Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Scannx Licenses ABBYY SDK

Scannx has signed an agreement to license ABBYY's FineReader SDK. SCANNX is an ISV focused on providing cloud services for scanning and capture. The ABBYY license is for traditional OCR/ICR software that will initially be incorporated in the book scanning software that is going to be bundled with the new Xerox book scanners that are being marketed by Scannx.

From the press release: "We are integrating ABBYY’s technology into our software and bundling it into a self-service book scanning center for library patrons and staff”, said John C. Dexter, president and COO of Scannx. “The book scanning center includes a 15-inch touchscreen computer preloaded with the Scannx and ABBYY software, and a patented book-edge scanner to protect the spine of the book. The scanner’s beveled edge enables students to scan to the edge of the book spine, producing clear and legible text in the center of the book. When the clear image is converted into searchable or editable text by ABBYY’S FineReader technology, the result is unmatched accuracy. Moreover, our implementation for OCR conversion is more than twice as fast as competitive systems.”

Thursday, December 22, 2011

J&B, Regulus Combo Rebranded as TransCentra

In a follow-up of a story we have been covering in our premium newsletter throughout the year, the transaction processing software and services entity made up of the former Regulus and J&B Software businesses, has been rebranded as TransCentra. Regulus, a payment and billing outsourcing specialist, and J&B, a payment and document processing software developer, were each acquired by India-based technology services company 3i InfoTech in 2007-2008. Earlier this year, they were spun off and acquired by an equity investment firm. For the past few months they had still been using the 3i Infotech brand, but that was expected to change, and now it has.

In other re-branding news, AccuSoft Pegasus, the imaging SDK specialist, has re-branded the viewing technology it acquired with Adeptol earlier this year. Featuring zero-footprint capabilities, the technology is now known as Prizm Content Connect. AccuSoft has been using the Prizm brand for viewing technology since it acquired it along with TMSSequoia in 2004.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Presidential Memo Demands Improved Records Management

A recent memo issued by the office of the President of the U.S. has created quite a bit of buzz around the document imaging and records management software markets. The memo basically calls for improved records management within federal government agencies and sets out deadlines of one-month, three months, and six months, for making things happen.

From the "Purpose" section of the memo:  "This memorandum begins an executive branch wide effort to reform records management policies and practices.....  Greater reliance on electronic communication and systems has radically increased the volume and diversity of information that agencies must manage." The second part is certainly a pitch we have heard many ECM vendors make in recent years.

From the "Agency Commitments" section: "Within 120 days of the deadline for reports submitted pursuant to section 2(b) of this memorandum, the Director of OMB and the Archivist, in coordination with the Associate Attorney General, shall issue a Records Management Directive that directs agency heads to take specific steps to reform and improve records management policies and practices within their agency." Sounds like they're serious.

My take: It seems like the federal government is serious about laying out improved RM plans. This would seem to present a great opportunity for software vendors in our market. However, at least from my perspective and understanding of the federal government's financial situation: it would behoove anyone selling into this RM space to come to the table armed with ROIs, because I didn't see anything in the memo about funding.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

HSA Publishes Mobile Capture Software Report

Harvey Spencer Associates (HSA) has published a report detailing what it feels are explosive growth opportunities in the market for document capture software related to mobile computers. We all know that  the number mobile computing apps are growing through the roof - riding the wave of mobile computing hardware sales. Veteran industry analyst Dave Wood has teamed up with HSA to produce "A Study of the Mobile Capture Market in the United States."

The report predicts the market to grow from under a half-million a couple hundred million (I misread the chart, sorry) dollars in 2012 to more than $3 billion in 2018. Wood projects scan-to-cloud apps to be the largest of the eight sub-segments he studies, with segments like field service, transportation, and home healthcare also represented. Wood says that small business, in particular, will benefit from mobile scan-to-cloud technology.

In a report summary, Wood discusses some characteristics he thinks will emerge as part of successful mobile capture apps. We were particularly intrigued by this comment, "Forms conceptualized in this way could, for example, permit different classes of users to interface to the app differently. In Healthcare this might mean old doctors can dictate their notes while young ones use a keypad, or old nurses use a tablet with keyboard and stylus while young ones prefer a smartphone with voice." It seems to stress the versatility required by emerging mobile capture apps - a trait that is also becoming increasingly important in the traditional batch capture market.

Click here for the press release along with contact info on how to receive more info on the report.

Top Image Lands U.S. Invoices Deal

Top Image Systems recently landed an invoice processing deal with CNH America LLC, "a leading manufacturer of agricultural and construction equipment and a majority-owned subsidiary of Fiat Industrial S.p.A." The implementation involves some 1.5 million total invoices, including over a half-million paper documents and more than 1 million EDI transactions. The implementation is being integrated with an SAP system.

According to the press release, TIS' "eFLOW EDI Visualization functionality enables CNH to identify errors in EDIs before they are processed."

This is a significant deal for TIS for a couple reasons:
1. It's a fairly large U.S. deal, and the U.S. has not recently been a very strong market for TIS. That said, Fiat is based in Italy and I believe the home office may even being using TIS technology. I actually remember having a conversation with someone from CNH at the 2010 TAWPI/IAPP Fusion event, and they were considering TIS at the time.
2. The SAP and EDI integration is interesting and builds on what we wrote in our last premium issue about capture software technology being used more and more often to handle electronic documents.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Kofax Acquires BPM ISV

Kofax has finally pulled the trigger on its much anticipated acquisition of a BPM software provider. However, instead of being the SharePoint-focused ISV many of us thought it would be, it as Northern Ireland-based Singularity. Singularity, which does its business primarily in the U.K. reportedly did  $16 million in revenue for its fiscal year ended Sept. 30, with an adjusted EBITA of $1 million.

The reported acquisition price was a maximum of $48.1 million, with $30.3 million being paid up front. In a conference call with analysts, Kofax CEO Reynolds Bish, said his company should end up paying approximately 2.9 times annual revenue for Singularity, which he said compares with the multiples that Open Text paid Metastorm and Global 360 and Lexmark paid for Pallas Athena.

Bish discussed four main drivers behind the acquisition:
1.  the opportunity to extend the offerings of Kofax's global sales force--expanding the geographical markets for Singularity.
2. the natural integration of capture and BPM for automating processes,
3. the lower total cost of ownership for customers working with a single platform for both technologies,
4. and the tight integration that can be achieved going forward.

Basically, as more ECM vendors are getting deeper into capture with their own products, either through acquisitions, development or both, capture ISVs like Kofax are being pushed to expand into ECM - and with BPM, in my opinion, the highest value area in an ECM suite (along with capture of course), it makes perfect sense for Kofax to acquire a BPM player.

There will certainly be some challenges related to integration, not necessarily of technology, but of sales and marketing - but overcoming these challenges should help Kofax continue to grow and be profitable in the future. Much more on this in our upcoming premium issues.

Monday, December 05, 2011

IBML Hires Software Veteran as New CMO

Dan Lucarini, who was most recently senior director of business development of Kofax, has been named to the new position of chief marketing officer for IBML. When I first met Lucarini he was a VP at IMR- which developed the popular Alchemy mid-market imaging software package. Lucarini then left to help start-up an e-discovery company that was eventually acquired by IMR, which was eventually acquired by Captaris. Lurarini left after Captaris was acquired by Open Text before landing with Kofax. He also been a very active member of AIIM over the years and served on the Board of Directors.

He seems like a solid fit at IBML, as the high-end scanner manufacturer continues to evolve its business model to keep up with changes in the market. Said IBML President and CEO Derrick Murphy in a press release, ""Dan’s track record of developing and executing successful product plans and building strong industry alliances will provide key leadership as we expand our product offerings."
.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Kofax Invests in Mobile App Specialist

This morning Kofax announced it had made a $500,000 investment in MobiFlex, which develops the ViziApps set of tools for mobile application development. Kofax has also signed an OEM, whereby, "MobiFlex has granted Kofax the ability to ensure its exclusive global right to this technology for document centric mobile capture applications."

According to the press release, "The OEM agreement provides Kofax with the basic software tools and infrastructure needed to develop, market and deploy mobile capture applications for customers wishing to utilize smartphones and tablet computers as 'point of origination' gateways into their Kofax solutions." Said Kofax CEO Reynolds Bish, " Our customers have expressed a great deal of interest in these capabilities for some time now and we’re excited about being able to meet this demand with the release our first mobile capture software products during the first calendar quarter of 2012.”

ViziApps has apparently been used for both Android and iOS apps.

Coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally), MobiFlex was founded by Michael Kuperstein, who also apparently founded Symbus, and early automated data capture pioneer utilizing OCR in the document imaging industry. Symbus was acquired by Bish's TextWare back in the the mid-1990s - before I even got into this industry. They came together to become FormWare, which eventually became Captiva.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Brainware Lands Big A/P Deal

Intelligent data recognition (IDR) software specialist Brainware has landed another large deal in the accounts payable space. According to a press release that came out today, the Ashburn, VA-based ISV has implemented a system for a Fortune 50 company that is also one of Fortune's "15 Most Admired Companies." You can imagine some of the names on that list. Oh yeah, and the customer has apparently integrated Brainware's software "as part of the largest single instance of SAP in the world."

Pretty heady stuff. According to the press release, "This project was fully operational in less than 100 days of contracting with Brainware for invoice processing automation, and resulted in an immediate redeployment of 80% of the full-time manual data entry personnel previously being used to process this company’s 6 million invoices per year."

Brainware also recently issued a press release in which it stated, "Brainware is pleased that in the last year it has closed 15 transactions that exceed $750,000, of which 10 exceed $1 million."

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ephesoft Announces Large Deal

A couple months ago when we profiled the Ephesoft in our premium newsletter, CEO Don Field had told us that the open source intelligent data capture (IDC) start-up had recently bid-on and won a large deal in which it competed against several leading established capture companies. Not sure if this is the result of that, but, it nonetheless sounds like an impressive deal, involving 450 million pages of mortgage files for a BPO.

Apparently, this BPO is putting a big ephasis on Linux and open source which gave Ephesoft the advantage. From the press release, "The current Ephesoft system uses Linux-based web servers and Windows-based Application Servers," said Ike Kavas, founder and CTO of Ephesoft. "However, they are planning to have a 100% Linux platform to support their business. Since Ephesoft is the only platform today that can deploy an IDC system running on Linux and work with other open source systems such as Ubuntu and RedHat, partnering with Ephesoft was the logical choice. "


Also from the press release, "The solution will process over 450 million pages of mortgage files by automatically classifying and separating a wide variety of document types and then extracting key metadata for further processing. Searchable PDFs will be created in a tabbed format and deposited into their IBM Content Manager ECM."

Friday, November 11, 2011

Canon Singapore Integrates Nuance's Scan-to-Cloud

Nuance has announced that Canon Singapore will be making Nuance's eCopy Scan-To-Cloud technology available as a standard feature on its ImageRunner Advance MFPs. The technology takes advantage of Nuance's OmniPage cloud service to apply OCR to document captured with the MFPs. The documents can currently be captured to three destinations: Evernonte, GoogleDocs, and/or SalesForce.com. The application interface is embedded in the touchscreen of the MFP.

According to a Nuance spokesperson, "Canon Singapore is the first MFP distribution entity to offer access to the eCopy Scan-to-Cloud service, and the only one at the moment. Nuance is making this service available to other distribution partners, and they expect that additional partners will begin to offer eCopy Scan-to-Cloud over the coming year."

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Crowley Acquires Wicks and Wilson

Imaging specialist Crowley Company has helped consolidate the microfilm scanning market with the acquisition of Wicks and Wilson. Crowley, which is based in Frederick, MD, got into the microfilm scanner manufacturing business with its 2003 acquisition of industry pioneer Meckel. As a result ,Crowley and U.K.-based Wicks and Wilson have been competitors for several years in the market for devices for digitizing microfilm, nmicrofiche, and aperture cards.

"This purchase will allow us to broaden our microform offering, strengthen our international presence and ensure that we continue to be at the forefront of microform capture technology," state Chris Crowley, president of Crowley Company, in a press release.

Crowley plans to maintain and the Wicks and Wilson brand. In addition to selling hardware, Crowley operates a service bureau that specializes in document archiving projects. "Having offices on two continents will allow us to take the next step in our expansion of services and technical support by allowing us to create production efficiencies and to solidify an international network of partners," added Chris Crowley.

Top Image Turns in Solid Numbers

Well, in the wake of Kofax's recent quarterly earnings report, we've been eagerly awaiting Top Image Systems (TIS) third-quarter results, which were released today. That's because TIS sells primarily in Eurpoe, which is where Kofax cited weakness that caused its quarterly numbers to fall short. Granted, TIS is probably one-ninth the size of Kofax, but still, its strong third-quarter number indicate TIS is not seeing any weakness in EMEA.

For the quarter, TIS reported a 32% increase in revenue compared to the previous year's Q3 and a 64% increase in operating income. This is pretty much in-line with the increases TIS reported in the first two quarters of the year. TIS CEO Ido Schechter gave no indication that the EMEA market was weakening and increased 2011 revenue guidance from $26 million - $27 million to $27.5 - $28.5 million. “This quarter we saw continued progress in our new growth geographies such as the UK and Asia Pacific, in addition to our traditional stronghold in Europe," said Schechter in a press release announcing the results.

So, there is certainly debate as to whether there is any significant weakness in Europe, especially to the level where it would force Kofax to lay off 60 people. There are certainly a number of people who view the weakness as a Kofax problem moreso than a market problem.

Michael Ziegler, a former managing director of Kofax EMEA who is currently working as a consultant and has co-founded the Docville group, acknowledged that whereas there may be some weakness in southern Europe due to macroeconomic conditions, the rest of the European market, including Turkey, seems very strong to him for document capture technologies. Ziegler blames Kofax's mismanagement of its formidable European channel for the company's current weakness in EMEA and said that ISVs like TIS and others have had success recently in recruiting Kofax resellers.

We'll have more on this discussion in our upcoming premium issue.

Adobe crashes Flash for Mobile

According to this article from Wired magazine, Adobe will stop development its Flash Player plug-in for mobile browsers, fulfilling a prediction made by the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs.  Apparently Adobe sent a letter to its partners yesterday telling them it will cease development of its Flash platform for mobile browsers. According to the Wired article, the e-mail says, "Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores."

According to the article, "The move indicates a massive backpedaling on Adobe’s part, a company who championed its Flash platform in the face of years of naysaying about its use on mobile devices. Despite Flash’s near ubiquity across desktop PCs, many in the greater computing industry, including, famously, Apple Computer, have denounced the platform as fundamentally unstable on mobile browsers, and an intense battery drain. In effect, Flash’s drawbacks outweigh the benefits on mobile devices."

Apple, of course, has refused to support Flash in its iOS for mobile devices, which created a chink in the armor of the previously ubiquitous multi-media technology. Personally, I have not had much luck utilizing Flash plug-ins on my Android device either.

So, why is this relevant to our market? It's probably worth noting again that Adeptol, the ISV recently acquired by AccuSoft Pegasus, originally developed its viewer on a Flash platform. Adeptol has recently expanded to embrace the HTML 5 platform, which also seems to be part of Adobe's strategy.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Weak EMEA Market Hurts Kofax

Kofax announced its fiscal 2012 Q1 results early this morning, and they were not particularly strong, with weakness in EMEA being blamed as the main culprit. For the three months ended Sept. 30, Kofax total revenues were $58.5 million, which represented 7% growth over 2011 Q1 revenue of $54.4 million. However, in terms of "organic constant currency" - which we assume means accounting for currency fluctuations and acquisitions, Kofax reported only 1% growth.

The growth was driven primarily by increased revenue from maintenance contracts, which was up 18%, while software license sales were down 4% - including a 7% drop in applications software licenses, which was offset slightly by a 7% increase in revenue from OEM/POS software license sales (which includes VRS and Kofax Express.)

"The first quarter of fiscal year 2012 yielded mixed results," said Kofax CEO Reynolds Bish in a press release. "Software license revenues in the Americas and Asia Pacific regions as well as our OEM / POS business, and maintenance and professional services revenues grew in line with our September 2011 expectations. The EMEA region conversely experienced a decline in software license revenues."


The current financial turmoil in Europe is no secret, and Kofax is taking steps to account for continued potential weakness in this geography.  “We are concerned about the continuing uncertainty and deteriorating economic environment throughout much of EMEA and the potential effect this may have on other markets, and we expect these challenges to continue or worsen until more confidence and stability return on a global basis," Bish said. "While our pipeline of opportunities continues to grow and management and the Board remain confident in our business, we are nonetheless lowering our expectations for fiscal year 2012 to low single-digit total revenue growth in U.S. dollars on a constant currency basis. However, in order to maintain the absolute EBITA reported in fiscal year 2011 during fiscal year 2012, we are restructuring our EMEA sales organization and also reducing operating expenses in other functions to a lower level while preserving our new product development initiatives and a strong balance sheet.”


