Open Text Flips the ECM Metaphor

3 minute read
Brice Dunwoodie avatar
Open Text ECM
As part of a series of announcements today Open Text has announced the latest version of their Livelink Enterprise CMS offering. The company claims that version 10 is an evolutionary step forward, both updating existing capabilities and integrating technologies from recent acquisitions (Hummingbird, RedDot) for web, documents, records, email, feeds and collaboration. The new message is a blend of management, compliance, integration, and intelligence. They call it "Enterprise Transparency" and instead of stuffing everything in, they are reaching out.Most enterprises today treat content management as a separate function from such enterprise applications as finance, customer relationship management or supply chain planning. As a result, there is almost no linkage between information stored in email or document archives and other enterprise applications. Open Text claims that this gap creates both compliance risks and significant inefficiencies for workers, and that Livelink ECM 10 is designed to address these challenges. "Users are frustrated by the lack of integration between their line-of-business applications and personal productivity tools; enterprise processes are fragmented between these two worlds....The ability to keep users in one consistent and productive environment will enable companies to realize additional productivity. It can also enable consistent and coherent support for enterprise processes as they extend between activities supported in these previously distinct environments," says Mark Gilbert, a research Vice President at analyst firm Gartner, Inc.Open Text is making efforts to collaborate with infrastructure providers. The company's EVP, Kirk Roberts, states that they are working closely with major enterprise infrastructure and applications providers SAP, Microsoft and Oracle, Open Text are are focused on delivering an ECM offering that directly controls content but is also part of the over-all enterprise architecture. "This [infrastructure collaboration] enables content management to evolve from simply tracking and controlling information to leveraging it for business advantage," says Roberts.Most of what's new in the Livelink 10 release is available immediately, but some additional features are being rolled out in early 2007. Immediately Available Features* Enterprise Library ServicesIntegrated archival, metadata management, enterprise records management and search capabilities are exposed as Enterprise Library Services. These provide organizations with the ability to implement enterprise-wide retention strategies.In addition to managing content stored in Livelink repositories, Livelink 10 provides the ability to manage the metadata and the life cycle of content stored in enterprise applications from vendors such as Microsoft, SAP and Oracle, as well as business content stored in Microsoft SharePoint, email, file systems, and other repositories.* Bridging Business Content with Enterprise ApplicationsAllows business users to access business content in ERP systems, such as purchase order documents, from their Microsoft Outlook interface. This allows organizations to leverage content and metadata investments across applications, and provides a unified view of structured and unstructured business content. * Flexibility for Provisioning Basic Content ServicesThe ability to build and deploy solutions on any Basic Content Services offering such as Microsoft SharePoint, while managing the enterprise-wide retention of the business content with Enterprise Library Services.Additional features will be arriving in 2007, including refinements to the overall user experience and new Web Services APIs for interfacing to the Enterprise Library Services and opening up the content services to more integration with both third party and custom content and intelligence applications.