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Wednesday, 30 June 2010 12:44

First-ever Use of Secure Social Networking by World Leaders Delivers Enhanced Collaboration for G-20 Summit

By David Bass

For the first time in the history of G-20 Summits, policy makers from around the world were able to collaborate over secure social networking software in advance of and during the G-20 Toronto Summit - and the collaboration continues. A confidential and secure social networking application was created by Open Text Corporation (NASDAQ: OTEX, TSX: OTC), Canada's largest software company and the pre-eminent provider of Enterprise Content Management (ECM) software, to enhance the sharing of government leaders' stance on important world financial issues.

"This social networking platform is a great example of private business stepping up and ensuring Canada's leadership in the digital economy," said Tony Clement, Canada's Industry Minister. 'The application will help bridge geographic and cultural gaps and get full value from global events of this kind.'

Providing the secure, hosted social networking platform to G-8 and G-20 participants was in itself a collaboration between Open Text, the Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) -- the organisation that attracted high-tech companies to the event -- and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). In addition to secure Web access from anywhere in the world in real time, delegates were also able to access the application from their BlackBerrys, iPhones and iPads. The application supported multiple languages to enhance the ability of delegates to network productively.

'Senior diplomats and other officials representing G-20 countries used the social networking platform to collaborate in the months prior to the June 26-27 event so that when the Summit got under way, issues and perspectives were shared over a secure network,' said Tom Jenkins, Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer at Open Text. 'Access to social networking enables critical issues to be addressed in real time and be inclusive of multiple opinions.'

Given the heightened focus on security and privacy around the world, G-20 organisers avoided use of consumer grade social media tools which lack enterprise-strength security controls. At the same time, social media offers a more productive environment for networking and collaboration than email, so a solution that combines the benefits without risk was needed. G-8 and G-20 Summit participants who used  the Open Text social networking application report that it required minimal training and provided an intuitive web browser experience tailored to their needs.

Open Text's Social Workplace software -- based on Open Text's ECM Suite of products -- was also used to provide a social networking platform for Summit participants including news outlets and businesses, in conjunction with Open Text Everywhere mobile software which enabled application downloads to Summit participants' Blackberrys, iPhones and iPads. Participants were able to connect with expert sources including hundreds of librarians and other content matter experts on-call to provide prompt answers to questions. The participant social networking site can be found at: www.g20net.org <https://www.g20net.org> .

Open Text also used its Digital Experience Management software and its Content Server software to create a virtual environment to share high-tech displays from the Experience Canada Marketing Pavilion -- housing the International Media Center -- with the rest of the world over the Internet. The Digital Experience Management software digitises and virtualises images to be portrayed in a 3D format. The link to the virtual site is: www.vg20net.org <https://www.vg20net.org> .

'The goal for the virtual environment shared via the Internet was to make the Summits more relevant to a broader global audience and showcase technology examples from Canadian digital media companies, as well as marketing tourist destinations throughout the province of Ontario where the Summit was held, and Canada as a whole,' said Jenkins.

The Group of Twenty (G-20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors was established in 1999 to bring together industrialised and developing economies to discuss key issues in the global economy, in response to financial crises of the late 1990s. G-20 events are held regularly around the world, with the next major G-20 Summit slated for Seoul, Korea in November this year.

About Open Text

Open Text, the pre-eminent enterprise content management software solutions company, helps organisations manage and gain the true value of their business content. Open Text brings two decades of expertise supporting 100 million users in 114 countries.  Working with our customers and partners, we bring together leading Content Expertsâ„¢ to help organisations capture and preserve corporate memory, increase brand equity, automate processes, mitigate risk, manage compliance and improve competitiveness.  For more information, visit www.opentext.com

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