OpenText pledges to help bring SaaS tools procured by rogue line-of-business execs under control

OpenText Enterprise World 2019
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OpenText on Tuesday used its 2019 Enterprise World conference to outline a mission that includes helping  companies overcome the “technology sprawl” caused by line-of-business executives procuring their own SaaS applications, making all content “machine-readable” and deepening the ability to use its tools with those from Google Cloud.

In his opening keynote, OpenText CEO and CTO Mark Barrenechea urged attendees to work harder at moving beyond merely automating work to finding insight in all the data they collect, store and manage. The company will support customers in this effort with additional capabilities across its portfolio, he said. This includes enhancements to OpenText Cloud, its Core offerings, Business Network and additional applications delivered on OpenText OT2, which it describes as an enterprise information management (EIM) tool that can be offered as-a-service through the cloud.

More specifically, Barrenechea highlighted ways enterprises could use OT2 along with its Alloy Trading Grid to more easily connect disparate SaaS applications. He showed a slide that included a slew of well-known martech products, including those from Bombora, Adobe and Salesforce.

“How many SaaS providers have you signed up? You went around your CIO,” he said. “As a line of business person, you said, ‘I subscribe to this SaaS service.’ Today, you can’t find all the contracts in your company.”

OpenText will continue to market directly to IT leaders, Barrenechea said, joking that “CIOs are cool again” given their ability to help enable the integration as well as the security of SaaS applications and various kinds of enterprise content.

Organizations who publicly expressed interest in using more of the OpenText portfolio include Citi, whose managing director and global head of digital channels Maynank Mishra joined Barrenechea onstage.

Mishra said Citi’s B2B e-commerce platform, which processes some $5 trillion daily, has already benefited from using OpenText’s managed file transfer services. Mishra said OpenText technologies could also aid Citi in areas like onboarding new corporate accounts, noting he was challenged by his leadership to get this down to a 48-hour period last year and expects he will eventually need to make it happen in a day. 

In the meantime, Citi is now looking at OpenText’s identity and access management (IAM) tool (formerly known as Covisint) and artificial intelligence technology, known as Magellan, he said.

“We have a responsibility to provide insight back to the customers, given the business they give to us,” he said. “It could be how are they performing against their peer group, (helping with) going into a new market, paving their way to go to a different segment. We’re not there yet, but we’re on the trajectory to provide a very rich, insightful platform for C-Suite customers.”

Barrenechea suggested that many other firms will begin to reimagine what he called their “value path” as they figured out how to better turn the information they manage into a strategic advantage. In some cases this might mean rethinking everything from positioning to exploring new business models.”

“You need to build the best car, but are you also an insurance company?” He said. “Are you a payroll firm, or an income analysis company? A cloud company, or a predictor of commerce?”

OpenText’s extended partnership with Google Cloud, meanwhile, will allow those using complex enterprise information management applications in conjunction with Google Cloud tools. An onstage demonstration showed how calls recorded by a financial services advisor and a customer, for instance, might be stored within an OpenText application but transcribed by Google Cloud.

This echoed other points in the keynote, where Barrenechea suggested much of OpenText’s own product roadmap will be focused on making all content more easily consumed by machine learning applications. Google Cloud and OpenText will also launch joint sales and marketing efforts, he added.

Enterprise World 2019 runs through Thursday.

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Shane Schick
Shane Schick is the Editor-in-Chief of B2B News Network. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and was the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.