If you are using StreamServe for document generation and distribution, you might have heard that StreamServe gained a wide range of functions and passed some important milestones in its development and branding in the past couple of years. Now, StreamServe support lifecycle ends in June 2020. And we decided to clarify the situation for you, and explain what happened to the product, how you can upgrade to the latest supported version, and what StreamServe replacement options you have.
StreamServe History Overview
StreamServe has always been one of the top players in the Customer Communications Management market. Founded in 1997 in Sweden, StreamServe gained very quickly a strong customer base due to its many and tight partnerships with leading ERP, CRM and supply-chain solutions providers, such as Adobe Systems, IBM, InfoPrint Solutions Company, Lawson, and SAP, and the solution gained a decent customer base. (Did you know? a significant part of StreamServe product development, support and professional services was delivered by our team members before they joined Ecodocx).
Mostly because of it’s tight integration into SAP (nowadays marketed as Document Presentment for SAP Solutions), StreamServe was acquired by OpenText. Back then OpenText and SAP already had a strong partner relationship. Like OpenText, StreamServe had an established reseller partnership with SAP making it a natural fit with OpenText’s SAP partner strategy.
Over the past two decades, StreamServe gained a wide range of functions and passed some important milestones in its development. The product was merged with other solutions, and a few times rebranded. This caused some confusion among customers.
In 2015, StreamServe was combined with newly acquired PowerDocs, a cloud-based tool for creating customer documents, and was called Customer Communications Management, or CCM. While StreamServe was best used for batch processing, PowerDocs was designed for on-demand output management and had tight integration with MS Word and Salesforce. The StreamServe part was renamed to Customer Communications Enterprise (CCE), and the PowerDocs part was renamed to Customer Communications CRM.
In 2016, OpenText acquired one of it’s biggest competitors in the CCM space – HP Exstream. As a result, OpenText introduced Exstream 16.2, a next-generation Customer Communications Management platform, combining the best features from Customer Communications Enterprise (StreamServe and PowerDocs) and Exstream (formerly HP Exstream).
Today, OpenText Exstream ( including StreamServe, Exstream and PowerDocs) is actively used by more than 5,000 customers in 130 countries, primarily in the financial services, utilities, manufacturing, distribution and telecom sectors. Customers include BMW, Siemens Financial, AmerisourceBergen, FWD Life Insurance Company (Bermuda) Limited, L’Oreal, KPN, TMVW, du, IWB, Sysco, New York Life Insurance, Enkla Elbolaget, IT-Power, SourceGas, Irish Dairy Board, Marel, Media Logistics, DONG Energy, SSAB, Blokker, Merrill Lynch, Northshore Credit, Humana, Aviva Insurance, Penn National, Unum, RDS Group, Denver Water, E.On, Powergrid International Whitepaper, and many more. OpenText Exstream main technology partners include SAP, Salesforce, Infor, Oracle, Guidewire, Duck Creek.
Bringing Clarity to Recent Rumours
We know that the merge and rebranding of OpenText Exstream were confusing to a lot of customers. As an authorized services partner, who works with StreamServe customers for 20 years, we would like to clear some things up. You might have heard:
- “StreamServe was bought 10 years ago, it’s no longer meeting business needs”
Actually, that’s why OpenText continues to evolve its CCM technology and combined best of breed CCM software 3 years ago and has continued to innovate in Exstream 16.x
- “OpenText Exstream requires recreating all templates”
Actually, Exstream 16.x combines Customer Communications Enterprise (StreamServe) and Exstream Engine (formerly HP Exstream). And StreamServe customers can decide if they would like to do a simple upgrade and continue using their StoryTeller/Pageout templates, or they wanna migrate to Exstream Engine, and redesign their templates in Exstream Designer.
- “OpenText Exstream is too expensive”
StreamServe/CCE customers can upgrade to the Customer Communications Enterprise engine part of Exstream at no cost. They only need to pay an additional fee for additional capabilities or to use the Exstream engine.
- “StoryTeller designer will no longer be supported”
Actually, OpenText currently supports and continues to develop both StoryTeller and Exstream Design.
- “Starting from version 20.x, Exstream will be available only in the cloud“
That’s not true. On-prem and Cloud Edition versions will be developed in parallel. Plus, you can always run your perpetual licensed StreamServe/Exstream solution in a private cloud of your choice.
OpenText StreamServe Replacement Options
1. Upgrading to Exstream Communications Server Engine (StreamServe part of Exstream 16.x)
As we mentioned earlier, customers using StreamServe 5.6.2 can do the simple upgrade to Exstream v.16, and continue using their StoryTeller and PageOut templates. However, these customers need to take into account that PageOut templates can be run and edited, but no new PageOut can be created. Also, based on our experience, customers can experience some restrictions in editing functionality. OpenText reduced the PageOut template support to a minimum, and recommends customers that are still using PageOut, to start re-creating these templates in StoryTeller.
