AI Takes the Spotlight at OpenText World 2023

AI Takes the Spotlight at OpenText World 2023

Alright, let’s talk about the buzz that’s been going around after OpenText World 2023 in Vegas. First off, OpenText made a bold move by switching their domain to opentext.ai. It’s not just a name change; it’s a statement that screams, „We’re all in on AI!”

The Game Changers: Generative AI and LLMs

Now, what’s getting everyone talking is the power of Generative AI and those nifty Large Language Models (LLMs). Imagine being able to pull content from anywhere, structured or unstructured, and then getting precise answers to your burning questions. For those of us who’ve been in the game for a while, finding the right info has always been a bit of a chase. But with LLMs, and the new tools by opentext or tools like fmeGPT, it’s like having a secret weapon that just gets context and produces relevant content to the user this way.

Chatting with your Data? It’s Happening.

Think about this: soon, we’ll be having smooth, ChatGPT-like conversations with our corporate data. It’s not just about asking a question and getting an answer; it’s about doing so securely. And speaking of secure and innovative approaches, that’s exactly where opentext’s new tool sets and solutions like fmeGPT shine. Integrating such technology can genuinely revolutionize how you interact with your organization’s data. Opentext demoed this impressively many times during the conference.

But hey, all the AI in the world won’t help if your data’s a mess. You’ve got to have a solid foundation. You need that sweet spot of great information and automation management. And if you’re wondering where to start, opentext, with its array of tools and platforms, might just be your answer.

AI’s Next Move: Doing the Heavy Lifting

Here’s the exciting part: AI is gearing up to do a lot more than just answer questions. We’re talking full-blown automation of processes with just a dash of human touch when it really counts. This is where Artificial Capable Intelligence (ACI) steps in. If you’re looking for some deeper dive reading on this, check out Mustafa Suleyman’s „The Coming Wave”. It paints a picture of AI handling everything from making decisions to sealing deals.

Picture this: An AI that can pick products for drop shipping, negotiate contracts, set up an online store, run marketing campaigns, take orders, handle payments, and ship products. No need for a ton of meetings or back-and-forths. Sounds like the future, right? Well, it’s closer than we might think.

In a nutshell, OpenText World 2023 was more than just a conference; it was a glimpse into a future where AI isn’t just a tool—it’s a game changer. Time to get on board & contract me!

Custom Software: The key to success in the digital business world

Custom Software: The key to success in the digital business world

In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive business landscape, organizations are constantly seeking ways to optimize their processes, enhance productivity, and deliver superior user experiences. One key consideration in this pursuit is the selection of software solutions. While existing software, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings, and enterprise software have their merits, custom software development stands out as a powerful approach to cater to the unique needs of businesses. In this blog post, we will explore the advantages of custom software and how it can empower companies to unlock their full potential.

Tailored to Your Needs

One of the most significant advantages of custom software is its ability to be precisely tailored to meet your business requirements. Off-the-shelf software solutions, SaaS offerings, and enterprise software often come with a wide range of features that may not align perfectly with your organization’s needs. With custom software, you have the opportunity to work closely with developers to define and build a solution that addresses your specific pain points, streamlines your workflows, and enhances your overall efficiency.

Consider a financial services firm requiring a customized risk management system to handle complex investment portfolios and regulatory compliance. In collaboration with experienced developers a solution can be created that is tailored to the firm’s specific requirements. The software can incorporate sophisticated algorithms and models, specific to the firm’s investment approach, enabling accurate risk assessments and scenario analysis. Integration with existing systems, such as trading platforms and data providers, consolidates real-time market data for a holistic risk management view. The custom software’s user interface can be designed to present relevant risk metrics and reports in a visually appealing and user-friendly manner, empowering efficient decision-making and providing a competitive edge in the financial industry.

Scalability and Flexibility

As your business grows and evolves, so do your software requirements. Custom software can be designed to scale seamlessly with your organization, accommodating increased data volumes, user loads, and complex functionalities. Unlike pre-packaged solutions that may have limitations, custom software allows for ongoing customization and adaptability, ensuring that your technology keeps pace with your changing business needs.

Let’s consider a rapidly growing e-commerce startup that anticipates a surge in user traffic and transaction volumes. A custom solution offers the advantage of scalability and flexibility to accommodate the organization’s evolving needs. The software can be designed to handle increasing user loads, ensuring seamless performance and minimal downtime during peak periods. Additionally, the solution can adapt to new features, integrations, and business processes as the e-commerce startup expands its offerings and enters new markets. This scalability and flexibility provide the agility needed to respond to market demands quickly and maintain a competitive edge, without being limited by the constraints of pre-packaged software or SaaS offerings.

