HP, OpenText, and the long death march for Interwoven technology

  • 18-Apr-2016

We knew something was up when HP split into two firms and decided to put the old Autonomy/Interwoven tools — TeamSite CMS, MediaBin DAM, and Optimost testing — in with the printers-and-ink half, rather than the more dynamic "HPE" enterprise software sibling.

Now it's clearer HP was prepping these tools for ready divestment. And today comes news that TeamSite, MediaBin, and Optimost have gone to rest at everyone's favorite graveyard for unloved content technologies: OpenText.

A History of Woe

Woe to the old customers of Interwoven. First their vendor got sold into a pathologically destructive firm in Autonomy, then reluctantly adopted by behemoth HP after an ugly and litigious acquisition, then calved off into near oblivion with the HP printer group. And now, finally, sold to erstwhile competitor OpenText, in a deal expected to close in Q4.

history of interwoven

While the plucky MediaBin team tried to keep up with modern DAM techniques, the same alas could not always be said for TeamSite/LiveSite. I've been following TeamSite since 1999, and it is still the sample chapter in our WCM vendor evaluation research (you can download it freely here). TeamSite was innovative during its first decade and might have had some useful future in a world that increasingly wants "headless" WCM architectures, but the underlying codebase was too old and creaky to support more modern digital ambitions.

What Future with OpenText?

OpenText is capable of innovating in some areas (mostly notably document management), and has some interesting tools across its vast portfolio. With this acquisition OpenText also picks up from HP a contact center platform for heavily-regulated environments (Qfiniti) and some augmented reality technology (Aurasma), among others.

The most important thing to understand, though, is that as a vendor OpenText is a financial construct in search of a technology rationale. The company follows a "roll-up" strategy: purchasing older tools for their maintenance revenue streams, streams which — while not always large — are almost always very profitable.

Of course, OpenText already sells WCM and DAM tools, acquired in the distant past from Vignette, Hummingbird/RedDot, and Artesia. Previously the company acquired and expired three other WCM tools. But the issue here is not product overlap now that TeamSite and MediaBin have come aboard; such overlaps persist across the OpenText portfolio.

No, the real story here is that after prolonged illness, the Interwoven toolset has finally found a decent hospice. As a TeamSite or MediaBin customer, I expect your technology investment be well-treated at OpenText. Just understand it will be palliative care, with no emergency life-saving measures.

What Should You the Customer Do

So, if you license the former Interwoven tools, no need to make a quick exit. But if you are considering more modern alternatives, check out RSG's evaluation research.

 

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