ORLANDO, Fla. — Let’s call it the calm before the EIM storm here at OpenText Enterprise World 2013 at the JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton. It’s the Partner Summit for the annual enterprise information management (EIM) conference for the Waterloo, Ontario-based EIM software solutions giant.

The somewhat quiet atmosphere belies the truth behind one number — the registration tally, which we will see first-hand starting tomorrow when the official conference begins. That number is in the ballpark of 2,000 attendees, the highest by far for any OpenText annual conference to date.

Nearly Double Registration

Conference officials told CMSWire.com today that registration numbers this year nearly doubled year-over-year. Last year's show, which about 1,200 people attended, was more represented of the annual conference’s average, said Kevin Cochrane, chief marketing officer for OpenText.

So why the big number this year? Why are those charged with leading EIM in their organizations flocking to Orlando this week in record numbers?

We know this isn’t 2010 and 2011, when conference travel budgets began to rebound after the recession of 2008 and 2009. So increased budgets are not the reason nor is the location — OpenText was down the street at another Orlando hotel last year.

Something else is luring attendees. Who we kidding? Money rules. According to research by the Radicati Group, the enterprise content management market will continue to grow from $4.4 billion in 2012 to more than $7.5 billion in 2016 — an average growth rate of 15 percent over the next four years. 

People make money in the space. We know that's the first appeal. But what about OpenText, particularly?

Matt Dion, vice president of marketing for Elastic Path, told CMSWire.com today that OpenText’s products are hot right now, especially in the customer experience management (CEM) space. “It’s all about the experience,” Dion told me from the conference.

Dion also cited Cochrane’s efforts and “marketing energy” to get partners and customers under one roof here in the Sunshine State.

OpenText’s Vision Appeal

Two OpenText executives gave us an indication that it goes beyond marketing. Muhi Majzoub, senior vice president of engineering for OpenText, credited the increase in conference participation to a “new OpenText vision.”

“Our CEO (Mark Barrenechea) has set forward momentum, and you’re seeing the excitement and ripple effect here,” Majzoub told CMSWire in an interview today. “More companies are seeing us as leaders of information management than ever before. They see products come to market with customer examples for how they can leverage it in their enterprises.”

information management, Record Numbers: Enterprise Information Management Hot for OpenText #OTEW2013
Muhi Majzoub, senior vice president of engineering for OpenText, at this morning's "Techie Tuesday" in Orlando, Fla. Photo by Dom Nicastro.

In the past, Majzoub said, CIOs did not see OpenText as an “innovation company.” Now, however, he said, the company is committed to innovation.

“More than 50 percent of everything we’re announcing is organic, all family grown products,” said Majzoub, who gave a high overview this morning at “Techie Tuesday” of the Project Red Oxygen release OpenText unveils Wednesday. “Mark has set a great vision for the company. He said he was committing a billion dollars in investments on acquisitions and organic growth. Twelve months later, he’s already delivered that.” 

In August, OpenText reported its fiscal fourth quarter profits were up, but not as much as the company had hoped. That caused its share stock to drop about 5 percent the day the news was announced. OpenText reported revenues for the quarter of $347 million, up 14 percent over the same quarter last year. Revenues for the full year were $1.3 billion, up 13 percent for the year.

Innovation, on the Road

Cochrane, OpenText’s marketing chief, also caught up with CMSWire.com in an interview this morning and told us the company has set a “very aggressive agenda of innovation.”

“And we are getting out there and talking to customers, and they are excited about what we have to say,” Cochrane said. “They also want to come together and talk to their peers.”

OpenText is in the midst of an Innovation Tour road trip to various cities to promote engagement with customers and partners. “We’re out there every single day literally knocking on doors and saying how can we help you,” Cochrane said.

So ultimately what’s driving people here this week to improve their EIM programs?

“The pain point we see is that people need to fundamentally rethink old business models,” Cochrane said. “They need to accelerate the pace of their business” and effectively and safely share information across the entire supply chain. Companies are rethinking how to manage information.”