Last week we shared about Alfresco’s webinar on Trends & Transformation for ECM in 2019. We watched alongside many of you on Wednesday, and for those who missed it, we wanted to provide an update and recap so you’re in the know.
Catching Up on 2018
Alfresco CTO & Founder, John Newton, was joined by Ankur Laroia, VP of Strategy & Corporate Development. They started by discussing the changes at Alfresco last year which included a new investor, Thomas H. Lee, a private equity firm out of Boston. Newton also lauded the executive team additions, like CEO Bernadette Nixon, among others. Newton highlighted that Alfresco’s customers are experiencing a much more tangible digital transformation than ever before. He explained that the legacy migrations that are going on now are consolidating huge content bases with the goal of improving customer interaction. Most of Alfresco’s clients are rethinking how they do things and trying to bring different silos together, which is no easy task. The key driver of the transformation is a focus on the customer first, as they are working to deliver value faster and empower the end user.
Moving Forward to 2019
As we anticipated, two prominent themes of the webinar were artificial intelligence and cloud. In fact, Newton was asked to choose one trend that he was most excited about in the future of the ECM industry and he couldn’t pick between the two. He said 1) the future of the industry is AI. Where we used to have coding we will now have learning and 2) he can’t wait to see more companies leveraging the cloud to reduce the cost of operations, create more agility and to improve scalability.
When discussing upcoming AI innovations, Newton explained that many things are being automated that haven’t ever been automated before by applying machine learning. Their approach to AI includes the ability to auto-classify, auto-infer, and to provide information through image recognition, natural language understanding as well as the ability to extract metadata from images. Many AWS tools will be utilized and the raw data that comes out of those tools will also be compatible with other platforms. These AI capabilities are focused on both content and process, with a goal of leveraging this information to help user make more effective decisions, which requires that the data be available on demand. Newton said these advancements are only possible because of the cloud.
The interest in cloud has grown significantly, and will continue to grow as solutions become more affordable, scalable and integrated into the digital workspace. It is becoming more and more necessary to be able to scale up to load in large amounts of information and scale down when we are not needing that capability. Newton explained that we will see expanded use of AWS solutions like Glacier, a long term storage option that is much more affordable than older solutions and Kubernetes, an open source, cloud neutral software that helps handle containerized applications at scale. Multiple cloud deployments are coming down the pipeline even as soon as in the next few months, and migration to the cloud will continue to be a hot topic in 2019 and beyond.
Digital Transformation + Open Source
One theme that we were glad to see was how excited both Newton & Laroia continue to be about open source. Laroia began by explaining that “50-75% of digital transformation initiatives are stalled.” Alfresco is looking to provide real value to the end customer and is committed to getting these projects moving. Laroia believes open source is a huge potential growth opportunity there. Alfresco has shown its deep commitment to interaction and collaboration through its developer conference, DevCon, and plans to double down on those efforts to support builders. Newton ended as he described how Alfresco’s very name means “out in the open” and reiterated that they have a strong commitment to open source as it is the “lifeblood” of Alfresco. We are looking forward to seeing where this investment in processes and people takes Alfresco in 2019!
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