SAP data and documents. So SAP ILM together with Extended ECM for SAP Solutions can manage the retention of data and unstructured content inside and outside SAP. Where to Find More Information Learn more about OpenText’s capabilities to support GDPR requirement by reading our other blogs here and here. You can also visit our main web site and learn how OpenText EIM offers capabilities that support customers to prepare for GDPR.

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Happy International Women’s Day!

International Women's Day

It’s March 8 and that means time to celebrate the amazing women across the globe. More importantly, it is time to recognize the positive effects of diversity in our lives. This year’s theme is #BeBoldforChange. Being bold doesn’t mean you need to the loudest or most well-spoken, it means holding true to your beliefs. It means not being afraid to use your voice. It means not being what you are expected to be and being who you are. This is not a recent addition to society. In fact, according to Wikipedia, the first International Women’s Day in the United States was observed on February 28, 1909! This isn’t a new thing, the strength of diversity is woven in the history of culture, with many “firsts” resulting from people being who they were and breaking molds. Susan B. Anthony: An advocate for women’s suffrage, women’s property rights and the abolition of slavery, in 1872 she tried to vote in the Presidential election. While Anthony was never able to legally vote, the 19th amendment, ratified in 1920, was named the “Susan B. Anthony Amendment.” Marie Curie: The first woman Professor of General Physics in the Faculty of Sciences at the Sorbonne in 1906. Madame Curie was also the first person to win two Nobel Prizes in Physics in 1903 and in Chemistry in 1911 for her work in radioactivity. Wangari Muaathai: A Kenyan scientist, professor, environmental and political activist who was the first woman in East or Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree. She is credited with founding a community initiative that seeks to empower women through civic education and environmental stewardship. Mae Jemison: An American physician and the first African-American female astronaut. These women represent only a few who have created change in our world. They were unafraid to do things differently and they have paved the way for change. There are so many examples throughout history and there will be no shortage moving forward. At OpenText, we celebrate diversity. We encourage everyone to use their voice and #BeBoldforChange. Through structured programs and our everyday culture, our values reflect this. To find out more from our CEO Mark Barrenechea on diversity, read his blog celebrating International Women’s Day. Today of all days, be brave, be bold and, be yourself.

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International Women’s Day – Be Bold for Change

Progress is the result of human action. The proof is in our history of innovation—from eradicating disease to exploring space to connecting the world with the Internet. Progress requires bold pioneers, inquisitive minds, and a thirst for change. And yet, despite all of the successes of the past, we have yet to achieve gender equality in the workplace. The sobering reality is that women around the world still make significantly less than their male counterparts. This disparity is more pronounced in some countries than others—in Canada, for example, the gap is more than double the global average. While it is true that we’ve made some progress closing it, according to the World Economic Forum we won’t eliminate the gap entirely until 2186. This is not acceptable, and it is up to us to “be the change we want to see in the world.” Throughout my career, I have seen the unequivocal and positive effects of a workforce made up of a mixture of generations, genders, cultures, and perspectives. I have long been an advocate on the direct relationship between diversity and innovation. In my opinion, the two are inseparable. Research shows that diversity drives innovation by providing a variety of perspectives. As a result, the more diverse a workforce, the more creative the organization. At OpenText, we recognize that gender is a key component of diversity and are committed to advancing equality and the representation of women in the workplace. As a global company, diversity is part of our DNA. Together, #WeAreOpenText. Our numbers reflect this commitment. Women make up 30% of our workforce. But we refuse to grow complacent and rest on our laurels. While we maintain a higher-than-industry gender diversity average, we continually strive to improve our numbers and create opportunities for women.   ***Continue to Page 2 ***

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The Future of ECM is Coming Into Focus: Here’s Where to Start