Additional complexity is added for those, who are using StreamStudio Composition Center, Ad Hoc Correspondence, Document Broker Query (DBQ) and Correspondence Reviewer, as these tools were replaced by new web applications. As a result, any type of configuration will have to be re-created, and partly adjusted to the logic of new web applications. In case you consider this option, make sure to check out our free guide called All you need to know when upgrading from StreamServe to Exstream. In this guide, you will find information about OpenText Exstream architecture, how to prepare for the upgrade, and best practices for smooth project delivery. Also, don’t forget that we offer Free OpenText Exstream Upgrade Webinars.
2. Upgrade StreamServe to Exstream Engine
Customers can consider moving to the Exstream engine part of OpenText Exstream 16.x. This type of upgrade will require purchasing additional licenses. However, StreamServe customers can get a discount. This would mean that all of their current applications, forms (StoryTeller, PageOut), logic would have to be recreated from scratch. As an alternative, in order to minimize migration services cost, customers could run both applications in parallel for some time, and migrate document templates in small logical batches. Also, keep in mind that migration projects, like this one, are a perfect opportunity to initiate internal OpenText audit and advisory sessions, identify architectural weak points, duplicate templates that can be collected into one by using rules, or functionality gaps.
Current StreamServe customers could benefit from a variety of differentiations between StreamServe and Exstream classic. Fact is, both solutions come from the same niche, Customer Communications Management (CCM), however, due to different backgrounds, offer different approaches to accomplish similar business goals.
HP Exstream was originally created for print service providers, publishers, and later adapted into the insurance market. No wonder Exstream engine offers highly flexible tools for high volume and personalized customer communications, including targeted campaign management. In addition, Exstream engine streamlines the template maintenance and modification process by offering a convenient interface for comparing design changes, analyzing rules, controlling and standardizing the delivery of messages, graphics, and content.
The above graphic gives a good overview of how Exstream 16.x combines Communication Server (CCE, StreamServe) engine and Exstream engine parts under one brand. As a result of replacing StreamServe by Exstream, you would have to re-create all forms and applications using Exstream Designer and Communications Designer. Should your company use StreamServe for ad hoc snd personalized communications, you will have to re-create the logic in the Empower and Content Author web application.
The Exstream Engine can now be executed through Communication Server platform, and support over 30 standard output connectors including:
- Email, SMS or Fax via EasyLink (Cloud Notifications)
- SAP (RFC/Preview, IDocs)
- OpenText Archive
In addition, Exstream engine offers connected package file management with both Design environments and Production environments:
- Design Manager now has the ability to be connected to a Common Asset Service (CAS) that is utilized in Production Server platform engine orchestration
- Send package files directly to the production environment through a CAS deployment in Design Manager
Starting from release 16, Exstream engine offers out-of-the-box integration with OpenText Products, such as OpenText EIM repositories, Content Server, Archive Server. Besides integrations into OpenText products, Exstream engine offers out-of-the-box integrations with many market-leading applications in the insurance industry, such as Duck Creek Technologies and Guidewire InsuranceSuite, as well as electronic signature applications, such as DocuSign and e-SignLive by VASCO. In addition, OpenText already released an SAP integration package, which includes the integration with SAP business processes, including embedded interactive document creation in SAP S/4 HANA and SAP Fiori.
Are you interested in learning more about this option? Check out our blog post called What to consider before upgrading from OpenText StreamServe to OpenText Exstream. Also, for a better understanding of whether or not this is a good fit for you, it makes sense to request a consultation with one of our Senior OpenText Exstream experts.
3. StreamServe Replacement Options
We understand that a lot of customers purchased their StreamServe solutions many years ago, some even from the StreamServe company directly before it was purchased by OpenText. We know that most enterprises have multiple CCM systems in place. There are systems from OpenText, Adobe, Quadient, Papyrus Software, Pitney Bowes, and others who have been generating output for decades. There are billions of CCM communications created monthly by home grown systems as well. And every time we talk with customers and prospects, they want to consolidate to a single system to reduce risk, cost and frustration.
As you probably know, we have been actively working on the OpenText CCM market for about 20 years. We have a very good understanding of what requirements StreamServe customers in different industries have. We know how important Ad Hoc Correspondence and Composition Center are for Utilities, Insurance and Banking in order to guarantee personalised customer experiences, regulatory compliance and user flexibility. We know why Oil and Gas companies and Utilities rely on post-processing. We understand why manufacturing and logistics companies need load balancer solutions, like Output Manager (VPOM), Output Center and Output Server. There are many of these examples.
We can’t change the fact that a lot of customers will review competitive solutions before deciding to upgrade to OpenText version 16.x. If your company is reviewing other market options, you should definitely talk to our experts and let them give you recommendations on what other market players there are, and if they have the functionality and flexibility to replace your current StreamServe. Schedule a consultation today.
Talk to us
Don’t hesitate to connect with us schedule a one-on-one meeting with one of our experts about your specific business needs. We would be happy to advise you on StreamServe upgrade or replacement options. Contact us today.