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."
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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.