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First thoughts on the OpenText/Actuate acquisition


Last week OpenText acquired Actuate and their CEO, Mark Barrenechea, blogged about the acquisition. As Mark says “analytics are a hot technology” so mergers and acquisitions in the analytic space are to be expected. With OpenText‘s focus on Enterprise Information Management and its strong content management capabilities, an analytics firm like Actuate makes good sense. OpenText already had content management, business process management, text discovery, integration and portal/communication tools. Adding a capability to report on, monitor and analyze data using analytics represents an obvious extension to this set. Actuate with its BIRT business intelligence and BIRT Analytics products provides a strong analytic offering.

Actuate was recently one of the sponsors of our research on the Analytics Capability Landscape which can be downloaded here. One of our conclusions in this research is that organizations need a broad range of analytic capabilities that will handle different kinds of decisions and support different roles. This landscape view of analytics reinforces the value to customers of suppliers that can support a wide range of different analytic capabilities and OpenText/Actuate will have an interesting set of analytic and supporting capabilities.

Mark went on to explain why he thinks companies are looking for analytics:

From a business perspective, analytics offer customers increased business process efficiencies, greater brand experience, and additional personalized insight for better and faster decisions

And of course it is this last point that really matters and that makes the OpenText/Actuate combination particularly interesting to me. The value of analytics comes in the ability to make better decisions – decisions about how to manage the supply chain or operations to improve efficiency, decisions about how to interact with customers to improve their brand experience, decisions about how to personalize interactions. However, making better decisions means more than just having the analytics to understand what a better decision would look like. It means have the business rules and process framework to actually make the decision and then act on it. OpenText has a range of capabilities in this action- and decision-making space already so the addition of Actuate moves them closer to having a complete decision management platform.

I hope to get briefed on the overall platform and strategy once things have settled down and expect to see OpenText in a future version of our Decision Management Systems Platform Technologies Report.


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