Sounds like a plan.

Kofax competitor ReadSoft recently reported its third-quarter results  (same time period) as well. For the quarter, ReadSoft reported a 24% growth in software license sales in terms of local currencies and 15% growth in overall revenue. This was led by exceptionally strong numbers in its "U.S. and rest of the world" revenue (includes Australia, Brazil, and Malaysia), which showed 31% growth. Nordic markets and Benelux were also reported as strong for ReadSoft, which indicates, ReadSoft must have seen some weakness in the Germanic and other EMEA markets as well.

While Readsoft reported Nordic region growth of 10-15%, its sales "other European markets" was essentially flat.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Databank Acquires ECM Software VAR

Databank IMX, which is best know throughout our industry as a conversion services specialist, recently expanded on its solutions strategy with the acquisition of Information Access Systems, (that's a link to the investor's press release, here's the Databank release) a Florida based reseller of Hyland OnBase Solutions. The acquisition complements Databank's current software practice, which also includes Hyland software.

The acquisition was Databank's first since securing investment from Svoboda Capital Partners, which has brought on Fred Zaeske as the new CEO. I recently caught up with Fred and will have a more complete story on the acquisition and Databank's strategy in an upcoming premium issue of the Document Imaging Report. Databank's top brass, as well as the management from Information Access Systems all seem to be onboard as the company moves forward.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

AccuSoft Pegasus Acquires Viewing ISV

Not sure how we missed this when it was announced, but Tampa-based imaging tools develop AccuSoft Pegasus has acquired Adeptol, which specializes in browser-based viewing technology. Adeptol,which is based in Santa Clara, CA, has some intriguing technology. It was being offered as an alternative to traditional viewing tools. Adeptol advertised its viewer's ability to work with more than 300 file types, and there was also a SaaS version available. See the feature starting on page 3 of our 2/5/10 edition.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lexmark Announces Third-Quarter Results for Perceptive

For the quarter Perceptive saw 15% year-over-year growth to reach $23 million in sales. This was, however, "sightly below expectations," said Lexmark EVP and CFO John Gamble, on a conference call today discussing Lexmark's third-quarter results. (Here's s the transcript.)  Apparently, Perceptive's revenue did grow fast enough to completely offset Lexmark's increasing investments in the Perceptive business. This contributed to a non-GAAP operating loss of $3 million for Perceptive for the quarter.

"We are investing in Perceptive to drive expansion of international sales, accelerate the development roadmap and increase the industry solutions Perceptive offers to both Perceptive and Lexmark customers, including MPS customers," said Gamble. "To achieve this, we have increased both development and marketing and sales expense of head of revenue growth."

That said, Lexmark has hardly soured on the Perceptive acquisition. "We remain pleased with Perceptive's progress overall and believe the capabilities we are adding drive not only growth in Perceptive but also in our imaging business," said Gamble.

Those capabilities include the addition of the products of Dutch ISV Pallas Athena to the Perceptive portfolio, in a $50 million acquisition that was announced last week. Lexmark described Pallas Athena as "a leading provider of BPM, DOM (document output management) and process mining software."

According to Lexmark CEO Paul Rook on the conference call, "The combination of Lexmark and Perceptive and now Pallas Athena, creates a unique capability in a market that further strengthens and differentiates Lexmark's core industry focused workflow solutions and managed print services proposition to our customers. It expands our market for revenue growth and now provides cross-selling opportunities between imaging products, fleet management, content management, business process management and document output management solutions."

FCPA, ISV Parter to Standardize Integration of Images with EMR

Enterprise content management (ECM) technology has always advertised the ability to manage unstructured information. It turns out that "Clinicians in the U.S. create more than a billion clinical notes each year. More than 60% of the full patient narrative resides in these unstructured documents and outside of discreet data elements within an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) database. These notes are often used as the primary source of information for reimbursement and proof of service."

This is according to a recent press release issued by Fujitsu Computer Products of America (FCPA) announcing its partnership with Osmosyz, which seems to be a capture and workflow integrator specializing in EMR. FCPA has integrated its network scanner with Osmosyz's ChartMD software to create image files that meet the "Unstructured Document" standard "based on the HL7 Clinical Document Architecture (CDA)." The standard is being promoted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Health Story Project, a collaborative of healthcare vendors, providers and associations.

"Today, based upon the unstructured document standard, Fujitsu is launching the first and only solution of its kind designed to support Meaningful Use Stage 1 requirements and meet anticipated requirements for Stage 2, as defined in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act....The Inofile interface on the Fujitsu network scanners allow hospitals and clinics to scan a batch of documents, perform a quality assurance check of the documents on the touch screen, index the documents with a few simple keystrokes, and upload the documents to a content repository or EHR without having to be tied to a workstation."

Also from the press release, "“Fujitsu and Osmosyz worked hard through Health Story to create a standard for managing unstructured documents within health information systems, and we couldn’t be happier about the current traction the standard is getting and the forth-coming recognition by the federal government for Meaningful Use,” said Victor Kan, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Fujitsu Computer Products of America, Inc. “The Fujitsu network scanners with Inofile are the first and only solution available today that use standards-based capture to create smart documents that can be easily integrated into any EMR system and support national goals for healthcare information exchange.”




Monday, October 24, 2011

Fujitsu Releases Wireless Scan-to-Mobile App

Fujitsu has announced some new destinations are available for its ScanSnap line of mobile and SOHO scanners. Fujitsu has also introduced an iPad and iPhone app for the ScanSnap. The ScanSnap Manager driver now has the ability to connect with Salesforce Chatter and SugarSync, in addition to GoogleDocs and Evernote, which is was able to connect with previously. In addition the new iPhone and iPad apps enable users to transfer images wirelessly from the device driving the ScanSnap (a PC or laptop) to mobile computers.

Reveille Ugrades Support for IBM FileNet

Reveille Software, which we featured in our Oct. 7 premium issue, has announed a new version of its monitoring software of IBM FileNet. According to the press release, "The new Reveille Management Console for IBM FileNet is a packaged software solution that can proactively monitor IBM FileNet components, application processes, actual end-user transaction response times, and core metrics to ensure a comprehensive view into the health of a business-critical application. The solution also identifies problem conditions, sends multi-level notifications, and performs automated diagnostics and repairs."

Our feature on Reveille focused on how advanced monitoring software can significantly improve customer sastisfaction for ECM and high-volume capture applications.

Friday, October 21, 2011

ReadSoft Signs Deal with IBM Partner

ReadSoft has announced that its accounts payable solution for SAP is "being jointly marketed and delivered to IBM customers in conjunction with PreferredPartner, an IBM Premier Business Partner specializing in IBM software solutions and IT services." Based just north of Indianapolis, IN, PreferredPartner, specializes in delivering IBM solutions around IBM's Information Management (which includes content management), Tivoli, Lotus, Websphere, and Rational product lines.

From the press release, "We have won major deals with large IBM customers lately, which demonstrate the strength and success of our partnership with IBM to date," says Peter H√∂rwing, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for ReadSoft. "With this agreement, we will reach even more IBM customers who can benefit from ReadSoft’s SAP-based accounts payable solutions together with IBM’s Smart Archiving Strategy."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

NSi Lands $3.5 Million Deal

Notable Solutions Inc. (NSi) has landed a $3.5 million deal with the Department of Defense (DoD) for document capture software releated to the DoD's Healthcare Artifact Image Management System (HAIMS). HAIMS is basically an electronic medical records applications designed to be utilized worldwide by military healthcare providers as well as the Veterans Administration.

NSi, an Rockville, MD-based ISV, which specializes in MFP capture, is being included in the second phase of HAIMS implementation, which will involve rolling out document scanning capabilities to some 6,000 users worldwide. The software could eventually be rolled out to 60,000 users worldwide, which would mean additional revenue for NSi.

The software deal was secured by a government contractor who was working with NSi. More on this story in our upcoming premium edition of DIR.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Visioneer Announces Wireless Scanner

Ask and you shall receive might be the new motto of our blog. A week ago we wrote the following in our "Wireless Scanners on the Way" post: "My vision would be a wireless scanner or MFP that could scan an image to your smartphone or tablet, where you could preview it and then upload it to your ECM system."

