Today, OpenText Enterprise World 2016 kicks off in Nashville, Tennessee for a new and improved conference promising to be "bigger and better" than ever.
As a provider of Enterprise Information Management (EIM) products, OpenText will be focusing on areas such as optimising deployments, developing applications and getting more value from existing investments, with the overarching theme centred around enabling the digital world.
The main keynote session on Tuesday morning will be led by Mark Barrenechea, CEO and CTO of OpenText, along with a host of other execs including OpenText president Steve Murphy. There will also be a special guest speaker in the form of Colonel Chris Hadfield, a retired astronaut who was the first Canadian to walk in space and former commander of the International Space Station.
But that's not all. There will be over 200 breakout sessions throughout the week covering a range of different topics and sectors, as well as an innovation lab, a developer lab and training opportunities to satisfy everyone's needs.
We're going to be soaking it all in at Enterprise World 2016 throughout the whole of next week, so be sure to follow our live blog so stay up to date with all the news and updates from the event.
Racing teams are using data analytics to calculate the probabilities of different events during races
We're talking through a Formula One example now, where the cars have 160 sensors collecting 18+ GB of data in each race
"It's no longer possible, or it's increasingly becoming harder, for humans to process all this information"
The other side of this is that the user accessing the data is different as well. Self-service is the new norm, meaning "analytics is being tossed on its head"
The variety of data has also changed, thanks to the growth of things like social media and more diverse file formats
So, what's different about the information we have now? Firstly, "the volume of information we have access to is of an entirely different magnitude"
"If you make the right connections, that's when you have massive potential" to exploit this mass of data
"It's like one blurry mass that I'm dealing with"
We're also being faced with the increasing complexity of information, through a growing number of apps and sources
But there are of course cyber threats associated with this new trend of connected devices
These devices are starting to give us "very interesting analytical insights"
The industrial Internet of Things is enabling things like predictive maintenance and resource optimisation
"Computers are increasingly being connected to each other" - as well as lots of other types of devices
"Behaviours are fundamentally being influenced by the information that's out there"
Millennials prioritise mobility, BYOD and social. "They expect an enormous amount of flexibility in how they work"
We're starting off with some macro trends, the first being a changing workforce starting to be dominated by millennials. who have "very different expectations"
This talk is called "Analytics: Riding the next wave"
There's a few technical issues at the start of my next session, but we should hopefully be on the go shortly
I don't want to make you all jealous but...
This place is definitely the most picturesque hotel I've ever been in for a conference, even with my terrible photography skills
Some final points. Don't evaluate B2B outsourcing without considering:
- Future business strategy
- Future business requirements
- Future ERP architecture
- Future B2B program growth
"Analysts are recognising the viability of outsourcing"
Number five: Discuss evaluation with peer companies and analysts - Speak with companies in the same industry, those that are a similar size with similar systems
Number 4: Perform a thorough vendor analysis - Comes down to factors such as the company focus, its financial health, level of expertise, scalability etc
With outsourcing, businesses have access to a larger resource pool, leading to reduced on-boarding time and faster incident resolution
Business might have aging resources, a skill shortage or high training/re-training costs
Number three: Assess impact on current B2B resources - B2B programs require people, process and technology
"Companies have told us that when they outsource they're more receptive to supply chain disruptions" - That comes from visbility
Number two: Require supply chain visibility as part of the solution for mission critical business transactions
The second stage of a TCO involves looking at the financial benefits of outsourcing
Onto some best practices now.
Number One: Perform a Total Cost of Ownership Analysis - Involves looking at the major cost components (software, hardware, disaster recovery, personel etc)
CEOs are looking are areas of their company that could be "done better" by companies that focus on those areas
Other reasons include:
- Improve business partner satisfaction
- Grow B2B programs
- Gain a competitive edge
Another big reason is to re-focus valuable IT resources onto certain projects
Reduced costs kind of goes without saying - "organisations are being forced to do more, with less"
So, why do companies consider outsourcing?
