Enterprises generate loads of content which, if managed effectively, can provide lasting business value. Enterprise content management solutions like OpenText bring automation and efficiency to both internal and external content processes in an organization. They allow to increase the company’s productivity, address compliance issues, reduce costs, foster data-driven decision making and create new business opportunities. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the ECM market size is expected to grow from USD 28.10 Billion in 2016 to USD 66.27 Billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 18.7%.
Size of the enterprise content management (ECM) market worldwide from 2016 to 2021 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Companies invest heavily in ECM tools and solutions, which increases the demand for OpenText consultants globally. They are some of the best-paid specialists in the IT sphere. According to Glassdoor, a senior OpenText consultant in the US gets over $110,000 annually. As reported by Indeed, the average salary of such specialist surpasses $96,000. Moreover, hourly rates of big ECM solutions integrators exceed $300.
OpenText Salary Trend in the UK
Source: IT Jobs Watch
The most affordable destinations
So is there an alternative to hiring costly on-site professionals or starting cooperation with unreasonably expensive integrators? One of the most viable solutions is to outsource this expertise to offshore or nearshore consultants. And you don’t need to look far. Eastern European countries like Ukraine, Belarus, Czech Republic, Slovakia and others offer many qualified specialists for reasonable rates.
Sources of OpenText expertise
The global market for OpenText consulting experiences a shortage of talent and a spike in rates. Enterprises that feel the urgent need for streamlining their business processes with ECM usually consider 3 options:
- Hiring on-site consultants
- Addressing a network of freelancers
- Searching for an OpenText professional services provider
Each solution has its benefits and downsides, of course. Having a professional onsite specialist seems to be a reliable but costly option. Besides, the number of specialists available for hire on site is quite scarce, which is also the reason for their high rates.
Although freelancers have lower rates, there is a limited number of such specialists on the market, and they are mostly overbooked, thus it’s hard to rely on them. Moreover, they have no one to support them when they come up against technical problems beyond their competence. Freelance consultants are often torn between several projects at the same time, which might diminish the quality of service.
The providers and integrators’ rates vary greatly, so if you are looking for good value for money, we advise you to pay attention to Eastern European vendors. One of the major benefits of working with ECM services provider is that such companies strive for the best quality, meet the deadlines, and maintain effective communication with their clients because their reputation is critical for them. In addition, they have well-established processes, accumulated expertise in various technologies and industries, and knowledge sharing within teams. As for the downsides, the main one from the US corporate perspective is that they are not allowed to work permanently on-site. This is a #1 limitation for government agencies, state owned companies, and large corporations with tight security policies. However, if a company is ready for the setup where the consultant can spend only part of his time on-site, this is the best option of the above.
How to find OpenText consulting provider
If you’ve decided to consider an IT vendor with ECM expertise, you still need to find a trustworthy and professional partner. This might be challenging but there are several ways to go.
Ask for references
First of all, you may ask other people in your business for references. If you know companies that have already integrated OpenText suite into their enterprise, they may advise their vendor or tell you about other consultants they’ve considered.
Attend events to build a network of consultants
The conferences dedicated to enterprise content management give you an excellent chance to meet many consultants in person and establish a lot of useful contacts. Integrators also attend these events to engage new clients so they are the place where your needs meet. There is a number of ECM and OpenText conferences like Enterprise World 2017, The International SAP Conference for Utilities, The AIIM Conference 2017 etc.
OpenText cooperates with a number of partner organizations that offer integration, support and consultancy on their products. You may use this extensive list which allows you to filter the companies by the name, region, industry, and the type of partnership. However, it is very big and a bit difficult to structure so you will have to do further research on the companies to find the best integrator for your specific needs. It’s worth noting that the list does include a lot of irrelevant information. Many companies are listed but don’t provide professional services, many have outdated information. Thus you will have to make sure the chosen provider really offers the services and the expertise it claims to have.
Google OpenText consultants
Apparently, one of the most reliable ways to find experienced consultants is simply googling them. The providers that have been on the market for a while and have strong technical expertise are sure to have good websites with a detailed description of their services, expertise, client case studies etc.
