Highlights of the OpenText Dialogue Conference 2016

David Stabel and Matt Swain
Oct 10, 2016

OpenText recently invited more than 350 customers, prospects, partners, and analysts to its Dialogue 2016 conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The team rebranded this former HP Engage event to focus on the digital transformation for meaningful conversations across multiple channels. This was the first major event to take place after OpenText acquired the HP Engage and HP Exstream assets for a total transaction price of $485 million.

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Last year’s event expanded the focus to the full HP Software portfolio, while this year’s event generally focused more narrowly on the Exstream, TeleForm, and LiquidOffice investments.  As in previous years, the event focused on extensive educational sessions directed toward IT and marketing professionals, with networking opportunities to help cultivate a stronger user community. Here are our key takeaways from the event.

From Engagement to Insights

Throughout the show, customer engagement and customer experience were central to most of the presentations, use cases, product demonstrations, and other discussions. In recent years, we have been witnessing how the team at HP Exstream steadfastly has been growing an engagement portfolio strategy. This was clearly also a strategy within the broader Customer Engagement Management (CEM) strategy for OpenText.

OpenText has invested strongly in its CEM portfolio, which is housed within a dedicated business unit responsible for its own sales, marketing, service, and product management. In the last two years, OpenText spent $2 billion in M&A (for a company with annual global revenues of about $1.9 billion) and more than $500 million in R&D. With this portfolio, it pursues the vision of optimizing the creation and delivery of targeted multi-channel customer interactions by building on four pillars:

  • Compelling Experiences. This pillar is all about delivering superior experiences, either B2B or B2C. OpenText can pull from a wide range of products in this case, such as its Enterprise Marketing products (Optimost Marketing Hub, Aurasma, and Marketo), its Web Experience Management product, its interactive solutions from Exstream and Communications Center, and its Qfiniti contact center solutions.
  • Multi-channel Engagement. This pillar deals with executing excellent omni-channel interactions. It leverages products such as Digital Asset Management (Media Management, MediaBin, and Content Hub for Publishers), Customer Communications Management (Communications Manager, Exstream, Teleform, and LiquidOffice), and Customer Relationship Management through its integration components for SAP Hybris CRM and Salesforce.
  • Real-time Analytics. Here is where OpenText’s data analytics capabilities fit in. These capabilities, built upon Actuate technology, are made accessible to all key components of OpenText’s Enterprise Information Management technology stack, including CEM. Especially for contact centers, OpenText offers speech & multi-channel analytics as part of its Customer Feedback solution.
  • Application Eco-system. By owning its own data centers worldwide, OpenText is in a unique position to offer its customers a dedicated cloud infrastructure. In his keynote speech, OpenText CEO & CTO Mark Barrenechea explained how this infrastructure is forming the basis for OpenText’s managed services; a business that will be of growing importance for OpenText going forward. It also leverages this cloud infrastructure by offering micro-services: applications accessible in the cloud or through an API. A good example of that is the Exstream Cloud Production, which allows customers to run the Exstream engine in the cloud. OpenText will expand its offerings of micro-services and build an eco-system of applications as it deploys its solutions in the cloud.

The Future of Exstream

One of the key questions on every attendee’s mind was regarding how OpenText expects to integrate Exstream within its existing CCM portfolio (Communications Center) with StreamServe and Legodo technology at its core. Although, no roadmap was presented at the show, it was made clear by Mark Barrenechea that OpenText will continue to support Exstream customers. There is no immediate conflict today. Communications Center has its sweet spot in on-demand and interactive communications, whereas Exstream has its sweet spot in processing high production and batched communications.

Looking at the latest innovations within Exstream 9.5, a significant number of new features target supporting digital communications. In fact, in its latest release Exstream pursues a “Digital First” approach where customers can now directly import, create, design, and output communications using modern web technologies—HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript—while still having full support for printed and page-based output. It is a similar approach to what we are seeing from competitors like Objectif Lune, when they brought their OL Connect technology to market.

InfoTrends Opinion

OpenText’s CEM vision is clear and seems to be backed by a solid portfolio of products and services. There are also strong similarities between the strategies of HP Exstream and OpenText CEM. This all promises to be beneficial for customers of both solutions, but the implementation of the strategy put forth will be what we watch for in the coming year.

 

David Stabel and Matt Swain

InfoTrends is closely tracking the field of customer communications with a variety of advisory services in the Customer Engagement Technologies space, as well as in the Transactional Communications & Payments space. For more information on these advisory services, please contact Keith LaVangie.

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