Are OpenText and Autonomy crawling out of the customer service doldrums?

Last week in a lecture at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, corporate communications professor Paul Argenti quoted Socrates as a north star for organizations looking to improve their reputations: "To gain a good reputation, endeavor to be what you desire to appear."

I couldn't help but think of mega-vendors Autonomy (an HP company) and OpenText when I heard this. Since we started covering the digital asset management market about six years ago, we've uncovered mostly negative reports from customers about these two vendors' service and support, while at the same time, their analyst relations liaison or product marketing team tell us tales of "renewed focus on customer service" and "customer advisory boards," from whom they gather input to drive service plans and product development.

But execution on these aspirations continue to be mixed, or half-baked. Based on the most recent customer research we conducted for the latest update of our Brand & Digital Asset Management Report, it's clear that both vendors are making efforts to be more open and conversational with their customers - but are still struggling to deliver focused DAM expertise, and top service, to their vast customer bases.

While both vendors' now try to listen more to big-name customers, the outcome of such sessions and feedback loops remains mediocre at best. Some buyers and implementers still have to resort to unusually aggressive vendor management techniques to address snags encountered during implementation.

So far, OpenText seems to be more proactive about improving poor customer relations than Autonomy, no doubt a result of an effort to retain customers in the move from v6 of Artesia to v7 of the re-branded OpenText Media Manager. Autonomy -- who has lost several legacy DAM customers who departed (mostly due to to service issues) in favor of DAM systems -- currently shows renewed interest in open customer communications since the acquisition by HP.

Still, such ideals and conversations only change reputations when real results are achieved. For the longtime customers of OTMM and VMB, I'm glad to see these companies starting more conversations. But while OpenText's Media Manager and Autonomy's Virage MediaBin are both among the most feature-rich and scalable DAM systems on the market, for many customers, the advantages stop there.

We rate vendors on these and other "intangibles" -- such as strategy, roadmap, and service partnerships -- across all the markets we cover. If you'd like to learn more, let us know.

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