Consider Eastern European vendors to get the best value for money
Although India is considered to be the most affordable destination for outsourcing ECM services, there’s a serious cultural gap between this country and the European and the US clients. Therefore, more and more western companies consider affordable IT destinations in Eastern Europe such as Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Belarus, which have closer cultural affinity, 5-6 hour time difference from the USA, and 1-2 hour difference with major Western European capitals. What’s more, Eastern European IT specialists have shown high level of commitment, low rotation rate, responsible attitude, European business etiquette and mind set.
Criteria for choosing OpenText ECM consultants
Experience and expertise
OpenText ECM solution offers a wide range of possibilities and use cases to a modern enterprise. It is well-aligned to any industry including financial services, insurance, engineering, manufacturing, energy, healthcare, media and entertainment etc. This line of products enables automated management of both digital and physical content relieving much of the enterprise productivity pain. Thus the first criteria for selecting OpenText consultants is their expertise in this flagship product and experience in working with all the solutions and functionality it comprises.
One of the most important aspects to consider when choosing ECM consultants is whether they have a similar solution in their portfolio, and the customer it was done for has been happy with it. OpenText encompasses a broad range of solutions for various content needs. For example, Content Server allows to work with content (saving documents, documents workflow, controlling working processes based on the documents) using a web interface. It is supplemented with Archive Server – the solution for documents archivation. OpenText Directory Services (OTDS) is used for providing different levels of access to documents to multiple users; Enterprise Connect is employed for integrating this system with Office products. There are also many other products and many modules to complement them and extend their functionality.
Moreover, companies that set up one OpenText product later decide to gear it up with more solutions and build an integrated OpenText ecosystem. As a result, providers adapt to their changing needs and develop expertise in other products as well. On the other hand, narrow specialisation usually means better service quality. So the most important thing is to make sure your consultants are well-versed in the solution you need.
Cost is always one of the major factors in choosing a professional services provider. Since rates for ECM consulting have skyrocketed in the recent years, the vendor with the most reasonable price will get ahead of the competitors. However, make sure it can meet your quality expectations.
Cost and availability of specialists with the necessary qualifications are 2 most important things for small projects. As far as big projects are concerned, scaling matters a lot. Not every outsourcing vendor can provide a team of, say, 10 specialists with the necessary expertise. Oftentimes, vendors have no difficulty with providing junior specialists with 1-2 years of experience and narrow expertise. Yet finding senior consultants is always challenging.
Possibility to work onsite
To meet stringent security policies and industry regulations, on-site presence of consultants is often necessary. This is also the main reason why many enterprises discard the outsourcing option. However, professional vendors understand and override this problem in several ways. For example, N-iX has an office in the USA and provides on-site presence of their consultants at the important phases of the project, namely during requirements elicitation, project kickoff, UAT etc. Since the company also has big development centres in Eastern Europe they work much of the time at their European clients’ offices.
OpenText integration with SAP
OpenText boasts its deep and easy integration with SAP so it’s well-suited for supporting a diverse content ecosystem. SAP works great with structured data like tables and OpenText is excellent for handling unstructured data like documents. So if you are using SAP products and want to integrate them with OpenText products, make sure the provider has the right specialists for it.
Benefits of cooperating with OpenText consultants at N-iX
IT outsourcing destinations like Ukraine with over 1,000 software development companies and almost 200,000 engineers are the perfect ground for ECM consulting business. There are plenty of consultants with vast OpenText expertise. For example, N-iX had cooperated with Streamserve since 2005 developing several solutions such as StreamServe 4.x, StreamServe 5.x, and OpenText StreamServe. Additionally, N-iX professionals provided IT consulting for the product and delivered over 150 projects together with Professional Services consultants at OpenText.
The company set up a strong development centre for Streamserve with over 40 people working on its products. Its professionals also provided R&D, third line support, professional services, testing and QA, Java development, DevOps and other engineering services. After OpenText had acquired Streamserve, the Ukrainian company became a part of their global services and its specialists worked as consultants across the world. Thus N-iX cooperated with world-class integrators, took all their best practices, and developed extensive expertise in enterprise content management and customer communication management. The consultants have practical experience in implementing OpenText software both onsite and offsite, installing and configuring its components, and ultimately, delivering comprehensive cost-effective solutions.
Please, contact N-iX to find out more about our ECM and CCM consulting expertise.