Wednesday, September 26, 2007

ACS SharePoint

ACS is entering the SharePoint customization business. SharePoint is an interesting ECM framework, but definitely creates some opportunities for development work on top of it. It kind of opens things up a bit in this market, making pricing/solutions delivery a bit more flexible. Would a user rather pay for services associated with Sharepoint or more developed ECM software from more traditonal vendors?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Procure-to-pay, order-to cash

For the past couple weeks, I've been trying to get my arms around the whole concept of procure-to-pay and order-to-cash and understand how capture, document imaging, and workflow can be used to increase efficiencies across the board and tie all these things together.

Had a great conversation recently with Mark Fairchild, a senior VP at BancTec, who explained how these elements can be employed in a shared services-type environment to maximize a user's investments in document imaging technology.

Indicative of the potential of this type of deployment for capture vendors are three recent deals announced by Top Image Systems (TIS) through its partnership with J&B Software. TIS is an Israel-based forms processing specialist and J&B is a Philly-area remittance/payments specialist. The impressive thing about these deals from the TIS perspective is their size, which averages $300,000 per installation. These are not just payment processing customers adding a little bit of forms technology to round out their solutions. These guys are obviously doing some pretty heavy duty capture.

We will continue to provide you with coverage on this emerging market for document imaging technology.

Ralph

Monday, September 24, 2007

SharePoint 2008 Show

Somebody recently pointed to us that Microsoft has a big SharePoint event scheduled the same time as AIIM 2008. Bill Gates is supposed to speak at this thing. Based on all attention that Microsoft and SharePoint received at AIIM 2007, this seems like an unfortunately coincidence. It is a conincidence, isn't it?

Ralph

Xerox Color; Open Text invoices

Xerox announced its latest color printing products today, which are being advertised as having the same cost over of ownership as comparable black-and-white models. The printers rely on the solid-ink sticks that Xerox has been developing for some five years. As with any first-generation product, we'll keep our fingers crossed as to how well these work out and how fast they are adopted, but we've always said that more affordable color printing will lead to more color scanning and the chance to apply more advanced compression technology to document images. Sounds like fun.

Open Text has introduced an updated version of its Vendor Invoice Management software for managing the workflow of invoices in an SAP environment. We've been doing a lot of coverage on invoice processing lately, and ReadSoft, the leading vendor in the invoice capture space, noted that it find itself most often competing with Open Text, as the companies go toe-to-toe for SAP-related business. ReadSoft bought a team of SAP workflow specialists last year and offers a product that competes directly with Open Text's VIM system. ReadSoft is enjoying great success in the this market, and it sounds like Open Text is doing okay as well. As we noted in our past issue, invoice processing has always been a good market for doucment imaging/workflow systems, and now advanced capture methods appear to be taking it to the next level.

Cheers.

Ralph

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Invoice processing

We did a great couple issues recently on the state of the invoice processing market. We learned all sorts of neat things, from vendors who were very forthcoming with information. If you're interested in taking a look at our study, please get in touch with me.

Here's little bit of what we wrote that we've posted on our VAR Page.

Thanks.

Ralph

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Xerox Buys eMortgage specialist

This is kind of cool. It seems Xerox is buying a business that specializes in electronic mortgage processes. I guess it goes along with their DocuShare technology, in that it's designed to replace paper-driven processes, wiht electronic ones.


