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Tuesday, 07 April 2020 13:34

Hyland Australia plans push into government Featured

Jamie Atherton - There's room for us in government Jamie Atherton - There's room for us in government

Content services vendor Hyland is planning a major push into the Australian government sector, where it believes it is underrepresented. Australian country manager Jamie Atherton, in a wide-ranging interview with iTWire, outlined the company’s new strategy.

“It’s part of a three-year plan,” he explained. “We’re very strong in health in Australia, and have a solid presence in financial services and construction. Government is one of our major markets in the US, so we see many opportunities in Australia.”

Atherton stressed Hyland’s efforts in moving its products to a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model over the last few years. “We still sell a lot of traditional platform products, but SaaS is an increasing part of our business. We believe government agencies are now much more ready to embrace the SaaS model than they were just a few years ago.

“We have the product set to compete in this market,” says Atherton. “We have been working with some of the largest local and state government agencies across the US for many years, some of which are our biggest customers. We’ve got some very significant government users.

“One concern in government is that data must be located within the country. We use Australian data centres, which ensures that our latency is low and our performance is high. And we can offer both in-house and cloud solutions.”

Atherton made special mention of Hyland’s ShareBase application, a secure collaboration environment which he says is particularly suited to government. “Consultation and collaboration with other agencies or external organisations is part of life in government.

“Too often this translates into emails back and forth with no convenient and secure way to share documents and content like reports, photos, videos and more. Even within agencies, the essential task of securing critical content and providing tools for collaboration is difficult.

“ShareBase meets these needs by delivering an enterprise file synchronisation and share solution that simplifies some of the most crucial activities in government – document and content delivery, sharing and review. It does so in an integrated and secure way that speeds up extra-agency tasks while providing an audit trail of any activity.”

Privately owned and Ohio-based Hyland is a market leader in the Content Services Platform (CSP) market, the term analyst group Gartner uses to define the sector. Gartner says CSPs are a key component of the digital workplace, providing a broad range of functions involving multiple data sources, such as onboarding new employees, insurance claims management, process automation and information management.

CSPs focus on three main challenges faced by industry in the digital era, says Gartner:

  • Tackling content sprawl: Most organisations have a multitude of content repositories which they need to rationalise.

  • Delivering digital business transformation: CSP technology is in demand to underpin new operations and processes that utilise content as a key component in innovative ways. A common requirement is to join up fragmented operations by including partners, suppliers and customers directly in system processes that include both operational and collaborative experiences.

  • Modernising work: Users’ expectations have changed for good, due to the ubiquity of compelling user experiences in consumer applications. There is increasing evidence that a workforce with a high degree of digital dexterity is more likely to help an organisation realise its digital transformation goals.

Gartner categorises vendors in a market according to its well-known Quadrants, which use the two scales of ‘ability to execute’ and ‘completeness of vision’ to place them within one of four quadrants. Those with both characteristics are called ’Leaders’. Hyland is one of only a few vendors in the Leader quadrant, along with its fierce rival OpenText, Microsoft (with SharePoint) and IBM.

Hyland’s strengths are in its dominance in the healthcare and financial services markets, and its wide product offering, according to Gartner. It also mentions the company’s high level of employee satisfaction. It mentions as weaknesses Hyland’s slow move to the cloud (since addressed) and its relatively poor presence in Europe.

Gartner also says Hyland is strong in government, but that is based on its success in the US market. It is not the case in Australia. That is exactly what its new strategy is designed to address.

Hyland will face stiff competition in its quest to grow its share in the Australian public sector. Not shown on the Gartner quadrant but strong in the Australian market are local ASX listed companies Objective and TechnologyOne. Objective has a strong workflow and content management option, and TechnologyOne has a CSP component in its financial services suite. It is strong in tertiary education and local government, areas Hyland is also targeting.

Hyland Australia works with a network of resellers and partners including Blumark, Fuji Xerox, Iron Mountain, Deloitte, Guidewire, Work Day, Microsoft and SAP and many more.

Content Services Platforms are an increasingly important product area. The market is competitive in the technologies are evolving. Hyland is a major player in the market and is looking for more of the action. Its success will depend upon the quality of its products and the power of its marketing.

“Content services is the new front line in IT” says Hyland’s Atherton. “Users need access to all the information that is relevant to their job. They don’t care where information is stored, they just want immediate access. That’s what we do.”

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire. He is one of Australia’s longest serving and most experienced IT journalists. He is author of the only definitive history of the Australian IT industry, ‘A Vision Splendid: The History of Australian Computing.’

He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time weekly IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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