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OpenText has, for a long time, been one of the main enterprise technology players that supports organizations in bringing data and applications together.

It is now making that process easier. OpenText announced it is partnering with Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to bring its enterprise information management (EIM) tools and managed services to GCP. This makes Google the first public cloud player to support OpenText Anywhere.

OpenText Anywhere is not exactly a new concept. In a blog posted five years ago, OpenText explained that your brand’s message needs to go wherever customers are operating online, so web content management technologies and processes need to ensure your organizations are connecting with this audience.

“There are digital doors that your customers walk through to get to you…and they expect to find you on the other side ready to address their expectations and their needs every time, no matter what,” David Aponovich, at the time a senior analyst at Forrester Research said in a webinar on the subject. “They really don’t care what device they’re using. They care about the information they’re after and the experiences they’re trying to achieve through interacting with your company and brand.”

The result is this new partnership, which will see OpenText’s EIM solution suite deployed on Google Cloud Platform. The partnership will include a containerized application architecture for flexible cloud or hybrid deployment models. Deploying OpenText solutions on Google Cloud Platform will allow customers to autoscale their deployments as their businesses demand.

While the partnership is designed to give OpenText traction everywhere in the enterprise, the announcement should sit nicely with SAP customers who use both Google Cloud and OpenText cloud applications. It also helps those interested in developing hybrid cloud environments.

Meanwhile, OpenText has also announced the Release 16 Enhancement Pack 5 (EP5), OpenText Business Network Cloud 16.10, and a series of new SaaS-based applications for the legal, life sciences and HR markets on its next-generation cloud platform, OT2. There are many new additions here, but the general idea is to provide deeper and seamless integration with other apps as well as bringing advanced AI, enhanced security and deeper information workflows to the intelligent and connected enterprise.

Gartner’s 5 Digital Workplace ‘Must-Haves’

Just in case you didn't catch the buzz about the urgency of taking the digital transformation leap, Gartner research revealed 67 percent of business leaders are now aware that they need to digitize their workplace to remain competitive by 2020. At the recent Gartner ReimagineHR conference, Gartner said most are turning to human resources leaders to lead the transformation change.

According to the research, CEOs are sharing their focus on digitalization with their investors: mentions of “digital” on earnings calls have increased 20 percent year-over-year since 2010. CEOs are seeking ways to keep costs down while achieving gains in efficiency and productivity.

“As more organizations become increasingly digital across their operations, HR departments are facing a tall order: not only do they have to lead the digital transformation of their company and satisfy the desires of the CEO, but they must also meet employee demands that digitalization efforts provide improved experience for them,” Brian Kropp, group vice president of Gartner’s HR practice, said in a statement.

So what should enterprises be doing? Gartner suggests one of five different macro strategies:

  1. Attract more digital candidates.
  2. Gain better insights about employees.
  3. Coach managers to develop the digital capabilities of their teams.
  4. Improve technology to drive employee self-service at work.
  5. Evolve performance management.

Other Gartner research underlined some bad news that will make digital transformation more difficult. Its research found the number of employees willing to go beyond the call of duty in the workplace has declined significantly, both globally and in North America, with only 17 percent of North American employees reported high levels of discretionary effort in the third quarter 2018, down from 26 percent during the same time frame in 2013.

Microsoft Backs Down on Office 365 Tips

One of the most talked about Microsoft stories this week was an announcement spotted by Reddit stating that Microsoft would start sending Office 365 business users email messages with tips on how to use its suite of apps at the end of the month.

“In case you ignored the 'Major Update' email, all Office 365 users will soon be receiving emails with 'helpful product training and tips' unless you disable the setting in your admin console,” the notification reads. It also noted a way to turn these notifications off, but it would have to be done by an administrator.

Microsoft’s note resulted in a surge of complaints from administrators across the community who were worried the notifications could make otherwise secure deployments insecure. Email messages from Microsoft could undermine past phishing-awareness training to educate users that Microsoft would never contact them by email, according to some, or could expose otherwise unnoticed gaps. As a result, some thought the tips emails could be used by attackers as a phishing template. In addition, others did not like the idea of Microsoft deciding what tips their end-users should see without admins vetting them first.

Microsoft reacted swiftly. It posted an update informing admins it was "pausing the release of the feature" while it reviewed feedback and suggestions. It has not binned the idea altogether and said that it “will at some point” release the feature. Is this likely after the reactions? It is difficult to say, but the stand down looks like a face-saving exercise. More on this as it happens.

Facebook Under Threat in Europe — Again

Facebook is in the crosshairs in Europe, again. This time from a French NGO, which is reportedly planning to initiate a class action suit against Facebook, saying the social network was violating users' privacy despite the enactment of GDPR earlier this year.

The Internet Society France, part of the Internet Society global advocacy group, said it had sent Facebook a formal notice listing seven areas where it had allegedly failed to respect personal data.

It said several hundred people had joined its campaign, part of the "eBastille" initiative, and it hopes to get 100 million of Facebook's 278 million users in France to back the lawsuit.

Facebook's alleged faults include gathering data on users' sexuality, religious beliefs and political views, and not allowing people to partially block data gathering. The group also claims Facebook uses cookies to trace internet activity of people who simply consult its website without being members.

Internet Society France contends that if the social media giant is found to have breached privacy laws, it should have to pay damages to each user.

Pegasystems and Snowbound Partner

Finally this week, Snowbound Software, which provides a universal document viewer, has announced a technology partnership with customer experience and engagement giant, Pegasystems.

This partnership integrates Snowbound’s pure HTML5 document viewer, VirtualViewer HTML5, with Pega’s unified, no-code development Pega Platform. The result is a faster and more secure way to directly access documents, images and videos within Pega software.

Pega clients can download VirtualViewer HTML5 for testing through Pega Exchange, Pega’s application and components marketplace.