Friday, August 28, 2009

Distributed Capture update

I think it's safe to say that distributed document capture has reached maturity, as every new implementation is no longer a major news story. As the technology has matured, I think we've all realized that there are several different levels of distributed capture, from multiple regional centers doing batch capture to remote locations doing ad hoc capture with MFPs - with several variations in between. Here's a recent announcement from ISV GoScan that shows some of the potential benefits that distributed capture has, not just on business, but on life in general. It's about the State of North Dakota implementing distributed capture to help track swine flu cases. Sure, they could have done this without imaging, but it sure seems like it's going to be a lot easier to accomplish it with distributed capture. Hopefully, it can help save some lives.

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

NewWave to offer Sharp MFPs

Document imaging-focused value-added distributor NewWave Technologies has added MFPs to its line of products. Specifically, NewWave announced it will be distributing Sharp's Frontier DX Series. To us, Sharp has always been on the cutting edge of scanning from MFPs. It was one of the first MFP vendors introduce single pass duplex scanning on a multitude of devices. It's OSA platform for embedded applications was also fairly revolutionary and has been leveraged by multiple capture vendors.

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

A/R meets document Capture

One of the observations we came away with at the recent TAWPI Forum and Expo in Washington, D.C., is that the accounts payable and accounts receivable capture markets are moving closer together. Historically, payment capture specialists, whether it be service bureaus or ISVs, have focused on A/R, while traditional document capture guys have handled the A/P side of the house. This started to change a couple years ago with the introduction of full-page IDR technology into the wholesale remittance capture space. Then, our colleague Harvey Spencer, as well as some others, started extolling on the importance of a unified view of A/P and A/R data for the CFO. While this is the nirvana of the convergence of A/P and A/R capture, it's starting to show up on less-integrated levels as well. For example, at the TAWPI event, Pepsi Bottling Group was cited for its payment capture application, which was installed by VAR KeyMark and ISV AnyDoc-both of which traditionally come from the document capture space. We've also seen an increasing interest in applying advanced workflow, another traditional full-page imaging technology, to A/R and payment processing environments.

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

ACS Q4

There has been a lot of talk about how outsourcing/BPO services will benefit in a down economy as businesses look to cut costs by hiring other people to perform their non-core functions. Document management is, of course, one of the functions. In our last issue, we did a pretty extensive story on document management outsourcing specialist DataBank IMX. Databank CEO Dick Aschman explained how the down economy has been a bit of a mixed blessing - as business are certainly willing to outsource more, but that some of Databank's current customers had reduced volumes due to a fewer number of transactions. ACS' year-end/fourth quarter results would seem to confirm this, as they report a record amount of revenue coming from new contracts, but only a 6% growth overall. Now, granted a 6% overall growth is nothing to scoff at from a multi-billion company like ACS, but I'm guessing their overall growth figures would have been higher in a normal economy.

Any thoughts.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Howard Dean - The winner?

Did you know that Howard Dean actually won the 2004 Democratic primary. No, that's not what the history books say, but that's the real story according to Garrett Graff, executive editor for (the?) Washingtonian. Graff gave one of the keynotes yesterday at the annual TAWPI Forum and Expo. He also helped both the Obama campaign, as well as Dean's effort back in 2004. It's his theory, that while Kerry may have won the vote, Dean's influence on the Democratic party was much greater going forward. His talk was on how Obama's campaign did really unprecidented stuff with the Internet and text messaging as well, to beat McCain (although I think his biggest challenger was probably Hillary.) Anyhow, it was a fascinating talk. More in the next issue of DIR.