Open Text Vizible Acquisition

Today, Open Text (news, site) announced yet another acquisition. Not as material as some of the previous ones, this one falls in a different category -- a quest for "sizzling technology."

This time around, it's the Toronto-based Vizible Corporation, a maker of 3D technology and digital media interface solutions.

We talked to Scott Bowen, president of Open Text's Digital Media Group, to get the scoop on this deal.

How Visible is Vizible Corporation?

With a very web 2.0-esque name, Vizible provides rich media publishing solutions. Using Vizible, one could create a rich media widget, for example, integrating videos, Flash files, images and other multimedia content. Vizible's website is a pretty non-descriptive three-pager (aside from the embedded videos), but looks like they provide the following:

Rich Media Solutions

Vizible’s solutions provide the ability to create rich visual user experiences, including 3D navigation, and cross-channel content delivery (cell phones, PDAs, web).

Vizible Client Interface

Rich media content’s presentation can be personalized and driven by a specific set of targeting and profiling rules, so that each user gets a personalized and different digital media experience.

Content Syndication and Analytics

One of the strengths of Vizible is rich content syndication capabilities using web services and XML under the hood.


Vizible Music Content Example

Vizible also offers a set of analytic capabilities.

How the Acquisition Affects Vizible

Clearly, we were interested to find out the impact of this acquisition on Vizible. Open Text speaks of the impact with optimistic notes.

Anthony Gallo, former founder and CTO of Vizible, will join Open Text as Vice President of Digital Media Experiences.

As part of the acquisition, Open Text will add the Vizible team to the company’s Digital Media Group. Vizible employees will remain in the Toronto area at Open Text’s Richmond Hill office.

Total acquisition headcount is 15 people, which is actually a “super set of the team.” Vizible used to have an exclusive partner relationship that “ended poorly” last fall. A number of Vizible employees were not retained on a full-time basis as a result of that. Now Open Text is hiring them back -- all current Vizible employees plus the ones who were either laid off or worked for Vizible on a part-time basis.

What’s Coming Down the Pike?

This acquisition is meant to complement and extend the existing technology. Do not confuse it with Open Text’s core Digital Media solutions and Enterprise 2.0 offerings based on what used to be called RedDot.

The first release to market is expected in the next two quarters. For those wanting to get a sneak peek, check out the upcoming NAB Show where Open Text plans to showcase Vizible capabilities.

Why Open Text Cares?

Open Text wants the “sizzle part” of Vizible’s compelling rich media offerings, as well as the “clever bit” behind the scenes -- the technology stack and the widget platform.

What Open Text aims to achieve is to provide a safe, secure and controlled a la Facebook experiences within the corporate walls, as one of the examples of Vizible integration in its ECM suite.

Delivered through web services, Vizible widgets can play on Open Text’s ECM application infrastructure without customers having to give up control of the seemingly frivolous widget paradigm.

It is quite unusual to now see Vizible as part of the ECM portfolio for Open Text. Historically, OTEX concentrated on eDiscovery, compliance and “inward-focused buyers.” Widgets and social media is definitely something that is more appealing to less conservative crowds.

So, why the acquisition, you ask?

Just like some other players in the enterprise content management market, Open Text is paying close attention to newish trends like social media in the context of managing it along with the content management system-authored content.

While not competing directly with Day Software or Vignette (being in different "ranks" after all), Open Text still realizes that, while still in the early stages, social and rich media are of interest to organizations that are desperately looking for strategies in this regard and wants to act as a “a trusted partner” for one-stop shopping needs.

Strategically, Open Text is signaling its interest in the digital and social media market opportunity and getting ready to compete. Although, “on a safe platform” and in hopes to target those wanting to embed a “controlled widget” into their public site or corporate Intranet.

This acquisition is tagged by Open Text as “not a material number in the ongoing operations.” Let’s see what Open Text will come up with following this purely technological grab.