OpenText CEO Blasts IBM Watson, Calls It Slow and Expensive

OpenText CEO Mark Barranechea at Enfuse 2018

… the “new frontier” for digital transformation.

“A lot of people view AI as scary, robotic figures, he said. “It’s going to take a job; it has these sci-fi feels to it. We should look at it a little more like Iron Man. We need to view AI as decision support. I would like to pursue that before we cut the human out of it. So we’re very focused on an augmented approach for AI.”

Barrenechea blasted IBM Watson, saying his company’s Magellan AI platform is superior.

“What I don’t like about Watson is it is expensive, takes a long time to use, and doesn’t fit our belief system,” he said. “Customers want to move fast.”

All of OpenText’s technologies provide “quite a lot” of opportunities for partners, Barrenechea said.

“There [are] so many more tools in the tool shed for our partners to bring to market,” he said. “If you were selling EnCase in Texas, we now can bring three or four more relevant products to the same buyer that you’re bringing to. Or if you have some expertise and we have a larger network, we can bring that expertise to a different geography as well.”

Given the larger footprint of OpenText and its metal-tiering system for partners, “the more you invest, the more we invest,” Barrenechea said.

“If a partner is investing in an event, investing in training or awareness, as you move up the tiers we invest more with you,” he said. “As a larger company, you get that benefit as well. And, you’re either in or not in building a partner culture. We worked really hard, and we’re not saying we’re perfect, but we have a partner-oriented culture. We built our sales force, professional services, dedicated teams, a metals system, market development funds; we dedicate partner tracks, it’s ingrained in our culture.”

Patricia Nagle, OpenText’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, said there’s a “lot of agility in the way that you can engage and work with OpenText” that may not have existed with Guidance.

“So it’s just a more robust, sort of programmatic way that we go to market,” she said.

Digital Intelligence both resells OpenText products and builds systems incorporating OpenText products. Christopher Stippich, its president, said there’s recognition by OpenText of the “amount and quantity, and depth of data that’s out there, and how do we go about harnessing that and using it in some way that it makes sense from an investigative or forensics standpoint?”

“You have those bad or nefarious actors who are out there who are taking stuff and using the information for bad, and we need to be using the same tools and techniques to prevent stuff, recognize earlier and identify those players to protect the integrity of the information that’s there,” he said. “It’s a cat-and-mouse game. We just need to be using the same tools and the same data to further the mission of protecting it.”

Sumuri integrates OpenText into its Talino forensics workstation. Steve Whalen, its CEO, said his company supports both law enforcement and corporate, and “whatever’s thrown in front if us, we have to come up with a solution.”

“It’s great to see companies like OpenText come up with their solutions alongside of ours, and we try to do what’s best for the customer in whatever shape or form we need to,” he said.

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