ECM

Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is changing. It’s an idea everyone involved in content management has heard with increasing frequency over the past couple of years, and it’s driven by the reality that Enterprise Information Management needs are changing immeasurably. Enterprises are now embracing simple, lightweight solutions, ones that nimbly address highly varied and very specific productivity and control issues. These applications can be either in the cloud or on-premises and —like blocks in a foundation — build on each other to result in optimal ECM coverage. It’s a different approach than the traditional methodology of attempting to blanket the entire organization with an all-encompassing ECM solution. And it’s such a step-change in concept and practice that the respected analysts at Gartner have even decided that ECM doesn’t cut it as a sector name anymore. In their estimation, the new topography is better encapsulated by “Content Services,” a nod to the decentralized, purpose-built applications that organizations find much easier and effective to implement. Now, all this may promise unheralded levels of agility and integration, but I can also see LOB and IT execs shaking their heads and thinking: “We’ve just spent a decade investing in our ECM infrastructure. Are we starting all over?” No!  The short answer —and single, most important thing to remember — is: No. The key to sustaining momentum and achieving future ECM success is centered around building on what you already have. There’s just a new way of thinking about what comes next. Resources to Speed your Learning Curve Over the past month, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in a few initiatives with the industry experts at AIIM that have gone a long way to helping explain this path forward: First up was an extremely well-received roundtable webinar inspired by the completion of the OpenText acquisition of Documentum. This must-see webinar for OpenText AND Documentum customers provides straightforward, detailed insight into our vision for the two product families, including future integration plans. This overview morphed into a wide-ranging panel discussion on what the overall future of ECM looks like and the competencies organizations need to have to excel in this new world. That was followed by a pair of related events; the release of an AIIM-authored eBook, “Revolution of Evolution? 10 Strategies to Navigate the Shift from ECM to Content Services” and an accompanying webinar, Next-Gen Information Management — Succeeding in a New Era. Both provide excellent insight into the context behind this shift in ECM strategy, the constants that will always hold true, and the questions and actions organizations need to address to chart their journey. Start by reading the eBook, then view the accompanying webinar-on-demand. Next up is the annual AIIM Conference in Orlando, Florida from March 14-16. OpenText and Documentum experts will be at the event, including hosting a number of sessions on understanding and capitalizing on the evolution of ECM. If you’re planning on attending, book a 1:1 meeting with us, there’s no better way to get up-to-speed than connecting face-to-face and asking what this all means for you.

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General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – What is it and how Does it Impact Enterprise Information Management

