Open Text Corp has just closed the biggest deal of its ten-year life with Netscape Communications Corp and is predicting a very bright future for document management. The Waterloo, Canada headquartered company’s Livelink Intranet document management and business application is to be used in Netscape’s SuiteSpot family of server software. Livelink supports Netscape, Windows 95, and Motif clients. Support for Microsoft internet server and browser products is planned for the future. Livelink has four engines; document management, workflow, search and discussion, enabling, according to the company, organizations to take advantage of intranet investments. The product is aimed as Fortune 1000 users, in all manner of industries, but Livelink is supposed to be especially good for order processing and the like. Although Open Text is making a loss at the moment – it reported third quarter net losses of $5.3m against $1.7m last time – it is confident it will have broken even by the end of the year, and it is currently in the middle of a huge expansion plan. Open Text’s president and chief executive, Tom Jenkins says the company purchased seven firms last year in the US, and now it is on the look out for companies in Europe to expand its operations on the continent to keep them in line with the US.
Lend a hand
The last two years has seen Open Text’s employees grow to 300 from just 20 and Tony Heywood, new managing director of European operations has been brought in to lend a hand. Formerly at Platinum Technology Inc, Heywood increased staffing levels to 400 from 20 in two years. Open Text was the result of a joint venture between the Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University, the University of Waterloo, the UK and the Canadian government, in an attempt to put the dictionary online, some 10 years ago. Speaking of the Netscape deal Jenkins said: This is by far the biggest deal we have ever closed – we see it as a marketing channel. Jenkins compares Livelink and document management with Lotus Notes and its use in the client server area, but predicts document management will prove to be far more widely adopted. He pointed out there are a total of 1 million client server users world wide, and in the past 12 months Open Text has sold 250,000 seats.