Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Questex Marketing AIIM Show

Questex, which recently filed for bankruptcy, has "has reduced the 2010 Conference registration fees by nearly 50%. The event is scheduled to run April 20-22 next spring in Philadelphia.

SharePoint Conference continued

Had to chance to attend a session yesterday given by the KnowledgeLake CTO and another KLake developer. They discussed some of the details behind SharePoint's improved document management features. A lot of scalability and search issues have certainly been addressed, as well as some records management stuff.We'll get into details in our newsletter, but suffice to say that with a few tools added on SharePoint can do a better job of image management than it historically has. Of course there is still no viewer and we're not sure the out-of-the-box workflow is quite there....

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

Live From SharePoint Conference

This place is really alive. It's a nice change from most recent conference/exhibitions that I've been to. Instead of people complaining about how dead the event it, I'm seeing plenty of busy vendors here. I just sat through a full presentation in the Laserfiche booth - so the interest in imaging is obviously. I'm interested to see what sort of attendance I get at my panel presentation on image-enabling SharePoint in another hour or so.

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.

More later.

SharePoint Conference

Well, we made it to Las Vegas for the Microsoft's second SharePoint Conference. Scheduled to be announced at this year's event is SharePoint 2010. The next generation of Microsoft' ECM/collaboration/portal platform. Preparing right now a keynote from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on the launch. Last night's pre-conference exhibitor floor party was buzzing. Word is that there are something like 7,000 registrants here at the Mandalay Bay, and the registration lines certainly overwhelmed the staff. The exhibition floor was teeming with Microsoft developers and other IT types. There are quite a few document imaging vendors on hand. Last night we saw booths from KnowledgeLake, Hyland, Laserfiche, eCopy/Nuance, Kofax, Canon, Fujitsu, Kodak, EMC, GoScan, Psigen, AtalaSoft, Informative Graphics, SpringCM, BlueThread and I'm sure we're missing a few. Systems integrator KeyMark is also exhibiting.

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

How The Zumbox Works

Here's the explanation we received from Zumbox's PR team (They are the company being sued by Pitney Bowes for their paperless mail solution.):


As a paperless postal system, Zumbox allows for mail and other content to be sent securely as digital files. This means that a biller can send the same files that go to their printer directly through Zumbox in parallel to their paper mailings and manage the transition to paperless mail as recipients get comfortable with the new option. So in terms of technical details, the system is simply built to deliver print-ready (and other – any format) digital files to street addresses online. All mail is received at Zumbox.com where a recipient enters their street address to effectively claim their digital mailbox; there is one for every street address in the country. It should also be noted that Zumbox is a closed system, with bank-level security and complies with PCI, HIPAA and BITS security standards.

We also received a response from Pitney Bowes and the patents appear to have to do with electronic delivery and there isn't any talk about scanning or anything. 

However, we will say that we find Zumbox's digital mailroom concept very intriguing - especially when potentially coupled with a scanning/service bureau operation. 


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hyland's Take on the SaaS Model

Pretty good piece published today in AIIM's Infonomics Magazine. It's clearly got a Hyland bent to it, but it's well written and presents a couple sides to the story of SaaS vs. in-house solutions.

Pitney Bowes Sues Digital Mailroom Provider

This is interesting. The company being sued, Zumbox, doesn't seem to be a traditional digital mailroom provider in the way we think of it. Rather, they seem to have some sort of on-line network that ingests files before they are printed and then delivers them digitally to their addressee. We're not exactly sure how this works, as it's not really described on the Web site, so we've pinged them for more info. To us, it sounds like some kind of general mail version of OB10's e-invoicing network. PBI is suing Zumbox over some patents related to electronic delivery of messages. We're assume this doesn't apply to traditional digital mailroom environments, (or PBI would have sued Earth Class Mail, right?), but we really don't know.

Ralph

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

More OEM Deals

Couple of interesting ECM-related OEM deals were announced today, with major, major, large software vendors. First, you have Brainware announcing an OEM deal for its capture software with Oracle. The most obvious fit will be using Brainware for invoice capture in Oracle Financials implementations, but the announcement is pretty vague, so Brainware's capture could theoretically be used in a lot of ways. A couple years ago, Oracle picked up some strong distributed capture technology when it acquired Captovation, but Captovation doesn't do much data capture, so this is a great complement for that....Also, SAP has expanded its agreement with Open Text and is now offering Open Text's full ECM application. It had previously offered SAP's invoice capture and processing technology as well as its document archiving. This is another sign of how ECM is going mainstream.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Lason Spin-Off Acquired by DTI

Active Data Services, which spun out of Lason in 2002 via a management buyout, has been acquired by Scranton, PA-based Diversified Information Technologies (DIT). DIT is a $35 million service bureau with scnaning, data capture, and records management offerings. Active Data Services is a Raleigh-Durham-based entity with a combination of document input and output services, and a speciality in the healthcare vertical. It is run by former Lason employee Ken Eller. Its 2008 revenue was reportedly $15 million.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Nuance-eCopy

Nuance has acquired eCopy in a move that unites two of the largest players in the MFP capture space. Nuance's Imaging business also has other interests like OCR and PDF creation, but its PaperPort and Personalized Scanning Platform (PSP) platforms are OEM'd by vendors like Xerox, Ricoh, Konica, EFI and Konica Minolta. In fact, Nuance often disputed eCopy's claims to market leadership in the MFP capture space. eCopy itself has some powerful alliances with the likes of Canon, Ricoh, and Toshiba that helped it grow to more than $60 million in annual revenue in about a 10-year period.

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.

Best regards,

Ralph

Friday, October 02, 2009

New KeyScan

I don't know why, but this seems like a cool concept. Has anyone ever used one?

Ralph