GDPR

In May 2016, a new EU Regulation and Directive was released to govern the protection of personal data, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It will enter into force after a two year grace period in May 2018. This is just little more than one year to go and enterprises need to get active to evaluate what it means for them and how they need to prepare. As stated on the European Commission website: “The objective of this new set of rules is to give citizens back control over of their personal data, and to simplify the regulatory environment for business.” Data protection laws are nothing new in the European Union. However, the new GDPR rules presents some significant impacts and changes to current data privacy regulations. For one, what used to be a directive, is now a regulation with full force of the law, valid across all EU countries. And despite BREXIT, the UK government has confirmed that UK will implement GDPR (read the UK Information Commissioner’s blog on this topic). The other important aspect is that GDPR now imposes substantial fines upon individuals and enterprises that do not adhere to the law. Minor breaches will be fined up to 10 Million EURO, or up to 2% of the total worldwide annual turnover of the preceding financial year for a business, whichever is higher. Major breaches will be fined up to 20 Million EURO, or up to 4% of the total worldwide annual turnover of the preceding financial year for a business, whichever is higher. And it should be re-emphasized that the turnover is not just the turnover of the EU located part of the enterprise, but the worldwide turnover of the enterprise. Protecting Personal Data of EU Citizens – What does that mean? As GDPR protects the personal data of the citizens of the European Union, it imposes duties upon enterprises, that collect and manage personal data. These entities are called “Data Processors”. Data processing entities located in the EU are subject to GDPR, but also companies outside the EU that process personal data of EU citizens. So the regulation also applies to non-EU enterprises: EU GDPR requires compliance outside of the EU as well (EU GDPR applies for non-EU companies with contact points to the EU). Collecting and processing data is legitimate as long as it serves a justified purpose, as defined by GDPR, for example “if data processing is needed for a contract, for example, for billing, a job application or a loan request; or if processing is required by a legal obligation …” Such justified purposes for storing and retaining personal data are, for example, laws that govern retention of content, such as tax relevant data and documents, where retaining the scanned vendor invoice or a customer bill is not only justified but an obligation. What is the relevance of GDPR for Day-to-Day Business Processes? There is personal data processed and stored during the course of day-to-day business processes that relates to business partners, such as customers and suppliers, in the procure-to-pay processes as well as order-to-cash process. To give some concrete examples, let’s now take a look at an enterprise that uses SAP ERP to manage their processes and OpenText to attach business documents to these processes. It is of course not just about the data created and stored in the SAP database of the leading enterprise application (ERP, CRM, …), it is also about the business documents that are captured during this process. Take for example, an incoming vendor invoice on paper, which is scanned, attached to the transaction via ArchiveLink and then securely stored on the OpenText™ Archive Center. Or in the example of an order-to-cash process it an incoming sales order and delivery note to a client, which are linked to the SAP order and stored in OpenText. May 2018, GDPR will start to apply following a two-year transition period to allow the public and private sector get ready for the new rules. So how should enterprise prepare and get ready for GDPR? With regards to aspects of storing personal data for a justified purpose, enterprises need to set up policies and procedures – not only to retain content as long as they are obliged to do by law such as taxation or product liability laws, but also to delete content in a timely fashion when it is no longer needed respectively the justified purpose for retention has expired. Learn more about OpenText’s capabilities to support GDPR requirement in the SAP environment in a forthcoming blog post, and also by reading our other blog entries here  and here. You can also visit our web site and learn how OpenText EIM offers capabilities that can support customers to prepare for GDPR. Register for the Webinar by OpenText and Digital Clarity Group on GDPR You can register for this webinar “New EU Data Policies Will Transform Business Practices Across the Organization: Get Ready for the GDPR” which is being held on March 1st. In this interactive format, Digital Clarity Group’s Tim Walters and OpenText’s Janet de Guzman discuss key questions that frame the conversations that you should be having, including: New insight into GDPR provisions and customer expectations about use of their data How organizations can seize opportunities to achieve competitive advantage under the GDPR Tools for starting critical discussions with partners and internal stakeholders

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2017. The Year Distributed Becomes Mainstream for Utilities?

