Competition in the cloud computing market is intense everywhere — and Asia Pacific is one of the most hotly contested markets for cloud vendors. OpenText has just entered that market with the announcement that it's opening its first data center in Australia. 

Growing Global

For OpenText watchers, this should be no real surprise given the company’s stated ambition of becoming the biggest Enterprise Information Management (EIM) on the planet. To do that, the APEJ (Asia-Pacific Excluding Japan) market is a must, preferably before the likes of IBM or SAP have gobbled up so much of the data storage and cloud computing business that there is nothing left for anyone else.

There are a large number of indigenous IT companies in the region too that are already providing cloud services, but to really make it work and develop the cloud infrastructure, it needs global players, including the ones we come across daily here.

For OpenText then, Australia is an obvious target offering it access to the entire Pacific region as well as the lucrative Australian market, keeping in mind, of course that Australia, to a large extent, was untouched by the five year economic meltdown that both the US and Europe are currently putting behind them.

That said, OpenText has been a little bit coy about this investment. The $1.1 million data center was commissioned in the middle of January, but was only made public yesterday. According to CEO Mark J. Barrenechea, its purpose is to provide local users with high-performance EIM applications from local environments.

OpenText says it will offer information security, information exchange and social applications from the center, including Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions.

OpenText's investment in an Australian data center complements the existing nine data centers across the USA and Europe. From those services, it offers cloud solutions to over 3,000 customers globally, while the acquisition of GXS last month is expected to bring in more clients who are looking for integration cloud technology.

Data Sovereignty

While OpenText has been expanding significantly in recent years — like other companies working in the cloud market — it needs to look at the growing problem of data sovereignty or in simpler terms where it stores its client’s data.

With increasingly rigid compliance regimes around the world, information management companies can no longer depend on data centers located in the US, for example, to keep information for companies operating in Europe.