Enhanced User Experience

User experience is a critical factor in the success of any software solution. Custom software development places the user at the center of the design process, allowing for a highly personalized and intuitive interface. By understanding your users’ preferences, workflows, and pain points, custom software empowers you to create an engaging and efficient user experience that drives productivity and user satisfaction.

Custom software solutions enable a healthcare organization for example to create a patient management system with an enhanced user experience. By working with UX/UI designers and developers, the software can be tailored to align with the unique needs and workflows of the organization and its patients. The solution can offer intuitive navigation, personalized dashboards, and seamless integration with existing systems, such as EHRs (Electronic Health Records) and appointment scheduling tools. This level of customization fosters trust, improves productivity, and enhances patient satisfaction, setting the organization apart from generic off-the-shelf software or enterprise solutions.

Integration and Interoperability:

Today’s businesses often rely on a diverse set of software solutions to manage various aspects of their operations. Custom software offers the advantage of seamless integration with your existing systems and software infrastructure. By integrating disparate systems and applications, you can achieve a unified and holistic view of your business processes, eliminate duplicate data entry, and automate workflows, resulting in improved efficiency and reduced operational costs.

Let’s consider a logistics company that needs to streamline its operations by integrating various systems, such as transportation management, warehouse management, and order fulfillment. Custom software development allows the company to build a unified platform that seamlessly integrates with these disparate systems. Through custom APIs and data connectors, the software can facilitate real-time data exchange, automate data synchronization, and eliminate the need for manual data entry or duplicate processes. This integration and interoperability enhance efficiency, reduce errors, and provide a holistic view of operations, enabling better decision-making and improved customer service. By leveraging custom software, a logistics company can optimize its business processes and unlock the full potential of its interconnected software ecosystem.

Cost Efficiency

While it might seem counterintuitive, custom software development can offer long-term cost efficiency compared to off-the-shelf or SaaS solutions. While the upfront investment may be higher, custom software eliminates recurring licensing fees or subscription costs associated with pre-packaged software. Additionally, custom software provides the opportunity to build modular, future-proof solutions, reducing the need for frequent software replacements or extensive upgrades.

Consider a medium-sized manufacturing company that relies on an off-the-shelf enterprise software for its inventory management needs. Over time, the company realizes that the software lacks certain critical features and requires expensive customization to meet their specific requirements. As a result, they face ongoing licensing fees and maintenance costs. By opting for custom software development, the company can make an upfront investment to build a tailored inventory management system that meets their exact needs. This eliminates the need for costly customizations and recurring licensing fees associated with off-the-shelf software. In the long run, the custom software proves to be a more cost-efficient solution as it eliminates unnecessary expenses and provides a future-proof platform that can adapt and grow with the company’s evolving needs without requiring frequent
replacements or extensive upgrades.

Competitive Advantage

In a crowded market, gaining a competitive edge is essential for success. Custom software can provide unique functionalities, tailored features, and optimized workflows that differentiate your business from competitors. By aligning technology with your specific business processes, you can streamline operations, reduce errors, and deliver a superior customer experience, giving your organization a significant advantage in the marketplace.

Imagine a retail company operating in a highly competitive market. By investing in custom software development, the company can differentiate itself from competitors by offering unique functionalities and optimized workflows. For instance, the custom software can provide personalized customer recommendations based on browsing and purchase history, enhancing the shopping experience and driving customer loyalty. It can also incorporate advanced analytics to forecast demand and optimize inventory management, enabling the company to stay ahead of market trends and minimize stockouts or excess inventory. By aligning technology with specific business processes and customer needs, custom software empowers the retail company to deliver a superior customer experience, gain a competitive edge, and outperform rivals in the dynamic retail landscape.

Conclusion

Custom software development offers numerous advantages over existing solutions, SaaS offerings, and enterprise software. By leveraging custom software, businesses can unlock their full potential, optimizing processes, enhancing user experiences, and gaining a competitive edge. Through tailored solutions that align with your unique requirements, custom software empowers organizations to maximize efficiency, boost productivity, and achieve their business objectives in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

Contact us today to discuss your unique needs and embark on a transformative journey towards tailored solutions and enhanced user experiences. Together, we can create a customized software solution that empowers your organization to thrive in the digital era.

Open Feedback across borders: Bridging global diversity for a united fme

Open Feedback across borders: Bridging global diversity for a united fme

In today’s fast-paced business environment, the ability to adapt, innovate, and foster an open culture is essential. At fme, we have a fundamental belief that our culture and strategy are symbiotic. They interact to create an environment that pushes us forward, and in return, we contribute to pushing the industry itself ahead. Two years ago, we decided to formalize one of the vital elements that have long been ingrained in our culture: Open Feedback.