Utilties

There’s been a great deal written about the regulatory uncertainty surrounding the new President but one thing is certain: the influence of renewables and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) will continue to grow. So, will 2017 be the year that Utility companies fully embrace DERs and what will this new business model look like? The growth of DERs The challenges of loss of revenue due to DERs and the justifiable concern of the utilities that the DER users are not paying their fair share of Grid maintenance costs will need to be taken into account by regulators when they are making the Rate Design policies. At the same time, the Utilities are also beginning to see the opportunities that DERs bring to an aging infrastructure, badly in need of modernization allied with increasingly stagnant demand. Regardless of the new administration’s attitude to the EPA, the Clean Air Act or the Clean Power Plan, it is clear that the US government is keen to legislate in a way that Utilities companies are rapidly adapting to DERs ties grid modernization to the integration of DERs. Indeed, we are beginning to see more and more evidence of Utility companies investing in DERs as a means to abandon or defer upgrades to existing bulk generation and transmission/distribution assets. There are at least two reasons for this: renewable energy – especially solar – is rapidly reaching price parity with traditional energy sources, even natural gas. In some cases, solar and wind are proving, on average, most cost-effective than natural gas. The second reason is that Utility companies understand they need to change from a ‘cost centric’ to a ‘customer centric’ model to survive. Utilities companies are rapidly adapting to DERs While Utility companies struggle with stagnant or declining demand which has meant them seeing any impingement from DERs as a serious competitive threat, customers have been faced with rising costs and declines in the quality of service including unexpected power outages and planned rolling black-outs. So, the growing customer demand for DERs is completely understandable. It is not seen by most as a money-making scheme but more as a way of improving energy provision services in a way that may lower the cost to them. It is that context that has seen Utility company executives quickly turn their attention to the opportunities – not the threats – of DERs. It is instructive that in the State of the Electric Utility Survey 2015, 56% of the utility sector respondents said they understood the opportunities of DERs but were unsure how to build a viable business model. A year later, they had begun work on those models – with the majority favoring partnership with third party providers as the best route. Seizing the DER opportunity Whether acting as an aggregator for DER providers and microgrids or developing completely new supply chains, the Utility companies can lower the cost of DER market entry while protecting existing revenue generation and beginning to explore entirely new service opportunities away from bulk generation into niche and targeted supply. For this to succeed, two things must happen. First, Utility companies that have traditionally provided an end-to-end service must learn how to work in what ABB has neatly termed the energy neighbourhood.  ABB states: “Adopting the energy neighborhood perspective can help bridge historic silos in the energy market, which have been hindering the evolution of more flexible, efficient, sustainable, and environmentally friendly energy systems. By working together more, or at least consulting each other more regularly and proactively, utilities, DER operators and customers can make mutually beneficial decisions about assets, business operations and resources.” Secondly, The ability to communicate and share data and information across this neighborhood becomes essential and proactively adopting digital is going to be a key requirement in Utilities. The DER market already requires sensors and meters to regulate quality and output, the type of ecosystems being built for Utilities to integrate DERs into the grid require complete transparency and visibility. The Utilities, DER companies and customers working together have to be able to make complete sense of the structured and unstructured data involved in service delivery. Coping with this level of digital disruption was recently covered in an interesting blog from OpenText CMO, Adam Howatson which you can read here. In practice, terms of service, SLAs and production and maintenance schedules will need to be combined with generation data and ratings engines to ensure that every party is sure that they and others are fully meeting their obligations. This is especially true with the trend towards Time of Use (ToU) and other demand-side rating design as a means to more effectively compensate DER providers. The challenge will be to implement new types of software – such as EIM – that can act as a central, integrated platform of communications, content sharing and data analytics both within the Utility company and beyond to connect and engage with customers, DER providers and, of course, the regulators. Successful integration of DERs with the existing grid is going to be critically important, as DERs are forecasted to have a big impact on the “Duck Curve” – Net Load forecast curve for the 24 hours of the day. California System operator, CAISO, has performed detailed analysis of net load forecasts till the year 2020 and has shown the need for steep ramping of resources and possibility of over-generation risks. CAISO is also working with the industry and policymakers on rules and new market mechanisms that support and encourage the development of flexible resources to ensure a reliable future grid. American Council for Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has recently reported that Utilities can drive a 10% reduction in peak demand by using demand response capabilities and reduce the impact of the steepening Duck Curve.  New EIM software as an integrated platform for communications will be crucial for the Utilities. It is essential for the successful sharing of content and structured and unstructured data with all the stakeholders including DER providers, Customers and System Operators and for introducing new Demand Response technology initiatives. Read more on page 2 to find out about regulation, and regulators taking center stage.

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Hockey Legend Wayne Gretzky Joins OpenText Enterprise World Lineup!

Wayne Gretzky at OpenText Enterprise World 2017

This year, hockey legend Wayne Gretzky will join us on stage for a Fireside Chat with OpenText CEO Mark Barrenechea! Widely considered to be the greatest hockey player of all-time, the legendary player holds or shares 61 NHL records and is the only player in the history of the NHL to have his jersey number retired by all member clubs. Gretzky followed his successful career on the ice as Head Coach and EVP of the Phoenix Coyotes from 2005 to 2009. On November 22, 1999, Gretzky was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada, becoming the tenth and final player in Hockey Hall of Fame history to have the mandatory three-year waiting period for enshrinement waived by the Hall’s board of directors. And, now, after 18 consecutive All-Star Game appearances, Mr. Gretzky will be bringing his A game to this year’s Enterprise World. Holding virtually every offensive record in the NHL, hear from “The Great One” himself how to face off against the competition! Come see #99 and leave with the tools to solve your 99 EIM Challenges! Have you registered for OpenText Enterprise World yet? Don’t miss out! BONUS: Enter by February 28th for a chance to win an autographed Hockey Jersey

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The Puck Stops Here: Enter to Win a Signed Jersey from Wayne Gretzky!

