I’m at OpenText Enterprise World 2017 in Toronto; there is very little motivating me to attend the endless stream of conferences in Vegas, but this one is in my backyard. There have been a couple of days of partner summit and customer training, but this is the first day of the general conference.
We kicked off with a keynote hosted by OpenText CEO/CTO Mark Barrenechea, who presented some ideas on his own and invited others to the stage to chat or present as well. He talked about world-changing concepts that we may see start to have a significant impact over the next decade:
- Internet of things
- Internet of money (virtual and alternative currencies)
- Artificial intelligence
- Mobile eating the world
- New business models
- Living to 150
- IQ of 1000, where human intelligence and capabilities will be augmented by machines
He positions OpenText as a leading provider of enterprise information management technologies for digital transformation, leveraging the rapid convergence of connectivity, automation and computing power. My issue with OpenText is that they have grown primarily through acquisitions – a LOT of acquisitions – and the product portfolio is vast and overlapping. OpenText Cloud is a fundamental platform, which makes a lot of sense for them with the amount of B2B integration that their tools support, as well as the push to private, hybrid and public cloud by many organizations. They see documents (whether human or machine created) as fundamental business artifacts and therfore content management is a primary capability, but there are a few different products that fall into their ECM category and I’m not sure of the degree of overlap, for example, with the recently-acquired Documentum and some of their other ECM assets. Application development is also a key category for them, with a few different products including their Appworks low-code environment. The story gets a bit simpler with their information network for inter-enterprise connectivity, new acquisition Covisint for managing IoT messages and actions, and newly-released Magellan for analytics.
He interviewed two customers on their business and use of OpenText products:
- Kristijan Jarc, VP of Digital at KUKA, a robotics company serving a variety of vertical industries, from welding in automotive manufacturing to medical applications. Jarc’s team develops digital strategies and solutions that help their internal teams build better products, often related to how data collected from the robots is used for analytics and preventative maintenance, and they’re using OpenText technology to capture and store that data.
- Sarah Shortreed, CIO of Bruce Power, which runs a farm of 8 CANDU reactors that generate 30% of Ontario’s electrical power. They’re in the process of refurbishing the plant, some parts of which are 40 years old, which is allowing more data to be collected from more of their assets in realtime. They have much tighter security restrictions than most organizations, and much longer planning cycles, making enterprise information management a critical capability.
Barrenechea hosted three other OpenText people to give demos (I forgot to note the names, but if anyone can add them in a comment, I’ll update this post); I’ve just put in a couple of notes for each trying to capture the essence of the demo and the technologies that they were showcasing:
- Magellan analytics for a car-share company: targeted marketing, demand and utilization, and proactive maintenance via different algorithms. Automated clustering, trend derivation within a selected dataset to determine the target market for a campaign. Allow data scientists to open notebooks and directly program in Python, R, Scala to create own algorithms by calling Magellen APIs. Use linear regression on historical usage data and weather forecasts to forecast demand. IoT streaming diagnostics from vehicles to predict likelihood of breakdown and take appropriate automated actions to remove cars from service and schedule maintenance.
- People Center app built on Appworks. Integrated with HRIs including SAP, SuccessFactors, Workday, Oracle for core HR transactions; People Center adds the unstructured data including documents to create the entire employee file. Manage recruitment and onboarding processes. Magellan analytics to match resumes to open positions using proximity-based matching. Identify employees at risk of leaving using logistic regression.
- KUKA iiwa robot sending IoT data to cloud for viewing through dashboard, analytics to identify possible problems. Field service tech accesses manuals and reference materials via content platform. Case management foldering to collect and view documents related to a maintenance incident. Collaborative chat within maintenance case to allow product specialist to assist field tech. Future AI application: automatically find and rank related cases and highlight relevant information.
The keynote ended with Barrenechea interviewing Wayne Gretzky, which was a delightful conversation although unrelated to any of the technology topics. However, Gretzky did talk about the importance of teamwork, and how working with people who are better than you at something makes you better at what you do. You could also see analogies in business when he talked about changes in the sport of hockey: globalization, expanding markets, and competition is getting bigger and meaner. As a guy who spent a lot of the early part of his hockey career as the smallest guy on the ice, he learned how to hone his intelligence about the game to be a winner in spite of the more traditional strengths of his competitors: a good lesson for all of us.