How OpenText Is Improving Customer Experience With Intelligent Forms Automation
How OpenText Is Improving Customer Experience With Intelligent Forms Automation
It has been almost one year since OpenText announced its intention to acquire HP LiquidOffice, HP TeleForm, HP Exstream, and HP Output Management for a total transaction value of $315 million. Today, these products are housed within OpenText’s Customer Experience Management (CEM) Suite, which was recently updated with the Release 16 Enhancement Pack 2 (EP2). On the LiquidOffice and TeleForm side, OpenText has completed a wealth of additional integrations with OpenText Content Server, OpenText RightFax, and MS SharePoint.
In a recent interview with Mark Jackson, Senior Product Manager, and Bob Murphy, Sales Director for OpenText LiquidOffice and TeleForm, we learned more about today’s market for enterprise forms solutions and the dynamics driving increased demand. Before diving into our discussion with Mark and Bob, here’s some background on OpenText LiquidOffice and TeleForm.
OpenText LiquidOffice & TeleForm – Intelligent Forms Automation Solutions
OpenText LiquidOffice and TeleForm enable organizations to collect, validate, and process information using intelligent forms, automating forms-driven processes for efficiency, data accuracy, and customer responsiveness.
LiquidOffice provides organizations with electronic forms and workflow capabilities, empowering automated business processes through an online front-end (e.g., a web form) so consumers can interact and engage with them faster and more efficiently.
TeleForm automatically captures, classifies, and extracts data from paper and electronic forms. Combined with LiquidOffice, it enables organizations to automate the collection and processing of information from virtually any source. Both products have a long history in the enterprise software industry, changing ownership through acquisitions multiple times over the last decade before OpenText rolled them up in 2016.
- Cardiff—the original developer of LiquidOffice and TeleForm—was acquired by Verity in 2004 for $50 million
- Autonomy then acquired Verity in 2005 for $500 million
- HP later took over Autonomy for $11.1 billion in 2011
Having a home at OpenText, an enterprise software company, is breathing new life into the products and providing the talent and vision necessary to meet increasing demand for rich and interactive web interfaces while sustaining organizations still reliant on paper processes. We asked Mark and Bob for their perspectives on the market and the positioning of these products within them.
Forms automation may sound old school considering the digital era we live in. What makes these solutions still important and relevant to business organizations today?
Just about everything we do is driven by information, especially in the digital era. Forms automation to some might be as straightforward as taking a simple form and turning it into a PDF document, and although we can do that, organizations and their customers expect a lot more today.
Consider a financial services organization that wants to collect information from its customers. It might need to offer both paper and electronic versions of a form, and provide options to access a web form from a desktop computer or mobile phone. A service might need to run 24×7, protect confidential information, and be accessible by thousands of customers at the same time. It also needs to make it an easy, efficient, and positive experience for customers or they will go elsewhere.
And the form is only where the process begins, information needs to be validated in real-time as it is being collected, then routed to back-end systems and individuals for review and processing. So, the idea of forms automation may be old school, but the approach needed today has evolved significantly. Doing this efficiently is critical to meet the needs of an organization and customer expectations, more so today than ever.
Some might consider this part of BPM, but you clearly differentiate your market positioning for these products. How?
When thinking about BPM, what comes to mind are transactional-type processes and more complicated projects that can take a while to get off the ground. With our products, we are very much focused on interaction and engagement with end-users and customers, using forms for information collection, and then managing the people and forms-driven processes that follow. It does not matter if the forms are electronic or on paper, in many cases both are essential and our products are aimed at collecting information in an intelligent and automated way. Customers are typically up and running quickly using our intuitive design tools and take an incremental approach to building out a solution to meet their needs.
What are your main markets for these products?
We do not provide one particular solution for a singular market. Our customers across various industries use our products to fuel internal and external processes. A private business might use one of our products to generate HR forms while a local government could leverage the same technology to collect information from its citizens. Having said that, we see most applications coming from the finance, government, healthcare, and education industries. These verticals are all highly regulated, often requiring high volumes of forms to be processed on a daily basis, and they have a common need for robust, scalable, and secure solutions to keep information confidential.
Are you seeing requirements changing in these markets?
A major change over the last few years is the increased focus on customer experience and customer interaction, and heightened expectations that come with this. Product development used to focus primarily on adding new features, but today we focus just as much on keeping user interaction clean and simple to create positive customer experiences through the consumers’ preferred channels (e.g. desktop or mobile forms). Regardless of the channel, the form is a critical touchpoint between organizations and their customers.
We are also seeing an increasing focus on managing risk and compliancy. The impact of a breach can be business-critical for organizations in our main markets. These clients have to ensure that information is accurate and validated before further processing. These organizations look for agile and maintainable solutions as regulations and compliance rules grow more complex.
Another interesting change we are seeing is an increasing need for a seamless solution for clients requiring both paper (and there are many still out there) as well as electronic forms. Take, for example, a census survey. You need to collect information from all of your citizens, but not all have access to the web. Being able to automate the collection of information using both paper and electronic forms, and then manage processing of that information with a single seamless solution makes a lot of sense for our customers. Also keep in mind that there continue to be legal regulations requiring the use of paper and there will always be customers who simply prefer paper. In these cases, having a single solution supporting paper and electronic forms is essential, allowing them to take on digital transformation at their own pace.
How will these products continue under OpenText?
The products have evolved over time to include a broad range of capabilities that benefited customers of the parent organizations. The core of the products has remained the same however even if some of the positioning and messaging has changed. What you will see moving forward is more focus on the core capabilities, a lot of emphasis on user experience, and an enterprise approach to solution delivery.
In some ways, we are going back to our roots with a focus on forms automation, and with the backing of OpenText, customers will see a lot of new innovation in both LiquidOffice and TeleForm, and some really interesting solutions resulting from integrations with other OpenText products.
In addition, as a part of the OpenText CEM Suite, you will see a lot of emphasis on supporting organizations with customer-focused solutions, both providing a rich interface for interacting with customers, and also helping make internal customer-driven processes more efficient.
Organizations within highly regulated industries are searching for solutions that provide a rich customer experience as well as a robust, scalable, and secure platform.
Forms Automation is no longer limited to saving forms as PDF documents. Today organizations demand solutions that can streamline their business processes and help them become more agile and cost effective in business operations. The recent shift in focus toward improving customer experience has elevated forms automation to a critical component in the customer journey. Most web-based form management tools entering the solutions market today purely focus on quickly creating great-looking forms but do not support organizations in a holistic approach. There are few vendors who do, with LiquidOffice and TeleForm, OpenText is one of them.
Next month (10-13 July), OpenText is inviting industry executives, analysts and other thought leaders in the industry to its Enterprise World 2017 conference in Toronto, Canada. We will be there too, and we look forward to learning more about successful use cases around intelligent forms automation.