Thoughts From Digiruption Indaba South Africa

Digiruption Indaba is our customer day in Africa – Indaba means ‘gathering’.

This year, Digiruption was held at the Galleria in Johannesburg. And what a day it was! Fully packed with highlights. I’ve had the privilege of attending this event for the last 2 years and I’m amazed at the number of customers and partners that attend. This year we finished at just under 400 in total which was a great effort.

After some energetic drumming to get everyone excited for the day, Country Manager Lenore Kerrigan acting as host gave a welcome address to everyone and thanked them for attending.

This included long term customers, partners and the new customers who joined our family from ECD, HP and others.

This was followed by a welcome message and video presentation from OpenText CEO and CTO Mark Barrenechea (who was unable to join us this year). Lenore then introduced our first guest speaker.

“Exploration drives Innovation”

Our first guest speaker was Dr Adriana Marais from SAP. Adriana is Head of Innovation at SAP Africa working on such diverse projects as Quantum Cryptography, Block chain and automated drone delivery.

During her presentation one of these points was demonstrated by being joined by a drone on stage! All of which are joined by a common thread of being innovative, leading edge and of global benefits.. but wait..

As if those diverse projects weren’t enough to keep her busy, Adriana is one of the final 100 candidates for the extraordinary Mars One Expedition (you can learn about that here and here).

She spoke passionately about how the next step for humans to solve our problems can only be found in Space and specifically on Mars.

I think everyone came away with a great appreciation and a sense of ‘awe’ at people like Adriana who are prepared to take on some of the largest problems in the world, and solve them.

“The best thing about social media it is allows anyone to be a celebrity, and the worst thing is it allows anyone to become a celebrity”

Following that on the keynote was Emma Sadleir, who is a consultant lawyer and author specialising in Social Media Law. In her energetic and informative presentation she gave many examples of how to use Social Media correctly and how both famous and more importantly employees use Social Media incorrectly and what the liabilities are for both the company and the employee. Illustrating each point with examples and she had a fair few number of people quickly checking their Twitter accounts! I have asked Emma for her permission to use her image here (but this proves I was listening as if I had used it without permission I could have broken some laws.)

The 4th Industrial Revolution and the OpenText Future

Sandwiched between the two guest speakers, we had Thomas Dong, VP of Product Marketing presenting the OpenText keynote on our Strategic Direction, the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution and the new technologies that affect and inspire Digital Transformation.

Tom and Detlev

Before that, Detlev Ledger had chaired a panel of our customers, (Capitec, Distell, MediClinic, NHLS and SANBS ) discussing such topics as their use of OpenText (including ECD), their future plans, experiences and their thoughts on the future of EIM.

Lunch, Technology, Customers, Public Sector and the Silent Disco…

After a nice lunch (including the High Commissioner for Canada saying a few words) everyone was free for some time to mingle with the partners and network. One of the things I’d not seen before was a partner innovation track – similar to a Silent Disco (for those of you not in the know – it’s where you all wear headphones to dance around in silence.. yeah, I wasn’t certain as well!) but in the context of partner day it allowed the partners to give a 15 minute breakout where the audience were not distracted by the background noise of the event.

During the afternoon we had breakouts across three tracks and I visited breakouts in all 3 sessions and was pleased to see the partners and customers alike attending and interacting. The 3 tracks were based around OpenText solutions, Customers (all presented by customers) and Public Sector (which makes a sizable part of the African customer base).

In the technology track myself, Albert Tay and Arsalan Minhas covered topics such as what’s new in EP2, low Code with Process Suite, where to being with Digital Transformation and AI Implications for the Enterprise.

In the Customers track, Distell presented their Release 16 (Distell are a long time customer and are typically one of the first organisations to deploy any new Content Server releases) Capitec Bank (its great to see our new ECD customers already comfortable to talk at an OpenText event) described their approach to Client Centricity.

Finally, Mediclinic presented how xECM for SuccessFactors is allowing them to achieve their goal of a central HR functions. Mediclinic are the first customer of OpenText’s to be live on the xECM for SuccessFactors solution and have a great story to tell.

In the public sector track we had another ECD customer, the Department for Social Development, presenting their Social Grant Appeals Process, the South African National Blood Service talked about their enterprise wide OpenText and SAP Implementation and finally the National Health Laboratory Service presented their ECM journey.

Awards and Final Thoughts

Following the event we all adjourned to the roof of the Galleria for food and well deserved cocktails and prize giving to watch the sun go down over Johannesburg. Amongst those receiving prizes were SAP for partner of the year, MediClinic for Go-Live project of the year, Capitec for Customer Visionary, and Engen for Customer of the Year.

What really stood out at the event for me was the level of investment and trust that the customers have placed in OpenText and how critical in most cases our solution.

Be it from face-to-face discussions or email feedback from various companies, the response to our EIM strategy and acquisitions was overwhelmingly positive.

So, from all of us at OpenText attending to all our customers and our partners, Thank you for helping is have a great customer day and hopefully we will all see you each other again next year.

Photos by Des Ingham-Brown, Blowfish Productions

Jonathan Beardsley

Jonathan is a Program Manager in Business Transformation and Digital Disruption, particularly interested in how customers are digitally transforming their supplier, customer and business relationships and where OpenText can help.Previously a CEM Architect for 15 years working across a variety of Digital Marketing requirements, helping customers deliver new and innovative online and digital channels.

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