OpenText rocks the golden city of Johannesburg

Monday, 3 August 2015, 14:28 | Category : General
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As a South African resident, it was great to see last month that Johannesburg played host to the African leg of the OpenText Innovation Tour 2015.

I had the pleasure of attending as one of the 200 delegates and enjoyed listening to a comprehensive mix of insightful speakers including high level executives, customers and partners.

The 2015 Innovation Tour continued the discussion that OpenText began at Enterprise World 2014 and sets the scene for the next iteration later this year. Enterprise World 2015 will continue to focus on creating the Digital Enterprise ‑ what it will look like, how it will operate and the opportunities it offers the Digital World. With an extensive customer base and partner network in Sub-Saharan Africa, OpenText added a stop in Johannesburg to its annual road show of 17 cities across three continents, to show its commitment to both customers and partners in what it classifies as a fast growth market. It was also an excellent opportunity to invite customers, partners and prospects to learn more about OpenText solutions and success stories.

The day kicked off with senior OpenText executives who shared their insights and expertise. Lenore Kerrigan, Country Manager, OpenText South Africa welcomed guests. This was followed by two keynote addresses: A Digital First World presented by Simon Harrison, SVP Enterprise Sales; and Product Innovation Lubor Ptacek, VP Product Marketing, OpenText. Both of these presentations provided invaluable insight into the possibilities of a Digital World and the benefits to all.

These were followed by a customer and partner sharing their experiences: CIO as Chief Innovation Officer by Bradley Coward, Global CIO, SAPPI and Simplify Your Platform Simon Carpenter, Chief Customer Officer, SAP.

Overall, the event provided delegates with a thoroughly fascinating day. It centered on real business challenges and technology trends that are prominent in the minds of many South African businesses looking to stay current, boost profitability and streamline processes in a challenging market place. The hook of the invitation was OpenText bringing the Digital-First World message to life. Achieved through the exploration of keynotes, exhibits and dynamic breakout sessions the event was specifically designed to help businesses simplify processes, transform platforms and accelerate information delivery. In a time of unprecedented technological disruption whether it be mobile devices, analytics or social media, it is clear that cloud technology and the Internet of Things are truly changing the rules of business. Organizations that are able to harness these changes and use them to their advantage will undoubtedly take their business to a new level of success and longevity.

Following the morning keynotes, delegates were invited to select breakout sessions based on topics and speakers that resonated most with their interests. Some were customers sharing success stories and others where OpenText speakers who unpacked the technologies and trends around the day’s key messaging.

To end, the final address of the day was given by the High Commissioner Barban of the Canadian High Commission. OpenText is a Canadian company and therefore has strong ties with local stakeholders who have a shared Canadian heritage. The delegates were then invited to share refreshments and take advantage of the opportunity to network.

From a media perspective the response was very promising. With only a handful of IT / tech publications, the South African media landscape is tiny compared to its first world counterparts. But these publications are opinion leaders, whose readers are well informed and abreast of the latest global technological advancements. This means that the opportunity to garner international comment and opinion from a global leader like OpenText simply could not be passed up.

Many new business relationships were forged and partnerships cemented which will stand OpenText, its partners and stakeholders in good stead as it expands its African footprint.

Melissa Combrinck (@melissacombrinc)

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