This report assesses the capabilities of OpenText’s Process Application Platform, and also examines the partners and intellectual property that OpenText can offer customers exploring associated technology implementations. This assessment report forms part of a series of reports from MWD Advisors which assesses business process application technology offerings – technology-related capabilities which support organisations wanting to design, develop, deploy, monitor and optimise partially- or wholly-automated business processes.
We strongly encourage you to read this report in conjunction with our accompanying Assessment Framework report.
Over the years following its acquisition of Cordys in 2013, OpenText made a marked shift in its BPM approach – and the company is continuing this shift as it moves beyond the current release of the Process Suite (16.3). OpenText’s Simplified Application Development experience hides much of the complexity exposed in the core design and development tools, and the unique approach taken here really supports iterative, collaborative design – and there are plans to further expand the role and capabilities on offer here. OpenText’s acquisition of Actuate in 2015 has delivered a more tightly integrated Process Intelligence offering; and thirdly, an optional Extended ECM module specifically designed for use with the Process Platform creates very close synergy with the OpenText Content Server (for those that want to use the two platforms together).
Support for different types of work
Automated work: A rich set of integration capabilities within the OpenText Process Platform – including an integral Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) and Master Data Management (MDM) technology – is combined with a very flexible event-driven engine to create very good support for the straight-through orchestration of automated systems.
Transactional work: Support for transactional work scenarios is very good. Rich organisational modeling and support for ad hoc task creation and assignment mean you can create flexible workflows and manage work distribution at scale. Sophisticated monitoring facilities can leverage the MDM features of the platform, meaning you can create context-rich reports and dashboards.
Exploratory work: Support for exploratory work scenarios is excellent. The Simplified Application Development experience is particularly suited to case management application creation, and the result can be very sophisticated; in addition, there are three optional Case Management Accelerators you can use.
Rapid prototyping / quick-start
OpenText’s Simplified Application Development experience offers an unique composition-based approach to application design, based around entity modelling that enables you to create simple applications quickly, and evolve them iteratively by adding highly configurable ‘building blocks’.
Your ability to manage change in the OpenText Process Suite will be largely a function of the degree to which your team is comfortable with more technical developer-focused tools. The tools on offer will be very familiar to mainstream software developers, but features to enable less technical people to manage change comfortably are lacking. Still, as long as you’re comfortable with developer-led change efforts, there are some good tools in the box that help automate application validation, packaging and deployment.
User experience options
As well as the standard option of a responsive HTML5 application user experience, OpenText offers a generic mobile task management app, and a particularly rich set of server APIs that enable you to build completely custom front-end applications on top of a Process Platform installation.
OpenText offers its Process Suite as an on-premise licensed product, but also offers hosting in the OpenText Cloud – and there’s the option to add Managed Services on top to create more of a fully-managed PaaS proposition. Great support for application multi-tenancy is a particularly strong point in deployment.