Thursday, May 31, 2012

EMC-Syncplicity

There certainly has been a lot of buzz around EMC's acquisition of Syncplicity,which was announced at EMC World last week. Syncplicity has been described as providing "cloud file management." I am currently at the Cranel conference, where someone described Syncplicity as a Box.net for the enterprise-meaning it's designed to have an easy-to-use interface for storing and accessing files in the cloud, but has all the security and governance you'd expect from an enterprise-level solution.

Here's a quote from Rick Devenuti, president of EMC's Information Intelligence Group (which also includes the Documentum, Captiva, and ApplicationXtender products), where Syncplicity will fall under. "In acquiring Syncplicity, we validate this concept by uniting enterprise ‘sync and share' capabilities for the cloud with governance and rigor that is synonymous with Documentum . As cloud, social and mobile dominate the way work gets done, our customers require more than simple containers for managing and sharing content."

CMS wire had a story with this quote from Syncplicity co-founder and CTO Ondrej Hrebicek on the differences between Box.net (where former EMC IIG marketing head Whitney Tidmarsh is now the general manager of Box Enterprise) and his company. From the CMS story: "Box has a web 2.0 interface, he explained. 'You have to check-in, checkout, drag and drop and so on,' he said. Syncplicity, on the other hand, is a cloud based data management platform, all of your files are consolidated in one place on the cloud. 'There’s single sign-on, instantaneous sync, security, remote wipe, end to end encryption, a policy engine, and so on…Users get all of those features without having to think about any of them at all.'"



Wednesday, May 30, 2012

DocPoint Hires New Executive

DocPoint Solutions continues to ramp up. The Annapolis-based SharePoint ECM systems specialist recently hired a technology industry veteran as its director of solutions and technology. Martin Hardy brings "over 15 years’ experience in information technology management, business process improvement, systems architecture, information security, system engineering and employee development" to DocPoint, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of QAI, a document imaging service bureau and systems integrator.

DocPoint, which was launched in 2008, was one of the first ECM integrators to focus solely on SharePoint applications. Its focus has paid off, as in 2012 it is expecting to surpass $10 million in sales. Hardy brings an impressive SharePoint-related resume to the table having "led over 60 major projects involving the design, configuration and implementation of enterprise-wide SharePoint solutions."

According to a DocPoint press release, "Scott Swidersky, President of DocPoint Solutions, cited unprecedented business growth and an upsurge in larger, more complex implementations as the reasons prompting the creation of this key management position. Swidersky stated, 'SharePoint 2010 has redefined the marketplace, establishing its place as a preferred electronic content management (ECM) solution....
DocPoint Solutions is securing more challenging projects that demand front-end attention to the talent mix assembled and a single point of responsibility across longer project life cycles.”
 

Friday, May 25, 2012

ReadSoft Restructures Organization

ReadSoft brought in a new CEO late last year, who has now overseen a restructuring of the ISV's operations. ReadSoft, which is based in Sweden, develops document and data capture, as well as workflow/business automation software. One of the main tenants of the restructuring is a stronger position for the company's North American operations.

Historically, North American revenues have been considered under ReadSoft's "U.S. and rest of the world" region, which also included AsiaPac and Latin America. The whole entity grew 20% in 2011 and accounted for about 30% of ReadSoft's total revenue of $99 million - with the U.S. assumed to be generating easily the largest chunk from its region. Going forward, U.S. and Canada will be accounted for as ReadSoft's North American geography, with Latin America and AsiaPac being a separate geography. ReadSoft will also continue to have Northern European and EMEA geographies.

As part of this restructuring, Bob Fresneda, who has been managing director/president of ReadSoft U.S., is now the president of ReadSoft North America. Fresneda has also been appointed as a Senior VP and corporate officer serving as part of the ReadSoft Executive Management Team.


The Executive Management Team also includes new separate CTO and COO positions with co-founder Lars Appelstal being named the CTO and Peter Sandin, former VP of Global Professional Services, taking over the title of COO.

ReadSoft will also consolidate five development centers into two: "one for Capture Automation consisting of the former solution labs Capture, Online, and XBOUND and one for ERP Automation consisting of the former SAP and Oracle solution labs." Most of these development centers were picked up in acquisitions over the years, including this year's foxray acquisition, which is responsible for the XBOUND product line.

According to a press release: " “We have been working on this for quite some time to achieve a more efficient, agile and process-oriented organization”, says Per Ã…kerberg, ReadSoft’s President and CEO.

“This is an exciting time for ReadSoft both on a global scale and in North America as Per Ã…kerberg’s vision drives these organizational changes to promote ReadSoft’s overall growth and success,” said Bob Fresneda, President of ReadSoft North America. ”After my ten years at ReadSoft, it is fulfilling to see the expanded commitment among Per and the Board of Directors to the North American region, and I look forward to working closely with them on our future success.”  