Visioneer seems to have answered the call with its new Mobility Air Scanner. The Air is basically a new rev of the original Mobility which we featured earlier this year. But, while the original Mobility was only "compatible" with the Eye-Fi memory card, the new device is integrated with the Eye-Fi and ships with it, all of the same list price of $199. Not bad, considering the Eye-Fi 4 GB card, which ships with the Air lists for like $50.

Basically the Eye-Fi contains a wireless radio that enables it to transfer images from the Mobility Air onto computing devices with wireless radios like laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Its integration with the Mobility Air enables it to automatically perform this task with document images. It can also transfer the images to cloud sites like Evernote.

So, basically, you capture a document image with the Mobility Air, and it automatically shows up on your mobile computer or cloud app, without you ever have to attach a cord to anything.

More on this in our next premium issue.

Lexmark Acquires BPM ISV

Lexmark has paid $50.2 million to acquire Dutch BPM ISV Pallas Athena. According to the press release, "Upon completion of the transaction, the Dutch company will become a part of Perceptive Software, a stand-alone business unit within Lexmark." Perceptive is the document imaging-focused ISV that Lexmark acquired a year-and-a-half ago for $280 million.

So far, Lexmark's strategy for Perceptive has included leveraging its worldwide footprint to aggressively expand Perceptive's international footprint. A similar strategy could be utilized for Pallas Athena, which is headquartered in Apeldoorn, Netherlands and has regional offices in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Belgium and the Caribbean . I am not really familiar with the company.

According to the press release, "Pallas Athena is a leading provider of BPM, DOM (document output management) and process mining software, with significant industry experience in the insurance, government and life sciences segments. Pallas Athena's software products enable a broad range of BPM capabilities, which includes dynamic case management and customer communications management."

So, the dynamic case management stuff would seem to be right up Perceptive's alley, but the DOM and customer communications - well, that's getting into output. Historically, Perceptive has not necessarily been a player in the output world, but it's certainly not unprecedented to attempt to make the crossover. EMC Documentum, for example, did with its Document Sciences acquisition. And being part of Lexmark, well, print output is, of course, just as important as scanning (and probably moreso) on MFPs.

Lexmark says it will have no further comment until it announces its financial results for the third quarter. "Lexmark plans to announce third quarter 2011 earnings on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011. A conference call is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. EDT on that day, and can be accessed from Lexmark's investor relations website at http://investor.lexmark.com."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

EMC White Paper on ECM in Post PC Era

If you read DIR or have seen me speak, you know that I'm intrigued by the growing adoption of mobile computing technology - beyond laptops, and trying to determine how it is going to affect the document imaging market going forward. It seems EMC has published a white paper that touches on this topic, entitled "Redefining Enterprise Content Management in the Post-PC Era." I haven't read the publication yet, but it promises to touch on
  • The new model - what it is and how you can use it to your advantage
  • The technologies that you'll need - including case processing and information governance
  • The opportunities created by the new information landscape that will help you guarantee security, automate compliance, and streamline infrastructure
  • The benefits of a redefined ECM system—such as better decision-making, more responsive customer service, and reduced operating and capital expenditures

 You can download a copy at https://emcinformation.com/29002/REG/.ashx?reg_src=SA. I think I will. 

 


 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Canon USA Solutions Subsidiary Announces Oracle SOA Workflow Platform

Canon Information and Imaging Solutions (CIIS) recently announced an SOA-based imaging and workflow platform desigend to connect ERP, CRM and ECM systems. CIIS is a services and solutions focused wholly owned subsidiary of Canon USA that was launched earlier this year. The new solution will be built on Oracle's SOA platform.

From the press release, "Designed by Canon IT Solutions Inc. of Japan, the new platform was developed as part of the global alliance between Canon and Oracle announced on September 26, 2011, leveraging Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle software products including Oracle Database, Oracle WebLogic Server and Oracle SOA Suite with Canon’s globally recognized imaging technologies."

Target date for release is second quarter of 2012.

PFU Invests in ABBYY

PFU Limited has reportedly invested about $100 million in ABBYY. PFU is a Fujitsu subsidiary which manufactures the scanners sold by Fujitsu subsidiaries worldwide, including FCPA. ABBYY is a developer of recognition technology including OCR/ICR and IDR used in document imaging applications.

This continues a trend of document imaging hardware vendors investing in software ISVs over the past few years. Of course, HP's acquisition of Autonomy, is the most recent example, with Lexmark acquiring Perceptive in 2010. PFU has also invested heavily in KnowledgeLake.

The investment reportedly values ABBYY's business at around $2 billion as it supposed to be for about a 5% stake. Not sure, what ABBYY's annual revenue is, but as Harvey Spencer values the worldwide document capture market at somewhere south of $2.5 billion, with ABBYY holding less than a 10% share of that...well PFU seems to have paid a pretty good premium for its investment, which is certainly in-line with what we've been seeing by hardware vendors looking to diversity into sofware.

Wireless Scanners on the Way

Xerox recently announced its first wireless MFP. This reminded me of a couple conversations I had recently regarding the potential of wirelss document scanners being introduced onto the market. My vision would be a wireless scanner or MFP that could scan an image to your smartphone or tablet, where you could preview it and then upload it to your ECM system.

Monday, October 10, 2011

DocVille Roundtable Event Set for Nov. 17

Michael Ziegler's Docville.net networking organization is planning its second conference on Nov. 17 in Brussels at Thon Hotel Bristol Stephanie. Ziegler has organized eight roundtable discussions for the event, which focuses on interactive conversation amongst those attending - rather than PowerPoint presentations. Attendees sign up for the sessions which are most interesting to them and there will a subject matter expert acting as a moderator at each session.

The roundtable topics have been "crowd sourced" by Docville, so they are relevent to prospective attendees. They are

•From Sourcing to Pay - an extended Business Value Chain


•Gaining a Foothold in Turkey & in countries of the Middle East

•BPM meets SMB: Trends & Challenges

•SharePoint in the eyes of ECM vendors & System Integrators– the decade long transformation from a friend to an enemy and back again

•Deployment of Next Generation Classification software

•Document Capture - The Most promising Vertical Markets in Europe

•Document Service & Scan Service BPOs- What is the best strategy for survival?

•Cloud Services – How can Channel Partners benefit, work together and charge for cloud computing services?

•Is SAP outsourcing its ECM capability

Click here for more details on the sessions.

Ziegler expects between 60-80 attendees. The event is targeted at those in the document imaging and management market that wish to do business in multiple European countries and overcome the challenges of working across borders.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Brainware and KnowledgeLake get together

Document imaging for SharePoint specialist KnowledgeLake has added Brainware as a partner. KnowledgeLake offers document capture and image management for SharePoint, but does not have any ADR - advanced document recognition technology, which Brainware offers. From Brainware's standpoint, the deal makes sense for Brainware as it attempts to increase its footprint in the Microsoft market. Earlier this year, Brainware announced it was making its ADR software available on Windows Azure.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Laserfice Resolves Trademark Suit vs. SAP

From the Laserfiche ACE (analystis, consultants and experts) blog:
"Laserfiche is pleased to announce that its litigation against SAP America, Inc., SAP AG and SAP Global Marketing over SAP’s use of the company’s Run Smarter® trademark has been resolved. The lawsuit was filed by Laserfiche in the United States District Court in Los Angeles on October 25, 2010 and was scheduled to go to trial this week.

"The terms of the settlement are confidential, but Compulink can disclose that the Parties settled the Action amicably and that the settlement involved a license of Compulink’s trademark for 'Run Smarter.'
Laserfiche’s complaint against SAP contended that SAP’s unauthorized, unlicensed use of “Run Smarter” infringed upon Laserfiche’s registered Run Smarter® trademark. Laserfiche owns United States Trademark and Service Mark Registration No. 3,085,357 for Run Smarter® and is also the owner of registrations for “Run Smarter” in other countries.

The federally registered Run Smarter® trademark has been the centerpiece of Laserfiche marketing campaigns since 2004. It is a strong trademark and service mark and a valuable asset of Laserfiche.

Here's an example of SAP using "Run Smarter."

Of course, they also seem to be using a "Run Better" campaign as well.

Here's Laserfiche announcing its "Run Smarter" awards.

Kofax Reaffirms Microsoft Focus

At the AIIM show in April, we caught up with a Kofax exec who told us the document capture ISV had some 200 implementations of users scanning into SharePoint repositories. This included British Waterways, which was touting savings of some $17 million credited to a SharePoint ECM implementation that included Kofax and some other third-party software products.

