Friday, January 29, 2010

Industry veteran's take on iTablet

Datacap founder Scott Blau introduced forms processing technology that last time Apple introduced a revolutionary tablet computer. Remember the Newton? This got me thinking about the EMR world, where doctor's are attempting to go paperless to get their share of the stimulus package. EMR applications are often connected to tablet computers.

A had a conversation with Hyland Software's healthcare manager who explained how document imaging can contribute to providers meeting "meaningful use" requirements and earning reimbursement. Basically, her view was that about 30% of medical records like EKG and lab reports, faxes from other offices, etc. comes in on paper and needs to be captured. Thus imaging technology is necessary to ensure full utilization of an EMR system, which contributes to meeting "meaningful use" requirements. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Keys to SaaS success

Had an interesting conversation with Juergen Biffar, co-founder and technical guru at German imaging and DM specialist DocuWare the other day. His company has just committed $1 million Euros, in addition to its regular R&D budget, over two years to development of Web-based technologies. Half of this money is committed to SaaS development, which Biffar views as an important method of delivering software in the future. He is taking the attitude that SaaS competition is going to come from start-ups and other people, like Google even, who are not in the DM industry today.

He said one of DocuWare's board members commented that it has been said that it is impossible for a vendor of traditional software to make the successful transition to SaaS, to which Biffar replied that he plans to be part of the first one. Our discussion led to trying to come up with successful SaaS ventures aside from Salesforce.com. Of course, companies like Digitech and Filebound have had some success in our industry, and we recently talked with a Web-capture ISV, CAPSYS, that said about half its new sales are SaaS-oriented. Anyhow, going over my notes led me to a Google search on "SaaS success stories," which yielded this article detailing one analyst's ideas on why traditional software vendors have trouble succeeding at SaaS and what they need to do. I thought it might prove useful to some of my readers.

Happy trails.
Ralph

Kodak reports strong fourth quarter

That's the whole company at least, which "today reported fourth-quarter 2009 earnings from continuing operations of $430 million, or $1.36 per share, on sales of $2.582 billion." As for Document Imaging, "the
Net sales were flat, as volume declines were offset by favorable price/mix. Business process service volume declined, the effect of which was partially offset by sales stemming from the acquisition of the scanner division of Bowe, Bell & Howell in the third quarter of 2009.

It sounds like the BBH Scanners acquisition led to a greater number of sales of higher-volume scanners - which makes sense based on BBH's scanner line, which really helped Kodak DI in the fourth quarter.

As for the profitability for the whole company, it was driven by patent licensing to phone and camera manufacturers and drive the company's stock up almost 20%.

NSi Increases Distribution with Ricoh

MFP Capture specialist Notable Solutions, Inc. (NSi), has increased its distribution channels with Ricoh. According to Mike Morper, VP of marketing for NSi, Ricoh Americas and Ricoh Canada will now be reselling NSi's AutoStore 5 application. The focus will be secure DoD implementations. "Couple that with our continuing growth with IKON, AutoStore (DocAccel in the IKON world) is garnering a large top-of-mind awareness within the greater Ricoh North American community," said Morper. "A major milestone."

Iron Mountain Subsidiary buys Legal-focused Service Bureau

For its traditional business Iron Mountain has focused mainly on ramping up its document conversion services internally or leveraging partnerships. However, to better address the burgeoning e-discovery market, the paper storage giant's e-discovery subsidiary, Stratify, has acquired a litigation-support focused service bureau Legal Imaging Technologies. LIT, which has partnered with Iron Mountain for several years, is based on Mountain View, CA.

On a related note, Zylab, a search and imaging vendor that now focuses on e-discovery applications, recently published this new whitepaper that says "only about 1% of organizations are prepared for full-scale eDiscovery activities. As a result, the vast majority of organizations facing litigation are forced into a costly reaction mode in order to respond to discovery requests within court-imposed timelines."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Kofax Lands Huge Deal

$6.5 million worth of software and maintenance, as well as presumably installation services to a "global freight transport and services company."

Oce Introduces Digital Mailroom Solution

Oce Business Services, which currently provides physical mailroom services for close to 600 customers, has introduced a digitally-oriented service to compliment this line of business. Oce marketing executive Ted Ardelean described it as an effort to automate an areas of business that has been largely untouched by technology in recent years. Oce's offering is a service, not software, but it does utilize scanners and software. It involves scanning envelopes and scanning pages only when necessary. Aside from the fact that it will be done primarily at customer sites, instead of outsourcing stations, it is similar to the offering of Earth Class Mail. Of course, Oce has a customer base to start with an isn't a start-up, so it will likely be under less pressure to ramp up quickly in what, (despite some 10 years of talk about the Digital Mairloom) is still a relatively nascent market. 

Interestingly, it seems most reviews I've read of Earth Class Mail's services are actually positive, of course, until they apparently more than doubled their pricing, which totally pissed this guy off, to the point where he started a blog to diss ECM He does list a number of alternative mail digitization services. This is starting to seem like a sneaky, good market if you can do it with a reasonable cost structure.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

SharePoint 2010 ECM Capabilities

Came across an interesting article/link to a blog post in today's issue of AIIM's on-line publication Infonomics. It's written by an ECM consultant who (going with an AIIM blog theme) earlier listed eight ECM requirements he wanted to see addressed with SharePoint 2010, and in this post he discusses how Microsoft addressed each of those requirements. His review, based on information he picked up during his attendance at October's Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2009, which I also attended, is fairly favorable about the progress Microsoft is making toward providing ECM functionality. I came away from the event with a similar impression.

Monday, January 25, 2010

New Link to Distributed Capture Blog

Caught up today earlier with Greg Cooke, VP of sales and marketing for browser-based capture specialist CAPSYS, out of Colorado. Although just a two-year-old company, its product has apparently been around for awhile and it has some fairly large installs. The occasion for the meeting was to discuss a partnership with open source document management software development firm Knowledge Tree. As KnoweldgeTree is primarily a Web-based app, the partnership with CAPSYS makes sense and both applications can be deployed in an SaaS environment, which is interesting too. The reason for my post is to let you know that CAPSYS has a blog on Web-based capture that I've linked to from my blog.