Following their acquisition of Hummingbird this past summer, Open Text has recently announced their latest public intentions for the Hummingbird brand of Enterprise Content Management software and for 2007 as a whole.
The Ontario-based company unveiled the plans to existing Open Text customers and partners, assuring all that the changes would include continued support for Livelink ECM-eDOCS products (formerly Hummingbird Enterprise), new product integrations and new ECM software to enable customers to manage compliance and improve their own logistical processes.
The updates put particular focus on improving Livelink, which remains one of the market's leading collaboration and content management software products for the global enterprise.
“Complementary Open Text and Hummingbird technologies will allow us to offer the best in ECM solutions and expertise," stated Open Text's Kirk Roberts.
The company has made much of what it describes as 95% integration of the acquired assets from Hummingbird. Analyst Tony Byrne of CMS Watch begs to differ, suggesting that in reality the two company's technologies are somewhat closer to 5% integrated.
We think we'll go with Tony's assessment on this one. For as his fellow analyst pointed out, most single vendor ECM "suites" are typically quite complex and rarely even integrated amongst products of their own brand. Fully integrating the Hummingbird and Open Text software and repositories is certainly not something that happens in six months, if it ever will.
Looking back to the future, in a recent Red Herring interview, Open Text's CEO, John Shackleton, shared that compliance "across all industries and geographies" was the primary driver of their business today. That comes as no surprise given the pressure domestic and foreign legislation has put on larger enterprises and has been reflected in the company's strong focus on records management.
He also claims that the company is not being shopped around (for acquisition), and prefers to establish themselves as the "Switzerland" of the industry, focusing on partnerships and integration.
An on the integration front, the company is certainly making moves. One such integration they like to talk about is their tie-in with Microsoft Office and Outlook in particular. Keep your eyes on that space in 2007 as new products emerge which deliver customer information and business records in the Microsoft Office applications.
Additional highlights for the 2007 season will include:
* Support for Microsoft Office and Windows Vista
* Contract Management Solutions in which Open Text will make it easier for customers to create contracts, negotiations, contract fulfillments and renewals
* A more pronounced focus on Records Management certification, where Open Text will re-certify Livelink ECM-eDOCS's records management capacities under US DoD 5015.2 (April of 2007)
* A menagerie of product integrations to enhance the user experience for Livelink ECM-eDOCS customers
The company has a bright future and some aggressive plans. However, internal product integration of the Hummingbird technologies will remain a challenge and competition from the other consolidated and well monied players is sure to be aggressive.
Stay tuned for their their 2006 financial results, coming this February 8th, and we'll all find out how well the rubber is in fact hitting the road.
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