At Harvey Spencer's recent Capture Conference , we touted two reasons we believe it makes sense for indepentent capture vendors to get on board the Microsoft SharePoint train:
  1. While other ECM players increase their capture technology, Microsoft will never get into capture
  2.  SharePoint Continues to Grow in Importance as Windows desktop faces marginalization from mobile device
Kofax is exhibiting at the current Microsoft SharePoint Conference and issued this release today, touting itself as a leader in capturing to SharePoint environments. All signs point to Kofax contiuing to focus on image-enabling SharePoint environments and we look for more news on this front in the near future.

Friday, September 30, 2011

ABBYY Signs Reseller Agreement with Xerox

Xerox will now be selling ABBYY's Flexicapture document and data capture and Recognition Server OCR and PDF software, in connection with its DocuShare Web-based document management platform. Introduced as primarily an electronic document repository at least 10 years ago, Xerox has introduced records management and workflow features in recent years. With the ABBYY software Xerox is adding intelligent data capture and server-based OCR to the mix.

Xerox represents ABBYY's largest reseller partner. More on this in an upcoming premium issue of DIR.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Vertical Specialization Increasing

The sign of a maturing market is when you take proven technologies, such as document imaging and OCR and start to package them into soluitons. Invoice processing for accounts payable has been one of the big ones in our industry over the past few years. Recently we saw two announcements about imaging vendors moving more deeply into vertical solutions.

One is from Konica-Minotla, which has announced "customized electronic document management suites developed in conjunction with Prism Software to address workflow demands across key vertical markets." These include legal, education (both secondary and higher), healthcare, and legal.

The suites seem to be a combination e-forms/document mangement system. "The suite is powered by a robust document and forms management system that improves workflow efficiency by eliminating paper- based forms, while providing a low-cost document management solution for office environments of all sizes."

Recognition technology specialist Orbograph has acquired Correct Claims Now (CCN), a Dallas-based company, "that provides services in the field of Healthcare Revenue Cycle Management (RCM)." Basically the acquisition seems to enable Orbograph's recognition technology to the RCM processes that CCN specializes in. These include claims and EOB processing.

From the press release, "“Orbograph has extensive field experience and strong operational capabilities in deploying effective recognition-centric automation solutions for mission-critical financial environments. CCN provides deep expertise and know-how in healthcare payments processing”, said Barry Cohen, General Manager at Orbograph. “By joining forces, we can achieve an unprecedented level of revenue cycle efficiency that will provide critical advantages for providers including: lowering the cost of collecting and posting a payment, reducing aging of receivables, and increasing reimbursement amounts.”

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Perceptive Discusses Content in Context

This week I came acorss this article on Fierce Content Management by Perceptive Software CTO Darren Knipp discussing how important it is for ECM vendors to embrace and control the context of conent. Knipp makes the point,  "Personas, processes, application integration and content types describe the context that we as ECM professionals need to design into our solutions in order for real value to be derived."

This reminded me of an article I wrote based on an interview with Perceptive VP of marketing Glenn Cross a couple months ago. Cross also discussed the importance of content in context and stressed that that is how Percpetive is going to differentiate itself from the big ECM ISVs like Microsoft, IBM, EMC, and Oracle going forward. "“Perceptive understands how people use content and the processes they use it in. Our software operates between content repositories and applications in areas like ERP, HR, and marketing. We serve up content, and try to anticipate what content is needed in processes related to those applications.”

It's good to see that Perceptive's CTO and VP of marketing are on the same page.



Monday, September 26, 2011

Autonomy-HP Deal Still on

At least according to this report, because it's an all-cash deal, it doesn't require shareholder approval. Says Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi, who is quoted in the link:  “While disastrous quarterly earnings from Autonomy in November could open the door for HP to claim a [material adverse change], we see the likelihood of successfully doing so – even under such as a scenario – as remote."

This article explains some of the confusion that Autonomy founder CEO Mike Lynch is facing. I'm not sure how to feel for Lynch in this scenario. If he owns 8% of the business as reported, he's getting something like $800 in cash in the buyout, but Meg Whitman running Autonomy - I'm not sure that's what he had in mind. Ousted CEO Leo Apotheker was a software guy at least, and clearly had some serious investment in making the Autonomy acquisition work. Whitman's only software credentials appear to me a mostly disastrous acquisition of Skype while at eBay.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Kofax , Top Image Land Large Census Contracts

Kofax landed theirs with the Indonesian Bureau of Statistics. It's a $1.9 million deal that includes Kofax Capture, VRS, and the KTM data capture modules. According to the press release, the implementation will be used to "process approximately 700 million documents used for statistical data collection from over 460 cities each year in the world’s fourth most populous country." (I didn't realize Indonesia had that large of a population. Jakarta, the capital, has almost 10 million people.) Also, to "scan and capture data from surveys, census forms and other statistics related documents and then export the images and data to an SAP system to be used as a repository and for access by employees."

TIS, which has worked on multiple census projects throughout the world over the past 10 years, recently landed the German Census. TIS' "eFLOW platform will be used  to digitally capture and process approximately 180 million questionnaire pages by seven statistical offices." Census projects that TIS has completed include Argentina 2011, Belarus 2010, Brazil 2000, Cyprus 2002, Czech Republic 2011, Hong Kong  2001 and 2006, India 2002 and 2011, Ireland 2002, 2006, and 2011, Italy 2002, Kenya 2000, Romania 2011, Scotland 2011, Slovak Republic 2001 and 2011, Slovenia 2006, South Africa 2001, South Africa  2007 and 2011, Thailand 2010, Turkey 1997 and 2000, and Vietnam 2009.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dicom to distribute KnowledgeLake in EMEA

European-based value-added distributor Dicom has announced it will act as KnowledgeLake's distribution arm for the Europe, Middle East, and Africa territory. KnowldgeLake is a St. Louis-based ISV that has emerged as a market leader for adding document imaging to SharePoint deployments. KnowledgeLake has more than 1,500 customers using its software, but almost all of those are in North America. Dicom, the hardware distributor that spun off from Kofax earlier this year, adds KnowledgeLake to a growing portfolio of software products that also include Kofax Express, Kodak Capture Pro, and most recently,CaptureBites.

More on this in this week's premium edition.

The deal was announced at DMS, which is being held this week in Germany.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Laserfiche Offers to Trade-In Program

In the wake of HP's announcement that is acquirinig Autonomy, which owns the Interwoven and iManage document management software code and install base, Laserfiche has announced "a trade-in program designed to help customers of acquired enterprise content management (ECM) vendors easily and cost-effectively upgrade to a full-featured—and fully supported—Laserfiche ECM system."

Accoridng to a press release, "Laserfiche’s trade-in program allows new customers to receive credit for the value of their existing ECM systems when converting from a competitor’s product to Laserfiche." Not sure who is coming up with that "existing value," but it's a great idea by Laserfiche. It kind of sounds like the "Cash for Clunkers" Laserfiche was promoting a couple years ago in conjunction with the federal government's buying of old, gas-guzzling cars.

We've seen ISVs take a similar approach with VARs and offer to give their customers software for free if they can just switch their base over to the new vendor's maintenance program - and then also sign on for new software sales. We understand there is some of this going on in the capture market right now in fact.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Scan-to-Malware?

This isn't too cool: "E-mails claiming to come from a Xerox WorkCentre Pro photocopier have been spammed widely across the internet, containing a malicious file as an attachment."

Presumably, this is another reason you buy the third-party capture software rather than going with the bundled scanning app.




Copanion Acquired

Remember these guys? They basically leveraged the Tesseract OCR technology and some internal software development to create a SaaS for capturing images and data of/from forms related to tax returns. Companion is focused on the professional returns market, and we estimated it did about $3 million in business during the 2010 tax season (2009 returns.) Here's a story we did on Companion last year after meeting CEO Ed Jennings at Harvey Spencer's annual Capture Conference.

Jennings was targeting something like $10 million in annual revenue for this year's tax season. We're not sure how they made out, but we did find that the company was recently sold to Drake Software - "a leading tax preparation software vendor." Strategically, the deal makes a lot of sense.

According to the press release, the "aacquisition accelerates Drake's calculated move into the SaaS space." "GruntWorx [Copanion's product brand] allows us to rapidly expand our offerings into the cutting-edge document automation technology arena. This enables us to provide tax professionals with a true end-to-end paperless tax solution and deliver extremely high accuracy rates," said John Sapp, Vice President of Strategic Development at Drake Software.

"Cutting-edge document automation technology arena," -- Like that description.

