A new day blooms at Open Text

A new day blooms at Open Text

June 5, 2009:Bill Forquer, Executive Vice President of Marketing at Open Text Corporation, was recently in Australia for a series of customer seminars. IDM asked Bill Forquer about the challenges of integrating the company's latest acquisitions and Open Text’s emerging ECM solutions groups.

Global financial crisis notwithstanding, Forquer claims Open text is quite bullish on its prospects for the entire region.

"We are now seeing a lot of vendor consolidation," he said.

"In 2008 we had a good year, we launched our Bloom strategy for Enterprise 2.0 and acquired Captaris. We are excited about the potential that brings.

"Many have come to Open Text through a specific lineage, collectively we are 50 million people strong, the largest most dedicated community of experts devoted to enterprise content.

"We have been in a 1.0 kind of world, library centric then applications started to progress and take on more business context. This will evolve as companies decide what parts of their business process they are going to outsource, and the arrival of cloud and SaaS is a signal that that is coming.

"Increasingly it's a mobile world and we need to build solutions that conform to our mobility, systems need to be consumable on very small real estate.

"We all have a desktop device today and tomorrow that is going to radically change."Users don't want an ECM feel like another application they have to log into and fill out 15 different metadata fields to be able to complete some activity, that is not going to work

"People process and control are our fundamental principals for ECM suite, lots of effort has gone into this for the past three years to provide an enterprise library view of content no matter where that content was created, whether Microsoft Exchange, Sharepoint, in Office, SAP, scanned images, photography whatever that may be.

"We have a set of services that enable interaction and collaboration around that content, that enable workflow and process automation and process optimisation around that content."Forquer is describing the Open Text ECM Suite announced last November.

"We envision an overall content hub or a content bus that provides a backend service, so that content that is generated in the variety of applications that exist in your organisation can benefit from the same set of library services, archiving services, storage optimisation, records and retention management that will help control the risk and cost," said Forquer.

"We want to respect investments in SAP and Oracle and Microsoft. A lot of our customers are making the step into ECM through the business processes they are implementing around ERP or CRM."

Open Text has begun beta testing of its "Bloom" Web 2.0 initiative which will deliver social workplace and marketplace solutions on a mobile device or a browser.Forquer admits that the period of consolidation the company is going through with the integration of different product lines is a little bit messy.

"We all have a habit of referring to a product by its traditional name. Going forward all of this becomes part of the Open Text ECM site so you will start to see us using those names.

Ultimately there are 50 million end users of Open Text and most of those are just scratching the surface with just a footprint in a corner of the ECM offering."We want to expose people to the wider potential that exists around ECM generally and taking a holistic view of CM which inevitably means more of a strategic process and a platform approach.

"At one time there was a mantra that everything must come in one repository and the reality is that was never going to happen. Do customers need to reduce the number of vendors they work with and the number of repository's? Absolutely. But email is going to be mail and Office will be Office.

"But if you accept the need for separate repositories, from and IT perspective you would still like to have a centralised view even though they are operating in separate application environments, and that's what our Library Services help to do. SharePoint content looks like its in SharePoint but the reality is you are managing it in our Enterprise Library,and the email look like they are in Exchange, but the reality is they are being managed int he Enterprise Library.

"The end user doesn't know the difference but the guy running IT has much better centralised management control, storage optimisation, records management and ediscovery processes that can operate on the backend processes."