Microsoft and Open Text Announce New Strategic Relationship

Very good news on the ECM front. I highlighted some parts of the announcement in bold for the speedreaders.
This announcement again illustrates that more ISV’s see the Microsoft platform as the basis for their solutions. This way clients benefit from having a pltform with specific functionality where and when required without the duplication of more generic parts such as users administration, storage and what you have. I expect this is only the beginning of a lot of exciting stuff around Office 12 πŸ™‚

Microsoft Corp. and Open Text(TM) Corporation OTEX(TSX:OTC) announced a new strategic relationship to optimize Open Text’s comprehensive Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions for the Microsoft(R) platform. This effort will take advantage of both companies’ global scale and complementary products to enable ECM solutions in large, complex customer environments.

As part of the announcement, Open Text, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, becomes a worldwide ECM partner with Microsoft. By deepening the relationship between Open Text and Microsoft, the companies will work to enhance Open Text solutions in ways that combine the power of the Microsoft platform and Open Text’s deep understanding of the ECM needs of large enterprises. The resulting end-to-end solutions from Open Text, which will include vertical-market offerings in financial services and government, will help companies address the complexity of managing an ever-growing volume of online information, a major source of productivity loss and compliance risks.

With today’s announcement, Open Text is also introducing two new solutions that use Open Text’s Livelink ECM suite and Microsoft Office SharePoint(R) Portal Server 2003. The expanded relationship and new solutions were unveiled to customers at Open Text’s LiveLinkUp Orlando 2005 user conference, underway this week in Orlando, Fla.

“Managing information more effectively is a priority, both to improve our business and manage compliance,” said Raj Patel, Chief Information Officer at Forest City Ratner Companies, an affiliate of Forest City Enterprises Inc., a $7.4 billion U.S. real estate company, which is adopting a new solution that tightens integration between Livelink ECM and the company’s Micrcosoft(R) SharePoint(R)-based solution. “We’ve invested in both Microsoft and Open Text as our strategic partners, and anything they do to better integrate and enhance one another’s strengths is a win for Forest City. Better integration between the two offers us greater long-term value. The companies bring together two key components of our ECM strategy: content creation and collaboration capabilities with Microsoft and deep enterprise compliance and records management with Open Text.”

“Our expanded relationship with Open Text will mean more innovative solutions that will reduce the complexities and risks of managing enterprise content,” said Rob Bernard, General Manager of global ISVs at Microsoft. “As a leader in ECM, Open Text offers both the experience and the enterprise-scale compliance management capabilities we’re looking for to complement our solutions. Tighter integration of our software will offer tremendous value to customers of both companies.”

“We see our close relationship with Microsoft and our commitment to the Microsoft platform as essential to meeting the new challenges our customers face,” said John Shackleton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Open Text. “Microsoft offers the benefits of increased personal and group productivity, while our solutions allow customers to make compliance part of the way they do business every day. Together, we offer a unique blend of compliance and productivity, which helps enterprises succeed in today’s competitive and regulated environment.”

New Open Text Solutions for the Microsoft Platform

The new solutions introduced this week include an Open Text records management solution for Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003, which allows customers to extend compliance-driven records management retention and disposition policies to content maintained in SharePoint Portal Server 2003. The solution builds on Open Text’s previously announced content-archiving capabilities for SharePoint Portal Server 2003, which Open Text introduced in August. The records management and archiving offerings help customers create a compliant lifecycle management system for their SharePoint Portal Server 2003 records.

Open Text is also introducing Web Parts that expose Livelink ECM content and functionality in SharePoint Portal Server 2003. This new level of integration between the two solutions will allow SharePoint Portal Server 2003 users to utilize specific Livelink ECM capabilities and access content stored anywhere in Livelink ECM.

Future versions of Open Text solutions will be built on Microsoft Office “12,” the code name of the next major release of Microsoft Office products. Livelink ECM will connect directly with Microsoft’s ECM capabilities and extend the content created in Office “12” into key business processes.

“In Office ’12,’ we will offer powerful new capabilities to help companies manage content. Livelink ECM integration with Office ’12’ will enable customers to easily deploy solutions that increase the efficiency of content-driven, business-critical processes across their organizations,” said Sanjay Manchanda, Director of SharePoint Products and Technologies at Microsoft.

Last week, Open Text announced plans to offer its Artesia Digital Asset Management on the Microsoft SQL Server(TM) 2005 database. The combined offering is aimed at media and entertainment companies that need to more effectively manage vast stores of digital assets, such as video, audio and graphics files.

Open Text has also agreed to support the latest version of Microsoft’s flagship development tool, Visual Studio(R) 2005, for the development of new Livelink ECM solutions that integrate with SharePoint Portal Server 2003. By supporting Visual Studio 2005, Open Text will enable developers and integrators to extend Sharepoint Portal Server 2003 functionality with Livelink ECM’s enterprise grade ECM capabilities and vertical market solutions.



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