Technology upgrades could potentially affect a business in many different ways, whether through hardware or software
There are several events that could impact B2B, such as:
- New or expanded markets
- Tech modernisations
- Workforce optimisation
"Companies throughout the course of their tenure may experience tougher times where cost reduction may need to come into play"
The first session I'm attending today is about B2B outsourcing
Right, welcome to day two of Enterprise World guys
So, there's a few things for you to think about if you've got any app design on the horizon. I'm off to an interview now then will be back tomorrow for day two.
Two important factors: Focus on mobile use cases and follow web standards
The real reason for prototyping is to "put it in the hands of real people"
In terms of prototyping, OpenText recommends that you "start small and work up"
"In hybrid web it's probably better to stick with the basics"
Bear in mind how people tend to hold their phones and the effects that different screen sizes and orientation can have
Spacing is also important and again, 32 pixels is recommended
OpenText recommends 32 pixels as a good target size
Size is important in mobile apps, as fingers aren't exactly the most nimble forms of input
The 'keep it simple' principle really applies to product development - "think about what you're really trying to go for"
It's also to think about the context of use. So the location, connectivity requirements etc.
Typical mobile tasks include: Look up, check on, create/edit and respond
This will require you to think about how people use apps on their phone, which is different from PCs
"You need to think about what problem your app is trying to solve." For mobile specifically, what's the use case?
Then you need to understand your users - so who they are, how they use apps, their needs etc
In the design process you should "avoid the temptation to start with coding early" - it's all about getting thoughts down on paper
With hybrid apps "you want the look and feel to be as native as possible"
We're getting a run down of the functionality currently available on AppWorks, so things like menus and navigation
And this is all related to OpenText AppWorks product
"Creating great mobile experiences is a pretty big topic"
OK, I'm now in a session about creating great user experiences for your users
More information on this session to come
I've just got out of a media Q&A session with MarkBarrenechea and Steve Murphy, which covered a range of topics including:
- OpenText's future cloud strategy
- New products Bandaroo and Magellan
- Partner channels
That's Muhi's section done, which is perfect timing as my laptop is about to die. Be sure to check back throughout the week for more news and updates!
"We are committed to understanding the data that each and every one of these advanced technologies brings to EIM"
OK, the demos are over, Muhi is looking into the future now, citing technologies such as drones and driverless cars
We're moving on to some demos now, it looks like we're going to be here for a while
"We provide a secure environment for your content"
"We continue to build on our infrastructure. Data centres are growing to support the 900+ customer that we have"
This section is crawling along a bit at the moment, there's some fidgeting in the audience
"We're investing a lot of work in our extended ECM"
"OpenText has the vision, whereas some of our competitors have not advanced"
The likes of Pepsi, Shell, JP Morgan and Qualcomm have all signed up
Suite 16 was OpenText's "largest beta rollout in the history of the company"
"Many of the largest media houses leverage our solution" - that's the Media Management product
"We're very proud to be the largest business network" - Muhi is proud of a lot of things
"We continue to be leaders in ECM"
"We know we're going to be a continuous acquirer"
"We're very proud of the modernisations we've done in our platform"
"We are very very proud of what we have delivered" with Suite 16
At the moment he's going through some of the releases of the last 12 months
Muhi Majzoub, OpenText EVP of engineering and information technology is on stage
OK, time for the second half of the show
We're getting a little break now, so back in a few
It's certainly an interesting company, surely the future of insurance?!
