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 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.