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OpenText buys Global360 – What does it mean for the Middle East? July 15, 2011

Posted by Sanooj Kutty in Business Process Management, Enterprise Content Management.
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Nothing!

Being formerly into enterprise sales and currently into professional services and having served on both vendor and client side in the Middle East (more specifically the GCC countries), I have witnessed a clear pattern that validates my analysis that OpenText’s purchase of Global360 means nothing out here.

A typical procurement sequence is as below:

  1. Release RFP for Software to the BIG vendors.
  2. Vendors present their organizational muscle and software features
  3. The techies debate over the technology stack for the specific requirement.
  4. Hard bargaining on prices unless client management is a “friend”.
  5. Buy!

While the world is debating over the smartness or stupidity of this recent buyout and its impacts on the industry, out here, it’s not even in the local media!

A recent meeting with a senior IT Management representative of a large corporate disclosed that they chose OpenText over EMC because they felt EMC was more storage-focused than content-focused. I think he hit the nail on the head on that. He also felt IBM was too “we-will-deliver-everything-under-the-sun” oriented. Another fact that is difficult to refute.

OpenText are purely content driven for sure, however, no one here puts a thought into it if the content thinkers of say, IBM, may be better with their strategies than those of OpenText. All this is in addition to the quality of vendor representation in this region.

While features and cost are extremely important when choosing your solution, it is important to also look at the future of the solution in your organization. That does not come from version controls, access control lists and audit trails. They do not come from OCRs and ICRs either. These come from gaining a good understanding of your line of business, internal organizational culture, operational practices and the vision and objectives you have for the future.

One may definitely purchase a Documentum or a LiveLink for a government entity, an automotive dealer or a healthcare provider, but their business strategies, operational practices and their culture would be completely different. Have you ever experienced the same behavior and environment when dealing with a government clerk, a car mechanic and a nurse? Highly unlikely and this is enough to understand that your content behaves like your organization behaves and never like the software system you’ve purchased. Hence, defining your ECM-BPM strategy requires you to understand your enterprise and its philosophy.

Choosing your partner, though, is a different exercise and apart from the traditional software evaluation exercises, it is recommended to evaluate the strategies of the principal vendor and the CSI partner. As an organization, if the vendor’s strategies are focused more on Collaboration and less on Records Management and your strategies are focused vice versa, I don’t think it would be a match made in heaven. Now, let us assume that both the vendor and you have strategies focused on Records Management but your CSI partner have invested their strategies more on Collaboration because they have more customers in Collaboration, you would again find yourself engaged is a rather disappointing threesome.

In essence, any content management procurement must be driven by 5 key factors

  1. Organizational Culture
  2. Business Strategy
  3. IT Strategy
  4. Vendor Strategy
  5. CSI Strategy

Only a synergy of the above 5 will lead you to a best fit solution.

The Middle East misses this and until then, who cares if OpenText buys Global360!!!

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1. OpenText buys Global360 – What does it mean for the Middle East … | Business Process and Adaptive Case Management News and Information - July 15, 2011

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