Enter to Win a Signed Jersey from Wayne Gretzky! OpenText Enterprise World has opened its doors! Registration is open and preparations are underway to make this the best Enterprise World yet. And just to add to the enticing early bird rates, the draw of the industry’s most exciting Enterprise Information Management conference and our legendary keynote speaker, we have sweetened the pot with one more incredible opportunity. We have lined up a contest that will help you pull off the best hat trick yet – Learn, Connect and Win! Get ready to faceoff against your fellow attendees to enter for a chance to win an autographed jersey from hockey great, Wayne Gretzky! Why do you think OpenText is great? Tell us and you just may win! Here’s how it works: Register for Enterprise World 2017 Create one sentence that perfectly sums up why you think OpenText is great Enter your sentence in the registration form OR email it to us You’ll be automatically entered to win an autographed jersey from Wayne Gretzky! Full contest rules can be found here. Ice out the competition and get ready to score because when the puck drops the games begin! “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. —Wayne Gretzky” Contest ends February 28th! Don’t miss your shot to win a signed jersey from The Great One himself, register now!  

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What are the key Strategic Initiatives for 2017 for OpenText and SAP?

S4/HANA

As always in early January a few of us attend the SAP FKOM (sales kick off) event in either Barcelona, Singapore or Orlando. This is a great opportunity to meet with SAP Sales teams and introduce people to our joint solutions. As we prepared and attended this year, we defined a number of key strategies for 2017 and beyond – Journey to S/4HANA, Cloud and IoT. Journey to S/4HANA At a recent UK conference, the number of customers who had migrated to SAP was only 5% meaning that there are a lot of customers who are planning, or yet to start their migration to S/4HANA. The solutions we offer can both speed up the migration and reduce the costs of the migration. When migrating to S/4HANA organisations should ask themselves “Do I need to move all my content from all these systems?” and “As part of my migration, can I decommission some of these applications” and to save time, the answers are No and Yes respectively. With our solutions a customer can store all non-live data in a fully compliant archive, before migrating only the live enterprise data into the S/4HANA Platform. This will save money when purchasing S/4HANA Appliances up front. And, of course, since all the content that is archived can be accessed from the S/4HANA applications, customers can safely decommission their legacy applications, saving money on hardware, software and support costs as well as reducing their carbon footprint and helping the environment. Finally, by maintaining an effective archive strategy, customers can also keep the growth of the S/4HANA platform controlled and predictable. The graphic above is an indication of the savings over 3 years that can be achieved for an average-sized SAP implementation. Cloud We are committed to offering our solutions in both the OpenText and SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud (HEC)  as well as certification for other clouds such as Azure; and offering the correct cloud pricing structures, and quick start solutions. Our latest cloud release is Extended ECM for SuccessFactors. This solution allows SuccessFactors users to view the employee file within the SuccessFactors UI, rather than having it in two separate applications or in extreme cases, archived in a paper file somewhere. As with the example provided above, time and cost savings can be impressive. In addition, not only does xECM For SuccessFactors allow for viewing the employee file, it also supports the automatic generation of employee letters (for example, in response to employee queries, performance reviews, etc.) thus automating the process whilst delivering personalised letters in paper and electronic format. Other OpenText for SAP solutions will be certified and released for the cloud over the coming months, so keep watching for more announcements. IoT In the EcoSystem world of OpenText and SAP the IoT is one of the most discussed topics. It is probably the largest industry buzz-word over the last 12 / 18 months and could enable new business models for almost every organisation. With over 5 million devices being registered each day the relevance of ‘Things’ is increasing. A lot of ‘Things’ are generating structured data, which means a massive increase in structured data storage is coming for SAP customers. Machine learning and AI are key topics when dealing with unstructured data – how to interpret, decide and respond to the new data correctly. But what about the content? I recently watched a great whiteboard session detailing an entire data-driven scenario around the IoT Fridge, reporting faults, that lead to repair cycles, supplier interaction, billing, shipping of parts and a lot more scenarios. This was a great example of the SAP Digital Core but at no point was content mentioned, even though a large amount of the process above was automated, content is still being generated – in the form of employee work orders, billing, invoicing, customer warranty information, guarantees, receipts and supplier invoices for example. So, as the IoT and associated topics continue to be delivered and new use cases are invented, there is also going to be more and more content generated, and that needs to be managed effectively by OpenText. We will be attending the SAP Innovation Forums all across EMEA in the coming months and I will be in Dubai in 2 weeks at the Gartner Symposium. If you are also attending feel free to reach out to me for a chat about the above, or anything related to OpenText and SAP.

