Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
McMahan has been a fixture in the document scanner industry since I began in the mid-late 1990s. He is known for his reseller focus and has previously help VP positions at Fujitsu Computer Products of America and Visioneer. He is also a past chairman of the AIIM Board and this year was named an AIIM Fellow.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Apparently, the TSA made a similar screw-up recently as well.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Questex is also apparently offering educational passes for half of what they sold for last year. Hopefully, they can breathe some new life into the show. As the recent Microsoft SharePoint 2009 event showed, people will still show up in droves at trade shows if they are interested enough.
AIIM 2010 is scheduled to run April 19 through Thursday, April 22, 2010, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Not that Oce equates with buying a dealer channel, but Oce does have its own sales force and channel, which will be subsumed into Canon. On the document capture front this deal probably means very little, although Oce does have some digital mailroom products and services it offers its customers. Oce was the former home of the CGK OCR technology, before it sold it to Captaris a couple years ago, as part of its efforts to concentrate further on the output market. Oce, of course, then turned around and developed/licensed new document capture technology to address the digital mailroom. Anyhow, at least Canon was able to buy someone, and Oce does have some pretty good stuff in its portfolio.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
"I’m pleased to report that we made good progress and performed better than expected in our software business this past quarter. Market conditions have stabilized and show early signs of improving to a limited extent but continue to be challenging and difficult to predict. As a result and excluding the effect of the 170 Systems acquisition, which should contribute approximately $22m of revenues after acquisition accounting, we continue to expect low to mid single digit organic revenue growth in our software business this financial year.”
Monday, November 02, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The session I presented on Imaging-enabling MOSS was a bit disappointing in the attendance. Of course, they moved the room following all eCopy's marketing efforts...anyhow, it sounds like some people are just starting to do basic document image and retrieval - at least our panel members from Nike and Arizona State were, but I still haven't seen much high-volume transaction content management in SharePoint.
Monday, October 19, 2009
The crowd is mostly an IT crowd, a lot of SharePoint integrators, both in-house and external contractors. The general consensus, granted, it's a fairly biased crowd, is that traditional ECM ISVs better embrace SharePoint or die. As expected SharePoint 2010 has plenty of document management upgrades. Apparently, even though 2007 represented a significant upgrade over past versions, it was still fairly short as Microsoft corporate VP Jeff Teper said the company tried to make as many improvements as possible based on the 20 document/content management suggestions it got.
This includes upgrades in areas like scabability, search, records management, workflow, and a few other areas.
Incidentally, we caught up with Mike Stuhley from GoScan who told us his company has developed a booming business capturing information on Swine Flu vaccines. He said GoScan, a fairly small Southern California-based ISV with a very easy-to-use capture interface, has landed something like five statewide contracts, as well as several counties...
This promises to be an exciting show, and we'll have complete coverage in our next newsletter.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
There are definitely signs however, that the MFP capture space is in transition. One is the fact that the price Nuance paid for eCopy was less than eCopy's reported revenue for 2007 (and it was all stock). There has definitely been some price pressure as MFP vendors have become more aggressive about bundling scanning software with their hardware. Also, one of eCopy's largest North American resellers, IKON, was recently acquired by Ricoh - which although it partners with eCopy, does not have the history that Canon does and also offers several alternative capture products.
Couple interesting sidelights of this deal:
1. Does this make Canon, which had like a 20% stake in Nuance, a major stockholder in Nuance - a former Xerox spin-off?
2. This would seem to throw the longstanding relationship between eCopy and Belgian OCR ISV I.R.I.S. into a state of flux. Funny thing is, Nuance has filed suit against eCopy for using I.R.I.S.' technology, and I.R.I.S. had seemingly come to eCopy's defense. And, oh yes, Canon just bought a stake in I.R.I.S.
I'm thinking something has to give here. Look for another related acquisition in the next six months.
This acquisition does create easily the largest developer of MFP capture software on the market. Nuance certainly now as a full stable of technology in this area. It will be interesting to see how they bring it all together. NSi and Omtool are currently the other major players with traditional batch capture vendor Kofax still trying to make inroads.
