Q&A with Mark Gamble, senior director, product marketing, analytics, and Bob Alioto, principal enterprise architect
Who are OpenText’s core customers?
Gamble: OpenText Analytics and our Magellan AI platform are so broadly applied we have customers all over the place—state and local governments, DoD/IC, law enforcement. Being able to merge geospatial data with corresponding information is where we provide additional insight, context, and value.
One emerging player is big agriculture. Having an awareness of things like soil conditions and weather allows big ag companies to produce precise recommendations on planting locations—where and when to plant crops based on historic trends and machine learning tools that anticipate likely outcomes.
We have law enforcement customers using our products for things like historic crime statistics to help inform, predict, and track areas likely to experience high crime rates. We don’t just report where things are on a map. We take that data and combine it with complementary information for contextual awareness.
How would you describe your company culture?
Gamble: The culture is engineering-focused. We embrace the understanding that data is the currency of the digital economy and that analytics is the way to untangle and provide visual evidence of the information. OpenText has grown from its focus on document management and information governance into a broad-based enterprise information management solution provider. We’re enabling the digital flow of information across all business applications, with analytics as the binding agent.
Alioto: Our roots are in the Toronto area—the “Silicon Valley of Canada.” Over the last five years, the OpenText culture has merged with the West Coast-based technology firms. Our U.S. headquarters is now in Silicon Valley. You can hear echoes of this in our approach to develop what makes sense, gain complementary strategic capabilities through acquisitions, integrate everything into our overall ecosystem of enterprise information management, then provide innovative customer solutions utilizing our unique toolbox.
What differentiates OpenText from other information management companies?
Gamble: It’s our focus on enabling the intelligent, connected enterprise powered by data, content, and machine learning. That crux of innovation has propelled us past other players in this space.
Alioto: We realize it’s not practical to require customers to store all data and digital content within the OpenText solution stack. That’s something we see with a number of our competitors, and we do away with that inflexible approach. We don’t force enterprises to store all information in one place to capitalize on it. Instead, we provide a wide variety of connectors, driven by standards-based metadata schemas to enable consistent interoperability, governance, and security across the information infrastructure.
What advice do you have for companies seeking to transform their information security?
Alioto: Information security is often seen as locking everything down. We see it as the ability to share information with confidence, enabling better-informed decisions in supporting mission objectives.
Gamble: It’s more about awareness of data use—where, when, and how do people see information? Then you can provide an appropriate breach detection response without bottlenecking the digital flow of information. Companies looking to transform their digital business approach should consider the enterprise flow of information at all its junctions and decision points, and try to achieve an analytic awareness of their data. If you start to see patterns, you can locate potential high-risk areas upon which to focus your attention.
What are some GEOINT trends you see emerging?
Alioto: My excitement is around the pervasive nature of the solutions we’re providing. We acquired Actuate (analytics) and Guidance Software (cybersecurity), and I think we’re approaching a comprehensive set of capabilities that can flexibly mix and match to meet the most challenging customer needs.
Gamble: The application of AI to geospatial information—more specifically, the ability to combine various sources of data to infer possible behavior and outcomes for future situations. We acquired Guidance Software to help us provide security as well as breach detection and response. We have AI-powered analytics to understand the flow of information going from endpoint to endpoint and to detect anomalies and risks. There’s an increasing expectation from people in the market who are looking for the AI button that will help fix their problems, and we’re ready to meet that expectation.