Earlier this week, Open Text launched a new major release of its flagship product offering – ECM Suite 2010. I am not going to repeat the information about all the innovation the Suite 2010 introduced - that’s in the press release. I’d like to share a different view.
When I joined Open Text over two years ago, the ECM Suite existed as several integrated products but most of the products were marketed, sold, and deployed as discrete offerings. At that time, the technology foundation for integrating the suite was already in place but only a few of the products were using it. And while the products teams had their work cut out, we had to make it a suite on all fronts.
First, we had to figure out which products do actually belong to the Suite. Over the years, Open Text acquired many companies and so we had some of the ECM technologies in multiple offerings. Sorting out the customer segmentation and the target audience for each offering for was the basis for the Suite definition. Today, when you go to our web site, you can see what’s in the Suite and what is not. Most of the products that are not in the Suite do integrate with it, but those products target different market segments, buyers or channels.
The next issue was branding. The previous Open Text strategy was focused on preserving the brand equity of individual offerings. That has changed with the Suite when we have decided to put all the branding wood behind one brand – “Open Text.” And so almost two years ago, we rebranded all the products on the marketing side, knowing well that it will take until the major release of each of the offerings to get a rebranded UI. This week’s release is concluding this quest – at this point, the products have been indeed rebranded. The old brands are retired and the ECM Suite is here.
Then , there was packaging. The Suite started from many product lines, each with many products, modules, and add-ons. Based on customer feedback, we have done a ton of work to simplify the packaging. We have reduced the overall number of SKUs down to a third by eliminating all unnecessary complexity in packaging (yes, that’s a 67% reduction). We have also devised a handful of base-line packages that represent the core Suite – each combining some of the most commonly purchased product combinations to simplify the buying and deployment experience.
Finally, I have to mention technology. The press release talks about integration and innovation but there was no space to explain the SOA-based services such as common installer, directory services, common authentication, web services, jobs management, file transfer, common administration and many others. This relatively unglamorous stuff is what really makes a huge difference for customers in terms of their cost of ownership. And then there is all the integration based on the repository layer, process automation and user experience via portal, web, mobile, and desktop client with CMIS support.
We didn’t say any of this in the press release since the press supposedly only wants to write about what’s new in terms of technology innovation. But a lot of additional innovation has been introduced by the Suite in a way that is truly beneficial to customers.