Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kofax Signs Large A/P Deal

You have to think this is what the Irvine, CA-based document capture, and now business process automation vendor had in mind when it acquired 170 Systems last year. Today's announcement represents an $800,000 deal that includes Kofax invoice capture technology as well as 170 systems BPA and SAP integration.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

DocuWare Reports Strong U.S. Growth - MFP Channel Strong

German ISV DocuWare, which now does about half its business in the Americas, recently reported another strong year, including 14% growth from its U.S. based subsidiary, DocuWare Corp. DocuWare Corp. was one of the first ECM vendors to recognize the potential of digital copier dealers and is now benefiting from its early investments in that channel. I was just working on a story on another ISV focused on the MFP channel, Square 9 Softworks, that told me it grew like 150% last year. Granted, Square 9 is a lot smaller than DocuWare, but my point is imaging/ECM sales through the MFP channel seemed to be a bit bullet proof last year, despite the recession.

Monday, March 29, 2010

BancTec Builds on Enterprise Capture Platform

BancTec, the Dallas-based high-volume document capture specialist, has introduced some upgrades to its CenterVision Enterprise Capture platform. I did a fairly comprehensive white paper on this product that you can find on the CenterVision Website site under "Related Documents." BancTec recently announced an implementation of CenterVision with the Public Works and Government Services Canada for processing "approximately 6 million paper, fax and electronic documents per year for the country’s federal employee pension plan, Superannuation Pension Transition and Client Services." (see press release).

CenterVision can act a dashboard for managing high-volume and distributed document and data capture operations. I'm assuming the product maintains its open architecture for working with other vendors' data capture products, but BancTec has also introduced some more of its own data capture capabilities into the platform- specifically for invoice processing and better key entry. It has also introduced some better controls for tracking incoming mail.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Kodak Software Announcements

Nothing too significant, but Kodak has honored its partner BCS Systems for an integration it has done with Kodak's Scan Station network scanner. We're not sure who BCS is, but they apparently develop something called iConnect, which would appear to be competitive with network scanning software products from vendors like eCopy (now owned by Nuance) and Notable Solutions (Nsi), which also has partnership with Kodak surrounding the Scan Station. From the release, the only iConnect back-end integration we gather that is currently available is SharePoint, which, of course, isn't a bad place to start.

Also, Kodak announced a free module for connecting its Capture Pro software with the FileBound document management system. The focus seems to be on the SaaS version of FileBound, which makes sense. When uses purchase a scanner and some capture software like Capture Pro along with it, a SaaS DM integration offers them an easy, low-effort/cost start-up destination for the files they are capturing. So, it gives them the chance to start utilizing capture without making a big ECM investment at the same time.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Correction to H1N1 Case study

One of the reasons I posted this case study is because I thought it was pretty neat that somebody was using unconstrained handwriting recognition in a successful forms processing app. It turns out this is not the case. The service bureau sent me a copy of the forms they are processing, and they do indeed include boxes for letters.

Turns out there was some sort of miscommunication/minunderstanding with the vendor that wrote the case study. Apparently, while A2iA's FieldReader does have the ability to read unconstrained handwriting, it's not being used in this app. Nonetheless, it's probably impressive that leveraging FieldReader's constrained text capabilities, the integrator, QAI, out of Maryland, has achieved something like 80% productivity improvements.

Kofax Desktop 2.0 includes OCR functionaltiy & TRIM 7 Review Link

Not sure whose technology Kofax has licensed, but it has added to the ability to create full-text searchable and more compressed PDFs in its $50 Desktop capture product.

Also, here's a link to a story by Australian document management publication Image & Data Manager that discusses some of the upgrades to HP's TRIM, version 7, which we mentioned a couple posts ago.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Square 9 Softworks Releases New Version of Dealer-Targeted App

 Square 9 Software, a CT-based ISV that spun off of document-imaging-centric reseller InfiNet Systems, has released a new version of its SmartSearch application. We first featured SmartSearch in our publication about a year go. The thing I like about the product, which is basically a document imaging repository, is that it is specifically priced to fit within the leasing models that MFP dealers use when selling hardware. The new version includes more advanced workflow capabilties.

HP Launching TRIM 7.0

In recent months, we've heard a little more surrounding the TRIM Software line that HP acquired with Australian ISV Tower last year. We did a story on an Atlanta-based consultancy that specializes in document management for property and casualty insurance providers that has added TRIM to its product portfolio. We also recently were sent a story about a Malaysian TRIM reseller and ISV, VersaPAC, that develops a Web-client for the product, improving its viewing component. Stephen Kucia, International Sales and Marketing Director of VersaPAC, informed us that HP is currently showing version 7.0 of TRIM at a users event in Australia.

According to the HP Web site, the new version is scheduled to launch by the end of this month.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Some News Updates From the Past Week.

Been a little slow on the blog posts, as I've been working on other things, and it's been a bit slow for earth-shattering news, but there have been several interesting stories that have moved in our industry.