Aapparently Drake is privately held, so we couldn't find any info about how much it paid for Copanion, but we reported last year that Copanion had raised at least $16 million in venture financing, including a $10.2 million round that closed just two years ago. So, we're guessing Drake paid at least $25 million. (Does anyone have any insights into a typical multiple paid for a company just two years after taking on such a large round of financing?) If that's the case, if certainly proves out the value of a vertical focus.



Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kofax Signs $2.6 million Check Capture Deal

With the Brazilian subsidiary of one of its global banking customers.

From today's press release: "The Brazilian subsidiary will implement Kofax Capture, Kofax Transformation Modules and Kofax Monitor to automate and accelerate the processing of approximately 240 million checks it receives annually. The Kofax software will enable the customer to perform digital check scanning at the branch level, thereby removing the need to physically ship paper checks from branches to a central location for processing. Following the truncation process, the check images and data will be routed to the bank’s proprietary financial processing application."

Didn't know they were in that business, but it seems like a great deal for Kofax.

Also thought the news earlier this week was interesting that Kofax, "has entered into a new, three year $40 million revolving line of credit facility with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The credit facility replaces the company’s prior $16 million facility with another bank." It's no secret that in the wake of the sale of its hardware distribution business, Kofax has been interested in using it close to $100 million in the bank to make an acquisition.  You would think the new line of credit would further facilitate such a move. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Document Boss on HP Acquisition of Autonomy

Thought they did a fairly good job on this:

Few highlights from it:

Price: "$10.3B, (HP's) largest technology acquisition to date. This reflects premium valuations of 8.3 x Revenue; 16.5x of EBITDA, and 26.8x of P/E, all based upon 2012 consensus estimates for Autonomy results. As a public company, this reflects an approximate 60% premium over today’s share price and, in excess of a 50% premium, over average share price in 2011."


Key Effects:
 
Valuations will continue to hold and increase in the (ECM) sector. Larger companies will continue to pay enhanced multiples for companies they truly desire. This fact will be positive for all sector companies as they pursue exit strategies."


"While consolidation persists, the sector will continue to expand! In every major deal, key people will leave. In many cases, they will eventually start new companies aimed at solving highly specific business problems. We see this trend continuing; perhaps a new “replace Autonomy” market will emerge."

Don't mean to plagerize, but I think they did a great job discussing some of the stuff related to this partifular move.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

AnyDoc and Image Integration Systems Advance Partnership

Document capture specialist AnyDoc has announced announced a partnership with Image Integration Systems (IIS). IIS is a document imaging and workflow specialist that has traditionally focused on image-enabling J.D. Edwards environments and recently picked up some venture funding to help it expand into the Oracle market.

According to the press release, "To complement this solution, IIS leverages the advanced data capture of AnyDoc®INVOICE™ as the intelligent “on ramp” to integrated AP automation."

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Dilbert on Mobile Computer

Check out today's, Aug. 3, Dilbert. Reminds me of a lot of the conversations I've been having recently about mobile computers.

TIS Posts Strong Half -Year

With Kofax apparently struggling a bit in the second quarter, Top Image Systems, a competitor of theirs in the capture market (albeit a much smaller organization, but clearly focused on the same space) delivered exceptionally strong second-quarter and half-year numbers this morning. TIS reported six-month 2011 revenue of $14.2 million - representing close to 40% growth over the previous year. TIS also reported income of close to $2 million, more than double its total from the 2010 first half.

TIS CEO Ido Schecther commented (in the press release), "We continued to successfully implement our growth strategy by focusing on our banking platform and digital mailroom solutions along with our channel partner program. Significant projects awarded this quarter included a partnership with Konica Minolta Spain, the recently announced selection of Digital Mailroom by leading UK financial outsourcing firm HML, and a joint win with Williams Lea at a major German bank.


"This quarter we saw progress in new growth geographies such as the US, UK and Asia Pacific, in addition to our traditional stronghold in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The debenture activity that the Company recently executed was another step in the Company’s program to reduce its debt. As a result, we are maintaining our guidance for revenue of 20% - 25% and, considering efficiencies in our operations, are increasing our guidance for profitability from our prior range of 17% - 23% to 40% - 60% for the year.”

Friday, July 29, 2011

Kodak Capture Pro Integrated with Contex Scannners

Contex, a leading vendor of wide-format scanners, and Kodak recently announced an extension of their partnership through which Kodak Capture Pro can now be used with Contex scanners. Back at AIIM 2011, Contex announced it had licensed ISIS drivers from Pixel, which have made this new integration possible. We'll have more on this in our upcoming premium issue, but we thought this quote (included in the press release) by Howard Gross, President of  service bureau E-BizDocs appropriately sums up the strategy behind this agreement.

"Prior to this solution, the scanning of large format documents was detached and separate from our workflow," said Gross. "The integration between Kodak and Contex makes it easy to combine documents into a single file, and route them to specific locations. Since implementing the technologies, we have vastly improved our workflow efficiency."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kofax Stock Gets Slammed

Not exactly sure why this happened but Kofax's stock value dropped 17% today and closed at its lowest level in almost 6 months. I'm sure it was related to the release issued today by Kofax that stated, "The Company ended the fiscal year with record total software business revenues in the range of $244 to $246 million, which is in line with financial analysts’ consensus estimate but below Kofax’s 14 percent organic, constant currency revenue growth target. Noting that the Company’s revenue growth exceeded the capture market growth in 2011, Kofax attributes this shortfall to slower sales cycles caused by continuing uncertainty in the global macroeconomic environment."

Kofax's software business revenue for fiscal 2010 was $215.8 million, and my calculations show that to reflect pretty close to 14% growth for fiscal 2011 (ending June 30, 2011.) However, I guess a few months of 170 Systems revenue would not be reflected in the fiscal 2010 revenue (it was acquired in September 2009), so that's what I'm figuring accounts for the "organic" shortfall," but it stills seems as if there has been a bit of an overreaction. Looks like a couple blocks of 100,000 shares each were sold.

Kofax "will announce its preliminary unaudited results for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011 on Monday, September 5, 2011 before the opening of the London Stock Exchange."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mitek Launches Cloud-Based Document Capture

Mitek Systems, the recognition tools and software developer, which has recently had some success in the market for capturing check images with mobile phones, has branched out into document capture. Jim DiBello, Mitek's CEO, previewed this expansion to us three years ago [see story on page 7].

According to the press release, "Created by Mitek and hosted at Amazon's multi-tenant, enterprise-class EC2 platform, the Mitek Mobile Imaging Cloud (MIC) provides mobile application developers, systems integrators and businesses with a fast, cost-effective way to create smartphone and tablet apps that use the camera as an input method for a wide variety of tasks."

Sounds like an interesting opportunity. We'll see what sort of apps are developed on MIC.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Capture Podcast

Check it out, I've hit the big time. I've got my own podcast. It's actually not my own. Thanks to James Lappin and Alan Pelz-Sharpe at the Real Story Group for putting this together as part of their ECM Talk series. I guess it was a natural that I speak on this show - due to the name of my blog.

I thought the conversation went well. Alan is a great resource for ECM end user information and brings a lot to the table from that perspective. I'm listening to the podcast now and it's quite entertaining. Some of the stuff is pretty basic, as apparently there is still a great need for market education around document capture, but we also delve deeper into some areas like market leaders, popular applications, and user expectations.

Monday, July 18, 2011

IBML Upgrades SoftTrac

For a long time, IBML has focused on faster throughput of documents. And, yes, this strategy has led them to create some very high-speed scanners. But, probably because of their experience in high-volume document capture environments, the Birmingham, AL-based manufacturer, was one of the first vendors to begin promoting the message that true document throughput was about more than rated scanning speeds.

One way IBML has helped improve throughput is through improvements to its SoftTrac capture suite. The latest version was announced today and includes improvements in areas like managing image quality control, integration with third-party systems and analytics and reporting.

Iron Mountain Partners with GimmalSoft for SharePoint Offering

Iron Mountain is getting into the SharePoint act. It has signed a "Memorandum of Understanding" with GimmalSoft "to develop a solution for managing both physical documents and electronic files from within SharePoint 2010." The proposed solution apparently integrates Iron Mountain's Accutrac records management sofware with SharePoint 2010. It certainly fits with Iron Mountain's revised strategy for advancing into the digital age. As discussed in our last premium edition, this strategy involves leveraging best-of-breed third party software and focusing on applications where Iron Mountain can differentiate itself through combining its physical and electronic document management services.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Open Text Buys Global 360

In an aggressive move, ECM ISV Open Text has acquired Global 360. Global 360's history is as a roll-up of document imaging and management software ISVs, but in recent years, it has moved its messaging more toward the higher growth BPM space. Open Text also has a history of rolling up distressed ISVs, although its last two acquisitions, Global 360 and Metastorm, have involved paying a premium for BPM-focused ISVs.

