Monday, March 28, 2011

Tidmarsh Joins Box.net

I haven't seen any confirmation of this yet, but it was certainly the talk of AIIM. The CEO of Box.net, which advertises itself as an on-line content management firm, apparently gave a great keynote at the recent AIIM/Global 360 event. From what I've picked up, it has a cool interface for on-line file collaboration and a SaaS sales model. Tidmarsh worked at Documentum and then EMC's Content Management division, for some time, most recently as a chief marketing officer.

At the event, she told us she was leaving EMC and handed off her keynote to Jeetu Patel, CTO of EMC's Information Intelligence Group. Box.net is apparently pretty hot, and according to this Forbes article has raised somewhere around $70 million in venture capital. So, I guess they can afford someone with Tidmash's experience. I'm guessing Tidmarsh is being brought on board to help expand the breadth of the company's content management offering and wouldn't be surprised to see them add some capture technology in the near future.

Friday, March 25, 2011

AIIM Wrap-up

Just finished up another great week at the AIIM show. This year's show was held in Washington, DC - a great city, but it can be a very expensive place to go for an event. Next year's event is apparently scheduled for June 12-14 at the Javits Center in New York City. New York in early June seems like a great time for the event, but, per our last post, it will also be the first year when the "AIIM" name will not be used. The event has been re-branded as Info 360. On Demand looks like its keeping its name.

From what we understand, ITEX will not be co-located with the two events next year. The feedback we got this year was that you had pay an extra $250 for an ITEX badge and that the monitors were checking badges. I know I tried to get on the ITEX floor and had to point out that my press credentials were good for both events. Anyhow, I heard ITEX is heading back out to Vegas.

This year's AIIM show was certainly the quietest I've ever seen. Yeah, there were still more than 130 vendors there, but almost nobody, except for Canon, had a large booth. And the number of presentations and booth shills to attract attendees' interest was very low. There were times when I almost felt I had to whisper to avoid from being overheard. The few exhibitors that gave me positive feedback about the attendance indicated that they had made several appointments ahead of time to create their own traffic. (In show organizer Questex's defense, this is what they have been telling people to do for years.)

The Microsoft Pavilion, which we figured had about the fifth of the exhibitors looked crowded, but that may have just been because there were so many vendors crowded into a relatively small space, and each vendor had multiple staff there.

For me, the event was once again a great networking opportunity, although there were certainly less people there to network with than in years past, but still enough to fill up my dance card for three days. We'll have plenty of coverage in upcoming issues of DIR.

Friday, March 18, 2011

AIIM Being Dropped from Show Name

Just got an e-mail from AIIM - the trade organization today to that effect: "The Info360 event taking place from March 21 – 24 in Washington, DC will be the final "AIIM" Show to bear the AIIM name."

I'm really not sure that this means or what exactly AIIM was doing for the show anyhow, aside from holding it's annual awards dinner in conjunction with it. And if AIIM stops doing that, it would probably hurt the networking aspect of the show, which is really the best part for many people

I'm sure we'll find out more next week.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sharp Introduces New MFP Interface

According to the Sharp press release, "Operating in a manner similar to today's most advanced smart phones, Sharp's new user interface provides easy access to all MFP features, each of which are viewed as familiar icons. Users can perform all tasks using "flick," "tap," "slide" and "drag" gestures on the color LCD touchscreen. Icons perform the tasks the user expects them to, and the system guides the user based on the previous commands to help them execute desired functions more quickly. This "smart" user experience dramatically reduces the learning curve, leading to more widespread use of advanced functions like duplexing, staple sorting and others."

There is a video on the press release link that does a good job showing some of the features that are described. The page preview and manipulation features are especially cool. In conjunction with the release of the new interface, which is debuting on three A3 products and will eventually be available throughout Sharp's product line, Sharp is debuting its OSA 4.0 platform - designed specifically to work with the new interface. OSA, for open systems architecture, is Sharp's toolkit for integrating applications, like ECM and capture, with its MFPs. It was one of the first Web-based platforms for achieving this type of integration.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SourceCorp Merging With HOV Services

SourceCorp, which began life as a document imaging service bureau roll-up, has entered into an agreement to merge with HOV Services. HOV Services is an India-based document services outsourcing specialist that acquired SourceCorp competitor Lason back in 2007. Back in the late 1990s, Lason and SourceCorp (then known as FYI) engaged in a bit of a bidding war for service bureaus. SourceCorp, which was founded by executives from outside our industry, took a more fiscally responsible to the roll-up. I remember a conversation with a few SourceCorp execs at AIIM 1998, who accurately predicted the impending fall of Lason - which actually had three ex-execs go to jail for stock fraud, or something along those lines.

