Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Verity-Dataintro

Check out the latest news from Verity, regarding its partnership with Spanish developer Dataintro. We featured Dataintro in DIR last year. They developed 2-D bar code technology for forms, similar to the stuff Adobe is offering. I'm not sure what the patent issues are regarding all this stuff, but bascially both products enable users to fill out forms on-line and then have the data they have entered encoded in a 2-D bar code that appears on the form. This way, users can print the forms and the 2-D bar code can be scanned to capture the information - elmimating the need to submit the forms electronically, or apply OCR/ICR. It's reportedly very accurate. It has primarily caught on in tax applications so far, where for a variety of reasons users don't/can't submit their information electronically. The IRS, in fact has a big project going with Adobe.

What is intriguing about the Verity/Dataintro deal is the bedfellows. Dataintro has had some success so far primarily marketing the stuff on its own in North America, but Verity will definitely provide it with increased presence. It's an interesting fit for Verity because Verity seems to be marketing the product as complementary to its e-forms offering, which is exactly how Adobe is marketing it. Of coruse, Verity could also choose to market it with its traditional paper forms processing software. So, in essance, Verity has kind of a triple threat here. They can process your paper forms, they can process these hybrid 2D-bar code forms - which most people consider a step on the ladder toward e-forms, and they can market the e-forms solution. It's an interesting value proposition. We'll see how it develops.

It's also interesting because Adobe is actually a former investor in Cardiff, the forms processing/e-forms company that Verity bought and for a long time, it was rumored Adobe was going to buy Cardiff. Now, Verity has become the first vendor to take on Adobe head-to-head in this emerging 2-D bar code space. Probably not a big deal, but interesting none-the-less. We've also heard a rumor that Scantron, one of Verity's biggest forms processing resellers has dropped the Teleform product line, so this deal with Dataintro is probably part of slight rebound strategy. Oh yes, and somewhere in here fits the fact that Kofax is reselling Adobe's 2-D bar code products and Kofax parent Dicom is another former Cardiff investor...

Look for more news on this emerging 2-D bar code technology. It's one of Harvey Spencer's favorite topics. It will be interesting to see what other types of end users start to adopt it.

Cheers.

RG

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