Image by: ipopba, ©2018 Getty Images

During Enterprise World 2018, OpenText CEO Mark Barrenechea delivered the opening keynote address at their annual user conference to over 4,000 delegates. The theme of this year’s event was “Mundus Novus” (the New World), and Barrenechea spoke about how competing and conflicting macro-trends are converging to pose unprecedented challenges for today’s businesses. Enterprises must navigate a complex range of competing priorities. These include a new workforce (with humans and robots), new business models, the cloud/Internet of things (IoT), social responsibility, regulations, and mobile—just to name a few. In this new world, every business is a software business.

OpenText’s Vision: The Intelligent and Connected Enterprise

Against that backdrop, OpenText unveiled its vision for an “intelligent and connected enterprise” and the future of enterprise information management (EIM). The company’s major announcement at the event was the release of its next-generation hybrid-cloud platform, OpenText OT2. This microservices-based, self-service EIM platform enables on-premises and cloud applications to work together. With OT2, businesses that need to keep some data on-premises can still enjoy the benefits of a flexible, cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) environment. Next to the announcement of OT2, OpenText also revealed other exciting news on its customer communications management (CCM) capabilities.

Exstream Content Author

The user experience (UX) is front and center in the minds of many enterprises, and OpenText Exstream Content Author addresses a number of key user roles. It enables businesses to make changes to customer communications without engaging information technology (IT), making it possible for business users to respond to competitive changes in real time, instantly communicate new offerings, and quickly act on opportunities. Real-time communication is becoming increasingly important for today’s enterprises. According to a recent study from Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends titled "Pricing for Digital: Exploring New Models for Transactional Communications Delivery," the demand for real-time delivery is on the rise. Although 80% of document volume is currently delivered in batch mode, nearly three-quarters of enterprise respondents in North America are seeing an increase in real-time delivery moving forward.

Exstream Communications Designer

OpenText also gave some of us a sneak peek at its upcoming thin-client web design tool for print or digital communications. It offers the following capabilities:
  • The ability to create and deploy new templates without repackaging or relying on desktop tools
  • A focus on customer correspondence and common (simple) communication templates
  • Full template control and editing
  • Responsive HTML and email design
  • Exstream Content Author integration
  • A more agile workflow that integrates CCM and digital asset management
  • Omni-channel delivery

Customer Communications Management in the Cloud

OpenText will also use Exstream to provide CCM microservices on OT2 that enable on-demand, interactive, and batch use cases, with the first release (V1) supporting on-demand and interactive projects and subsequent updates enabling batch services. V1 will also provide services to search and query through catalogues of communication templates. In addition, these services allow for the ability to "interrogate" documents, such as asking what output formats should be supported (so those options could be presented later) and what data is required.

By adding CCM micro-services to its portfolio, OpenText now supports one of the most comprehensive, cloud-based offerings for CCM in the industry. It features:
  • CCM as a Managed Service: Through a single tenant in the OpenText Cloud, customers get access to CCM capabilities as well as all the services around it, such as managing the infrastructure and application
  • CCM as Cloud Editions: Ready-made packages for specific applications
  • CCM as a Service: Native, cloud-based, and multi-tenant CCM micro-services

A New Look at Customer Journey Mapping

OT2 also takes the next step in uniting CCM and customer experience with a soon-to-be-released customer journey solution. The new product will enable enterprises to control, connect, and orchestrate all communications across every touchpoint, from web (WCM), to communications (CCM), as well as to the contact center. Although the version on display at the conference was still a prototype, a first release is planned for later this year.

The Bottom Line

Enterprises now have access to more information about their customers than ever before, but this data must be managed and digested to create a cohesive and consistent customer experience. With OT2, enterprises are provided with the tools to do this more effectively. The new customer journey mapping tool will provide the necessary transparency and control for managing customer experiences at scale. In addition, the company’s comprehensive offering for cloud-based CCM will enable enterprises to be more agile in their customer communications—and this is a key requirement for real-time and bi-directional customer conversations.

David Stabel is the Research Director of the Customer Communications Advisory Service at Keypoint Intelligence–InfoTrends. For more information, contact or follow him on Twitter @davidstabel.