This summer U.K.-based cloud computing company ActiveOps Ltd. acquired OpenConnect Inc., a Farmers Branch-based software provider, making Dallas a third U.S. office location for ActiveOps along with New York and Charlotte, North Carolina.
With the post-deal dust beginning to settle, how OpenConnect’s technology and the Dallas location fit into ActiveOps’ strategy is becoming clearer.
The recent acquisition allows ActiveOps to combine its SaaS product called Workware with OpenConnect’s WorkiQ product, creating the Workware+ platform.
ActiveOps describes WorkiQ as a “real-time workforce data gathering and intelligence that helps you manage and improve your operations.” It basically helps customers to better manage a home-based workforce.
There’s an at-a-glance view of a team’s performance, customizable views, activity timings, and real-time data. Leaders are then able to more effectively manage their teams.
“With the OpenConnect team becoming part of ActiveOps we have a great new facility with excellent access to all parts of the U.S. and abroad. We are still looking at the opportunity this presents, but will include expanding our development, customer support, sales and installation resources based here,” ActiveOps CEO Richard Jeffery told Dallas Innovates.
Per ActiveOps, the current plan is to utilize the Dallas office as a U.S. hub for software development, customer support, and U.S. sales and marketing with some ActiveOps team members moving to the region, along with plans to hire in the customer support, software development, and sales areas. Specifically, the company is adding support for the ActiveOps Workware+ Platform.
OpenConnect also helped ActiveOps expand its U.S. customer base including healthcare companies like Anthem and Aetna and banking companies such as KeyBank, as well as local local customers like BNSF and CVS.
Dallas Innovates was able to catch up with Jeffery for a deeper dive into branding and more concerning the OpenConnect acquisition:
How does OpenConnect and its products such as ConnectiQ fit into the current branding?
ConnectiQ is a product within the portfolio. OpenConnect as a company and a brand continues with the addition of a “…an ActiveOps company” to the label.
More significant and to the idea behind the question I think is, how we are expanding the ActiveOps product portfolio to include the OpenConnect solutions.
ActiveOps software enables operations to manage and orchestrate their work and resources precisely and at scale—which in the era of robots and digitization is fundamental to success. Many organizations struggle to realize their expectation of expensive investments in automation because the multiple small improvements to business processes are lost in the noise of day to day challenges and variations in workloads.
The potential economies of scale are outweighed by the complexities. Our solution enables a new level of control, making managing operations simpler and better. A client memorably said it was like turning on stadium lighting after playing football using car headlights for years.
OpenConnect’s products such as WorkiQ add a new dimension to this. WorkiQ is unique in providing unambiguous visibility over activities at the desktop—which is gold dust for anyone involved in operations. Similarly, ConnectiQ enables modern tools to integrate and interact with those big powerful mainframes, which aren’t going anywhere but are a real constraint to meeting the needs of real-time customer products and services.
Adding these to the portfolio creates a platform for transformation where clients can uplift “business as usual” pre-change by 25 percent productivity, but then deliver the various components of their digital transformation safely and rapidly.
I understand there’s a plan to transition to branding the entire entity as ActiveOps. Is there a timeline for this branding simplification?
We are still working this through. OpenConnect has an extensive continuing client base for its mainframe emulation package WebConnect. This is still a market-leading product and given IBM sold more mainframes than ever last year—the need for this technology continues. One option may be to focus the mainframe products under the OpenConnect brand going forward.
What do you want people to know about ActiveOps?
There is a real sense of coming home for me. EDS was one of ActiveOps’ very first customers over 20 years ago, involving many visits to the headquarters in Plano in the heady days of company foundation and early-stage growth. I still have friends from that time in the area so there is a wonderful serendipity about now making Dallas our U.S. base. Our U.S. plans are both exciting and central to our worldwide strategy, so individually and corporately ActiveOps Dallas is in for an exciting time.
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