Friday, October 02, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Also, in today's news, JFL Peripheral Solutions, a Visioneer subsidiary that specializs in scanner drivers, has announced a SANE driver for Visioneer scanner. This enables Visioneer scanners to run with Linux and other open source applications. Apparrently, a TWAIN 2.0 driver, which also supports Linux (see page 3), is on the way.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Over the past couple years, ACS has generated more than $500 million in cash each year, but it also has $2 billion in debt that Xerox will assume. According to the Wall Street Journal, "Xerox's deal values ACS shares at $63.11 each, a 34% premium to Friday's closing price and 55 cents below the stock's record high set in February 2006. Holders would get $18.60 and 4.935 shares of Xerox for each ACS share. Xerox also will assume $2 billion of ACS debt and issue $300 million of convertible preferred stock."
The deal should make Xerox a $22 billion company with some $10 billion in worldwide service revenue. ACS' international revenue was very limited, like $.5 billion annually, while Xerox has a more mature international services business, so there should be some synergies there.
Here's a line from the presentation give by Xerox, "The lines between business process
and document management are blurring." - which makes a lot of sense. We've talked a lot recently about enterprise capture and how it needs to feed several areas of an organization, presumably with different workflows. Of course, the same can be said for document output world, where Xerox also plays.
The acquisition, of course, follows, HP's acquisition of EDS and Dell's of Perot Systems, so it's all pretty fascinating. Does this mean that people like Kodak and Fujitsu will buy document imaging service bureaus? BancTec and Scan-Optics have already started down this path.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
|More on this event upcoming.||Ralph |
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Also, Kofax recently reported its fiscal 2009 year-end (June 30) results. They came in with the revised expectations.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
On a bit of a sour note, it was pointed out to us recently that mortgage lender Taylor, Bean, and Whitaker, which as for a long time has been a marquee customer of Datacap's distributed capture solution, has gone out of business. Of course, it was not the imaging technology, which when we talked with them was saving great amounts of money on courier expenses, that drove them out of business, but bad loans - what else? The messes we've seen in the mortgage industry have certainly detracted from imaging sales over the past year. It will be nice when things finally stabilize.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
This is actually NewWave's second MFP-related announcement that we've covered. Last year, it announced an agreement with Pitney Bowes to enable its VAR partners to offer maintenance contracts on HP MFPs. Presumably, Pitney Bowes will also offer maintenance for the Sharp devices through NewWave, as PBI is certified to service some Sharp devices.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
In fact, last issue, we ran a feature on J&B Software, traditionally a payment processing vendor, fleshing out its offering with full-page document capture and advanced workflow.
Finally, we'd just like remind you that Harvey Spencer Associates annual capture conference, where this concept of converging A/P and A/R capture has been discussed for at least two years, is scheduled to run Sept. 9-10 at the Glen Cove Mansion on Long Island. It's not only a great forum where cutting edge capture markets and concepts are covered, it's a great networking event, with several high-powered capture and imaging executives attending annually.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 03, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Monday, July 06, 2009
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Related to this acquisition, it still remains somewhat of a question how much the stimulus package will drive growth in our industry. It's my opinion that it will be significant, as I've always believed EHR was a great opporunity for our industry-even before the stimulus. I mean, a standardized accessible eletronic record is too much of a benefit to healthcare providers to pass up, isn't it? They've pretty much managed to pass it up for over 10 years now, but at some point, they have to get smart, don't they? If this stimulus package helps them get there, all the better.
Here's an interesting article that discusses some of the hurdles that have prevented EHR from being adopted enmasse so far, and some of the hurdles it is still facing -even with the stimulus money.
The bottom like is that I hope universal EHR happens, as I have always thought it would -just for the sake of better healthcare service, not to mention the growth it could bring to our industry. Maybe the stimulus package will help it happen a bit sooner rather than later - although there are still obviously many hurdles to clear.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Also, here's an interesting press release about ColorTrac providing multiple 40-inch wide-format scanners to the Lebanese government for scanning election results. We've never heard of the use of WF scanners in elections and have put in an e-mail to ColorTrac asking about the logistics behind the scanner choice.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Could be a fun event. Microsoft is promising to preview the next version of SharePoint, 2010, as well as discuss real-world implementaitons of the current, 2007 version. The 2008 conference was held in Seattle (the same week as AIIM 2008) and we heard mostly positive reviews. We're not exactly sure why Microsoft waited a year and a half to hold another conference, but maybe it has something to do with the move to Vegas. One thing is for sure, Microsoft seems firmly committed the ECM industry and most everybody we talk to seems to be embracing them - but certainly not conceding the market to them, because, as well all know, SharePoint certainly isn't an imaging solution - although it can be used as a platform for image management.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Just thought this was interesting and it may show two things:
1. The economy is stabilizing.
2. Businesses are learning how to operate under adjusted conditions.
TIBCO stock is up almost 10% since Tuesday.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Also, here's a link to the great Michael Lewis article on Iceland's hyperinflation, which is referenced in the the Motley fool article.
