July 14, 2011
OpenText is at it again — and another independent BPM provider is gone. This time it’s Global 360. But Global 360 was more than BPM; it had done a good — no, great — job revitalizing what was at its core an ECM rollup of midrange and questionable solutions (remember Kodak, Keyfile — I actually met an original Keyfile developer there — and ViewStar?). But it nurtured this account base well and built a fast-growing BPM and case management business. It’s now been purchased by the ultimate ECM rollup, OpenText. (It would be interesting, although not partcularly productive, to count the number of original products that OpenText now has — perhaps 500?) Global 360 also created a strong case management platform (you may want to consult our Forrester Wave™ on the subject, where Global 360 was a Leader), with an integrated suite to address the mix of complex unstructured and structured processes that organizations face. Global 360 continued to focus on content-centric case management applications — a strong fit with OpenText’s transaction management assets — and provided an innovative process vision based on a “persona” approach that focuses on the needs of case workers and stakeholders and leveraging emergent design principles. In short, this should really help OpenText in the emerging case management market, and OpenText will be able to put more meat behind Global 360’s focus on the SharePoint ecosystem.
But here’s the thing. How do you rationalize the OpenText portfolio while keeping your product marketing and sales teams — not to mention R&D — sane? You now have the Metastorm acquisition competing with Global as a strong Microsoft BPM partner, various legacy OpenText workflow engines, and at least two platforms from Global 360 — one Java (for case management) and one .NET — with plans for unification. There is now an overwhelming number of overlapping products across OpenText’s portfolio, with the inevitable integration and engineering tasks. From the customer's perspective, it will be a challenge (to put it mildly) to figure out exactly what is going on with these products, and who at OpenText really knows. This one will be interesting to watch.