I arrived a day early for my first time at Hyland’s CommunityLIVE conference to attend yesterday’s executive forum, and enjoy a very cool dinner experience at the Grand Ole Opry. This morning, the opening general session is back to IRL in a big way: big conference venue, live band before the start, lots of butts in seats (not wearing pajama pants). It’s their first live conference in 3 years, and for many of us it’s been almost as long. In fact, the first IRL conference that was cancelled for me was with Alfresco in New York that was scheduled for March 2020, and now Alfresco is part of Hyland.
The general session started with Hyland CEO Bill Priemer talked about trends in content management, and how the pandemic accelerated the shift towards a cloud-based digital workplace for many organizations. Hyland has done two significant acquisitions during the past two years — Alfresco and Nuxeo — which potentially positions then to address a wider range of customer needs, if they can move forward with a reasonable product roadmap that (eventually) converges their portfolio. It appears that they are only now moving their legacy OnBase product to the cloud, although their acquisitions add that capability already. Also, this puts them into the open source space, which is new to them but they appear to be embracing that. As he discussed yesterday at the executive forum, Priemer talked about plugging in other capabilities to their core content platform: not just with Hyland’s products, but with anything that adds value to an integrated digital workspace.
He spoke about upgrade challenges, which seems to be a bit of a sore point: with a 30-year-old content management company, there’s going to be a lot of legacy customers who have millions of documents in those systems, and upgrading is a non-trivial undertaking. Moving to the cloud is not only a big migration job, but a scary concept for organizations who believe that only their own on-premise servers are safe. That’s not true, of course, but the beliefs are there. Pre-acquisition, Alfresco already had a significant campaign showing customers moving from on-premise content management (such as IBM/FileNet and Hyland) to their cloud solution, and how much it could reduce costs while maintaining security and access. If there are any Alfresco marketing people left at Hyland, this would be a good tine to bring their views to bear on how to motivate on-prem customers to move to the cloud.
John Phelan, Chief Product Officer, was up next, and also stressed extensibility as a necessity as opposed to the old days of standalone content management systems. He stressed that Hyland is not just “the OnBase company” any more, but a company that offers four core content platforms (OnBase, Perceptive, Alfresco, Nuxeo), although that’s arguably not really a good thing since it divides focus of the product groups, can create islands of sales and support based on product, and confuses the customers.
Sam Babic, Chief Innovation Officer, took the stage to expand his talk about hyperautomation that he gave yesterday at the executive forum. Interestingly, his first slide called out business process management and business process automation (although I’m a bit unclear on the distinction that he makes between them) as well as RPA and case management, and had a quick screen grab video of an Alfresco process manager orchestration. This is a much better message to the audience on how content and process work together in general, as well as in the context of the myriad technologies included in Gartner’s definition of hyperautomation.
Don Dittmar, who manages industry partner relationships, joined remotely (via a pre-recorded video) on how Hyland works together with partner companies that offer vertical or line-of-business systems, including Workday, ServiceNow and Guidewire. I’ll be talking about an insurance claims use case in my presentation this afternoon, and the integration with Guidewire fits right into that. This is a classic content management problem, and having pre-built integrations with these systems is a huge help for companies that want to better manage content that is directly related to transactions and cases in their LOB systems.
Alex Cameron, product manager for healthcare solutions showed us some of their solutions around healthcare enterprises. Intelligent medical records, which captures and classifies unstructured medical records (documents) then manages the content according to regulatory requirements. Then Max Gavanon, product manager for PAM and DAM, discussed their solutions for digital asset management (i.e., non-document content), such as 3D designs cross-referenced with materials for product design.
Up next was Eileen Thornton, AVP of user experience, to talk about their user experience development across the Hyland portfolio, and show a few screens of what this will look like. This seems to indicate that their initial integration/consolidation of their content engines will happen “at the glass” by providing a common UX. It sounds like most of their current OnBase customers are still on the old-style desktop UI, since she talked about using this new UX to move to a modern web-based experience.
Lots of good content, and now we’re off to individual industry sessions and later breakout tracks. I’ll be presenting at 4:45 this afternoon in the Business Transformation track, hope you can join me!