Mastering the digital transformation in order to stay competitive and enter new markets in the future – that’s what fme helps companies do around the world. Using the cloud, business intelligence, social business collaboration and enterprise content management technologies, fme delivers concrete added value for its customers’ transformation process. fme also develops individual software and operates IT systems for companies seven days a week and around the clock.
The focus of its solutions is on life sciences and industrial production. Drawing on its experience in managing global projects, the fme experts advise on methods and tools that can drive companies’ digital transformation — independent of the producer, product and platform. For more than 15 years, well-known companies such as Boehringer Ingelheim, BMW, CSL Behring, Dea Deutsche Erdoel, EagleBurgmann, Medtronic, Sanofi-Aventis and Volkswagen have trusted the expertise and experience of fme.
Nowadays, a company’s success depends to a large extent on the ability of all its decision makers, employees, partners and clients to receive the information they need as fast as possible. To this end, fme supports its customers with such things as enterprise content management using OpenText Documentum. The goal: To manage data, documents and other content more easily, and to be able to find them faster. Furthermore, fme helps its customers get the most out of their content by using new technologies. To show how this works in practice, the company’s developers have themselves programmed complete showcases.
Markus Oponczewski, Director Business Unit and responsible for cloud solutions at fme, explains: “Our customers work with sensitive data that are part of complex processes. To ensure this all works smoothly, we need technology that meets the highest standards with regard to flexibility, security, and availability of infrastructure and applications. Developing new offerings based on innovative services is the main focus, but traditional implementation and operating services can benefit from this as well.”
“Alexa, please open OpenText Documentum.” With simple oral commands like these, users of OpenText Documentum can now have the digital voice assistant Amazon Alexa open their documents and have her read them aloud. This is possible thanks to a showcase, which the digitalisation experts at fme used to connect a newly written Alexa skill through serverless services such as AWS Lambda and an interface with OpenText Documentum.
Alexa was chosen over competitors’ solutions such as Apple Siri and Google Home because “from a developer perspective, Alexa is best suited for building customized solutions,” explains Markus Oponczewski. “That has a lot to do with the fact that Alexa can be easily integrated into existing systems using other AWS services such as AWS Lambda and Amazon DynamoDB.” And since fme already runs large ECM platforms on AWS cloud infrastructure for some of its clients, fme also used computing, storage, network and security from AWS for its innovative showcase. “We just don’t want to have to worry about the infrastructure for our solutions,” continues Oponczewski.
“As a service provider, we want to offer our clients maximum security and availability with the greatest possible flexibility and scalability. So it’s only natural that we decided to work with the market leader in the field of public cloud solutions,” says Oponczewski. “We have a strong technical focus and can assess very well the quality of cloud services,” he stresses. “That’s why we have been working strategically with AWS for three years.”
The versatility of AWS & Amazon Alexa has enabled fme to develop a service that can easily be adapted to the specific tasks and expectations of user companies. The developers intentionally only used basic functions so that they could design the usage to be as simple as possible. In this way, users can control OpenText Documentum by voice command, navigate through it, display content, or have content read to them. “Alexa could just as easily explain simple tasks in OpenText Documentum to users. We have already thought about an interactive tutorial as well, in which Alexa could walk users through the complex ECB platform,” says Oponczewski. This would not only simplify the onboarding of new employees, but make it cheaper too.
The flexibility of Alexa and its integration with AWS Lambda and the Amazon API Gateway are the foundation for the seamless interplay between Alexa and OpenText Documentum. As a result, the new Alexa skill can be integrated quickly and easily into an existing enterprise application such as OpenText Documentum in the backend. Furthermore, the AWS infrastructure provides the necessary security, availability, and scalability so that the OpenText Documentum system can also be run in the cloud. This includes an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) with Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for data storage and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), as well as scalable storage capacity in the form of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). Elastic Load Balancing and AWS Auto Scaling ensure an intelligent load distribution and automatic user-dependent scaling of the solution.
That said, the issue of scalability in the showcase itself is not the highest priority. But fme’s customers expect that they can always count on the service to work optimally and cost efficiently, even if capacity fluctuates strongly. And that’s a compelling argument for AWS Auto Scaling, says Oponczewski. “Regarding security, the performance features that AWS offers here can be used just as comprehensively for the backend installation of OpenText Documentum as it can in a Lambda serverless environment – in particular AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), which controls which users and components can do what.”
It’s no wonder then that the Alexa skill, which is being used for voice-controlled use of OpenText Documentum, has already generated a lot of concrete customer leads for fme. The strong response from customers – including from companies in the heavily regulated life sciences industry – encourages the digitalization experts at fme to already think about developing new Alexa skills. One possible application could be the administration of cloud services. Who knows, maybe the experts will soon be saying: “Alexa, how many AWS resources have we already used this month?” or “Alexa, what are the most active projects this month?”