Monday, August 15, 2011

Open Text and Their Evolving Mobile Strategies

Many of you know Open Text.  They are an important SAP Partner and leader in the enterprise content management space.  Did you know they are also developing mobile applications and acquiring mobile technology companies to expand their mobility capabilities?  In March 2011 they announced their acquisition of UK based WeComm.  Here is WeComm's description, "WeComm offers a cross-platform development platform, called Wave, for creating mobile applications that can run on iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian or Java-based smartphones."

Even before this acquisition, Open Text had their own internally developed mobility solution called Open Text Everywhere.  Here is its description, "Our mobile solutions provide your workforce with the ability to access and manage business content, keep workflow processes moving, and stay up-to-date with colleagues by using social collaboration capabilities within a single native application designed specifically for your Enterprise Content Management (ECM) deployments."

I had the opportunity last week to spend some time with Oliver Surrock and Micah Kalen with Open Text and to discuss their mobile strategies.  In September of 2010, I had the privilege of interviewing Micah Kalen about Open Text Everywhere.  You can read the interview here.

One of the reasons that Open Text purchased WeComm is to get WeComm's mobile application development platform called Wave.  They will be using the Wave Platform to develop future versions of Open Text Everywhere (OTE) and many new mobile applications.  Wave gives OTE the ability to support hundreds of mobile devices.

Wave also enables Open Text to develop and support mobile applications that have not even been imagined yet.  This is important in the dynamic and fast growing enterprise mobility market.  Here is their currently stated value proposition, "By marrying your enterprise content management and mobility strategies, you can realize a higher return on investment (ROI) through increased user adoption of your content management systems that results from your workforce having meaningful mobile access to your enterprise. Furthermore, content chaos can be avoided by keeping content consistent across Web, desktop, and mobile environments."

I asked how the Wave Platform compares with Sybase's Unwired Platform (SUP).  They described it this way, "SUP is primarily focused on "structured" mobile data, while the Wave Platform is largely focused on managing "unstructured" mobile content such as documents, photos, videos, etc.  Yes, there is some overlap, but that is true with any mobility vendor in the SAP ecosystem.  I dug a little deeper with questions about how Open Text and SAP were going to work together around mobile applications.  Their responses were that SAP is a very important partner and there are many discussions.

Oliver shared that Open Text hopes systems integrators will find the Open Text Mobile Wave Platform to be an attractive development environment.

I love the concept of mobile enterprise content management.  Until I interviewed Micah last year I had not even considered a mobile version of enterprise content management, but there certainly is a value and need.

I want to thank Oliver and Micah for sharing their time and thoughts with us.

Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst, SAP Mentor Volunteer
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.