RealTime IT News

Open Text Lets Hummingbird Fly

Open Text Corp. , one of the last largest free-standing enterprise content management (ECM) vendors after significant acquisitions this year, will offer a major upgrade to its LiveLink ECM system today at a customer event in Phoenix.

At the LiveLinkUp 2006 conference, the Canadian company also plans to announce its first integration milestone from its Hummingbird acquisition and a piece of customer information management software that synchs with Microsoft applications.

LiveLink ECM 10 addresses a tricky problem in enterprise computing today.

Most enterprises today treat content management as a separate entity from such enterprise applications as finance, customer relationship management or supply chain planning. This means little or no linkage between information stored in e-mail or document archives and applications.

This creates inefficiencies for corporate workers, not to mention compliance risks in an age of rampant compliance regulations.

Livelink ECM 10 is designed to address these challenges, allowing the management of content irrespective of what repository it was created in, said Bill Forquer, executive vice president of compliance solutions at OpenText.

Previous iterations of LiveLink manage records created in Open Text, Oracle and Microsoft SharePoint, as well as e-mail from Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes. LiveLink 10 will also manage data from SAP applications.

LiveLink ECM 10 also allows customers to access business content, such as customer information or purchase order documents, from their Microsoft Outlook interface.

Forquer also said Open Text finished a piece of software that captures customer information from multiple applications and renders it visible to workers through Microsoft Outlook 2003, Office 2003 and SharePoint 2003 as a user interface. "Historically, we've had a Web-based client and that's how most people consume our ECM capabilities," Torque said. "With Microsoft entrance into this space [with SharePoint content services] it changes things but opens up tremendous opportunities in terms of lowering the barrier to adoption."

In 2007, Open Text will feature a new rich client interface, to enable access to business content from Microsoft's Outlook, and Office applications, as well as Microsoft's Explorer Web browser.

LiveLink 10 will also provide published Web services APIs , allowing customers and partners to integrate LiveLink 10 with enterprise applications.

Forquer also said Open Text has fortified its Internal Controls application with LiveLink ECM for Business Intelligence, which the company forged with the business intelligence software it picked up from acquiring Hummingbird.

Adding Hummingbird to the mix will bring reporting and dashboard capabilities Internal Controls lacked to help customers mind Sarbanes-Oxley Basel II Capital Accord and others. Open Text will offer these new capabilities in 2007.

Forquer also said Hummingbird's business intelligence capabilities will be integrated with Open Text's other compliance applications.

"The integration is going well," Forquer said of the Hummingbird deal. "We've definitely found very nice pockets of synergy that we didn't fully expect, where weak points that we might have had, they covered nicely. This business intelligence and reporting capability is a great example of that..."

Open Text's upgrades come in the wake of a bout of consolidation of big players in the multi-billion-dollar ECM space.

In addition to Open Text buying Hummingbird, IBM  this year bought FileNet and Oracle  recently claimed Stellent.