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OpenText was founded in 1991 by academics looking to create a searchable online dictionary. Given this original raison d’etre, the organization’s growth in the years since has been remarkable. “We’ve made 61 acquisitions, deploying a total of more than $6 billion of capital,” explains Jon Burkhead, senior director of global treasury for OpenText. “We average two to three acquisitions per year.”

In its two and a half decades of existence, OpenText has evolved into a diversified software and services company with offerings ranging from document imaging and information management systems to a SWIFT service bureau. It has also expanded geographically: Based in Waterloo, Ontario, OpenText operates globally, with 41 percent of sales coming from outside the Americas. Thanks to its ongoing, multifaceted growth, OpenText is a force to be reckoned with in the enterprise software market. At the same time, the acquisitions have complicated life for back-office functions such as treasury.

“A few years ago, we were managing all our treasury activities on a spreadsheet,” Burkhead says. “It worked when OpenText was smaller, but the more acquisitions we completed, the more banks and accounts we had to deal with. By the end of 2014, three people were spending a lot of time logging into different bank portals and manually downloading the statements and transactions. Since we operate two shared service centers, we support nearly 100 other users who were going into the bank portals to initiate payments, retrieve statements, and inquire on banking transactions. We had 420 accounts at 120 different banks, and we literally had people walking around with bags of tokens for accessing portals. We couldn’t continue doing things that way.”

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Meg Waters

Meg Waters is the editor in chief of Treasury & Risk. She is the former editor in chief of BPM Magazine and the former managing editor of Business Finance.

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