Interestingly, the Motley Fool article also talks about deflation the negative effects it can have on an economy. I know I've mentioned a few times that the document imaging industry is no stranger to a form of deflation, especially when it comes to hardware. It's no big secret that users are getting way more bang for their buck from scanners than they were 10, 5, and even two years ago. Fortunately, overall scan volumes have continued to increase, which means more scanners are being sold and keeps the demand reasonable for higher-volume production models. But, with some of this IDR (intelligent document recognition) technology starting to come downstream, we really have to be careful not to let our margins disappear, in what has historically been a good B2B market.
I also wanted to highlight this interesting press release from A/P document imaging specialist VersionOne Software. I couldn't find a link, so I've pasted the entire release below. But, it basically talks about the some of the uncertainty and mystery surrounding the term "cloud computing." It's a term that people have started to throw around as a future trend for our industry and others, but it still seems to be a ways off before the rubber hits the road, as a lot of IT professionals still apparently don't even know what "cloud computing" means, much less do they plan on investing in it.
Here's the release, which details some of the results of VersionOne's survey on cloud computing:
The findings of a survey by document management software company, Version One (www.versionone.co.uk), has revealed that 41% of senior IT professionals admit that they “don’t know” what cloud computing is. Version One carried out the research with 60 senior IT professionals (IT directors and managers) across a range of
Of the remaining 59% of IT professionals who profess to know what cloud computing is, 17% of these understand cloud computing to be internet-based computing while 11% believe it is a combination of internet-based computing, software as a service (SAAS), software on demand, an outsourced or managed service and a hosted software service. The remaining respondents understand cloud computing to be a mixture of the above.
Despite cloud computing being in the media spotlight, only a minority of respondents (5%) say that they use it “a lot” and less than a quarter of those surveyed (19%) reveal that they only use cloud computing sparingly. Almost half of respondents (47%) admit that their company doesn’t use cloud computing with the remaining 29% conceding that they “don’t know” whether their organisation uses it or not.
Julian Buck, General Manager of Version One, says, “Although this is only a small survey of IT professionals, the results are nonetheless very alarming, especially as IT professionals are the very people that need to understand cloud computing so that they can explain its benefits to management.”
Buck continues, “It is clear from the survey results that there are a number of contrasting views as to what cloud computing really is, which is hardly surprising in light of the many different cloud computing definitions in the public arena. For instance, Wikipedia defines it as ‘Internet-based computing’ while Gartner refers to it ‘as a service’ using Internet technologies. IT expert, John Willis, writing in his cloud blog says that ‘virtualisation is the secret sauce of a cloud’ and provides different levels of cloud computing. With so many definitions circulating, clarity is urgently needed.”
Only 2% of respondents say that their company is “definitely” going to invest in cloud computing within the next twelve months whilst 30% state that their organisations “may” invest in this technology. 45% admit that they “don’t know” whether their organisations will be investing in it or not with the remaining 23% stating that they currently have no investment plans. For those who definitely or maybe have plans to invest in cloud computing, some of the key business drivers cited include reduction in overheads and paper, ease of use, cost savings and the ability to provide collaborative tools for teaching and learning.
Buck adds, “If organisations are going to embrace cloud computing in the future it’s essential that a single, simplified explanation is adopted by everyone. Failure to cut through the confusion could result in organisations rejecting this technology and missing out on the benefits it provides.”
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
We did receive feedback that there is some sort of image processing in current iPhones, but apparently it is difficult to work with anything below 14-point type when it comes to document imaging. The increased megapixels, new auto-focus features, along with Apple's image processing should make the 3G S a much improved document capture peripheral.
