A New Adventure: Working at OpenText

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Last week I started a new adventure here in Montreal working as a Product Manager at OpenText.

OpenText’s focus is helping businesses manage all their Unstructured Data with EIM (Enterprise Information Management) software. Unstructured Data (aka “Big Content”) accounts for about 90% of the digital information in any organization, and as a civilization we’re getting better and better at generating vast amounts of it while lacking in our ability to manage and extract value from it. Just think of all the email, transcripts, IM conversations, spreadsheets, reports, internal webpages and documents you typically deal with on a daily basis at work. It’s a sea of data, and it’s growing all the time. Enterprise is drowning in it.

In addition to helping organizations manage and extract value from their Unstructured Data, a powerful benefit happens when OpenText’s EIM software integrates with ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software. Organizations use ERP software to manage all their Structured Data (the 10% of data in organizations that resides in databases). But their Structured Data is typically not connected to all their Unstructured Data.

This is when the real magic happens: When Structured and Unstructured data is all connected, an organization has the benefit of “a single version of the truth” based on all the information they possess. Information ultimately becomes Knowledge that can be put to the best possible use.

Finally, all this data is behind organizational firewalls and part of the Deep Web, which on a global scale is vastly larger than the Public Web. Figuring out how to manage and extract value from this combination of Structured and Unstructured data (especially while having to adhere to businesses requirements for compliance, access control and permissions) is much more challenging than working with data on the Public Web.

But that’s exactly what OpenText helps organizations accomplish.

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The full scope of what OpenText is doing is impressively massive, involving many different software components that provide a wide range of benefits to the enterprise. My new role is Product Manager for OpenText InfoFusion, software that brings powerful search, content analytics, auto classification and semantic annotation to unstructured information and big content.

Basically, my piece of the puzzle is driving the strategy and vision for software that helps people Discover, Analyze and Act on enterprise information.

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What’s particularly fascinating and exciting to me is that I’m helping build a future where organizations will be able to ask really valuable analytical and predictive questions of huge collections of data. Questions like “Why is this particular product a big success?” or “How effective is our recruiting?” or “What new insights can I leverage right now from all our R&D?” And organizations will then have the ability to immediately act on the valuable answers they receive, transforming insight into change.

This is just the beginning of my new adventure, and I have a great deal to learn. First of all, I need to become an expert at understanding all these tools, their specific benefits and our customers’ needs before I can make smart strategic decisions about the future. But the cornerstone of my entire career has been helping people and digital information come together to create knowledge and learning opportunities. So I’m eager and ready.

I’m also very proud to be a voice for the users, sitting at the intersection of people, technology and business. I get to work with brilliant customers, software developers, business and marketing experts, and even computational linguists. To the Future, and Beyond!

-John Lester
Product Manager | OpenText | InfoFusion

P.S. You can also reach me at my new work email address: jlester AT opentext DOT com.

 

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