OpenText Tackles Digital Transformation, Extends EIM Platform To Cloud

OpenText Release 16 addresses EIM customer demand for digital transformation and hybrid deployments. CEO Mark Barrenechea told us about the forces driving these demands and how OpenText is pursuing its own transformation, including standardizing on a single ERP system.

Jessica Davis, Senior Editor

April 13, 2016

4 Min Read
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Digital transformation is a top priority for enterprise organizations today as customers demand instant service, business users want instant insights, and executives look for technology to drive value, not merely support internal users.

It's against that backdrop that traditional enterprise software vendors are retooling their own offerings for a new environment to meet enterprise needs. Case in point, OpenText Release 16 made its debut this week. First announced at the company's user conference in November 2015, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company's newest suite is its answer to the need for customers to be able to use their technology hybrid cloud environments.

OpenText CEO and CTO Mark Barrenechea told InformationWeek in an interview that the changes ahead are unprecedented.

On the technology side, the forces shaping this transformation are extreme connectivity, extreme automation (coming in the next three to five years), and extreme computing power, Barrenechea told InformationWeek.

"Second is really a changing workplace," he said, and some of that is related to a growing workforce of Millennials. These workers don't want to have to wait a year for a new system or implementation. "There is a sense of being able to have a fully self-service, immediate, anywhere experience."

The third factor driving digital transformation, Barrenchea said, is the arrival of new disruptive business models. That can mean disintermediation of the middleman, moving to a subscription model, and new modes of working with intellectual property.

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All of these are top of mind for enterprise leaders. IDC forecasts that spending on digital transformation technologies will grow to more than $2.1 trillion in 2019, with a compound annual growth rate of 16.8% between 2014 and 2019.

"Digital transformation is not just a technology trend, it is at the center of business strategies across all industry segments and markets," said Robert Parker, group VP at IDC, in a statement released with the analyst firm's digital transformation forecast.

That digital transformation applies to OpenText and other tech vendors, too.

Barrenechea told InformationWeek that his company's own transformation project is called Project Mercury internally. It's part of the company's "2020 agenda."

"When I think of where OpenText is going to be by 2020, we will be greater than a 60% Millennial workforce, and our recurring revenues will be greater than 90%," he said. "Digital is about immediate feedback. We are deploying new customer-facing systems, upgrading our ERP, and changing our partner programs."

As part of the program, OpenText will standardize on a single ERP system, SAP, and a single EIM (enterprise information management) system, OpenText. The company has named Eric Bencina to the new role of chief data strategist. He will manage all the data, and report to the company's CFO.

"We expect to go live in the first phase by the end of the calendar year, and we are well on track for it," Barrenechea said.

OpenText Release 16

Meanwhile, the company has launched a big new version of its suite of products, and this one addresses customer demands for technology to be deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or in hybrid configurations.

OpenText Cloud 16 makes the company's four on-premises suites -- enterprise content management (ECM), business process management (BPM), customer experience management (CEM), and analytics available in the cloud or in hybrid cloud environments. It also includes the Business Network, a new name for the OpenText Information Exchange.

These platforms will be available to be deployed on both the OpenText Cloud and on third-party cloud platforms.

Combining the Information Hub and big data analytics, OpenText Release 16 also offers an integrated system for predictive and embedded analytics and reporting. The company said analytics will be integrated across OpenText EIM suites to provide greater business insights and actionable analysis throughout the information lifecycle. The new release also offers several new functional capabilities, including integration with Postgres SQL.

About the Author(s)

Jessica Davis

Senior Editor

Jessica Davis is a Senior Editor at InformationWeek. She covers enterprise IT leadership, careers, artificial intelligence, data and analytics, and enterprise software. She has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology. Follow her on twitter: @jessicadavis.

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