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Update to DIR Archiving Page

Recently updated the Archiving Page on documentimagingreport.com. It includes a new news item about The Crowley Company upgrading its partnership with Certifi-Media. Certifi-Media is a Rochester-based company I did a feature on a few years back. They have some cool image processing technology both in the area of book scanning and comparing captured images against pre-determined standards.

MS SharePoint 2012 Conference Registration Open

Registration for Microsoft's SharePoint 2012 is now open. The conference, which appears to have become an annual event, is being held in Las Vegas, Nov. 12 -15 at Mandalay Bay. The event, which is typically well attended - the one I went to was sold out a few years back - offers 175 breakout sessions. They are advertised as such: "Learn how to better use SharePoint 2010 and get educated on the latest features and functionality from the new SharePoint!"

So, maybe it's not quite time to reveal the next generation as SharePoint, which reportedly included some more document imaging functionality, like viewing, but maybe attendees will get a preview.  At $1,500 per attendee (with $400 early registration discount), plus $200 a night in a show hotel, it's not a cheap date. But, there are typically some solid sessions, including keynotes by top MS executives. I actually got to see Steve Ballmer talking about content management there!

It's still unclear how much traction SharePoint is having in the document imaging space. We definitely get mixed reports, but many people remain bullish on its future. One look at the exhibitor and sponsor list reveals that indeed, a good number of document imaging vendors are investing in developing a SharePoint business. KnowledgeLake, Open Text, Fujitsu, Kofax, Laserfiche, and Digitech have all taken out sponsorships, with AccuSoft, AnyDoc, Psigen, and Vizit listed among the exhibitors.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Correction to Kodak Article

In Friday's premium edition of DIR, it was mistakenly mentioned that Kodak needed to work its way out of Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Kodak, of course, is in Chapter 11, meaning it is reorganizing and not liquidating. I apologize for the mistake.

Here's a link to the article (with the corrected text), which pretty much says that Kodak DI remains operating as a healthy entity - investing in R&D, new products, and personnel, even while Kodak Corporate continues to struggle.

SAP Makes Bid for Ariba

German ERP giant SAP has announced a bid to buy on-line commerce ISV Ariba for $4.3 billion. The deal is interesting for our market because Ariba provides an e-invoicing service, for which it has a deal with ReadSoft for conversion of paper invoices, as well as workflow. We're not sure how much business ReadSoft generates from that partnership, but we're thinking an acquisition by SAP would mean Ariba would convert to the Open Text platform for capture and worklfow because of SAP's OEM agreement with them.

Then again, according to one article at least, there seems to be some notion that Oracle will make a counter bid for Ariba. This SAP bid is already seven times its expected 2013 revenue, so that's certainly a good sign for B2B software entities, which is where most of the vendors in our market play. The press is playing up the deal as SAP ramping up its cloud strategy.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Heading to Info 360

Looks like I will be heading to the info360 show after all. For the first time since 1997, I was considering not attending this year's event, which used to be called the AIIM show. (AIIM has pulled its sponsorship and held its own conference in March). But, it turns out I'll be on the road that week anyhow, so I thought I'd stop in New York and see what's going on. As I've stated in an article in a premium edition of DIR, exhibitor numbers appear to be way down. Combined the AIIM and On Demand shows list about 125 exhibitors - down from close to 400 just a couple years ago.

That said, some of the usual suspects will be there: IBML, HP, Fujitsu, KnowledgeLake, OPEX, Accusoft, AnyDoc, Crowley, Digitech, and nextScan. As always, I look forward to catching up with some old friends and colleagues, and meeting some new people as well. Please call or send me and e-mail if you will be attending the event and want to get together.

Ralph

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

AIIM Hosting Kodak DI Conference Call

There have certainly been a lot of rumors and speculation surrounding Kodak Document Imaging since Eastman Kodak filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. Tomorrow AIIM will be hosting a Webinar during which Russell Hunt, Regional Business Manager for the U.S. and Canada for Kodak DI, will discuss Kodak DI's plans for the future.

Our discussions with Kodak have indicated that the Document Imaging business remains healthy. In fact, in the wake of the bankruptcy filing, DI was listed as one of Kodak's "core businesses," which all together generated $214 million in adjusted EBITDA on $2.3 billion in revenue in 2011. Under its restructuring, Kodak's core businesses are being counted on to support Kodak's "growth businesses" until they too become profitable.

