OpenText CEO: 'One does not upgrade to digital'

A full-blown transformation is required, Mark Barrenechea says, but don't look to ERP to make it happen

Every company is an information company today, and transforming for the digital era requires looking beyond the ERP systems that have played such a central role in the corporate world over the past few decades.

That's according to Mark Barrenechea, CEO and CTO of OpenText, which makes enterprise information management (EIM) systems.

Enterprise resource planning technology allowed companies to automate back-office processes and reduce their general and administrative expenses from 20 percent down to 5 or 6 percent, Barrenechea explained in an interview last week.

EIM, however, "will ultimately transform those same companies into information companies," he said.

It goes without saying that Barrenechea is biased -- unabashedly so. But it's an "educated enthusiasm," he says. With 30 years of tech-industry experience under his belt -- including executive stints at Silicon Graphics International, CA and Oracle -- Barrenechea has seen his share of disruptions and transitions.

He ranks today's digital era among the most disruptive.

"We're at this point in time that has extreme connectivity like we've never seen before combined with extreme automation and extreme computing power," he explained.

All that is enabling previously unimagined business models. At the same time, there's also a generational shift occurring with the arrival into the workforce of millennials, who bring a new set of priorities.

"Certain things are clear," Barrenechea said. "They're not going to take two years to deploy an app: If the CIO can't do it, they'll build a lightweight one or find a SaaS provider and get it up in a day."

With its sights set on the Fortune 10,000, OpenText wants to enable companies' transformations, and Barrenechea bills the company's soon-to-be-launched Release 16 as "the world's first digital platform."

Much the way ERP comprises numerous components, so EIM has multiple pieces as well, including enterprise content management (ECM), business process management (BPM), customer experience management (CEM) and business intelligence (BI). OpenText's focus is squarely on an across-the-board approach, and it claims to have earned 100,000 customers along the way.

"We think suites always win," Barrenechea said. He considers IBM his company's biggest full-suite competitor, accompanied by a host of smaller ones focusing on individual pieces of the EIM pie.

Only time will tell how well OpenText fares in the long run, but in the meantime, Barrenechea says companies shouldn't underestimate what's required in order to survive in the digital era.

"Transformation is a powerful word and needs to be used sparingly and correctly," he said. But in the digital context, it's the right one: "One does not 'upgrade' to digital."

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Katherine Noyes

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?