OpenText CEO: Organizations Must Rethink Approach to Business, Technology

A look into the future marked by a ‘New Equilibrium’

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OpenText

Amid change and turmoil, digital transformation is continuing – and accelerating. It is a time of challenge and opportunity for those who can seize it. Following OpenText World, we spoke with OpenText CEO & CTO Mark J. Barrenechea about the theme of his keynote, leadership through a pandemic, and what’s next for the information management company. 

At OpenText World, you spoke about ‘the Great Rethink’, that we’re going through as a result of COVID-19. How should companies be thinking about this moment?

We are going through the fastest technology disruption in the history of the world. The shift to Industry 4.0 had already resulted in a huge increase in connectivity, automation, AI, and computing power. The response to COVID-19 has accelerated this process and forever changed the business environment.

The pandemic will eventually end but work from home – or work from anywhere –  is here to stay. Direct-to-consumer has exploded. Contactless is the new normal for every customer experience, from payment, to pick up, to delivery. Supply chains are going digital, becoming more mobile, and regionalizing.

The pandemic has also forced a huge shift in time-to-value. Five years ago, companies would wait two years to deploy an ERP system. Now, the expectation is that you will have a solution in weeks, or even days.

Organizations need to respond by fundamentally rethinking their approach to both business and technology. First, everyone must invest in digital transformation. Projects on the IT wish list for years are now central to the fundamental success of the business. Second, organizations need to be more agile, flexible, and empathetic to the needs of employees, customers, and partners.  We have never moved so fast, yet we will never move this slowly again. Change is going to continue to come quickly, requiring agility in every process from procurement to HR.

What has this new equilibrium meant for OpenText?

Because we had invested in digital solutions and processes, when we flipped the switch to remote work, it was seamless from a technology perspective. From that starting point, we have become even more digital and have further extended our lead in the cloud. We have 75,000 enterprise customers, 11 million cloud subscribers, and 100 million end-users. We protect 250 million endpoints and have transacted trillions of dollars in e-commerce since we went to remote work. In the last quarter alone, we had more than 500 professional service deployments – all managed remotely.

With regard to our customers, we have helped pharmaceutical companies continue vital R&D remotely, helped manufacturers maintain their supply chains, and helped companies continue to communicate effectively with their customers.

We also used this time to improve our own cyber resilience, deploying our own Carbonite back-up solutions to every employee endpoint across our company. In this way, we can ensure that our mission-critical information is protected and available to our more than 14,000 employees, wherever they are working.

At OpenText World, you released Cloud Editions 20.4. What are some of the highlights?

With Cloud Editions 20.4, OpenText is committed to delivering all of our products as a service. We introduced five expert domain-oriented clouds to help customers accelerate digital transformation and rethink the future of work: the OpenText Content Cloud, the OpenText Business Network Cloud, the OpenText Experience Cloud, the OpenText Security & Protection Cloud, and the OpenText Developer Cloud, all of which are built on the OpenText Cloud Platform.

These cloud solutions enable businesses to re-invent processes and seize emerging opportunities faster, easier, and more cost-effectively. Developer Cloud is particularly exciting. It will provide a platform for developers to create custom solutions to manage information, and will help build a community of innovators working together to create better enterprise applications.

During your presentation, you focused on APIs, particularly as they relate to the new Developer Cloud. Can you expand on the importance of APIs?

One of our core principles is to deliver everything as an API service. At OpenText, if we build a new app, a new product, or if we automate something, it starts with an API. And that API has to be public, massively scalable, and available to all. Today we have over 100 API services, a total that is growing constantly.

With Developer Cloud, we introduced 32 new services in eight capability groupings. These include: to capture and digitize, to process workflows and get e-signatures, to store and manage, to search and analyze, and many others. All of these are now APIs available at developer.opentext.com.

Our developer offering will continue to evolve over time as we expand the platform to include all of our information management services. The OpenText Developer Cloud will be the new home for all the services that help you manage information. It will be a place for the developer community – including partners, product experts, and process experts – to connect and work towards creating an easy-to-manage experience through simplifying secure information access.

Finally, coming out of OpenText World you reported record-breaking first-quarter earnings. What contributed to that, and how do you see the rest of the year going for OpenText?

It’s clear that information management’s time has come. Our vision at OpenText is to build the most comprehensive information management cloud platform in the world. With the introduction of our new architecture, Cloud Editions, we are able to deliver on that promise to our customers. 

Companies need to accelerate their digital transformation and we are able to support that across our suite of products – whether content management, business network, customer experience, or cyber resilience. In each of these areas, we are delivering incredible new capabilities every 90 days, and our domain leadership positions have never been stronger.

All this led to the strongest start to a fiscal year in the company’s history. We’re in a great position to continue with our total growth strategy. We will be investing considerably in further R&D and in an expanded sales footprint around the globe.

We’re really excited to see what’s next.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.