Last week saw the annual gathering of the OpenText community at Enterprise World 2017. As always, it was a treat to catch up with colleagues and customers from around the world, share stories, and continue to grow together.
The most rewarding element, though, is the amount of information and learning available in such a focused, hothouse environment. You can really see how it all fits together as you segue seamlessly from thought-leadership keynotes about the technologies shaping our future (the 3 A’s — Automation, AI, and APIs!) into breakouts demonstrating how to best optimize your current solutions for today and tomorrow.
With so much available, everyone has their own key takeaways, but from my perspective as a Product Marketing Director on the ECM team, here are my Top 3:
1. OpenText and Documentum, side-by-side
For the better part of two decades, Documentum stood as a prime competitor to OpenText ECM solutions. Until six months ago, when we were united through an acquisition that integrated everything from product development to customer service. It could have gone horribly wrong through protectionism and politics, but Enterprise World 2017 served as witness that the exact opposite is occurring.
Throughout the event, OpenText employees old and new were hungry to learn from each other and share information. I saw first-hand that everyone from both sides of the fence is committed to a model that supports each platform — while building towards a future that combines the best of both. It was evident in the varied backgrounds of attendees asking questions at breakout sessions. It was clear in the executive keynotes as they shifted smoothly between the coming advances in Content Suite and Documentum.
2. Customer discussions with OpenText product development teams
As a marketer, I live to talk about new product benefits. And it’s even better when those advances are exactly what customers have been asking for. My next takeaway relates to a standard at every Enterprise World: How refreshing and positive it is to have customers connecting directly with the OpenText Product Managers, Technical Product Managers, and Development Teams that create the software those customers use every day.
It’s invaluable for product development to get direct feedback while discussing planned roadmaps, future direction, and use cases that are in development. And Enterprise World is the perfect forum for that interaction. The OpenText customer community gives us exactly what we need through open and honest discussions about the functionality they would love to see — and, yes, the features they could maybe do without. It’s a glorious cycle: Every year we present new advances influenced by customer input, then we sit down and ask them how we can make it better!
3. Documentum customers are all in!
My background is with OpenText™ Content Suite, so I made it my business to attend some of the OpenText™ Documentum sessions and learn more. Not only did I get to experience a host of innovative features and benefits I’d previously only heard about, I also came away amazed at how wholeheartedly Documentum customers are embracing the new possibilities for their trusted platform.
Case in point: Wednesday’s Documentum Product Roadmap session required a quickly arranged encore performance on Thursday to handle the overflow that couldn’t fit into the original presentation. All of us OpenText old-timers were thrilled to see the turnout and engagement. Although OpenText had always stated that Documentum would be actively developed and supported, there couldn’t help but have been some concerns amongst customers about the future.
Fortunately, the customers I spoke to were going home enthused after meeting the product teams, seeing the advances of the last six months, and going through details of the committed roadmap. They have plenty more to look forward to as OpenText expands the capability of their existing on-premises investments and adds new cloud Content Services.
The road to Enterprise World 2018 starts here
So, that’s my Top 3 takeaways from Enterprise World 2017. What’s in store for next year? You can bet the information management landscape will be still be evolving rapidly and OpenText will be introducing solutions to help enterprises succeed as they go forward.
Beyond that, you’ll have to join us in Toronto on July 9, 2018 to find out!