ROCHESTER, N.Y., and ATLANTA, Sept., 12, 2007 – Xerox Corporation (NYSE: XRX) plans to buy Advectis®, Inc. for $32 million. Advectis is the provider of one of the mortgage industry’s most widely-used solutions for electronic document collaboration.
Xerox’s expertise in document outsourcing and services led the company to Advectis, a privately-owned business based in Atlanta. In a predominately paper-based industry, Advectis’ Web-based BlitzDocs Collaboration Suite helps lenders, brokers and investors manage the process needed to underwrite, audit, collaborate, deliver and archive loan documents electronically. Taking paper out of the process, the BlitzDocs® patented technology helps users reduce costs associated with the lending process, deliver better service, decrease credit risk by improving documentation processes and build a competitive advantage in capturing new loan applications.
“Anyone who has ever bought a home knows that the mortgage business is dependent on paper. Filling out an extensive number of forms is time and labor-intensive work,” said John Kelly, president, Xerox Global Services North America. “We’re looking to help clients reduce costs and transform their business by offering a better experience for both end-users and operations. Xerox’s expertise in automating document processes is an ideal fit with Advectis’ BlitzDocs paperless solution for mortgages. In an industry that is ripe for change, Advectis offers technology that improves productivity for its users while giving lenders better control of their processes.”
According to Craig Focardi, research area director for the retail banking practice of research firm TowerGroup, “Enterprise content management systems are reducing the great paper chase in loan origination, where a lender controls the paper loan file and manually redistributes documents multiple times to multiple parties. Lenders are increasingly adopting document imaging and electronic content management as a major area of cost savings, faster loan processing and improved customer service.”
The amount of paper associated with this industry leads to inefficient processes which, best case, are productivity drains and, worst case, can lead to a loss of control in the quality of the loans. TowerGroup estimates document management costs in loan origination totaled $3.2 billion last year.
A BlitzDocs electronic loan folder mirrors the paper loan folder used today but improves efficiencies in the loan cycle, allowing mortgage participants to view and process online documents anytime, anywhere. Clients benefit from a network with more than 35,000 broker shops, the top seven mortgage insurance companies and four of the top due diligence providers.
“With this acquisition, Advectis is positioned to create even stronger offerings, services and technologies for our clients,” said Greg Smith, co-founder and chief executive officer of Advectis. “Partnering with Xerox makes perfect sense for the future of our business. Our combined expertise and resources means increased collaboration and decreased loan processing costs for BlitzDocs users.”
Advectis was founded in 2000 and currently employs about 41 people, most of whom are based at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta. Upon completion of the acquisition, all employees are expected to join Xerox. Smith will remain head of the organization, reporting to Kelly.
Xerox’s all-cash purchase of Advectis also includes an additional performance-based supplement to the sale price. The acquisition is expected to close in the next 30 days, subject to customary closing conditions.
Xerox’s industry-leading document technology and services portfolio includes consulting and outsourcing services, records management, digital imaging, e-discovery for litigation support and managed services in more than 160 countries.
Through its acquisition strategy, Xerox is identifying successful companies whose offerings align with Xerox’s commitment to innovation and reducing the complexity of document management. Last year, Xerox acquired Amici LLC, a leading provider of electronic-discovery services, primarily supporting litigation and regulatory compliance, and XMPie, which provides variable information software for the graphic arts and marketing industries.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Kofax

Yes, we've been giving Kofax a hard time lately because of its constant reorganizations and lackluster financial results. However, a couple press releases from last week indicate some of the potential that the capture marketshare leader has for turning things around. The first involved an invoice processing win and the second a significant distributed capture win. These are the two hottest segments within the document capture space, and Kofax conceivably could be a powerhouse in both areas - not something too many vendors can claim.

Cheers.

Ralph

Friday, September 07, 2007

HSA 2007

Just wrapping up Harvey Spencer's annual capture conference up here in Long Island. Another solid event. Speakers included Harvey, the head of technology from the State of West Virginia, a woman from Verizon's billing department, Prascilla Emery, and several others. I moderated a panel on the "next generaiton of distributed scanning," which I feel includes embedded apps, in MFPs and network scanners, as well as "single-button" functionaliy like Visioneer's OneTouch. These types of apps are tied together by the fact that they are designed to be easier to use than traditional scanning apps, and they also have an element of pull vs. push scanning. In other words, you can use them to launch some sort of enterprise/network driven workflow. I guess the Kofax DSS box also falls into this categorey. Anyhow, we had a bit of a tough time tying together the connection between scanners and digital copiers, but it's my believe that end users want one capture system they can run across both types of devices and that can be administered centrally. Call me crazy, but that's what I'd like to see delivered. I think middleware providers and eCopy and NSi can already deliver such a thing, so I guess there's hope, but the hardware vendors seem clueless as to this desire for a single, mixed environment hardware approach.

Anyhow, here's a list of some of the companies represented at the event:A2iA; Abbyy; Anydoc; Anacomp; Anoto; Autonomy/Cardiff, Banctec; Bell & Howell, Brainware; Captaris; Captovation; DataCap; DataIntro; Dicom/Kofax; eCopy; EMC/Captiva, Epson; Fairfax Imaging; HP; IBM; IBML; Iron Mountain; J&B Software, Kodak; Mitek; NCS/Pearson; Nuance; NSI; ODT; Omtool; Opex; Paradatec; PDI; Top Image Systems, and Visioneer. It's a great place for networking if you're looking to partner with these types of businesses.

Cheers. (Got to go grab my coffee now.)

Ralph