OpenText welcomed a record high number of partners for the live return of their OpenText World event, notwithstanding the fact that the event was also available online in a hybrid format.
On Tuesday, OpenText World formally kicked off with the opening keynotes. The day before, however, OpenText held its Partner Summit, where the messaging to the partners was clearly around OpenText’s move to the cloud and the need for partners to keep up with them to take advantage of these opportunities.
At many customer events so far in 2022, the majority of which have also had a hybrid option, there has been a consistent pattern. The number of customers who attended the face-to-face event is down, sometimes considerably, from the pre-pandemic events. Partner attendance, on the other hand, has generally kept up with the pre-COVID numbers. In the case of OpenText, partner attendance at Partner Summit actually exceeded those present at the earlier events.
“We had over 300 partners in attendance, which was our best attendance ever,” said Joel Kremke, SVP Channels and Alliances at OpenText. “What was even more impressive was how global it was. Two-thirds of the room was non-American.”
There were no specifically partner-centric news announcements made at the Partner Summit, but a couple of broader announcements were telegraphed early at the event because of their importance to the partner community. One was an expansion of their Google partnership, which was originally announced in 2019 at the last OpenText World event before this one, in Toronto.
“In 2019, we announced that it was our intention to release what is now the OpenText Cloud Platform on GCP, and we are doing that, but now we have significantly extended it, by announcing a relationship of integrating our Content Cloud application to Google Workspace,” Kremke said.
While the Google announcement was formally announced on Tuesday by OpenText CEO Mark Barrenechea, Kremke said it was important that this be highlighted for partners a day earlier at their event.
“Some of our partners are very contact-centric so this particular announcement around Google Workspace is intriguing for them,” he indicated.
Kremke indicated that partners were also excited by announcement made around OpenText Developer Cloud which were previewed during the Partner Summit.
“Partners were riveted by the ability to more easily build API extensions and new workflows,” he said. “This is something that they could do before, but now they have access to a complete set of APIs and it filled a tech gap.”
Most of OpenText’s revenues come from their enterprise-focused direct sales force, but the number of sales that have some kind of channel connection continues to increase, both on the enterprise size, and in their growing SMB business, which began with the acquisition of Webroot and Carbonite, and has continued with the more recent purchases of Microsoft Office 365 backup provider CloudAlly and cloud email encryption provider Zix.
“Today, over 50% of our transactions are channel-touched,” Kremke stated.
The Partner Summit itself stressed the importance of cloud, both in terms of development and Go-to-Market, like the new expansion into Google Workspace.
“We heard a lot of requests from partners about help in expanding into these new areas,” Kremke said. “There was a lot of enthusiasm about expanding into multiple areas, which could just be the zeitgeist that comes from all the change and the new opportunities.”
Kremke expects increased enablement support for many partners will come with OpenText’s stated moves towards Titanium and Business 2030.
“Some partners will have these skills already,” he said. “The large systems integrators will have them, of course. Many others are likely to have capability around the business process for the end of Titanium, because content management is translatable. The difference is some of the cloud architectural nuances. We expect that many partners will need more help there and we will be there to provide that.”