Also, we heard there are rumos that Apple is looking at licensing a 6 MP camera, which would clearly make its mediafile followers happier, as some of the reviews we read didn't seem satisified with the 3 MP camera. Of course, a 6 MP camera should be that much better for document imagiing applications.
Monday, June 08, 2009
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
In total, that's something like news of 1,100 Kodak scanners being installed in distributed scanning opertations within a week. Pretty cool stuff for Kodak. Both applications are also examples of net new imaging installations- meaning centralized capture was probably not a realistic offering. Just more evidence that distributed capture (after years of discussion) has finally arrived.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
This is, of course, a perspective that makes him look like a hero, and there is nothing wrong with that. On the flip side, however, it's quite possible to blame Kofax's increasing direct sales as negatively affecting channel sales because it has potentially alienated some VARs that have been very loyal to Kofax, because, in part at least, Kofax has always been very loyal to the channel. So, are Kofax VARs' capture sales really declining, or are these VARs just moving towards other capture products and away from Kofax?
Any feedback is appreciated.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
We're not sure what sort of company Metastorm would be buying, but we have heard rumors that Global 360 is up for sale. On the flip side, apparently (according to the prior referenced article), Open Text is considering a BPM acquisition.
Anyhow, that's just a brief Metastorm update. Oh yes, apparently Metastorm filed an S-I last year before thinking better of going public and pulled back.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
People have questioned what Open Text really got, as Open Text has most of the technology is picked up already. I think these people are missing the point. First off, Vignette apparently has big-time WCM technology with several big-name Fortune 2000 users. Vignette is a market leader in this area, and it's always good to pick up a leader in a market that is not going away. Heck, Open Text, has even been known to pick up leaders in declining markets... Open Text also picked up some solid records management technology with Tower Technology stuff that Vignette picked up a few years back. Once again, I think this is an upgrade for Open Text in an area they have clearly targeted for future growth.
Finally, because of the market it's in, it is imparative for Open Text to continue to grow. Competing with the likes of IBM and EMC, size does matter. Open Text seems to understand this, and this latest acquisitoin should now have it approaching $1 billion in annual revenue. As long as it stands alone - and it is one of the last major ECM vendors standing - Open Text has to keep pushing forward so its Global 2000 customer base will not hesitate about doing business with it.
Per its history, we're confident Open Text will figure out how to cut costs at Vignette and fold it into its profitable growing business. Open Text has certainly come a long way in the 10 years we've been covering them- outlasting a ton of competitors, and a key part of its strategy has been acquisitions just like the Vignette buy. We expect to see more as well.
Monday, May 04, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
This definitely seems like a step in the right direction, which might be a bit ahead of its time with this type of software- but as a toolkit vendor, also needs to anticipate the needs of its customers. NCR's offering both scanner and phone-capture based solution is indicative of where the market for mobile capture currently stands. It's a great idea, and probably will pick up momentum as phone cameras and processors continue to improve, but for now, the superior image quality of a scanner still offers many advantegous - if not the convenience and ubiquity of mobile phones.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Dan Lucarini, who has been named senior director of business development, was for years a big advocate and marketing director for the Alchemy reseller channel. He left Captaris after its acquisition by Open Text. And Barbara Lanci, who has been named senior director of partner strategy and development, was a director of channel development for Kofax in the late 1990s. Both will report to Jim Vickers.
Also, a friend of ours sent us this cool link/video from a guy who basically built a DIY-type book scanners from some new cameras and 100% recycled materials. Check it out.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
We've also had many interesting conversations with vendors that specialize in the separation technology that Chris mentions and claim it can introduce OCR results on certain types of documents. As we've said before, we are entering a brave new world for recognition technologies.
Fujitsu Computer Products of America's Kevin Neal contributed these two helpful links on the same topic:
Increase ECM Automation Processes With Higher Resolution Scanning
Trends Towards Higher Resolution Scanning
Monday, March 23, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Both companies saw steep drop offs from the third quarter, but both also seemed prepared for this. Adobe saw its stock value rise 7% after reporting after seeng its revenue drop 12% and its earnings 29% from the previous year. Is this the first sign of an economic rebound. TIS situation was even more confusing as its revenue dropped 2% from the previous year and 23% from the third quarter, but a discontinuation of some lower-margin/unprofitable operations contributed to this, and all in all, TIS seems to have made money on the quarter, with a $5 million gain related to "financing income." Anyhow, I think you almost need to be a banker to understand what is going on in the market now, but my overall impression is that neither Adobe or TIS suffered as much as some other people in the fourth quarter, which is a good sign for our industry, as recently (the last week at least) macro-economic conditions seem to be on the rebound.
