Monday, November 21, 2005

Open Source

Aside from Web services - the other big IT buzzword floating around the document imaging industry seems to be Open Source. Here's a great article on the Open Source - Open Office movement.

So, what does all this mean. Potentially it means the death of the desktop OS as we know it. Imagine an Open Sourced browser connected to open source applicaitons through a Web services environment...

RG

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Web services

So, I've had quite a few conversations lately about Web serivces and what they are going to mean to the document imaging industry. Web services seem to be the next generation of this whole ASP thing that started a few years back. I think ASP - as it was defined then, may have been a miserable failure, but as that market has reinvented itself as SOA - it seems to be gaining some success. This article discussed the tremndous success Salesforce.com has made at the expense of traditional software developer Siebel. (plus, you have to sensationalistic headlines stolen from psychadelic rock songs.)

The major difference between ASP and SOA seems to be that because SOA is bases on standards, the rented software can be more easily deployed. And if you go down to Rent-Way to pick up a stereo, you don't want to have to hire a technician to hook it up. It also enables people to rent best-of-breed components and piece together their own applications. Here's a great white paper written by industry consultant Bud Porter-Roth that is easy to read, but gives some pretty comprehensive background on SOA.

We'd probably be remiss is we didn't mention that Porter-Roth was contracted by Westbrook Technologies, which has been working on a brand new applicaiton for the past year and half - totally based on SOA. CEO Paul Lord probably sees the opportunity for someone like Westbrook to emerge as the Salesforce.com of the ECM industry. In fact, Digitech's HK Bain made this comparison when discussing the potential of this company's hosted document repository model.

Is Web services another case of smoke and mirrors, like ASP turned out to be. It doesn't seem to be as there seems to be a lot more support around them - mainly becuase of the standards being developed by groups like OASIS. Check it out for yourselves. SOA may be a bit technology daunting at first, but it's ulitimate goal is to make software easier to use and deploy - which should make software deployments less technically daunting and increase the market size.

RG

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Microsoft Desktop Search

Here's an interesting article discussing Microsoft's plans to enter the enterprise desktop search market. It seems Micrsofot is really embracing this whole ECM concept. There is not mention of OCR and document images in this article, but I'm sure that is addressed - if even through the Office OCR/ScanSoft stuff. Basically, this is a direct response to Google's desktop serach success, which Dean Tang of ABBYY has called the "killer app for OCR." However, while Google charges for enteprise search, Microsoft is offering it for free. How weill it will work and how practical it is remain to be seen. Also, while this may be a direct attack on Google, the soon-to-be merged Vertiy/Autonomy entity may get caught in the crossfire!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Microsoft Web services

This is a "memo" that was reportedly leaked from Micrsoft to the press. Of course, it reads more like a press release. Do you have any thoughts on this. Like, what exactly is Microsoft doing in terms of Web services. I found this memo and its direction very unclear and full of buzzwords.

On another point, Microsoft seems to be announcing recent partnerships with an inordinate number of ECM companies. Is all that related to the info in this memo? Don't know but I've seen stuff from Open Text, Interwoven, and some others lately talking about how they are getting closer to Microsoft. A lot of this seems based on SharePoint 12, which actually seems like a pretty decent ECM-lite system in its own right. So, what is Microsoft going to do for all these partners?
Please post, I'm looking for some insights. If you happen to have experience with Eastman Software, feel free to post as well, as some historical Microsoft ECM perspective would be helpful as well.

Thanks.

RG

Monday, November 07, 2005

Database Wars

In case you're tracking these things for ECM purposes - and if you following the ECM market, you probably should be, here's a story on Microsoft's upcoming new version of SQL, along with some commentary on database market share.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Digital Paper

Some more good stuff on one of our favorite technologies. I saw some of this digital paper in its early states at Xerox in Rochester a couple years ago. This is the medium for digital books that I want.

RG

Konica Minolta

This kind of sounds similar to what is happening at Kodak... Konica Minolta seens to be doing fairly well everywhere but being sunk by its film business.

Automy Verity

Apparently, Autonomy is buying Verity

Tucci in Forbes

From Joe Tucci's recent interview on Forbes.comPosted in the "Infoimaging" section no less. Perhaps Document Imaging Report is too narrow of a name. Seriously, does InfoImaging Report turn you on? I kind of like it.
Hmmm.

Anyways, here's Tucci's quote on Captiva from the Forbes story. (preceded by the question.)

FDC: Speaking of which, why did you decide to pay $375 million for Captiva?

JT: Captiva is clearly a big worldwide leader in image and image-capture management. In round numbers, Captiva brings in about $100 million in revenue. But still no company has a 20% share of this market. It's very fragmented. So we're adding beef to our market share. We'll capture the images, and then we'll make sure all these images are properly archived. This is critical to us.

First off we love the way the question says $375 million. I mean what's an extra $100 million (we assume this was a typo, as the announced price of the deal was $275 million) when you are talking to EMC. Heck, three years ago, they could have bought InputAccel for like $10 million probably, but they really didn't seem to bat an eyelash when we asked about that. These guys netted over $300 million in income last quarter.

We also like the 20% market share part. Where's that coming from? Did they pick it up from DIR, from Harvey Spencer Assocaites perhaps? Just cuious as to what Mr. Tucci is reading these days.

RG

Thursday, November 03, 2005

ECM Mergers

So, we've all heard the FileNET/Oracle rumor. Reason I don't like it was because FileNET just announced some sort of integration to SharePoint. How about Oracle/EMC? Now, that's something that might make sense. It would definitely set up well as an IBM competitor and then that would leave only Microsoft to gets its ECM act together and we'd have our three major database competitors all moved over into the ECM space.

Thoughts?

RG