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Excellence in Sales Order Entry – From Document to Digital

digital sales orders

Sales orders, the documents with the odor of company success attached to them! Physical (or electronic) proof that your company sells products that your customers like. Proof that you make money and create and retain jobs. So what could there be that is not to like about sales orders? Well, the question here is: Are your sales orders solely creating value and financial success for your company? Or are they also costing you money? Are they slowing down your business? Maybe even creating conflicts with your customers? Fully digital sales order process – why? In a digital world, you should consider automating your sales order entry process from beginning to end. The digital sales order process should start the minute a sales order enters your company, from document to digital. This should be independent from your input channel – whether your sales orders reach you via EDI, email, fax or paper document, make sure to digitize your sales orders when they first touch your company. Many of our customers have EDI in place for 60 – 80% of their sales orders. However, the remaining 20-40% slows down their business, preventing them from having full insight and transparency of the status of ALL sales orders. The impact When our customers started to capture the data also from PDFs, emails and paper documents, they realized how valuable a fully automated a digital process is. With their model from document to digital they turned the sales order process into a fast, customer-friendly and fully transparent process. They now have full insight into the status of any sales order. If a customer has a request referring to a sales order, they can answer it within seconds, independent from its input channel or process status. Reporting and transparency have exponentially improved. Management is now able to track the performance of the sales order process across countries, from month to month or year over year. Now, even the performance tracking task is a simple activity, too. It is fast and it is accurate. Not only for the electronic input channel, but for all sales orders. The information extracted is also proof that with the new integrated sales order automation, customers have been able to cut sales order cycle time in half by also automating the remaining 20-40% of sales orders. Customer relationships have also improved because disputes over orders and invoices or wrong deliveries have reached an all-time low. The analysis of sales orders allows making purchasing recommendations to customers from evaluating other customer orders – those who regularly order specific products in combination with other products. These cross-sell opportunities are well-received by customers as they create value and often help to meet their core business needs. Have you identified a need to further digitize your sales order entry process? Take a look at how OpenText™ Business Center for SAP Solutions helps to improve the sales order process and much more.

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Webinar Outlines a Bright Future as OpenText and Documentum Come Together

Documentum webinar

On February 2, I had the good fortune to participate in a very interesting webinar hosted by AIIM. Inspired by the new union of OpenText and Documentum, the event brought together a variety of experts to discuss what the pairing means to customers of both, the partner network, and the industry in general. And the interest was certainly there — registration numbers were some of the highest AIIM has ever seen. Well, we covered what we set out to, and more! The roundtable discussion and subsequent Q&A session were wide-ranging and dynamic, addressing the concerns of the customer base and future product integration plans, but also delving into a wide open sharing of views around the present and future state of ECM and the skills that organizations are going to need in order to be successful. If you didn’t get the chance to attend the webinar, then setting aside some time to listen to the webinar-on-demand would be 60 minutes of your time well spent. Regardless of your current solution provider or your role in ECM, there’s some thought-provoking perspectives on topics like “the difference between ECM and Content Services” and “the kinds of technology and business competencies an organization needs to have – or develop – in order to embrace this shift toward content services.” I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Finally, please join us on February 14 as AIIM Chief Evangelist John Mancini and I connect once again to present Next-Gen Information Management — Succeeding in a New Era. We’ll be examining the emerging age of Content Services and what that means to the traditional concept and practice of ECM. Sit in to gain valuable insight into the changing definition of ECM and learn the next steps that will allow you to prepare for the future while maximizing your current investment. Here’s hoping everything OpenText and Documentum do together in the future is as great as our first webinar!

