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End of day 2, no 3, and the plot thickens

July 12th, 2017 Comments off

Oops, I missed a day. The plan was… just a plan and plans are there to be changed. Sticking to the plan, I could have done a blog about hockey or rum & coke. But all Canadians know by now that I talk about field hockey and not ice hockey. So, I’m far from an expert on that subject. And the rum & coke last night, made it a major risk to write something and share it with the world.
Now that the first day of the expo is over and without plans for a night downtown with a drink or two, this is a good time to make this into a double blog.

The second half will be about the venue itself, the good, the bad and the ugly of my first day at Enterprise World after two days at the PartnerSummit. But first we need to be serious about the other products in the OpenText stack (or should I say opentext stack? If I’m correct in the new brand OpenText is all lower case??)

In this first part of the blog, I will talk about the product that I think will be a cash cow for Informed Consulting. Almost every expert I talk to within OpenText tells me that InfoArchive is the cash cow and stubborn as I am, I think of a different product. InfoArchive is not new to us. As a person who has a very high respect for Jeroen van Rotterdam (the visionary behind InfoArchive) I should be jumping to sell and implement this, but I’m not (yet). I’m not saying it is not a cash cow, but I’m saying, it is not a cash cow for Informed Consulting (yet).

Let me explain. Our focus is heavily on compliancy demanding organizations like life sciences, engineering and regional government. The management, responsible for deciding about these types of implementations is always the business, not IT. InfoArchive is a solution focused on lowering the IT cost. A pure CTO decision. So to find the right person to talk to and gain their trust, is a lengthy process. Secondly, we’ve talked to a number of our clients about InfoArchive and they all recognize the problem, even could describe in detail what they would do to solve it, but as long as the legacy systems are running there are more pressing matters at hand that need to be solved. And lastly, we at Informed Consulting already had a number of discussions about how to setup a good and structured analysis process to define how you should setup your InfoArchive metadata structure. The question being: what are the 10 to 20 top questions to ask to understand how the data from the different solutions would be structured together. You could completely separate all different content/data parts but than you lose a lot of extra value.

So, if it is not InfoArchive, what will it be? Why do you ask? This should really be a no-brainer: ANALYTICS – iHub and friends. I’m adding the perfect slide that I got in one of the sessions, because I think this picture says more than a 1,000 words.OpenText Analytics Suite

This approach to analytics is so simple and yet so perfect, that you (we) should be able to convince every customer that this is a mandatory product. The problems with the information overload is clear to anyone. The need to bring structure to the massive piles of unstructured information is also clear. The fact that you need to use the available structured data to bring more structure in unstructured data can be distilled easily from that. So what are the challenges?

  1. It should be configuration only. If you need too much IT involvement when configuring/adding new data streams to it, it will lose traction with the business and they will try other options, like MS Access, MS Excel or other stuff. I don’t know the answer from iHub yet on this, but my first impression is very good.
  2. Clear description/selection about which process to follow when adding a data stream: is it unstructured data?, does it need text analysis?, does it need interpretation?, does it need AI analysis?, etc. etc.
  3. Easy to create and adapt the user interface: With dashboards, the user experience is everything. The problem with that is that currently the standards for a good design are changing on an almost daily basis. So this should be very simple and very flexible.
  4. An easy wysiwyg editor to relate data from different streams to identify the relations between data.
  5. Pricing: for the delivered functionality, a good (high) price is very justifiable, but there is a major risk that point solutions, like repository specific reporting tools with a much lower price, will be chosen because they can deliver the base trick. So there needs to be a lightweight start module that will get the solution going to easily upgrade once the demand is there.

As I don’t know for sure any of the answers on these 5 challenges, I have my work cut out for me the coming weeks. So, the product needs to be in very bad shape not to end up in the portfolio of Informed Consulting (if we are permitted to resell and implement it 😄). A lot of food for thought.

Now for the second part: the good, the bad and the ugly of the #OTEW venue (not the actual content of the conference, but the setup). As a user conference veteran, you see that all event agencies in North America look closely at each other, and conference venues all use a number of standard concepts. So, there is not much unique on that side to report. But there are some minor points to mention:

The good:

  • Having buses and tuk-tuks with the OT logo on it makes you feel more special.
  • Being able to make your own fresh toast at breakfast for the small crowd of 4,000 eating people. I have not seen this before and it gets a big applause!

The bad:

  •  The expo hall is chaotic. All Pods are randomly filled with a product. Not only all partners are random, but there is also no structure in the OT Pod layout. So, I see all attendees scouring the room to find some info. Next time please make information groups.

The ugly:

  • No, I’m not sharing pictures of all the sweating people I saw after breakfast. It is 3 floors up, walk over the street, 2 floors down again, a nice walk and then end it all with another floor down to get to the expo. Yes elevators… but still,  this is nasty.

Going to think with my eyes closed now…

The end of day 1 – way too much information

July 9th, 2017 Comments off

My first PartnerSummit day at OpenText. Wow, that was heavy. There is so much to hear, think, discuss that I’m beat. Lying in my bed in the hotel to have some quiet (with the live band rocking downstairs😬) trying to sort all the info I gathered today and see how I can make this into a structured blog…

Maybe I need some data analytics to define structure, or get some concepts groups going to get relevance in my information search? For people who know me, they know it is not easy to structure my brain and no artificial intelligence will be able to work with this mess, so I’m stuck to my own brain and see what falls out.

