Our Partner Spotlight series continues with a Q&A from Amit Babaria, President & EVP – Sales & Marketing, Americas of CIGNEX Technologies, Inc. A partner for over 6 years, CIGNEX has completed over 50 Alfresco implementations and most recently won the Alfresco 2010 Partner of the year for North America and APAC regions.
Question from Brendan: What do you like most about open source technology and what are you passionate about?
Answer from Amit Babaria: Our core mission has always been “Making Open Source Work” for enterprises. It is the driving force behind our success. We are extremely passionate about the value open source can bring to the enterprise and have been building open source CMS solutions since 2000.
We are excited about the Open Standards (like CMIS, JCR, JSR) and the best practices which are being enforced by Open Source councils and groups like OASIS and JCP. Having a set of open standards eases integration with external systems and with sharing content across multiple applications.
Q: What technology innovation of late most excites you?
A: The innovation in mobile applications is exciting. This is where many companies are looking to leverage open source and open standards. Whether on a desktop, mobile phone, tablet or elsewhere, customers need their apps to come along with them. They expect access to information, systems, reports, games, applications – anywhere, anytime. We see a lot of innovation happening around device recognition, improving the user experience across various devices, content reuse & repurposing, and high performance. This is also an area where CIGNEX is focusing a lot of efforts.
In the Alfresco ecosystem, we are very excited with the proliferation of CMIS and its promise to ease the traditional ECM software woes. Equally exciting is the progress of Alfresco’s Distributed Repository Architecture and Replication capabilities.
Q: In three to five bullets, what are CIGNEX’s core strengths and differentiators?
- Proven Delivery Model: We provide clients with outsourced open source solution development services that are based on a proven methodology for implementing large projects, rapidly and cost-effectively.
- Deep Open Source Expertise: We have authored 8 books on open source ECM and Portal products including Alfresco and Liferay. We have a deep understanding of open source and are regular contributed to the open source community.
- Coexistence: While open source is our true identity – a number of our customers use a mix of open source and proprietary products. We understand the importance for open source technology to integrate and coexist with other proprietary enterprise technology.
- Experience and Reach: We have expertise in a variety of technologies and over 400+ consultants located all over the world. Our distributed development model with onsite, offshore and hybrid-based resources sets us apart from our competition.
Q: What is your vertical expertise?
A: We offer horizontal solutions such as Web Content Management, Portals & Social Collaboration, E-commerce, Digital Asset Management, Document & Records Management, Business Process Management, Business Intelligence, ERP & CRM and SOA.
We have customers across a range of verticals including healthcare/pharmaceutical; financial services; education; government; media; and travel/hospitality.
Q: How are you most successfully leveraging Alfreco’s Platform?
A: One of the most common scenarios we see is implementing Alfresco as a robust ECM Repository on the back-end and delivering content to a Liferay Portal. A great example of is our recent case study on Posadas, the largest Mexican hotel chain.
Our customers are also using Alfresco with a variety of frameworks such as Liferay, JBoss, Drupal, Flash, OpenLazlo, and Mule ESB.
Some of our clients example include:
- Renesas, leading Semiconductor manufacturer
- Activision, a popular global gaming company
- Maersk, the world’s biggest shipping company, largest Financial services group in Asia
Q: What are the biggest challenges you see businesses struggling with today regarding content management?
A: There are a few challenges that we see. First, most content management decisions are made by IT groups within companies rather than the business users. IT’s focus can be different than the business user and more needs to be done to get the business user involved. Projects and solutions that have a clear business driver tend to succeed more often than just straight technology implementations.
Configuring and customizing an ECM solution to fit an organization’s needs has always been a challenge. There is still a gray area in terms of what is a better fit for a customer’s need – a rock-solid ECM that also has some portal ability or a cool portal that has some ECM ability. Customers need to engage with the right system integrators who understand the difference between the two approaches and can recommend the best solution for their needs.
Other challenges include integration with proprietary vendors like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle or EMC; interoperability and federated search – open standards play a key part to address these issues.
Q: What do you think is the next big area for growth in open source and content management?
A: We believe that “Social Content and Collaboration” will be the next big investment by clients. The content generated through natural interactions such as email, chat, comments, documents, SMS, scanners, fax, phone, mobile devices will be captured, managed, secured, and reused more easily, more efficiently and more naturally with less cost. This will enable enterprises to leverage features and technology for business and profit growth.
Q: What is your mantra or inspirational quote that defines your business approach?
A: At CIGNEX we have two mantras. First, technology is an enabler for Business. And not the other way round. Many times people forget this.
Second, ‘Making Open Source Work’ is our tagline. This line doesn’t mean that open source doesn’t work. It just means that for every company, the challenges to make it work are different. Having over 10 years of experience implementing open source solutions, we understand why something would work and why something else might not. So in summary, we are the key to making open source work in your organization.