Here's a peek at a few of them:
  • Oce Business Services has opened a new document conversion service bureau facility in Salt Lake City. We're supposed to talk tomorrow to get some more details for an article in next week's issue of DIR, but we do know that it's set up to run 24/7 and handle up to 10 million pages per month. Also, one of the services being offered is invoice capture. This comes on the heels on a Digital Mail service OBS has launched for its mailroom customers.  Ironically, digital mailroom and invoice capture were two of the specialties of the Document Technologies business that Oce sold to Captaris in late 2007, which was later bought by Open Text.
  • Including maintenance and professional services Kofax signed a $2.7 million deal with a U.K.-based public health services organization.  "The organization, an existing customer, will use additional Kofax software to capture, extract and perfect data from hundreds of millions of medical forms and related documents received annually. The resulting data will then be exported to the organization’s mainstream data processing applications for adjudication and payment." So, it sounds like an insurance application to us.
  • Open Text has launched some mobile ECM stuff. This makes perfect sense, as everyone seems to be now using their Smart Phones for everything - especially the up and coming generation. I think Open Text is taking the right approach in the release when it suggests that smart phones are taking the place of laptops. One of the applications being addressed is invoice processing, which I assume means the approval process - a concept originally introduced by Cardiff. It's something Mark Seamans showed to me a couple years back. Made sense, but was a little ahead of its time then, especially coming from Cardiff, which I'm not sure had the install base to support that feature. Open Text, through its SAP partnership, certainly has some Global 2000 organizations that could take advantage of it.
  • Finally, Maryland-based service bureau and SI QAI got together with recognition engine specialist A2iA to come up with a capture application for reading cursive on H1N1 forms. Here's the case study.
That's all for now.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

InfoTrends Releases Document Outsourcing Forecast

The Questex-owned analyst firm InfoTrends has issued a new Document Outsourcing Forecast for 2008 – 2013. The press release about the new report, predicts a rebound in the market as the economy rebounds.

Alex Sumarta, a Director at InfoTrends, had this to say about the expanding breadth of services we have observed BPO vendors in the market offering, "Existing and new players are responding to the shifting demands of the market by offering an expanded services portfolio that increasingly addresses the entire document lifecycle, as well as other related business communications services beyond print. More importantly, these service providers are becoming process owners and value chain managers.” 

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Corrections to Kofax Financials Post

Just got off the phone with Kofax Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Pery who confirmed that I had credited 170 Systems with accounting for way too much software revenue in a previous post. As a result, it turns out that Kofax's software sales for the first six months of its fiscal 2010 (the final six months of calendar 2009), which does not, by the way include maintenance revenue, were more impressive than I gave them credit for, which is good news. Pery indicated that the bump in services revenue was also related to the increased number of large deals Kofax sold in the six-month period, which come with relatively large first-year maintenance agreements. Not to mention that it turns out that a much higher percentage of the 170 Systems' revenue than I originally thought is accounted for as services rather than software....Also, the reason I was talking to Pery was because of Kofax's recent announcement that it had signed on with a new investment bank as its broker. Pery explained that this was primarily a formality relating to the bankruptcy of its previous bank, which was based in Iceland - a country that is having some major bankruptcy issues. I'll have some more details in tomorrow's DIR, but here's a link to an Orange County Business Journal article that does a pretty good job explaining things.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Hyland Buys SaaS Developer for Healthcare Providers

Hyland Software made its second healthcare-related acquisition within the past year. The Cleveland-area based ISV has acquired eWebHealth, which offers a variety of hosted medical records solutions. According to the press release, "eWebHealth delivers workflow solutions by a SaaS model for clinical, administrative and financial environments. It also automates specialty areas such as physician coding, signature completion and compliance. Nearly 100 small and mid-size hospitals and healthcare facilities located across the country are eWebHealth customers."

 So, it's not a huge acquisition, but seems to be incremental to Hyland's business. Remember, Hyland has been focusing on the healthcare marketing a lot longer than most document imaging/ECM vendors, many of whom have come to the table late hoping to take advantage of demand driven by Federal stimulus rewards for electronic medical record implementations. Hyland also has had a viable SaaS offering for several years, an area of its business which reportedly continues to grow rapidly. So, this adds technology and expertise in both those areas and should help Hyland round out its healthcare provider offering even further, and versatility is already one of its differentiating factors in that space.

When the majority of Hyland was acquired a few years back by an investment firm, the company promised to become more acquisitive. Of course, then the economic downturn hit and private equity investors were one of the hardest hit groups. Nonetheless, Hyland has made some smalller, but strategic acquisitions like this one that should keep it on a growth path and help it continue to fill in gaps in the ECM market that are not as well addressed by larger competitors like IBM, EMC, Microsoft, Oracle and Open Text.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Lexmark Heathcare forms tech

This is kind of a cool application that enables healthcare organizations to store forms and reports on the drives in their MFPs in case their healthcare information systems go down. It also can store bar coded cover sheets for patient record capture.

ACS Xerox Launches Mobile Phone Capture Systems

Based on the all the buzz, some of which I've helped generated, having to do with capturing documents on mobile devices, I thought this was an interesting announcement from ACS - now owned by Xerox. It involves a capture system that leverages a mobile phone and some sort of specialized clipboard for capturing document images in the trucking industry. ACS is already a leader in this vertical market, and I believe it already offers solutions driven by both mobile scanners and scanners at truck stops. So, this will be another option. It will be interesting to see how quickly it catches on.

ACS, of course, is a long-time leader in the adoption of imaging technologies as part of its BPO business. I also got a couple of imaging-related news releases from Xerox today, in conjunction with their exhibition at the HIMSS show. It will be interesting to see if some of ACS' imaging expertise cross over to its parent company, which has some imaging technology - but hasn't historically been as cutting edge as ACS.