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Avoiding Digital Culture Shock: Why Financial Services Must Embed A Digital Culture

Financial Services

In this blog we welcome guest blogger Lindley Gooden, Managing Director of Greenscreen and a former television and radio journalist. Join him as he chairs a financial services live debate on embedding a digital culture at the Innovation Tour in March. As a former journalist for the BBC, ITV and Sky, as well as more than a decade spent working with companies worldwide, I’ve had the privilege of spending more twenty-five years helping people to tell the world, as clearly as possible, what’s on their minds. It’s involved meeting some 40,000 people – many of them consumers, technology vendors, business leaders – not least in the banking and financial services. You hear a lot of honest, practical and blunt points of view along the way. Indeed, listening to all sides of the conversation is rarely dull and always full of insights – particularly now, on the topic of digital transformation in financial services. As consumers, most of us have taken to it like a duck to water. We are not only empowered, but inevitably, impatient. High expectations, and low loyalty challenge every business sector – especially if we think we’re getting sub-standard service. But from an organisational perspective, it’s clear that many are struggling to tear down silos internally, while scrambling to put a convenient, connected and customer-focused front end onto legacy back office systems. Multichannel to omnichannel, to personalised to artificial intelligence (AI), all in less than ten years. So, as, technology vendors continue to demonstrate the benefits of an end-to-end digital process across the whole business, we’re now turning to the teams who turn that insight into practical value. Hearing so many accounts from the top makes it clear that it’s crucial to talk about the culture, sharing information and insights, and collaboration. Investment in technology offers powerful real-time decision-making, but digital transformation now needs to be part of the culture, not just part of the infrastructure. In our personal lives as consumers, we’ve already made the leap. But supporting innovative digitisation efforts at work is a new frontier that is now seen by more nimble operators in financial services as being equally important. Those organisations able to get employee buy-in to their digital vision, boost digital capabilities, and create a truly customer-centric culture have a noticeable competitive advantage. It’s something I’ll be discussing in depth at the upcoming OpenText Innovation Tour London on 21 March. I’ll be chairing a financial services live debate on embedding a digital culture with some of the industry’s foremost experts on the subject. With so much investment in understanding the technology, and gathering data and insights, it’s clear that the real digital training around culture is only just starting to kick in.  Getting this right will set the bar for how well your digital strategy will be executed and ultimately received. Getting it wrong (or failing to recognise the requirement in the first place) could be costly, and result in what Accenture calls “digital culture shock.”  That’s because transforming your business is one thing, but you must take your employees (and the right partners) with you. Obviously a challenge, but there are great examples across the sector that have produced stunning results. So this year, we want to explore real world examples, successes, practical advice, and results during the upcoming debate. If any of these issues sound familiar to you, I’d urge you to attend. It’s going to be an opportunity to hear – and contribute – at the highest level. Creating a workforce that’s digitally fit and focused on the customer’s omni-channel expectations in this brave new digital landscape is an extraordinary opportunity for growth, commercial gain and innovation from within. Join us in London. I look forward to seeing you there.

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Finding the Right Information in your Stockpiled Content

