SAP, OpenText broaden partnership with cloud integrations

SAP reveals deeper cloud partnerships with content management vendor OpenText as both legacy platforms entice long-term clients off on-premises systems and into the SAP cloud.

The SAP-OpenText 25-year relationship grew deeper roots, with the vendors making public a series of new integrations and partnerships.

The most significant was the integration of the OpenText OT2 content services platform, which the companies plan to make available to run on SAP's public cloud by the fourth quarter of 2019. OpenText and SAP also said they will make content services available for applications such as ERP S/4HANA Cloud, CX platform C/4HANA Cloud and the SAP SuccessFactors HR platform.

The SAP-OpenText news came at the SAP Sapphire Now 2019 user conference in Orlando, Fla., on May 8.

While it might look like OpenText is sending customers to SAP at the expense of its own cloud, the content management vendor is really expanding OT2 into another market and exposing it to a new customer base, Gartner analyst Michael Woodbridge said.

"This is just an easier way to justify additional license revenue for OpenText content services," Woodbridge said. "Currently, the options [for SAP customers] are the OpenText cloud, which doesn't have a huge footprint, and of course they have the option to host it themselves."

"This is another way to make it easier for organizations to procure OpenText alongside their SAP in the cloud," he added. "It lowers a barrier to entry."

Also in the raft of SAP-OpenText moves:

  • OpenText Core for SuccessFactors, Woodbridge said, is one of the first applications built on OpenText's OT2 cloud content services platform.
  • OpenText Extended Enterprise Content Management for Engineering is a targeted system for the SAP platform for engineering, operations, finance and maintenance teams.
    This is another way to make it easier for organizations to procure OpenText alongside their SAP in the cloud. It lowers a barrier to entry.
    Michael WoodbridgeAnalyst, Gartner
  • OpenText Extended ECM for Microsoft Office 365 connects O365 directly into SAP ERP, CRM and related business applications and integrates Microsoft Teams, Groups, Outlook Online and SharePoint. Besides the integration piece, customers can automate the decommissioning of Teams -- while preserving related content -- when a project is completed and archived.
  • OpenText Information Extraction Service for SAP (sold by SAP as SAP Information Extraction by OpenText), which captures and extracts information from incoming communications via machine learning algorithms and optical character recognition.

The new SAP-OpenText partnerships reflect a long history of cooperation between the two companies, said Hans-Gerd Schaal, OpenText's vice president of strategic initiatives. He added that they give SAP customers more options for cloud migrations; many customers still are using SAP on premises because of regulatory or historical reasons, but that's changing.

"There's a kind of uncertainty among customers. There's still a lot who think the on-premises way is the right way," Schaal said. "We see a lot of hesitation among the SAP customer base to move core systems right away into a fully cloud world."

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