Open Text has paid $260 million for Global 360, which is almost three times Global's reported annual run rate of $90 million. This is almost $80 million more than Open Text paid for Metastorm, which was a little smaller than Global 360.

Global 360 seems to fit nicely into Open Text's portfolio for a couple reasons. First, Open Text clearly views BPM applications, like the case management apps that Global 360 touts, as a differentiator against SharePoint. (Check this story, starting on page 3 of our post-AIIM 2011 premium edition where VP of product marketing Lubor Ptacek discusses Open Text's strategy for differentiating from SharePoint.) From the scuttlebutt I've heard, when an ECM platform is replaced by SharePoint, it's most often Open Text's Livelink, so this certainly seems like a valid concern for Open Text.

Second, Global 360 probably still produces a fair amount of revenue from the couple thousand maintenance contracts it had at last count, related to the half dozen or so imaging and document management ISVs it rolled up in the early 2000s. Having done quite a few acquisitions itself, Open Text certainly knows how to successfully manage this sort of business.

The acquisition announcement also seems to indicate that Open Text is restructuring its debt and securing some more financing for future acquisition. Could Open Text be trying to position itself for an acquisition by Microsoft?

According to the acquisition press release, “The major, case-based operations in large organizations are heavily dependent on content and process management, for example, loan processing, complaint management, claims processing and customer on-boarding. All of these solutions can benefit from dynamic case management, which more effectively combines content, processes and collaboration,” said Eugene Roman, Chief Technology Officer, Open Text. “Dynamic case management is the kind of technology customers are moving to and it ties together the strengths we’re building in our ECM and BPM portfolios.”


Definitely sounds like stuff that is at least complementary to SharePoint.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Brainware Launches SaaS Option on Azure

Intelligent document recognition specialist Brainware has launched a SaaS-version of its IDR software, which is being hosted in Microsoft's Azure platform. We are certainly intrigued by the potential of Azure, and some of the data integration potential a Windows cloud platform presents. Some of that potential is discussed in this article on M-Files, a document management software vendor that has also selected Azure for its SaaS platform.

Not exactly sure of the details behind the Brainware SaaS deployment, although they did announce that invoice automation will be the first application. (Makes sense as that is there  We plan to talk with Brainware to get some more details for an upcoming article in our premium edition.

Hyland Releases OnBase 11.0

Hyland Software has released a new version of its flaghip ECM platform OnBase. OnBase 11.0 features improved image and data capture capabilties and "new data-level integrations with applications such as Lawson, PeopleSoft and Datatel, in addition to its existing SAP integration."  It also has new mobile viewing and workflow capabilites as well improved e-forms/workflow features.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Former IKON Exec Out as Head of Ricoh U.S.

Here's a great article discussing the departure of Jeff Hickling from Ricoh, U.S. Hickling was the president and COO of IKON when it was acquired by Ricoh in 2008. He was named president and CEO of Ricoh U.S. in 2010. I haven't found any confirmation of his resignation, but the link I have listed seems like a reliable source.

The article discusses some of the problems Ricoh has had with the IKON acquisition. While it certainly was a great way to punch Canon in the stomach, it seems it also peeved quite a few of Ricoh's dealers. I can't say I had the opportunity to interact with too many dealers at the recent Ricoh event I was at, as press and analysts were mainly given briefings prior to the dealers arriving en masse. But the linked article says something about Ricoh's percentage of sales through dealers dropping from 70% to 20%, which can't be good.

Yes, IKON has brought a great increase in direct sales, certainly, but I personally heard multiple times about some of the conflicts it created with Ricoh Business Solutions, which managed a lot of direct business before the acquisition. This conflict is also discussed.

The article doesn't indicate who would be in line to replace Hickling, but it will be interested to see what kind of background they have.

Coincidentally? Ed McLaughlin, who had been president of Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America (SIICA) since 2003, resigned last month.

Wonder how much of this all has to do with copier vendors' attempted transition away from boxes and toward more services-oriented business spearheaded by MPS.

DocPoint Recognized as Top SharePoint Integrator

DocPoint Solutions was recently recognized by TopSharePoint.com on a list of SharePoint consulting companies. From the press release, "According to the website, the list serves as a resource for organizations seeking a consulting company with SharePoint branding experience and a history of successful project implementations using the SharePoint platform. The complete list contains 53 U.S. and international firms known for their SharePoint expertise."

DocPoint, which was recently featured in our premium edition of DIR, specializes in building document imaging applications on top of platform. It is a spin-off of long-time imaging service bureau and systems integrator QAI. Both organizations are based in Fulton, MD.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dubes Named VP of Marketing at NovoDynamics

NovoDynamics, the Ann Arbor-based recognition software specialist has named industry veteran Tim Dubes as its new VP of marketing. Dubes was most recently at ReadSoft and before that served in executive sales and  marketing roles at Cardiff, Kofax, Captaris, and Scantron. NovoDynamics, which has roots as a research lab specializing in pattern recognition, markets two products to the document imaging. These are its Verus OCR, which is noted for its Arabic language capabilities, and its Coronado auto-classification software.

Monday, June 20, 2011

KOM Honoroed for Junk-A-Juke

Gotta love the name of KOM's current promotion to get people to upgrade to more current archival storage technology. Funny thing is that back in the day, KOM was heavily in the optical jukebox business. Can't remember if they sold the actual hardware, but I know they had software for managing those beasts. But, then again, you don't stay in business in the technology market for 42 years without being adaptable.

It seems KOM has been honored by Computerworld for "promoting positive social, economic and educational change." From the press release, "KOM Networks created the  Junk-A-Juke Upgrade Program to provide a very affordable vehicle to help customers overcome the upgrade costs for secure archive storage solutions without utilizing any capital expenditures while at the same time  responsibly recycle obsolete and antiquated storage (Optical, RAID, SAN  & NAS) including other electronic waste keeping it out of our landfills and donate the proceeds generated from the resale of usable components to Feed The Children US and Speroway (formerly FTC Canada) to help children in our own communities and around the world."

Okay, that's pretty cool. We get rid of "obsolete technology" - I guess that's what MO and UDO and have become -  and feed children. A win-win.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Study Says Consumers Place

Mitek, the document recognition specialist that has transitioned its focus to check capture - and now mobile check capture - over the past couple years, is touting the results of a recent independent study that cited mobile check capture as the most compelling mobile banking feature that would influence a consumer to switch primary banks.

From a press release: "Accorindg to the study, which was conducted by Mercatus LLC, a financial services strategy firm in Boston, in response to the question, 'What are the most important features of mobile banking that would cause you to switch primary banks,' 43 percent of consumers interested in mobile banking cited mobile check deposit, according to the study, which was completed in May and previewed last week at the Mobile Banking and Emerging Applications Summit in New Orleans. Paying bills and checking account balances via mobile devices ranked second, both with 28 percent."

Mitek's stock value has increased significantly with the rise in visibility of mobile check capture. Mitek's shares are now trading arounnd $6 per share, after trading for well below $1 less than a year ago. At last check, the San Diego-based ISV, which was on pace for less than $10 million in sales through the first six months of its fiscal 2011, had a market cap of $143 million.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Kofax Partners with Pegaystems

Irvine, CA-based document capture software leader Kofax has signed a "technology and marketing alliance" with Pegasystems, a leading BPM software provider. I view BPM as the next generation of automated workflow, a pillar on which the document imaging industry was founded. BPM brings non-document related processes into the automation picture, taking what we've known as workflow to the next level. Kofax's capture technology can be used to pull paper documents, as well as e-mails and other electronic documents, into BPM applications.

As I've said before, I think IDR (intelligent document recognition)-driven capture and BPM are the two hottest potential growth areas related to our space - as SharePoint squeezes the repository and search and retrieval players - so I applaud this alliance between two leaders in their respective spaces.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Ricoh Launches MDS Tour

At last week's Convergence conference for its dealer channel, Ricoh spent a good bit of time discussing its new initiatives in the area of managed document services. MDS is clearly an area of focus for the Japanese MFP manufacturer, and it recently announced a $300 million investment in its MDS architecture. We'll have more on this in next week's premium issue.