Lason was eventually bought by the investment group Charterhouse for something like $25 milllion and some assumed debt. Charterhouse, which also had an investment in document capture ISV Top Image Systems, then flipped Lason for $148 million to HOV three years later. At the time, the combined company was estimated to have more than $200 million in annual revenue. SourceCorp, which reported revenue of greater than $400 million in 2005 as a public company, was sold to the investment firm Apollo Management in 2006 for $475 million. I thought SourceCorp had dispersed some of its businesses since then to narrow its focus, but we'll estimate that the new HOV/SourceCorp entity is worth at least $500 million annually. Definitely an interesting starting point for a BPO business.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Big Capture Projects Continue

By most accounts, the last three months of 2010 were a good time for the capture industry. ReadSoft, Kofax, and Top Image Systems, three publicly traded companies, each announced strong calendar fourth quarters. And that momentum appears to have flowed over into the first part of 2010. Top Image recently announced this $760,000 deal for the Argentinian Census. According to Omri Gelb, executive VP, it is TIS's 11th census win in the last year.

Utilizing automated data capture on census forms seems to have become a no-brainer. In a census that was fraught with budget overruns in other areas, scanner vendor ibml has announced that "its high-speed document scanning technology played a key role in helping the Lockheed Martin-led Decennial Response Integration System (DRIS) team complete the 2010 U.S. Census forms processing operation on schedule and under budget." From the ibml press release, "the team was able to process as many as 2.5 million 2010 Census forms every 24 hours during peak production. Lockheed Martin used 44 ibml ImageTrac scanners across three data capture centers to capture images from more than 165 million 2010 Census forms."

Finally, what report on the document capture space would be complete without mention of Kofax, which recently announced a $900,000 invoice processing deal. It's a combination Kofax Capture/KTM and Markview workflow deal - the type Kofax envisioned when it bought 170 Systems about a year and a half ago.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

MS SharePoint 2011 Conference Registration Open

I mainly note this because the 2009 conference, at which SharePoint 2010 was previewed, was one of the best conferences I've ever been too. There were more than 7,500 people there, it was sold out, there was a waiting list, and it was well run. Plus, we all got to see what was going to be included in SharePoint 2010 and why it is going to have such a large effect on the ECM industry as we know it.

I know I vacillate back and forth over how much influence SharePoint is going to have on the document imaging market, but after talking with a pair of SI's today, I am lifted back out of the trough of disillusionment and into being a believer again. Basically, it seems that to do true ECM in SharePoint, in anything close to an out-of-the-box way, you need to have 2010 installed. Currently, as the product just came out last year, that is not the case at many sites. Also, there seems to be a bit of a lack of knowledge out there about how to actually unleash SharePoint's true ECM capabilties.

Basically, the solution seems to be (and more on this in my next premium issue) marrying people with ECM process knowledge to SharePoint - so they can apply that knowledge to SharePoint applications. There are reasons this isn't happening full-force yet, but that could/should change in the future. (This is the kind of stuff I'll discuss.) Anyhow, here' s the link to the SharePoint 2011 MS Conference.

A lot of imaging players are sponsors, of the MS SharePoint event, incluidng KnowledgeLake, who's a platinum sponsor. KLake will be holding its own first ever user event in conjunction with the Microsoft event. The MS event runs Oct. 3-6 at the Anaheim Convention Center, with KLake's event being held the preceding weekend.

Speaking of events, SharePoint looks like it's going to have a huge presence at the upcoming AIIM Info 360 event being held at the D.C. Convention Center later this month. The floor plan shows like 25 ISVs (maybe some integrators in there) in the Microsoft Partner Pavilion, not to mention KnowledgeLake, which is next door. A quick look at the exhibitor list, shows like 138  total exhibitors, so once again it should be a good show for DIR and anyone else looking to do some networking.

Apparently, Hyland Software will be missing for the first time since I started covering the event for DIR back in 1998. That show was in Anaheim and from what I understand that was Hyland's first big coming out party after they had gotten a bunch of money from someone for their check imaging technology. At the show, then CEO Packy Hyland, Jr. handed me a card on which he listed his position as "One Happy Dude" and told me his goal was to grow Hyland larger than FileNet. They've certainly come pretty close. I'm not sure how much their really big AIIM booths over the years helped them, but apparently, they've moved on from that strategy.

Anyhow, ping me if you want to get together at AIIM

Monday, March 07, 2011

Kuwait Document Management Conference

Just got an e-mail announcing the Kuwait Documentation and Archiving Conference and Exhibition, being held April 4-5. Thought this was kind of cool because we've been discussing the Middle East as an emerging market for our technologies. From the speakers, it appears the technology is very much in the early stages of adoption, as it seems at least half are academics. I also only see one exhibitor - Sultan Records Management ( gotta like that name) signed up so far. They have like five media partners though, so let's hope some publicity leads to more interest. It seems to be being put on by group called Promedia International that does quite a bit of Kuwait. It's also being held under the "under the patronage of" H.E. Dr. Mohammad Mohsin Al Busairy, Minister of Communications, Kuwait.

Harvey Spencer has also tentatively scheduled a speaker from the Middle East at his upcoming capture conference.