The Supply Chain Matters blog is pleased to announce to our global-based readership audience that OpenText and the OpenText Business Network will be our newest Sustained sponsor of this independent thought leadership blog in 2018/2019.

We began our coverage of OpenText in 2013 with the Enterprise Information Management (EIM) provider’s initial announcement that it has entered into an agreement and plan of merger to acquire B2B integration platform vendor GXS for $1.2 billion. Since that time functional enhancements, add-on acquisitions and bold strategy direction have moved the needle far beyond transactional messaging via EDI and other messaging formats to far broader B2B and B2C business network support capabilities. OpenText B2B Business Network

OpenText Business Network

Each and every year, the scale and technology support of the OpenText Business Network grows larger and more extensive. End-to-end supply chain network capability now includes over 600,000 connected businesses among 130 countries, more than 65,000 customers including having 23 of the top 25 recognized world class supply chain supported by this network. The platform supports upwards of 24 billion transactions in B2B messaging flows and a growing number of digital identities which currently numbers 31 million.

The overall OpenText Business Network IT support architecture has matured to support several layers to include global messaging and information integration, process integration, analytics, a programmable grid, managed by an overall secure access and collaboration layer which adds comfort to internal IT teams overseeing external systems connections. A global electronic registry for trading partner discovery allows for one-click connection.

Available B2B Managed Services offerings further provide customers the added option to be able to outsource trading partner add-ons or change needs to available OpenText’s technical services support teams allowing customers to allocate internal team resources to other business support needs. Customers have further been afforded added options for more self-service based capabilities to retain timely control over critical B2B network support capabilities.

OpenText’s stated vision is the Intelligent Business Network, has moved way beyond secure exchange of EDI or HTML based messaging into broader areas of managed services, applications and added decision-making support intelligence. Such efforts include the mining of data and information among the complete order-to-cash or purchase to pay processes to uncover transaction volume trends, provide early warning to process bottlenecks or develop more predictive metrics.

A series of additional tuck-in acquisitions and internally developed added functionality amounting to over $3 billion in investment thus far have molded the current and ongoing future direction of the business network. The OpenText Intelligent Business Network is directionally supported by four design anchors:

  • An extended digital ecosystem that connects trading partners, suppliers, employees and increasingly, physical devices including connected machines.
  • Providing rich and secure collaborativebased capabilities with the needed flexibilities to be able to support the how, when, and where people, systems and physical things interact in business process and decision-making needs.
  • Security in that the right people, systems, and physical things have access to the right data, at the right time, and only as long as-required. Key innovation areas underway involve extensions of any-to-any connectivity, moving to individual users and physical devices, augmented with identity and access management controls. This specific development stems from the prior acquisition of Covisint to leverage that platform’s IoT enablement coupled with user identity and access management, which is rather timely in the current environment of heightened cyberattacks and data loss. The business network supports regional data sovereignty and privacy needs including GDPR
  • Added intelligence with ongoing leverage of machine-learning and Internet-of-Things (IoT) based technology capabilities to better predict outcomes, provide timely early-warning, optimize, and better operate network-wide planning and execution.

Most important at this point have been efforts to provide integration with the enterprise technology provider’s Magellan artificial intelligence-based information management suite first announced in 2017. OpenText Magellan is an artificial intelligence and analytics technology platform designed to allow users the abilities to acquire, merge, manage and analyze volumes of data and content resident across various enterprise systems. The technology combines open source machine learning with advanced analytics, enterprise-grade business intelligence, and capabilities to acquire, merge, manage and analyze structured and unstructured data and information.

This year, the OpenText Business Network added an API library to expose and consume real-time services across the network. That allows customer IT developers the  ability to build their own applications on top of the business network such as posting a document, invoking micropayments, or querying 3PL’s for shipping quotes. The recent addition of the OpenText AppWorks platform allows customers to build custom applications, for instance, augmenting support for either buy or sell contracts. Network users can also look forward to a new modern and smarter user-interface.

 

Future Direction

From this Industry Analyst and Editor’s lens, one of the unique advantages of OpenText remains its abilities to integrate all aspects of enterprise level information and content management with B2B / B2C business process and decision-making needs. New pilot efforts are underway to be able to eventually leverage added network-wide use of IoT enabled analytics and information flow as well as the leveraged use of Blockchain technology in an existing B2B network.

Initial speculation as to why a premiere EIM provider would want to acquire a global operating B2B Business Network is now finally becoming visible in development roadmaps, added fill-in acquisitions and actual released technology. The nucleus elements of the Intelligent Business Network are beginning to take visual shaping. In a future Research Advisory, we will be collaborating with the OpenText Business Network team and other sources on what that future of B2B / B2C networks are really about.

For all of the above reasons, we are thrilled to have the Open Text Business Network as a new Sustaining sponsor of this blog. Join me in welcoming OpenText as our newest sponsor.

For further information regarding OpenText and its technology capabilities, click on the logo included in our Sustaining sponsor panel.

 

Bob Ferrari

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