Aligning with Core Values

Our organizational ethos rests on six core values: Integrity, Flexibility, Professionalism, Teamwork, Enjoyment, and Sustainability. Our open feedback mechanism, a robust system that allows transparent, two-way communication across hierarchical levels and departments, aligns perfectly with many of our values, especially the one of „Integrity”. It’s more than a process — it’s a manifestation of how we hold ourselves accountable to our clients, our stakeholders, and most importantly, each other.

Structure & Timing: When Everyone Speaks, Everyone Listens

The crux of our Open Feedback culture is timely communication. In an industry as dynamic as ours, where we provide a lot of professional services and IT products, time is of the essence. Our employees are encouraged to express their viewpoints, both positive and negative, immediately rather than waiting for quarterly or annual reviews. The goal is simple: rectify mistakes, pivot actions, and multiply successes in real-time, rather than post-analysis.

The Nuanced Transparency of Respectful and Direct Feedback

At fme, open feedback is an orchestrated blend of precision, empathy, and clarity. It’s not about dishing out blunt criticisms or offering hollow praises. Our approach goes deeper than that, it’s about respectful and direct communication that serves the collective good of the organization. Here’s how the PIW (Perception | Impact | Wish) formula works:

  • Expressing Perception: First, the person who gives feedback articulates his or her personal perception of the situation. This subjective aspect adds a layer of empathy, making it clear that the feedback is not an attack, but a viewpoint meant for constructive dialogue.
  • Describing Impact: Next, the feedback aims to elucidate the impact of the behavior under scrutiny, from the giver’s perspective. This is where the ‘why’ joins the ‘what.’ By detailing how certain actions have influenced a project, client relationship, or team morale, it fosters a deeper understanding of the broader implications of one’s conduct.
  • Articulating Desired Behavior and Result (Wish): Finally, the conversation culminates with a description of the specific behavior that would be more aligned with fme’s values and objectives. This not only sets a clear pathway for improvement but also helps in aligning individual actions with the company’s overarching strategy and culture.

fme Open Feedback Culture - PIW Formula
Everybody who has done the Open Feedback Culture Training at fme receives this postcard with feedback rules on the back

By meticulously combining these elements, our open feedback process provides a holistic framework for ongoing personal and professional development. This trifold approach ensures that the feedback isn’t just heard, but is understood, actionable, and aligned with both the company’s culture and strategic goals.

Global Collaboration: A Feedback Loop That Spans Continents

Our open feedback culture isn’t restricted by geography. With presences in the US, EU, and India, feedback loops are as global as our operations. This international perspective enriches our understanding, bringing in diverse viewpoints that ultimately contribute to a more cohesive and stronger strategy.

At fme, we train our teams to be aware of cultural nuances when utilizing our open feedback model. This ensures that the messages exchanged are not just accurate but also respectful, fitting within the varying social norms of our diverse team. This commitment to global collaboration demands adaptability and empathy, as we recognize there can be multiple valid approaches to a situation, each influenced by different cultural backgrounds.

By weaving cultural considerations into our feedback and teamwork, we turn diversity into an asset, enabling a cohesive and innovative global work environment.

Wrapping It Up

In the past two years, we have found that open feedback significantly contributes to agility, client success, and professional growth. But most importantly, it helps us remain true to our core value of Integrity, acting as the glue that brings all our other values together.

Our commitment to open feedback has positioned fme as a company that is not only innovative but also transparent and forward-thinking. It’s a unique combination that makes us more than a service provider; it makes us a partner in your success.

So, when you think of fme, think of a culture that is as open as it is innovative, as respectful as it is agile. We’re not just transforming industries; we’re also transforming the way we work, one piece of open feedback at a time.

Changing or finessing corporate culture is not an overnight task; it’s a marathon, not a sprint. It takes years, not merely months, to deeply embed transformative changes into the very fabric of an organization. At fme, we are proud to say that we are on our way, continually evolving and adapting. Just like our approach to feedback and cultural diversity, our ongoing journey to enhance corporate culture remains rooted in our core values and the diverse strengths they bring.

So, while the road may be long, our collective commitment to integrity, flexibility, and collaboration makes it an enriching and transformative journey, one that continually shapes us into a more innovative, cohesive, and client-focused enterprise.

