Wednesday, September 21, 2005

New Yorker Archives

Here's a link to the New Yorker back issue demo site. Maybe the best use of DjVu technology we've seen so far.


RG

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

World of PDF

Two interesting posts on our Web site over the past two days regarding what has been heretofore known as the World of PDF. First, the PDF/A standard was finalized by ISO.Second, as foreshadowed in a recent edition of DIR, ScanSoft has announced support of XPS - Microsoft's alternative for PDF. From what we understand there are currently about 1,000 developers that have software that can create PDF - Microsoft, of course being the notable exception. We wonder how long it will take XPS to reach that same level - if it ever does?

Also, as far as imaging goes, we've had quite a bit of dicussion recently on highly compressed PDF documents - employing segmentation and JBIG-2 technologies. We're not even sure XPS supports JBIG2 - but nonetheless, it is a Microsoft driven stnadard.


Cheers.

RG

Friday, September 09, 2005

HSA Capture Follow-up

Just returning from Harvey Spencer's capture conference held up in Glen Cove on Long Island. Had a really nice time. There were about 40 attendees - with the likes of Adobe, Kodak, Fujitsu, Ricoh, AnyDoc, Datacap, Captaris, Cranel, PDI (the people that bought VisionShape), ISIS Papyrus, ABBYY, A2iA, IBM, Kofax, Captiva and a few others all attending. The conference covered several topics, including Java programming, check image quality (with a great presention from Frank Jaffe. Probably the most interesting session to me, perhaps because I was moderating it, was a racous panel discussion on when to use a digital copier for scanning and when to use a dedcated scanner. It seems most people in the traditional imaging industry still look down on the abilities of digital copier dealers to effectively sell document imaging technology - not to mention the capabilities of the hardware itself. Well, there were certainly a lot of opinions in the room. About the best conclusion I came to is that digital copiers seem to be posiioned for ad hoc scanning of a few pages at a time and no more - but with the trend toward distributed capture vs. centralized - this ad hoc stuff is making up a growing percentage of the market.

Speaking of ad hoc, Oracle had some fairly interesting collaboration and records management stuff they just came out with. They are positioned it as "content mangement for the masses" and have some starting price at like $60 per seat. Going after SharePoint it appears. And then Adobe's John Hoye was there marketing the companies' scanning toolkit for PDF creation. Just thought those are a couple more signs that this ad hoc market is going to start growing - and may and maybe already is taking business away from traditional imaging vendors. I'll leave it at that as I think I am starting to have a flashback to some of the shouting I heard at yesterday's panel.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Hurricane Can't stop ReadSoft

ReadSoft's U.S. headquarters are in Metairie, Louisiana, just outside of New Orleans, but it turns out the company seems to have a better hurricane plan in place than the government, as it has continued operaitons without missing a beat, accoridng to Bob Fresneda, president of the Swedish forms processing vendors' U.S. operations. Fresneda, who was behind the transition of the company's North American headquarters from San Diego to Metairie a few years back, said the company set up a specific plan for evacuation in case of a hurricane like the one that hit last week. That has included relocating several of its 25 U.S. employees to its Chicago office. ReadSoft also moved it's e-mail server software to Sweden and has maintained its 800 support line without much a break. Fresneda said that all of ReadSoft employees are safe and that the damage to the Meatrie area was not nearly as bad as some of the other stuff in the area.

"From a personal standpoint, this has been a large distraction to say the least," Fresneda told DIR. "But from a business standpoint, thankfully we had a good backup and insurance plan that has allowed us to keep running smoothly. Our U.S. operations have grown 60% in the first half of the year, and our pipeline for the rest of the year looks good."

This week's issue features a story on ReadSoft and the success it's had in the ERP image-enablement market.

HP Kodak

This is an interesting analysis of the rumored HP/Kodak acquisition/merger. It pretty much dismisses it for a variety of reasons-incluidng the fact that Kodak's legacy film business is pretty much akin to Compaq's PC business- and of course, we all know how well that turned out for HP. (On a side note, has there ever been an investigation into that merger? In many ways it reminds me of the current disaster situation in New Orleans. Every seemed to see what was coming - but didn't do anything about it. In fact, in HP's situation, Walter Hewlett I believe seemed to call the whole thing on the nose - but was ignored. Why? If you have an explantion please post!)

Anyhow, the interesting thing about the HP/Kodak story is the discussion - although it is not named as such, of HP's Graphics Communications business, of which is Document Imaging business is now a part. It really just throws some more kudos on that part of the company. If you remember, Kodak Document Imaging really helped lead Kodak's charge - albeit when something as large as Kodak moves, it's not always at light brigade speed - into the digital age.

What would be kind of neat would be taking Kodak's Graphics Communications business and pairing it with HP's imaging stuff. In fact, here's a fairly intriguing archiving and imaigng announcement out of HP today. HP/Kodak would truly make a digital imaging powerhouse - of course, dealing with the dead weight between the two companies may make the merger impossible.

Cheers.

Traveling to Harvey's Capture Conference in Long Island this week. Will try and post from there.

RG