Alright, that's about it. But, if anyone can help me further understand this stuff, please post comments.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
By our calculations, Kofax CEO Reynolds Bish now has also the pieces in place to attack the market in the way he outlined to us at last year's AIIM show. His intention is for Kofax's historically strong VAR channel to continue to win the small and mid-sized deals, with the direct sales force to take the high-end stuff that has historically gone to Kofax competitors like Bish's former company Captiva, as well as players like ReadSoft and recently Brainware. The trick, of course, is going to be keeping the VAR channel happy and not stepping on their toes too much with the direct sales. We still haven't heard too much negative feedback from the U.S. VARs at least, of course, without Johnson, maybe the direct sales force hasn't been fully ramped up yet.
Anyhow, Johnson seems well qualified to sell capture solutions. If he can manage a VAR channel well, we'll expect some strong results from Kofax.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I must admit , I have been hearing complaints for several years, with last year's being the most serious, about the lack of quality floor traffic at the event. I also received feedback that exhibitors have been making suggestions that have gone largely ignored by Questex, which purchased the show from AIIM (the trade organization) eight or nine years ago. And, although Questex has been offering increased targeted marketing services to exhibitors, by our observation, the event itself has changed little since started going to it in the late 1990s - and some pundits were already proclaiming that the event was dead then.
Across the board marketing cuts due the down economy may be the last nail in the coffin. Prior to this year, despite the complaints, and slowly dwindling attendance, little actually changed, except for maybe smaller booth sizes. Sure, some companies would leave for a year, but they'd always come back. We'll see of they come back after this year.
I've got a call with Questex set up for Thursday. We'll see what they have to say...
Monday, February 09, 2009
Anyhow, hopefully I will have more on this later, when I have some conversations and time to read it over more closely. Check out the above link yourself though it you get a chance.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
I'm out here because I attended the annual I.R.I.S. conference, which went well with a few hundred attendees and some significant announcements. Details in this week's DIR. The most imortpant announcement was probably that I.R.I.S. continued its profitable growth, up 13% over $100 million Euros for the first time and also generating cash. They run a pretty good business, with a lot of high-end document imaging focsued solutions installed Belgium, France, and Luxenburg, and some pretty good OCR contracts with the likes of HP, eCopy, and Adobe. Recently, they've been adding IDR technology to their mix and last year launchced their own capture software after working for several years as Kodak's OEM developer of capture technology.
Speaking of Kodak, here's an interesting quote from the press release they issued today:
"The success of Kodak’s core investments stems in part from the company’s ability to maximize its cash-generating businesses. These market-leading product lines represented approximately $6 billion in revenue in 2008, and include the following: Prepress Solutions and Document Imaging in GCG, Digital Capture & Devices and Retail Systems Solutions in CDG, and Entertainment Imaging from the Film, Photofinishing and Entertainment Group (FPEG). For these businesses in 2009, Kodak will focus on margin improvements, including cost reductions, as well as continuing its successful intellectual property licensing program."
So, it's good that Document Imaging is generating cash, but it's bad that apparently cost reductions are going to be made to apparently help make up for losses in other areas. Curiously, the press release didn't get into too many specifics about the money losing areas, of course that was probably done in depth enough with the fourth-quarter report.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
In conjunction with the year-end report, which dropped the company's stock more than 20% to just over $5 per share, Kodak also announced up to 4,500 upcoming layoffs, or 14-18% of the entire staff. We understand some of those layoffs are already affecting Document Imaging. We're not sure how this is all going to reconcile with the Bowe Bell + Howell Scanner acquisition the is supposed to close before the end of the quarter and the jobs that have apparently been promised to BBH employees.
We'll be catching up with Kodak Document Imaging execs at next month's Kodak Executive Summit in San Antonio.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The iManage acquisition gave Interwoven a strong foothold in the legal vertical. Autonomy's has e-discovery technology and ambitions that make the entree into the legal market a natural.
