Enterprise World Highlights: ECM Evolves and Heads Into the Cloud

And, we’re back in 3…2…1: Happy August! After a few crazy months book-ended by the most extensive product release in OpenText history and a truly insightful, inspiring week at Enterprise World 2016, I’ve been able to make the most of a nice vacation and reflect a bit on how our annual flagship event both summarized and expanded on the happenings of the first half of the year.

Interest in the Cloud is Exploding

While it’s no secret that the cloud is becoming a priority for many organizations, I was amazed to see just how much interest in it had mushroomed from last Enterprise World to this one. Cloud-based breakout sessions such as Enterprise Managed Services in the OpenText Cloud and Top Questions you need to ask when Upgrading ECM to the Cloud were standing room only in Nashville. A marked increase from last year and a remarkable progression from two years ago when cloud breakouts were more of a curiosity than a must-see.

My main observation from talking with the attendees at this year’s cloud-focused sessions? It’s clear that, while many organizations are still just getting their feet wet, most see an ECM future that involves fully harnessing the power of cloud-based solutions.

Furthermore, the current and proposed use cases I had the pleasure of hearing about are as endless as, well, a cloud-dotted sky. Organizations are utilizing the cloud to focus on everything from the tactical—freeing up ECM administration resources—to enterprise-level strategic initiatives designed to push innovation on new business solutions. It was also noteworthy that these discussions were consistently peppered with the sort of benefit statements CFOs like to hear; things like lowering capital costs and shifting to more economical SaaS-structured payment models. The cloud devotees have really been doing their homework!

Re-Thinking ECM is Definitely a “Thing”

The role of ECM is changing and organizations are successfully shifting to viewing ECM in a new light. This year, I had strikingly fewer discussions devoted to traditional ECM terms like storage, compliance, governance, and records management. Customer emphasis is now on how to best elevate ECM solutions to enhance productivity for processes and people. Optimal governance is just expected.

My take on this: ECM has matured and many organizations are comfortable with the baseline management of the content currently under the purview of their ECM platforms. Existing ECM implementations are doing their job storing content and ensuring that information is following the appropriate governance path throughout its lifecycle.

The general feeling is, that’s fine, but not enough. Most of the customers that I spoke to are now looking for ECM to do more as they target digital transformation in a post-analog world. The reasons? They’re bang-on in envisioning a new competitive and customer service landscape where ALL the digital data in an organization has to be easily accessible to play a symbiotic role in success. And they’re not exactly eager to approach the powers that be with capital requests for new platforms and technologies to try and achieve it.

Hence, questions revolved around accomplishing this by extending the reach of their tried-and-true ECM platforms further into business processes and collaborative activities. At times I felt like a hi-tech relationship counsellor as discussions delved into methods to facilitate better communication between Oracle and Salesforce or why it’s critical for structured and unstructured information to come together to contribute to a common goal. Bottom line: all this, and much more, is possible with new advances in ECM capabilities. We can show you how.

Of course, Enterprise World made for the perfect forum to host these discussions. A host of product experts, customer roundtables, demo pods, and over 200 breakout sessions provided ample opportunity to gain a better understanding of extending the value of ECM to transform your organization.

If you couldn’t make it, we’ve got that covered, too. Kick off your journey into re-thinking the role of ECM while exploring the possibilities.

Kimberly Edwards

Kimberly is a Product Marketing Director for OpenText.

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