OpenText customers unveil smart, connected data solutions at Enterprise World
OpenText CEO Mark Barrenechea is joined on stage by customers

OpenText customers unveil smart, connected data solutions at Enterprise World

At this week’s Enterprise World event in Toronto, OpenText showcased a number of customer projects that demonstrate how its software is playing its part in helping to build more intelligent, connected companies, as Jessica Twentyman reports. 

What does it take to build an intelligent, connected enterprise? The answer to that question can be complicated for business leaders, but enterprise information management (EIM) systems are a big part of the picture, according to OpenText CEO Mark Barrenechea, speaking at the company’s Enterprise World event in Toronto this week.

Of course, he would say that. But in fairness, OpenText has done a solid job in recent years of outlining the role that content and information (often unstructured) plays in the workflows that underpin connected processes, services, and products.

Software to manage that content and information is OpenText’s mainstay, and in recent years, the highly acquisitive company has purchased other vendors and technologies that support its vision of what the connected enterprise will need, in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and security.

“All industries are facing a series of challenging macro trends as they transform into intelligent and connected enterprises,” Barrenechea told attendees. “The new demands of a millennial workforce, the relentless threat of cyberattack, changing modes of work, and newly challenging information privacy and regulatory environments are changing the way that businesses operate.”

Customer perspectives

To illustrate his point, Barrenechea invited four OpenText customers onto the stage at Enterprise World, to offer their views on what the intelligent, connected enterprise looks like to them, the work they’re doing to achieve their goals, and the part that software from OpenText plays in all this.

For Gopal Padinjaruveetil, chief information security officer of auto and travel services company Auto Club Group (ACG), identity management is going to be vital. The company has a vision of a ‘connected member’, who is able to access a wide variety of information from a wide variety of devices. ACG, for example, provides insurance, banking, travel, and automotive services.

“For that connected member experience, we need digital identities, not just for humans, but also devices and automobiles,” he said. “So the question for us is how we give access to information based on the context in which it’s requested – from what device and in what location, for example.”

In February this year, ACG announced it was to implement a unified identity and access management system for its nine million members, based on the Covisint platform that OpenText acquired in July 2017. The aim is to create a single digital member identity across all business units, to reduce complexity, increase security, and streamline the digital experience for customers.

Next up was Jennifer Bell, an enterprise content management architect from medical device manufacturer Zoll Medical. Connectivity is making its products smarter all the time – such as its LifeVest wearable defibrillator – but employees in the healthcare sector still need to cope with cumbersome and often paper-based processes around the supply and use of these products.

Plus, for regulatory reasons, it’s very important that documentation relating to patients, physicians, and insurance providers is managed carefully.

Zoll Medical is using capture and content management tools from OpenText in order to convert ordering documents (which still often arrive from hospitals in the form of faxes) “from a blob of unstructured information into data on individual documents – medical orders, medical records, patient agreements, and insurance docs – that can then be stored,” she explained.

Digital assets and connected devices

At beverage maker Monster Energy, meanwhile, digital asset manager Kyle Hufford uses software from OpenText to ensure that marketing teams across the world all have access to the same rich media content.

Last to speak was Matt Eisenberg, acting chief of the business process and information management branch of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are a big focus for NIAID, which is part of biomedical research organisation the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Eisenberg gave two examples of connected world solutions. First, NIAID uses a lot of imaging devices, “giant microscopes that generate huge multi-gigabyte images every time they take a picture,” he said. Increasingly, these are connected to their original manufacturer and, at the end of each working day, they ‘phone home’ and are remotely re-calibrated. “This is blowing our infrastructure guys away, because they’re not used to supporting that kind of bidirectional communication,” he added.

His second example was NIAID’s experiments with connected pill dispensers, which can be used to ensure compliance and adherence in clinical trials.

He added that his organisation has tackled a wide range of document management, storage, and collaboration issues using OpenText.

Internet of Business says

OpenText has a compelling story to tell about how its sprawling portfolio of content and information management tools fits into a connected world of smart products and services.

In particular, its 2017 acquisitions of identity and access management company Covisint and security specialist Guidance Software put it in a good place to tackle security challenges in a world where almost every machine becomes an endpoint that needs protecting.

And its one-year-old Magellan AI platform, which owes much to the company’s 2010 purchase of Nstein Technologies and 2015 acquisition of Actuate, is producing results in a number of IoT-focused projects, such as a connected vineyard project at the Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery in California.

Jessica Twentyman is a journalist with a 20-year track record as both a writer and editor on national newspapers and IT trade titles. Her work focuses on how smart companies use technology to achieve real business results. She is a contributor to the Financial Times, The Economist and Computer Weekly, and Consulting Editor on Diginomica.com and I-CIO.com.