Executive Perspective: Generative AI, it’s about to change EVERYTHING

Executive Perspective: Generative AI, it’s about to change EVERYTHING

Via secure company-wide intranets that draw on Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI, to intelligent bot-enabled business functions and regulatory processes, ChatGPT and tools like it are going to transform the way entire organizations access, collate and distribute knowledge, and create new assets – and what they do with all of it. As a specialist in data and content management in regulated industries, fme is already on the case with strategic advice, roadmap development, and customer prototypes.

To say that artificial intelligence, and specifically Generative AI, is poised to transform IT delivery as well as a whole host of other corporate functions, is no exaggeration. It is already happening, and it is going to be at least as transformational and disruptive as the World Wide Web or the cloud – which means that corporate executive teams should actively investigate the possibilities sooner rather than later.
At fme, we’re already involved in a client pilot project which will transform that company’s knowledge distribution and access. By first scrutinizing and cleaning up, then migrating content to a secure, cloud-based intranet harnessing Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI, we’re working with the organization (an industrial manufacturer) to make all of its knowledge and content assets securely searchable and collatable – using GPT4 from Open AI as the main engine.

This will have a bearing on the way that new employees find answers to almost any query, while practically eliminating the time knowledge workers spend each day trying to locate the latest information or documents they need on almost any topic (limited only by role-related access rights/privacy settings). If staff need a summary of all the latest regulations they must adhere to for a given task, or need to pull together the latest findings on a particular topic, they can simply ask the question and let the technology do the legwork – presenting the information back to them in a meaningful, context-appropriate way.

Quickly, over time, the returned answers will improve too – because users will have the facility to rate them with a quick thumbs up, or thumbs down, as feedback on the accuracy, relevance and usefulness of the delivered search results/collated content.

Trust us: we’re tracking the latest developments

This is a glimpse into next-generation content and data management, and it’s at the forefront of fme’s vision – spanning our business/strategy consulting, and our integration, data cleansing/preparation/enrichment, and content migration services.
It’s all about taking the long-term view. For now, the immediate preoccupations for regulated organizations including Life Sciences companies, industrial manufacturers, and finance institutions might have more to do with reducing dependency on legacy systems; consolidating content following a merger; or becoming more responsive to regulatory changes.

Usually, however, these initiatives are ultimately about being better at information, content, and knowledge management. This has been the focus of my career – and of fme – for the last 25+ years. And in the not-too-distant future, transformed data, content, and knowledge management will involve Generative AI as both the enabler and the intuitive user interface.

Culture change requires long-term Board-level buy-in

Even a year ago, no one could have predicted how rapidly Generative AI would take hold and grow in its application. Accepting and fully embracing the implications is going to require significant culture change for companies, an organizational transformation that can take many, many years to see through – not to mention a considerable amount of blood, sweat and tears. Given that the typical tenure of a CEO is 4-5 years, organizations must now infuse the entire Board with a vision and appetite for Generative AI’s potential across their operations.
Beyond information and content management and analytics, we suggest that the next level of Generative AI application will be in transforming core processes – from HR, sales, creative marketing, and finance management, to IT development, and web site creation (think: “Please generate a web site that does X”). Then, as the technology matures, and trust builds, regulated areas such as Regulatory Information

Management will become a valid area of focus

If there’s one message I want to get across, it’s that AI – and Generative AI specifically – is here to stay, and it will change the world. Its presence is already prominent, and its potential reach is all-pervasive.

The focus shouldn’t be about developing a separate AI strategy, or even updating the organization’s digital transformation strategy. It should be about weaving Generative AI, and indeed any other aspect of digital transformation, into an organization’s core business strategy – and establishing where the technology could and should be harnessed to help deliver this.

Human factors: everyone will benefit; no one will be unaffected

As to the impact of Generative AI on the role of humans, undoubtedly this will be significant. While human expertise will remain vital in checking, feeding back, refining and improving/embellishing AI’s findings, in time the size of IT/Web development teams, HR functions, finance teams, and so on will inevitably reduce. That’s as more of the groundwork is covered by intelligent technology.

It isn’t just the search and filter intelligence that’s transformative in all of this, after all. It’s the user experience. At fme, we are partnering with a design agency in Berlin for this, recognizing that the way individuals engage and interact with an application or tool is at least as importance as the clever things it can do. And we’re as serious about that whether it’s for our middleware or IT admin tools, or a more advanced stack of content enrichment and management capabilities.

There are all kinds of other trends affecting companies’ use of IT, of course – from continued remote and mobile working enablement, in the wake of Covid; to budget-friendly off- and near-shore resourcing to overcome local talent gaps; to reinforced security and resilience in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and renewed concerns about cyber-attacks bringing down IT services.