We'll be interested to hear Hunt's update. Not sure what he will address, but we certainly haven't heard of any shortcomings in the DI market due to Kodak's bankruptcy, aside from the $1 million-plus dollars that was listed as being owed to VAD Cranel (#47 of Kodak's 50 largest unsecured creditors). We understand that all Kodak's rebate programs to its VARs were being honored. There are also a lot of obvious parts suppliers listed among the unsecured creditors, but, we have not heard of any shortness of Kodak products in the market.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Mitek Has Tough Month

It's sure been a tough couple months for Mitek shareholders. In April, Mitek customer USAA filed suit against the San Diego-based recognition technology specialist and called its mobile patent portfolio into question. That action basically cut Mitek's market cap in half from more than $300 million to over a $150 million. Mitek then followed up last week by announcing fiscal second quarter revenue results that were almost 60% lower than its Q2 2011 results. Today, Mitek's market cap was floating around $64 million.

For the three months ended March 31, San Diego-based Mitek reported revenue of $1.2 million, which created a $2.2 or $2.8 million loss, depending if you're using non-GAAP or GAAP reporting metrics, respectively. On a conference call for investors, Mitek CEO Jim DeBello reflected on the "lumpy nature" of Mitek's business model. In other words, Mitek sells to a channel that deploys it check capture technology and then markets their solutions to banks.

If you haven't been following along, Mitek is a pioneer in the market for capturing checks and data with smartphones. Mitek reportedly has 100 banks using its technology, including the eight largest banks in the U.S. In all, Mitek boasts agreements with 315 financial institutions to deploy its mobile check capture technology, which are in varying stages of implementation. Mitek's contracts typically net it around 10 cents per transaction.

Mitek also has some patents around document imaging and is planning to roll out a mobile bill paying application later this year. Mobile bill paying currently in pilot stage at a couple sites and apparently involves taking a picture of a bill and then being able to pay it with your phone. Mitek has also set up a mobile insurance quote app that it has licensed to Progressive. (Check out the Flo commercial.)

DeBello pretty much said that it has been business as usual for Mitek, the company had built up a great infrastructure of customers, and that the market Mitek is focusing on is pretty unpredictable because of its nascent nature - but also a market full of opportunity. DeBello also said the USAA lawsuit has not had a negative effect on sales but has certainly consumed some management resources.


Monday, May 07, 2012

Management Changes at Databank IMX

DataBank IMX has gone through a management shake-up. Co-founder Chuck Bauer was recently named CEO of the U.S.-based service bureau and document imaging systems integration specialist. Bauer had been serving as president COO with Fred Zaeske, who was brought in last year, serving as CEO. Zaeske, a former executive at Zebra Technologies, had been introduced to Bauer and co-founder Dick Aschman by Svoboda Capital Partners, which announced an investment in DataBank last January.

The investment was reportedly taken on to drive additional growth for DataBank, which we understood had been enjoying annual double-digit organic growth at the time. The growth plans included acquisitions, and late last year, DataBank acquired Information Access Systems, an Orlando-based Hyland and IBM Datacap reseller. Zaeske told us to expect two to three acquisitions per year from DataBank, which launched in 2005 when DataBank, Inc. acquired the assets of service bureau roll-up flameout ImageMax to create DataBank IMX.

DataBank IMX seemed to be building some solid momentum, but it's not clear why Zaeske left. In addition, Bob Zagami, director of marketing for DataBank and  a well-known industry personality, departed from DataBank shortly before Zaeske did. Aschman remains a director.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Kofax Posts Weak Q3

Document capture and BPM ISV Kofax continues to struggle. Kofax followed a weak fiscal Q2, with an even weaker Q3 (ended March 31). The Irvine, CA-based company reported revenue of $58.7 million, which represented a decline of almost 6% in terms of constant currencies. However, CEO Reynolds Bish remained optimistic and predicted a strong fourth quarter and projected low single-digit revenue growth in U.S. dollars for Kofax's total fiscal year 2012.

Said Bish in a prepared statement, "We experienced an unusual number of delayed orders in our core capture business. We have not seen material changes in the competitive landscape or macroeconomic environment and, as a result, believe these delayed orders are attributable to less than adequate execution in our core capture business. We’re taking actions to minimize the risk of this reoccurring in future quarters and should begin realizing the related benefits during the current and next several quarters.

"After a thorough review and based on our fiscal year to date results and outlook for the current quarter, for fiscal year 2012, we continue to expect high single digit total revenue growth on an as reported basis – including acquisitions to date and assuming current exchange rates, low single digit total revenue growth in U.S. dollars on a constant currency basis and an Adjusted EBITA of at least the $40.2 million reported in fiscal year 2011. This clearly implies a seasonally strong fourth quarter, which is very consistent with historical patterns.”

Especially alarming is Kofax's continued decline in its core applications software business, which as Bish clearly confirmed to DIR at Kofax's Transform event earlier this year, is the key to the future success of the company. Applications software licenses saw almost a 30% drop in sales in constant currencies. Bish said "During the third quarter our Singularity, Atalasoft, MarkView and OEM / POS revenues met or exceeded our expectations." He put the blame for software licensing shortfall squarely on the shoulders of the company's flagship document capture software business.