Today, Ricoh announced "a multi-city U.S. tour designed to show companies how to improve their bottom line through effective information and document management. The events will discuss the challenges companies face in meeting their cost reduction, productivity and sustainability goals as well as showcase Ricoh’s Managed Document Services (MDS) approach."

The tour starts next week, on Thursday, June 9, in Chicago, and has about a dozen stops scheduled through March of next year. For more info, go to http://www.ricohandu.com/.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Cranel Partner Event

Over here in Columbus for a couple days at value-added distributor Cranel's annual North American Executive Partner Event. I was invited to give one of the keynotes and discussed "How not to Choke on Your Alphabet Soup:  Your guide to successfully navigating emerging trends in the areas of MPS, IDR, and BPM," which I consider to be three of the most important acronyms facing our VAR community. I think about 80 VAR representatives in all will be attending the event. Talk seemed to be well received, even if no one in the room could come up with the answer to the question of what IDR stands for. That just gives you a little idea of the disconnect between the vendor and VAR communities.

I received some good feedback on my talk, especially from one gentleman who is the president of a copier dealer brokerage that is transitioning to "document solutions." He explained to me some of the difficulties that copier dealers have with the up front investments and long sales cycles associated with taking on a document management practice. He was lucky in picking up a salesperson with several established accounts that he brought over from his former employers, so he hit the ground running.

Chad Stigall, a product marketing manager for Cranel, spoke before me. His focus was SharePoint (which is also part of my focus as well). His comment about VARs needing a SharePoint strategy, even if they don't necessarily build SharePoint imaging solutions, struck me as especially poignant.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Kofax Acqires Atalasoft

In an effort to further expand its enterprise capture capabilities, Kofax has acquired Easthampton, MA-based SDK ISV Atalasoft. Atalasoft is a .NET imaging SDK specialist that has some innovative zero-footprint, browser-based technology.

The press release provides some insights into how Atalasoft's technology will be utilized in Kofax's KTM capture software: "Using a mortgage application process as an example, most lenders allow prospective borrowers to apply for mortgages via traditional, paper based processes or online via portal and internet browser based applications. Applicants using the latter approach still have to provide paper copies of documents evidencing their proof of identity, income and other supporting information to the lender for processing. Capture enabling these web applications will allow applicants to easily scan those paper documents and submit all information electronically."

Atalasoft was founded in 2002 and for 2010 reported revenues of $3.6 million, an EBITA of $1.0 million. It lists some 2,500 users of its SDK. Its business compares favorably to the Pixel Translations scanning and capture tools business that Kofax CEO Reynolds Bish ran while at Captiva.

Bill Bither, Atalasoft's founder and CEO, said he will continue as GM of the operation. He will also be receiving a good portion of the close to $10 million Kofax is paying for Atalasoft.

In the wake of its sale of its hardware distribution business, Kofax has been on the hunt for acquisitions. This is just a small (but very strategic) one, so we expect more to follow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

EMC Partners with Box

Probably should have seen this coming, ever since former EMC Chief Marketing Officer Whitney Tidmarsh was named the general manager at Box.Net. Last week, at EMC World, EMC and Box.Net announced a partnership. According to the press release, "EMC is working with Box to deliver integrated content management in the cloud."

I think this paragraph from the press release best describes what the partnership could accomplish: "The Post PC era gives birth to the 'new user,' who interacts with information from a variety of sources, across a multitude of devices, and considers Microsoft applications as part of the experience, not the driver. Integrating Box's cloud layer and user-friendly interface with EMC Documentum delivers the new mobile and external collaboration capabilities required for businesses to make better, faster decisions. These cloud-enabled joint solutions strike the right balance in giving users easy-to-use tools for accessing information regardless of device, with the control IT expects for capturing, managing, processing and preserving content."

Basically, at the AIIM show this year, where Box made a big splash, it received high marks for its user interface, but the ECM-savvy AIIM crowd was not at all impressed with Box's traditional content management capabilities. Hence, the marriage with Documentum. Good stuff I think.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Autonomy Acquires Iron Mountain Digital Assets

I'm not sure why this is a good move for Iron Mountain aside from the fact that it generates some cash. According to a press release, Autonomy has agreed to pay $380 million in cash for a business with a run rate of $130-$140 million that includes "selected key assets of Iron Mountain's digital division including archiving, eDiscovery and online backup." I'm assuming this includes Iron Mountain's growing document scanning business, which was certainly integrated with the e-discovery business.

I like the deal for Autonomy and have echoed the setiments of CEO Dr. Mike Lynch in the past: ""In 2007 we correctly predicted the merging of regulatory archiving and search, and we believe we are now seeing the next phase where the convergence of regulatory archiving, back-up and data restoration with operational processing of data in the cloud is coming to pass." - A lot of my view was formed by conversations with Dr. Johannes Scholtes, the CEO of Zylab, another vendor with a focus on search, so I guess it would make sense that I agree with Autonomy's strategy.

Apparently, Iron Mountain felt it couldn't compete in the emerging cloud-based storage market.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Quest Buys RemoteScan

In addition to the more publicized Nuance acquisition of Equitrac, there was another smaller, but still somewhat intriguing acquisition recently in the document imaging industry. Quest Software, which appears to be an approximately $800 software and services roll-up, recently bought RemoteScan.

I did a story on RemoteScan a few years back, and at the time, they had a pretty unique product for enabling scanning in Citrix environments, where it is hard to work with conventional scanning deployments and drivers. [Go to page six on the link.]

From the note I received from the RemoteScan/Quest management team: "Quest is thrilled to add RemoteScan’s innovative products to its growing desktop virtualization business. Quest vWorkspace is already one of the industry’s leading virtual desktop management solutions, and RemoteScan’s products make for a natural addition. As you know, seamlessly connecting and managing peripheral devices for local and remotely connected users is a critical element in virtual desktop environments."

Nuance Buys Equitrac

As you probably saw, yesterday, Boston-area recognition specialist Nuance agreed to acquire print management ISV Equitrac. Kind of a cool deal on several fronts. First off, eCopy, which was acquired by Nuance in 2009 has a long-time partnership with Equitrac. The Equitrac Connector for tracking scanning for billing purposes in law firms, has traditionally been the most used of eCopy's third-party integrations. So, there is a natural connection there.

Robert Weideman, the GM of Nuance Document Imaging, who did most of the talking during the analyst conference discussing the deal, talked about the strength of both companies' desktop technologies. Of course, Nuance has its PaperPort, PDF, and OCR desktop apps that are either market leader or in the case of PDF, second. I'm not as familiar with Equitrac, but assume they have some sort of desktop print management application. And that's where it really starts to get interesting.

I came across an IDC report on Equitrac from 2006 and it said something about Equitrac expanding outside of  the cost-billback market and into the area of helping customers realize savings through print management. If that is indeed the case, the puts Equitrac's technology squarely in emerging managed print services (MPS) space, an area Nuance really wants to play in as well.  

I'll admit, it's kind of hard for me to think of the current offerings of Equitrac and Nuance as being a complete MPS offering, but I also had an interesting conversation earlier this week with  Doug Johnson of cloud-based MPS pioneer  Supplies Network. Basically, he brought up that only a relatively small percentage of organizations who say they are offering MPS are really delivering an advanced MPS solution. Most people are just offering pieces of MPS and calling it MPS. From that perspective, Nuance now certainly has two pretty important pieces. 

Michael Rich, president and CEO of Equitrac, who was also on the conference call, said something along the lines of  "Both Equitrac and Nuance have a  very substantial,  large install base of global clients. Those companies are looking for solutions in area of MPS. We have many opportunities to build on that strong base, and we already have a very broad value proposition that covers a lot of what customers want to do."


I think that makes sense and immediately entrenches Nuance as player in the MPS market.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

DocuWare Reports Strong 2010

The DocuWare Group, a German-based ISV with a strong North American presence, recently announced a 19% growth in revenue for 2010. The brought the company, which specializes in document image management applications to 14.3 million Euros on annual revenue, the equivalent of more than $21 million. Almost all its sales come through a reseller channel, which had an estimated income of 66 million Euro, or $98 million related to DocuWare sales.

DocuWare Corp., the company's U.S.-based subsidiary reported 19.5% growth, after leading the company with 14% growth in 2009. In 2010, smaller subsidiaries in Latin America and the U.K. reported higher growth rates than the U.S., with growth also coming in EMEA and German-speaking markets.

In the U.S. market, DocuWare was a pioneer in selling document imaging solutions through the digital copier channel and continues to have success in that segment. The company also continues to invest in its technology, especially in its Web client. Work on a SaaS version is also well underway.