What would make the VP of Enterprise Marketing at Adobe, one of the biggest companies touting the benefits of digital marketing and customer experience, jump over to become CMO of enterprise information management company, OpenText? It's simple -- fear of failure.
The Road Not Taken
People were surprised about Kevin's move. But he thinks they should not have been. With Adobe, the vision is solid, the company is unified and the execution path is clear -- that's something Kevin had a lot to do with as VP of Enterprise Marketing. It was time for him to consider next steps and he was thinking hard about where he wanted to be in 2014.
Then the opportunity with OpenText crossed his path (interestingly enough, he had been paying attention to what was happening at OpenText). OpenText is a story of transformation, of harnessing the technology and people to transform a market around its new vision. What he saw was an opportunity to work on a more holistic vision, one that focuses on how enterprises have a conversation with customers, partners and employees. This story is about building an entire enterprise information management that touches all aspects of business and according to Kevin, it was the logical place for him to be.
Kevin gave me a little biographical history lesson. He started with Day Software as CMO in 2008 shortly after its new CEO Erik Hansen took over. Day's objectives at that time were to resuscitate the brand, reconnect with the install base, to build a strong partner ecosystem and to catalyze growth by taking advantage of the new web presence capabilities that were just being recognized at that time. Kevin partnered with R&D on the evolution of CQ platform getting it into that market leader position that it had when it came to the attention of Adobe (and was acquired in 2010).
The story, according to Kevin, is the same at OpenText. It needs to call attention to its brand, which he says is its people and the innovations they provide to customers every day. OpenText is a powerful brand that needs new life breathed into it. The focus for Kevin this time though is on the CIO and helping them drive radical transformation within their organizations. It's a similar set of challenges, but different scale Kevin told me and he's excited by the opportunity.
The OpenText Challenge
OpenText is not without its challenges. It has over the past few years acquired a number of products and has had difficulty integrating them into seamless platforms. It also has a wide range of products and services which the new CEO Mark J. Barrenechea has announced will be brought together under a new enterprise information management (EIM) strategy. Barrenechea identified the five pillars of OpenText's new EIM strategy in August of 2012. They included: enterprise content management, business process management, customer experience management, information exchange and discovery.