Open Text retired RedDot, farewell reddot

It’s the end of an era for RedDot.

Enterprise content management vendor Open Text has retired its web content management arm RedDot in a recent consolidation/rebranding attack. The Web CMS software is staying put, but it is no longer to be called RedDot.

Say hello to the new Web Solutions family and to Daniel Kraft. Kraft is Open Text’s SVP for Corporate Strategy, and we had the pleasure of chatting with him in pursuit of answers to some red hot RedDot questions.

The Preamble

It really is no news anymore that the Web Solutions group has replaced RedDot in the Open Text’s landscape. We covered Web Solutions late last year when this new brand name surfaced the news.

As of October of last year, there’s a total of six solutions that are part of the Open Text Web Solutions offering:

  1. Web Solutions for Intranets
  2. Web Solutions for Multi-Sites
  3. Web Solutions for Enterprise 2.0
  4. Web Solutions for SAP
  5. Web Solutions for Microsoft
  6. Web Solutions for Livelink

All these solutions are covered in (some) detail here.

Most recently, we’ve heard more from the Web Solutions for Multi-Sites module with the newest globalization capabilities and management of multiple sites in multiple locales and languages.

While these are all good developments, we do miss RedDot. After all these years of seeing that little red dot in a corner of our screens, who wouldn’t shed a little tear?

So we talked to Open Text to get the skinny.

The Interview

How and why did the decision to "shut down" RedDot come about?

Daniel Kraft:
First of all, we don’t “shut down” RedDot. This is the final step of a two-year project and a testament on the success we had turning Open Text into a more web centric company.
Many of our customers made further investments into other Open Text products and the rebrand is an expression of this progress we are making to offer much more than traditional WCM but valuable Web Solutions that helps organizations drive revenues, improve communications, reach new markets and protect and grow their brand.

You so fondly say in your blog "We will keep RedDot in our hearts." What was the OTEX internal reaction to the announcement?

"On December 2008 we had to say good bye to one of our dearest friends - the RedDot. In an emotional ceremony all of his fellow co-workers gathered together to share great stories and express their respect for one of the greatest web visionaries of all times. When we had to enable everybody to change the web, RedDot was there for us! When 3,000 companies knocked on our doors to help them with their web solutions, RedDot was there for us! When two Canadian software companies looked for great acquisitions in WCM, RedDot was there for us. He was always there for us, our great friend, co-worker and admired leader. We have to say good bye now, but we promise that we will keep RedDot in our hearts…”

Daniel Kraft:
It is no secret that we love the “RedDot” and saying goodbye is never easy. But the team is even more excited to see the transition from a web technology provide to a leader in web centric solutions. This is not an end; it is the next step to underline our leadership position in that space.

How did the RedDot customers react?

Daniel Kraft:
After 15 years, the RedDot brand has definitely made an impact on the market.

From day one, customers have embraced the solutions due to the ability for non-technical content experts to manage the web experience. And this freedom was driven through our interface of “red dots.”

So yes, our many customers were sad because they love what RedDot has stood for. But being a customer of Open Text has brought much added value, so they appreciate the transition and will always have fond memories.

Web Solutions doesn't sound like a strong brand name, any comment?

Daniel Kraft:
We are not looking to create a new brand. Our brand is Open Text.
We want to convey that we understand the web and the opportunities a web strategy can deliver for our customers. Our goal with “Web Solutions” is to let our customers know that we will take them beyond the traditional WCM capabilities into the types of offerings that they can build their web strategies upon.

Was there any impact on the headcount?

Daniel Kraft:
This rebranding had no impact on the headcount in the Web Solutions business. In fact, this opened the door for many additional opportunities for our team. Really understanding the web is key skill set in today’s 2.0 world.

What are your general feelings about the current state of the Web CMS industry and recent acquisitions?

Daniel Kraft:
The WCM market is in the final stage of consolidation. While there is a huge demand for web-centric content solutions, the time for stand-alone WCM companies is getting tougher every day.
With the recent acquisition of Interwoven, Autonomy made a step into that space and the number of pure-plays with a relevant size is down to really one.

What's coming for Web Solutions in the future?

Daniel Kraft:
There are some really amazing things to come! But let me first state that we will continue to focus and grow Web Content Management solutions as a critical component to the ECM Suite. We take our customers on a journey that can start with Web Solutions or include Web Solutions as part of the content strategy at any time.

Let me highlight some of the things we’re focusing on:

Learning Opportunities

  • Integration from Anywhere to Anywhere

Open Text customers have made significant investments into underlying infrastructure, whether with SAP or Microsoft, content resides in various formats and many repositories. Key to the web experience is to leverage the content that sits in these various forms and provide the information in context to the visitor and in the experience they prefer.

  • Managing Multi-Sites

Enterprise organizations realize that valuable communication can not come from one single web experience. Whether its micro-sites for specific product lines or localized language sites for global growth, Open Text focuses our Web Solutions offering for organizations to better manage multi-sites.
The content distribution model and integration with language translation tools allows large organizations to manage content and experience at global and local levels.

  • Safe Enterprise 2.0

To support and guide our clients as they look to 2.0 technologies to improve the web experience, Open Text offers Web Solutions integrated with social networking and rich media with the ability for an organization to achieve compliance at all levels.

How are you positioning the Web Solutions Group vs. other WCM vendors?

Daniel Kraft:
Open Text Web Solutions allows the customer the flexibility for a robust Web Solution that meets the requirements of the WCM market while opening up the journey to a larger ECM investment.

What about the integrated ECM strategy? What about the customers who only need the WCM component?

Daniel Kraft:
We have many customers with this requirement and continue to grow their web initiatives. Open Text is committed to growing the offering and will continue to provide additional value to those that have invested in the stand-alone offering.

Where are you at in terms of real-life technical integrations? How do you integrate the Web Solutions, separately?

Daniel Kraft:

This is one of our key strengths. The Web Solutions offering is a strategic component of the Open Text ECM Suite and, as such, comes with many integrations -- including our document management, digital asset management and social networking and collaboration offerings.

But we took it one step further and also support the key ecosystems like SAP and Microsoft (e.g. SharePoint). The important point is that this has been our strategy for many years, as we understand that content comes from many different sources and needs to be delivered on many different environments.

Are there any repositories’ integrations with Web Solutions? Will CMIS play a role?

Daniel Kraft:
We support almost any meaningful repository. Furthermore -- Open Text is a driver of the CMIS initiative, and we are excited to see this to progress.

CMIS will provide great flexibility, so that organizations gain more value from content regardless of where it's stored. CMIS is a great way to decouple the user experience from the complexity of the underlying content repositories.

The Conclusion

Yeah, we still miss RedDot. But also look forward to seeing more of Open Text Web Solutions in the news.

The consolidation decision makes sense. How long will it take customers and the industry to adjust to the new brand and to believe in OTEX Web Solutions? We shall see.

We thank @danielkraft for his valuable input to this article and hope to hear more from the Open Text Web Solutions group in the future.