Open Text adds to its content offerings

Despite Open Text’s recent acquisitions of German content management vendors IXOS Software AG and Gauss Interprise AG, and its move to integrate new capabilities with its Livelink collaboration and content management software, one customer says he’s not about to jump at the chance to buy new modules just yet.

Bill Brooks is the document management manager at Zenon Environmental Inc., an engineering firm that develops water purification systems. As of early November, the company had 258,949 files containing purchasing and proposal information, organized in 1,318 folders. The file formats range from Adobe Acrobat to PowerPoint and even MPEG, and take up 80.8GB of hard drive space.

Zenon is running the basic LiveLink system to manage and search through those files. Although Brooks said Zenon is happy with LiveLink’s search functionality, he said his firm doesn’t use a lot of Open Text’s add-on modules because of the price tag. “We love their product, but the cost of add ons…prohibits me from getting all my higher ups – the CEO and COO – on board,” Brooks said, adding that Zenon has in-house programmers who develop solutions that can do the same job as some of Open Text’s modules would do.

Zenon’s usual approach, he said, is to consider purchasing a module when it becomes a “need to have” rather than a “nice to have” solution.

Open Text said its merger with IXOS puts the company in direct competition with the likes of EMC and IBM Corp. The company is now seeing customer recognition of the value of one-stop-shopping for their enterprise content management needs, said David Glazer, vice-president of product management for Open Text in San Mateo, Calif.

This recognition may be the key to survival, according to Nick Wilkoff, senior analyst with Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc. He said the combined entity is designed to go after the large vendors and will help Open Text compete as more of an enterprise-scale content management vendor.

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