otris software AG -
fit for the future for
25 years
15. June 2023

25 years of otris software AG – an innovative success story with consistency

The founding myth of otris software AG, one of today's most important German companies in the field of software-based data and document management, reads like the template for a bestselling novel.

The dawn – betting on the right technology

1992 – Following their professor’s vision for a novel, object-oriented software technology, two enthusiastic doctoral students who met through their shared interest in the just-emerging Linux operating system at Ruhr University Bochum bring the product to life within a few years. They put their faith in a forward-looking technology, founded a company during their academic careers and launched the software, which in turn can generate completely executable applications including database interfaces: the software generator JANUS.

The name JANUS, borrowed from the Roman god of beginnings and endings, could hardly be more appropriate. After all, it describes the basic idea of harmonising the initial technical concepts with the final software application. When you hear about software that itself generates software, the idea of a perpetual motion machine comes to mind, but it is not that simple. Constant research and further development improve the software more and more and finally show the great potential that JANUS has with regard to the generation of standard software.

The wild years – otris establishes itself

A wild but creative time follows. The young team around Dr. Christoph Niemann and Dr. Frank Hofmann, supplemented by their students at the time, who are now also mainstays of the company, constantly improve JANUS, but also develop software development tools on this basis. For example, the successful ECM platform DOCUMENTS. With the help of this software, all of a company’s documents can be stored on a central server, structured, managed and used via web access, regardless of location. Thanks to DOCUMENTS OEM partner distribution, the product can be easily adapted to the corporate design of partners and distributed by them. In this way, more than 5,000 DOCUMENTS installations have been realised within a few years.

Based on this proprietary platform, otris now offers software suites with 11 specialist solutions that can be used via the cloud. otris software has firmly established itself in the market for digital solutions for legal, compliance and data protection management. Whether otris contract for contract management, otris privacy in data protection or otris compliance with a digital whistleblower system as well as a solution for the implementation of the Supply Chain Act (LkSG). The origin, the development method of the basic platform developed 30 years ago, is still the valid standard!

The otris family and its values

So now, 25 years after the spin-off on 15 June 1998, the two former students find themselves, not entirely without pride, as board members with doctorates in their own “quasi-family business”. Surrounded by many, unusually long-standing companions, of whom more than 30 are directly or indirectly involved in otris. This is also the reason for the 100% otris feeling that prevails in the company. More than 100 families can make a good living from the company, which has several subsidiaries with complementary service offerings, such as the cloud experts of bytemine GmbH. The team of specialists is rounded off by the diverse mix of trainees, dual students and young professionals.

The cohesion at otris is also appreciated by the customers. According to this, in addition to the undoubted innovative strength and the ability to develop solution-oriented software, the supposed soft factors such as reliability and consistency are also highly valued by them. Here, too, the long-standing partnerships are proof of this.

Looking to the future

otris is literally fit for the future. The technical evolution of the DOCUMENTS platform will be complete with the imminent release of documentsOS. Together with the natural expansion of the cloud business, the two board members and their team draw much of their motivation and enjoyment from the vision of continually developing new, future-oriented applications for their customers. The goal is more than ever to build software solutions to help customers fulfil their responsibilities more easily, not to say playfully.

Because that is exactly what otris does: otris software simplifies responsibility.