The task I set out to accomplish today was to identify at least 4 products that would be a great addition to our portfolio. But after one day and way (WAY) to many products, I must admit: this is going to take a little bit longer. 😀

But the simple joke about my brain is so relevant for the journey we as a consulting company are on, that this will be the red line for this blog. The focus of Informed Consulting is very much on helping clients identify and address/manage their compliance demands. Supporting their journey of controlling the information processes that are relevant to being compliant. It does not really matter if you are in the life sciences space, an engineering company, a government agency or a bank. Our clients all have growing demands to meet their industry specific compliance demands. Until recently (1-2 years) Documentum could fulfill most of the demands and that was what we offered. But times are rapidly changing, even a mid-size pharma company has a enormous amount of info that needs to be managed and reused and just a ‘simple’ ECM system, meta-data taxonomy and search will not do the trick. We need to be able to give the client a total experience that will give them the ability to fit their compliance need in their overall EIM vision and tooling to guarantee the best experience, both for users and for the company.

Hey, that sounds familiar: Connecting people to the enterprise. The slogan that has been our vision the past 7 years is still, more than ever, alive!

But why, if we have been doing this already for years, is change needed? We live in a spectacular time. Simply put, on both sides of this equation (user and enterprise) the demands are exponentially growing. That, topped with a more than exponential growth in data, demands a total vertically focused solution, specific for the client. NO, not custom built, but a carefully packaged set of products, specifically targeted at the client’s needs. The challenging task of the new ECM Consultancy firms is not only to have the best developers or configurators. No, it is to have the best architects who can create an out-of-the-box, total solution, based on a predefined set of products, all handpicked and configured (composed) to meet the needs of that specific customer in that specific vertical market and to have an implementation team that understands the vertical and the vision of the architect and is able to deliver that before a very time sensitive deadline.

So that is what we at Informed Consulting have been doing the past years and we have a clear plan how we can deliver the much needed expertise to make that total solution. And now that Documentum is part of the rich set of products of OpenText we can rapidly deliver this total solution based on the products from OpenText combined with our tailor-made products for specific markets like our Quality Management Solution for the life sciences market.

For a life science company that total solution will include:

  • Documentum life sciences suite
  • eQMS express
  • SharePoint connector for Life Sciences for easy communication with partners in partner exchange
  • iHub for analytics to support that quick overview of all the states of the information and processes and manage and control every inspection
  • Decisiv to manage easy enterprise search not only in their ECM system but also in systems like their LIMS system. This is no eDiscovery but real AI driven enterprise search.
  • Blazon for regulator approved renditions
  • Marketing management that works with the ECM content
  • Customer communication management to streamline and audit all complaints and inspections
  • InfoArchive to really archive the old documents and make sure they stay compliant

And the list goes on and on. Sure, no client can do it all at once, but we have road map that will fit any client!

So, a great first day, with a happy partner and a SUPER road map for Documentum makes it complete.

Hope we can continue this happy flow for 6 more days!!

OpenText Enterprise World 2017 – Day 1

July 9th, 2017 1 comment

We are going into the 3th quarter of the acquisition of the ECD (Documentum) group in the OpenText family and the start of my first Enterprise World. A good time to start the first of my series of blogs around a user conference. The past 20 years it was Momentum or EMC World and I’m more than excited that it is now a software only conference and fully focused on EIM (for me still the extension of ECM).

So, in the blogs for the next 7 days I will focus on one aspect of the great OpenText portfolio and the things that will make my customer smile (or worried, if I see a challenge).

But how do I feel? What do I think of the merger so far? Questions I get asked more than daily and a good start of the blog series. In the beginning, I was careful with my answer. My company depends for about 65% on Documentum consultancy and products, so if this would suddenly disappear that would be not so good😊.

But now going into the 3th quarter of the game and the first full physical year of OpenText my answer is clear and open.

WHY DID THIS NOT HAPPEN SOONER!!

I think I was not unhappy as EMC partner. The ECD team was kept relatively separate from the rest and when you talked with the real architects of EMC they actually understood what ECM Software could bring to the whole information lifecycle vision of EMC.
But in the end the financial figures are clear. The hard dollars that ECD could bring to the table where not enough to have a loud voice and demand room for the much-needed choices. At OpenText everybody talks software for managing your enterprise information. You don’t need a loud voice to get someone to listen to the opportunities that are there in the ECM space.
The product managers from OpenText that I talk to from old ECD are all almost scared about the amount of help, support and vision they get from C-level management.

Is it all good? No this is real life, nothing is all perfect (except my wife and children😄).

Not all good product managers came or stayed with OpenText. Rohit Ghai is unique and he will be missed to support and fight for the Documentum vision. And last, not all products will have the same focus as they used to have.

But Jeroen, stop looking at the past 22 years and look at the great opportunities that lie ahead. The coming week I will focus on a number of the great opportunities that are the result of this merger and the chances it will give me and my team to offer to our clients.

A couple are simple:

– Documentum and analytics. A marriage that will last, but I will touch on that in a separate blog.

– Extended ECM for Documentum: OpenText (Muhi) WHY NOT, THIS SHOULD BE A NO BRAINER!

– Customer Experience Management using content from Documentum.

– LEAP App’s working with Content Suite content

– AppWorks working with Documentum content

Like a good discussion? Disagree or just want a nice talk? Come to our pod in the expo or respond to this blog or one of the next to follow.