One interestsing angle for us is how, and if, Autonomy plans to leverage the Cardiff capture technology it acquired with Verity as a front end to iManage. If it does, that could be bad news for long-time iManage partner Kofax, which also recently got some bad news when Open Text acquired Captaris. We're currently trying to get in touch with someone at Cardiff to find out what sort of shape the capture business is in-as we haven't heard much from them lately, and we understand that former GM and CTO Mark Siemens has left.
Autonomy also has a number of OEM agreements for search technology with potential Interwoven competitors that could be jeopardized if Autonomy isn't real careful. Google, we're sure would love to steal some of that business.
Finally, here's ECM analyst Alan Pelz-Sharpe's take on the acquisition. He's a bit critical of Autonomy.
Monday, January 26, 2009
"IBM bucked tech industry trends this week by reporting a healthy fourth quarter profit and even a feel-good forecast for 2009 - based heavily on the contributions of the company's software and service business. IBM registered a 20% jump in outsourcing contracts and related work - solid proof that while many companies are cutting back on overall IT spending, the recession appears to be giving a boost to IT and business oursourcing, particularly as a means to cut core operating expenses. For some industry context behind IBM's strong performance - we offer the latest annual review of Global Sourcing Trends by law firm Morrison & Foerster.
This is the third year that Morrison & Foerster has produced a macro year-end/year-ahead review of the global sourcing landscape. This year’s report comes amidst some extreme events impacting the industry – not only the economic crisis, but in the wake of the recent terror attacks in Mumbai and the startling financial fraud unfolding at India sourcing giant Satyam.
Among the current trend lines reported by Morrison & Foerster for the coming year:
A pronounced shift toward cost-driven deals: “Many companies are looking to drive further value and cost improvements on existing deals, often via re-negotiation, service levels and other key terms.” In other words, this could be a good sourcing buyer’s market;
A probable slowdown in new sourcing activity among financial service firms, which traditionally have fueled sector growth; instead, look for institutions to “maximize value and rationalize existing deals” – again putting pressure on cost structure;
Some shakeout is all but guaranteed among service providers, some of whom will endure not current market conditions; survivors will be those “that have sector and geographic diversity, well-managed overheads, and deep, long-term customer relationships.”
At same time, consolidation among largest sourcing firms will mean “less leverage for customers in future negotiations;”
Expect to see more attention on new risk and liability provisions in existing contracts regarding data and privacy breaches;
The Satyam scandal is certain to prompt a “flight to quality” by sourcing customers, with an attendant surge in due diligence;
An unfortunate bi-product of the financial crisis will be a rise in disputes, including litigation, as corporate purchasers become less inclined to waive or ignore potential liability claims.
Morrison & Foerster has one of the most active sourcing law firm practices internationally. Recent engagements include representation of the UK’s official Revenue & Customs authority as well as New York University Hospitals Center in its long-term IT sourcing agreement with IBM and Lenovo Group valued at more than $600 million. The group’s key members handle global projects primarily from the firm’s New York, London and Hong Kong offices.
Please click here to see the full 2009 Sourcing Trends "
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The news out of BBH scanners over the past few years has always been positive, but that fact is, aside from the introduction of fairly revolutionary large format scanner a couple years ago, there hasn't been too much substantial to report on. And as scanning was not core to parent Bowe Systec's business, the writing was probably on the wall. Plus, we even predicted in last week's issue of DIR that the economy and market environment was ripe for some hardware consolidation. I guess we were right.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Here's the first. (It discusses how you can save on software purchases by buying them through U.K. sites, because the pound is relatively right now)
Weak UK pound benefits US buyers of Scan2CAD raster to vector conversion software.
The worldwide credit crisis has resulted in the weakest British pound for many years. For US CAD and CNC software buyers, this provides a ray of sunshine in what is otherwise a generally gray and gloomy economic prospect. The current weak British pound allows US buyers of British software to take advanatage of a favorable strong dollar / weak pound exchange rate to save around 20% on their purchases.
Softcover International Limited, the UK publisher of the industry-leading Scan2CAD automatic raster to vector conversion software, has announced US buyers purchasing Scan2CAD Pro from its UK-based website, www.softcover.com, will save around 20% or approximately US $100 on the US $498 list price. A saving of about US $60 is to be had on Scan2CAD Regular (list price US $298).
