OpenText is big on change: It's been talking a lot about transformation as a business, and it’s been talking about digital transformation as a strategy. 

This morning the conversation intensifies with Release 16, which includes Suite 16 and Cloud 16. The release is the final phase of the company's Blue Carbon Project, which was finally (officially) unveiled in November at Enterprise World 2015.

Waterloo, Ontario-based OpenText has also been leaking word about its next phase of development, which centers on Project Banff. Slated to be officially launched at Enterprise World in Nashville this July, it will confirm OpenText’s move into areas such as machine learning, semantic analysis and text mining.

Digital Transformation

But for today, the focus is on Release 16, which include upgrades to all the suites as well as improved cloud computing capabilities, according to Adam Howatson, OpenText's Chief Marketing Officer.  They are designed to enable enterprises to digitally transform their businesses as well as their business relationships with OpenText.

“We have introduced more flexibility into Suite 16. Customers can buy everything from OpenText or they can take individual elements a la carte whether they are existing OpenText customers or whether they are new customers,” he said.

“To support that we have introduced new kinds of pricing. Customers can chose perpetual on-premises single user licenses, subscriptions or a managed service billing model. We will accommodate any or all of these across the spectrum.”

Processes and Automation

The Blue Carbon Project is all about processes and automation, starting with content capture and its automation. It continues with automating additional processes around content and finally to automating all the processes around governance.

Last month in Paris, OpenText CEO Mark J. Barrenechea took this even further: “We think digital is a revolution is a revolution of three extremes. Those three extremes are extreme automation, extreme connectivity and extreme computing. Digital disruption is here. It’s not next year, it’s not tomorrow, and it’s now. We saw the digital future four years ago,” he said.

Under the Hood of Release 16

Release 16 consists of four on-premises suites and a cloud offering, including Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Business Process Management (BPM), Customer Experience Management (CEM) and Analytics.

While this suggests a release consisting of upgrades to four separate suites and a cloud service, Release 16 actually brings all the suites together in a way that hasn’t happened before.

“It is a single platform that manages and analyzes the entire flow of information, addressing key areas of the user experience, machine-to-machine integration, automation and other aspects of the digital-first organization, “ Howatson said.

All can be deployed as either on-premises, in hybrid deployments or as  pure cloud deployments. Enterprises can also pick and choose what they want, taking some elements and leaving the rest should they chose. This release also comes with an open stack.

Learning Opportunities

“We believe there is increased value for customers around upgrading to access the new enriched capabilities. They can also improve their Total Cost of Ownership because we have introduced an open stack in Release 16. This means, for example, if a company wants to run it on Linux with an Apache apps server and pay nothing for infrastructure they can do that,” Howatson said.

New Release Capabilities

There are four principal improvements across the five elements of Release 16, including Cloud 16. They are designed to enable digital transformation across the entire enterprise. Those improvements, as Howatson sees it, come under four headings.

  1. Hybrid Cloud Capabilities across cloud and on-premises offerings, as well as managed services on-premises or in the cloud.
  2. Analytics and Reporting Integration, including predictive and embedded analytics and reporting integrated across all OpenText suites
  3. Information Flow, secured and governed, from data capture-to-disposal
  4. Mobility, including new version of AppWorks, a common application gateway for OpenText Suite 16 and OpenText Cloud 16 products, and improved mobile support for Content Suite and Active Documents

Project Banff

Howatson stressed the importance of analytics and mobile in this and future releases.

“What you will hear more and more from OpenText is automation, learning-machine integration, cognitive computing around analytics, algorithms as applications. You will see more and more of the OpenText products offer these capabilities out of the box to help customers understand nuance and help customer extract insights from their data,” he added.

So expect to hear a lot more about predictive analytics, machine-to-machine, the Internet of Things and other information management-related technologies.

Asked if this represented a break with OpenText’s strategy to date, Howatson pointed out that OpenText has been working on these things already.

“Its not a break, it’s a continuance. Look at some of our applications like semantic analysis, semantic navigation, text mining, automation in the process suite for process routing, and this seems like a very natural progression because the volume of data we collect and manage.” 

Title image by Timothy Muza