Our priority in all of this is to keep looking ahead and anticipating what it is that our clients not only require today, but also what they will ultimately need to do, in 3-5 years; and to keep innovating with optimized strategy consulting and specialist IT services that will deliver those priorities in plenty of time.

To find out more about any of our strategy consulting or IT services, or to discuss the potential of Generative AI in your organization’s knowledge management or core process transformation, contact us. We’d be happy to set up a time with you and our experts to determine how these new technologies can benefit your business.

Competing in the OpenText SDK Challenge: The Journey of aiMan

Competing in the OpenText SDK Challenge: The Journey of aiMan

Yesterday, the result of OpenText’s SDK Challenge was announced. Although we didn’t finish in the top three, we received honorable mention by OpenText and are proud to have made the aiMan work.

In the ever-evolving world of technology, innovation is the driving force behind progress. It’s what propels us to create new solutions, challenge the status quo, and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our journey in the OpenText SDK Challenge was akin to facing the intense scrutiny of the ‘Dragon’s Den,’ where innovative ideas are assessed, critiqued, and celebrated. This year’s SDK challenge was inspired by the „Dragon’s Den”, a well-known TV show format in which entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of wealthy investors (often referred to as „dragons”) who then decide whether to invest their own money in the presented business. This show is also known as „Shark Tank” in some regions, such as the United States.

The Competition: A Challenge for Innovation

The OpenText SDK Challenge brought together six talented teams, each tasked with developing groundbreaking solutions for the Documentum Smart View Client. It was a competition that demanded creativity, technical expertise, and the ability to think beyond the conventional. Our mission was clear: to create a unique and powerful software application that seamlessly integrated Artificial Intelligence with the Documentum Smart View Client.

Our Approach: AI Meets Documentum

Our team was driven by the exciting prospect of introducing AI into the realm of document management. We envisioned a future where users could interact with their documents in an entirely new way. Our AI-driven solution, aiMan, aimed to revolutionize document management by enabling users to search for documents using natural language, access frequently asked questions effortlessly, and even query business intelligence evaluations and workflow-related tasks in the future.

aiMan Technical set-up

The Technical Foundation of aiMan: Integrating FastAPI and LangChain

At the core of aiMan’s technical prowess lies the integration of FastAPI, a powerful web framework for building APIs with Python. This integration has opened doors to seamless communication between aiMan and LangChain, a framework that operates at the infrastructure layer. LangChain plays a pivotal role in enabling the orchestration of Large Language Models (LLMs), such as GPT-4, within real-world applications. For further technical insights, visit LangChain’s documentation.

Context Information and Azure OpenAI Service

In addition to LangChain, aiMan leverages Context Information, which can encompass a wide range of data represented as plain text. This additional information enriches the interaction with Large Language Models, enhancing their understanding and responses. Moreover, aiMan is backed by the Azure OpenAI Service, a cloud service provided by Microsoft. This service facilitates private deployment and access to various generative AI models, including GPT-4 and DALL·E 2. It allows for independent management, scaling, and billing, making it a robust foundation for AI-powered solutions like aiMan.

The Realization: New Ideas, Proven Solutions

As we put our hearts and minds into developing aiMan, we knew we were onto something innovative and promising. Our solution showcased the potential of AI in document management, making tasks more efficient and user-friendly. However, in the end, the jury chose to reward three other teams. We are happy about the honorable mention we received from the OpenText Team and will work on the tipps they provided us with.

Our View of the Future: More Beauty, More Marketing

But here’s the exciting part: we are far from being discouraged. We remain steadfast in our belief that aiMan offers substantial value to businesses looking to streamline their document management processes. In the coming months, we are committed to refining and enhancing our AI-based Documentum Smart View integration. Our goal is to make it even more beautiful, user-friendly, and tailored to the specific needs of our clients.

If you are interested, you can watch the recording of our presentation here: fme Presentation OpenText Documentum Dragon’s Den Partner SDK Challenge

To ensure that more companies can benefit from our innovative solution, we will also be ramping up our marketing efforts. A dedicated landing page for aiMan is already in the works. We want to ensure that businesses across industries are aware of the transformative potential of aiMan.

A Heartfelt Thank You

In closing, we want to express our deepest gratitude to all our team members who poured their tireless efforts and hard work into the competition. Our commitment to innovation and excellence remains unwavering. We are confident that aiMan will not only succeed but also thrive in the world of document management, bringing a new era of efficiency and user-friendliness.

Stay tuned for more updates on aiMan – and thank you for being part of our journey towards a smarter, more innovative future!
If you have questions or would like more information on aiMan please get in touch with me!