These savings are only available while the British pound is in its current weak state. Any strengthening in the pound and the savings will be reduced. However, any further weakening in the pound and the savings will increase. Interested buyers wanting to save money should take advantage of this situation while the pound is weak to buy Scan2CAD now.
Today's (2009.01.12) opening exchange rate is GBP £1 = USD $1.49, among the lowest in more than six years, down from a peak of $2.1160 last November. The last time the pound fell at this speed was in 1992. Any US CAD and CNC buyers purchasing Scan2CAD now will get the biggest bang for their buck available in automatic raster to vector conversion today.
advice. - END OF RELEASE
Does this work for scanners too?
Release number two:
This is a release for a book on SOA implementations. As some background, I mentioned SOA as one the trends document imaging professionals need to be aware of in 2009. Despite some setbacks, I don't believe that SOA is DOA and apparently, the author of this book doesn't think so either.
Here the release, which is fairly comprehensive and includes some interesitng points:
"Seven steps to SOA nirvana…
'Adopting a services-oriented architecture should be undertaken as a gradual process, working toward your vision of a new IT enterprise which is more responsive to business drivers,' says expert Tom Termini.
Complex concepts have emerged over the past few years regarding the potential productivity an organization can achieve with their web site. But few take the mystery out of as well as a new book titled The Zen of SOA by Tom Termini.
Termini has created an executive blueprint which describes how top management can look and move forward with clear goals, appropriate resources and confidence. Termini explains how Zen can be applied in the development and deployment of a system architecture in a manner easily understood by managers making them more effective in the complex world of information technology.
The key in this quest is to act as a mediator who understands the roles of the critical actors and players and to adopt a posture that is both flexible and resilient.
Termini sees the adoption of SOA as a continuum.
Among the many ideas he recommends to successfully deploy an effective SOA:
1. Learn from others – study what worked for other organizations that may have had parallel processes, or similar objectives to yours. For example, at the Federal Trade Commission, we learned that commodity hardware and software promote the transition toward a fully-realized SOA. From the detritus of a failed EAI effort, the fruits of a SOA success can be found with the creative application of an “agile” approach.
2. Maintain a “baby-steps” approach toward a fully-realized SOA – expectations are more realistic, costs are spread over a longer period, risk is deferred, and you have the opportunity to foster organizational adoption. Cultural resistance is often the primary reason for failure in enterprise IT endeavors. If your adoption posture is incremental, you will lessen the impact on your organization, customers, and partners so they can assimilate change gradually.
3. SOA is more about the business customer than about IT innovation. Service-Oriented Architecture, when rolled out successfully, can empower the people driving the business processes in your organization, free up limited Information technology resources, and improve flexibility to meet change. While on task at the U.S. Department of Justice, we learned a portal is integral to Web-enabling the enterprise. Why? It provides the single, simple point-of-entry to the SOA-enabled systems for the less-technical business user. We found the portal was excellent at answering the question, where do I go to find what we already have? It also simplifies the human interface, since all Web applications share the look-and-feel or some derivative of the portal’s cascading style sheet. Finally, the portal simplifies single-sign-on access - and ease of access means greater acceptance by the user community.
4. ESB does not equal SOA. Providing an enterprise services bus (ESB) to your organization does not mean you have a SOA. Gaining a full grasp of this concept is key to embracing the Zen of SOA. Think commodity software as well as hardware: one of the keys to SOA success. While we’ve found the messaging layer to be critical, often time success can be achieved by simplifying a few key business processes and SOA-enabling with a web service. Example: customer record lookup, because so many systems touch on that process.
5. Manage the SOA as part of the whole enterprise. Think of the SOA approach as a layer to simplify complexity – as above, consider the customer lookup process. What vital information needs to be presented to a consuming service? This layer does not stand apart from the organization’s larger enterprise; rather, it supports the business architecture. The underlying services orchestrate and communicate business processes-these components are part of the technical architecture. Internal developers, external consumers and others will require access to reuse SOA services.
6. Measure progress and communicate results. The successful implementation of any SOA must be driven from the top down. This means gaining early wins that engage senior management. Define three or four metrics and regularly communicate results.
7. Promote SOA as the Future. Implementation of a SOA blueprint may never fully end, because business processes change or new ones are required. Your target architecture inevitably will evolve to accommodate changes in the external environment and corresponding adjustments to organizational goals.