We attended the SURG meeting in Stockholm Sweden a few of weeks ago, and wanted to share some thoughts and good information for those of you who were not there.
Roadmap and overview
The day was kicked off with Christian Askland, Director Product Management OpenText, sharing the platform overview and roadmap. There were not a lot of surprises on what’s to come compared with what has been shared previously, however notably we can see release EP4 is now more defined and now includes Job visualization and tracking, and more REST APIs.
Exstream will move more and more to the cloud and web services, and Control Center will be one of those. Customers will be offered the CCM as a cloud service. I.e. Paas, Platform as a Service. By entering in log-in information on a website, the whole environment (tenant) was created in the cloud. In the 16.4 version you will be able to use job visualization and tracking in the Supervisor. This is something that was in the Process Manager in version 3.x and was dropped from the 4.x version until now.
We’ve been exploring 16.3 since it was available earlier this month and there are some really nice features in the 16.3 version. One of them being able to use SparkPost to track emails. This will give you valuable information about whether the email has been read or not. A demo was shown on how to upgrade to version 16.3 by Mikael Friberg, and he recommended building projects using one Main project and then have several subprojects to make it easier to work with. Also worth noting that Scandux argument is reintroduced due to customer requests. In 16.3 you also have the possibility to use role-based Retouch where you can define what resources specific groups of users can access, and changes can be made to documents in seconds. PageOUT is obsolete and discontinued. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) objects can now be used in CAS and use of script on output connectors is supported.
In our last blog post we noted that it was yet to be clear what training for Exstream would look like, and that was clarified a little at this meeting. The latest training material is still only for 16.2, and OpenText will not have training material for 16.3 until spring of 2018. They are also completely changing the model for training, it is now Learning on Demand, where you can do the training on-line at your convenience with a yearly training subscription. You can find more information here: https://www.opentext.com/training/coursedetails.html?id=2392 The price for a yearly subscription is $5000 per year but only includes one certification attempt, additional certification can be done for a cost of $400. This makes training with OpenText a heavy investment, especially for someone who is just looking for a specific course/certification, but it can be beneficial for anyone who typically does a lot of training.
Other insights from SURG
Ericsson shared in their talk about how they’ve seen a significant decrease in the number of printed material, but an increase in electronic messaging and we will get more and more AI functionality in business. This is something we’re sure a lot of businesses are seeing, and will continue to do so. However, there will continue to be a demand in print as well, especially for business or organizations that are impacted by regulations in part to do so. Ericsson pointed out that even with print on a decline, one thing that will still be on demand when it comes to printing is label printing.
Part of the day was also dedicated to covering GDPR and its implications for the industry when it goes into effect. In short the goal with GDPR is that there is a common process of how to protect data in the EU. Companies within the EU are obliged to provide information on what data is stored. If you want to know what data they have on you they will have to provide you with this information on request. If they do not, they will be fined heavily. We’ll cover this topic more closely shortly as it’s an important consideration for our EU clients.
Overall, SURG was a great event and the new releases of features and applications we’ve seen so far with version 16, and the ones to come, will be great value adds for our clients.