"We have a lot more customer touchpoints" than a normal insurer
"We have to become super efficient in our operation"
So the focus will be on earning points for safe driving, gatheringvouchers for retail discounts and things like that
"The future is more engagement with the customer"
"It's revolutionary in the UK"
The data that Insure the Box is collecting is now being used in legal battles in the UK to prove or dispute insurance claim
"In the digital world, personality has to come through"
It's primary market is millennials, so the company initially had some problems with customer engagement
So Insure the Box is a car insurance company, which uses telematics to collect data on drivers - one data point every five seconds per car
And Steve is being joined by Tracy Costello, CIO at Insure the Box
That's it from Mark, he leaves the stage to rapturous applause to be replaced by OpenText President Steve Murphy
"Magellan will be highly affordable, where Watson is astronomically expensive"
Some comparisons between IBM Watson:
There are thousands of Open Algorithms available, including predictive analytics and spech and video analysis
It's built on Open Standards to attract as many developers as possible, which also means it can be embedded "in any application"
It leverages the Spark Apache platform
It integrates multiple engines (voice, video, search etc) into "one cognitive platform"
Another announcement now: Product Magellan, OpenText's "next generation analytics platform"
It's effectively split into two halves: The structured information side (B2B integration, procure to pay etc) and unstructured info side (security, compliance, email etc)
Around 10 per cent of the world's GDP (approx $7.4 trillion) flows through it
If the OpenText business network was a country, it would be the world's third largest. That's impressive
"We think that's the next generation of work"
Then there's a document management area where teams can communicate and collaborate
There are also bots that users can interact with, a little bit like a Siri or Cortana
There's some definite similarities with Jive Software's offering here
And then there's a wider corporate channel for official releases etc. New channels can be created for events in a "fluid" environment
It provides information on what colleagues are working on, who they are interacting with etc
We're getting a quick demo now, starting with the "next-gen social experience"
It brings together five areas:
It focuses on the growing millennial influence in today's workforce
Here's the first announcement of the week: Project Bandaroo, designed around "the changing nature of work"
Mark's just talking through a few new products at the moment, which you can check out on the OpenText website if you wish
"We have got so much stronger" on customer experience - Factors such as multi-channel, personalisation and maximising the value of media assets
"Customer engagement through to business insight"
Over the next 20 years, OpenText believes that Enterprise Information Management (EIM) will be key
Mark has the stage again: "I fundamentally believe that, as I look back over the last 20 years of the enterprise, ERP has ruled the enterprise from campaign to cash"
A short and sweet visit from Tara there
"We're trying to enable a risk-based regulatory framework" - AER wants to be able to automate more processes to avoid the downfalls of form-filling
Tara: "You need to be agile, you need to be ahead of the business"
AER relies a lot on geo-data and gathering real time information
"We really are" an information company
Tara Mulrooney, CTO at Alberta Energy Regulator, has joined Mark on stage now
There are quite a few...
Mark's giving a few shout-outs to some of the new innovations OpenText is announcing with Release 16.
"There are good reasons to move workloads to the cloud" but some will remain on-premise
"We don't think all workloads will move to the cloud. We see the world as hybrid"
Providing information analytics "drives our innovation"
OpenText's view of the world:
"The next phase in our journey with Enterprise Information Management has to be predictive analytics"
"You've got to be able to buy instantly with just a finger"
"The customer journey is all reinvented in the age of digital"
"We have to put tools in place to capture all the knowledge that you have today"
"As companies transition, we need to recognise that the labour force is changing"
"By the year 2020, we estimate that 70 per cent of our workforce will be millennials"
And then of course there are disrupted business models - cue the customary Uber mention
"Economic models change, from one time payments to a subscription economy"
"Digital in a lot of ways is about going direct"
"And climbing this curve is insanely hard"
"The pace of change is accelerating"
Extreme automation (robots, AI, machine to machine etc), extreme computing power (SSD, neural networks etc) and extreme connectivity (connected users and connected devices)
"Digital is a revolution" and it consists of three areas
"Cars generate more data today than most sensors out there"
"That is the end state that we have to drive to" to be a "successful and thriving business"
"We are all information companies"
There are over 2,000 attendees from 40 countries represented here today
OpenText CEO and CTO Mark Barrenechea is kicking things off
Here we go then guys, keynote is officially underway!