content search

Where did that document go? If you’re like me, one of the most frustrating things in your workday is searching for some piece of information that you’re sure you have, but is just out of your grasp.  Is it in my email?  Did I put that in the team folder?  Which folder? Is it archived? A report by Hyperion Group confirms that a major barrier to adopting Enterprise Content Management (ECM) systems is that users find it too difficult to locate documents (Source: Hyperion Research, MarketView Report 2016). Content needs to be findable Organizations continue to create a massive amount of content – from contracts to engineering drawings, email messages, images, and much more. For the most part, ECM systems have brought good rigor to collecting and storing content – and applying basic metadata to aid in classification and retrieval. So why can’t I find that document – even using the search function? Well, it could be a couple of things. The metadata captured from the user when submitting the document to the repository was limited. Over time, terminology has changed – and the metadata associated with the document has become less meaningful (e.g. you’re searching for “terminations” but the content was originally classified as “layoffs”) New approach required For searches to be effective, an investment into organizing your content must be made. And this can’t just be forcing your staff to fill out more metadata fields when they submit a document to the system. Fortunately, there have been many advancements in software that can automate the capture of metadata in order to augment the findability of information. I really believe that this promises to be the next leap forward that will drive user adoption of ECM systems and make ECM an indispensable tool rather than an obligation that is mandated from management. Beyond structured metadata Take for example OpenText™ eDOCS which can be paired with OpenText™ Content Analytics to dramatically improve the content search experience.  It’s all about using technology to automate the remediation of metadata. It can be as simple as using metadata to coalesce all kinds of content (e.g. “find all contracts for vendor ACME”).  But it’s also about going beyond structural metadata (e.g. title, date) and leveraging semantic metadata.  By this, I mean things like: Similarity analysis that enables you to find similar documents for any document Sentiment analysis that addresses what one might think of as subjective things like the tonality of an item (e.g. negative opinions). Companies are investing in these sorts of technologies in order to unlock business value from stockpiled content by applying automation to the capture of inferred metadata. These companies are at the forefront of driving adoption of ECM systems by appealing to that most basic need – i.e. making your content more findable. Visit our microsite to learn more.

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Join us for a Special AIIM Webinar Discussing the OpenText Acquisition of Documentum and the Future of ECM

AIIM webinar

The deal is sealed! Today, OpenText announced that we’ve finalized our acquisition of Dell EMC’s Enterprise Content Division, including the Documentum product group. When the proposed purchase was first announced last September, it generated speculation and opinion. Now, as the teams formally begin working together, it’s time to have an honest, straightforward conversation about what this union of leading ECM organizations really means to customers, to the combined partner network, and to the larger ECM marketplace in general. To help answer these questions, I’d like to invite you to a unique webinar on February 2. In partnership with AIIM, it will be part round table discussion, part Q&A session, and all valuable insight providing answers to the questions you may have. The roundtable will feature AIIM Chief Evangelist John Mancini, OpenText product experts, a successful Documentum partner, and the highly respected analyst Alan Pelz-Sharpe from Digital Clarity Group. The wide discussion will range from where ECM has come from, to upcoming integration strategies, and then to where ECM is headed next. Discussion should be lively to say the least! Please join us and register to attend here.

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OpenText Strengthens EIM Portfolio with Completion of ECD Acquisition

In September, OpenText entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Dell EMC’s Enterprise Content Division (ECD), including Documentum. I am delighted to announce that as of today this acquisition is complete. The addition of ECD’s 25+ years of leadership in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) further strengthens the OpenText product portfolio and our commitment to delivering the most functionally complete Enterprise Information Management (EIM) platform in the market. This acquisition provides exciting opportunities for current and future OpenText customers. Existing customers will benefit from a more functionally complete EIM platform while the ECD customer base will benefit from integration into OpenText technology, as well as gaining access to the number-one EIM Cloud and OpenText SaaS applications via flexible, on-premises, cloud, or hybrid deployment options. Specifically, the addition of Dell EMC’s offerings from the Documentum, InfoArchive, and LEAP product families will help to fulfill our strategic vision of growth and leadership in all sub-segments of the EIM market. Our EIM offerings will be enriched by industry-packaged solutions and deep customer relationships across the globe. Along with product enhancements and a worldwide customer base of more than 5,600, the acquisition brings 2,000 talented ECD employees to the OpenText family. Together, we will be over 10,000 professionals strong, focused on customer success in EIM and enabling the digital world. Investing in innovation and development is a key objective at OpenText. As we continue to grow and expand into new markets in meaningful ways, I’d like to welcome ECD customers and employees to OpenText, a focused and dedicated software company that lives, breathes, and sleeps EIM software. Given the importance of the announcement, the ECM Community will be gathering together for a candid discussion of the marketplace and how the acquisition fits into the future of content management. Attend the roundtable session. For more information about this acquisition, read the press release.

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Top Tech Trends for 2017

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

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