Friday, June 29, 2012

Slew of Large Capture Deals

As we mentioned yesterday, there have been a number of large capture software deals announced in the past couple weeks, by market leaders. Here's a look a few of them:

Brainware Announces $7.5 million Deal: Brainware, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Lexmark, under its Perceptive subsidiary, announced a huge deal with the Dominican solutions and service provider Novosit. I am not at all familiar with Novosit, and its Web site is in Spanish, but Hyland, Kofax, Fujitsu, and ABBYY products are all listed. Novosit will both "use and distribute" Brainware's intelligent data capture software. We're assuming this is a multi-year deal. Brainware specializes in large deals, having announced they closed more than 10 deals worth over $1 million in 2011.

Top Image Systems (TIS) continues to build on its recent momentum. TIS recently announced four wins in Europe that combined account for over $1 million in revenue. In addition, TIS announced a $1.2 million deal for software to process the 2013 Bosnia and Herzegovina Population Census. This continues a string of successes for Top Image in the census market, which by our account includes at least a dozen wins worldwide in the past couple years. TIS also announced an expansion of its implementation with the Czech Post - one worth several hundred thousand dollars to TIS. The Czech post, as well as several other European postal services that TIS has contracts with, acts as a service bureau for processing payments and documents - a business DIR has long encouraged the USPS to get involved with. The bottom line is that TIS, which reported $7.7 million in revenue in Q1 has announced somewhere of around $3 million in software sales in just that last couple weeks.

ReadSoft recently announced a couple of invoice processing deals totaling more than $700,000.  Both are in A/P in SAP environments, which has been ReadSoft's sweet spot for awhile now.

Finally, Kofax recently announced a couple of A/P wins totaling more than $1 million. One is with "a leading provider of security and related monitoring services for homes and businesses in North America," which is adding KTM and MarkView to its existing Kofax Capture implementation. This other is with a leading supplier of components to the automotive engine industry, which is implementing multiple Kofax products, including Capture, KTM, MarkView, MarkView Advisor, SupplierExpress, and e-Transactions for integration with an SAP system.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pingar Offers Advanced Meta Data Extraction

There have been a number of news stories that I hope to get to posting links to shortly. Been tied up catching up on some stuff, but here's one more thing from info 360 a couple weeks ago that I wanted to get to. Caught up with former Microsoft ISV manager for SharePoint partners Owen Allen at the event, and he is now working for a company called Pingar.

Based in New Zealand, Pingar does some cool stuff in the area of advanced meta data extraction. This basically involves taking batches of unstructured documents and finding relevant indexing information like people, places, business names, e-mail addresses, etc., and then taking this information and dumping it into an ECM or other back-end system. Pingar advertises its technology as a tool. It currently has a hosted/cloud version that you can play around with.

Here's the lead for the article about Pingar in my last premium issue of DIR:

There has been a lot of talk in technology circles recently about the concept of managing “big data.” Big data basically defines the rapidly growing amount of information that enterprise systems are being inundated with due to increasing electronic communication and transactions. Of course, paper documents, by their nature mostly fall outside the realm of big data—that is unless they are imaged and the information on them is somehow translated into a format a data management system can understand.

That’s where Pingar comes in....Click to read the rest of article.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Favorite Hardware Device from info360

Yes, there were some people there debuting cutting-edge technology. PiQx actually debuted this device at CEBIT, but I believe info360 was its North American debut. This product is not shipping yet, but it's very cool and has some potential.

It's a "document camera" that attaches is a laptop, but it's not the hardware apparatus that was so impressive. It's the software. You basically toss a document down on a decent background - PiQx even provides a fold-up platform you can place over your keyboard, hit scan, and the software automatically applies perspective correction and crops, rotates, and orientates the image. It even offers "finger removal" if you're flattening book pages. The high-quality images produced in such a short time were what was so impressive. PiQx advertises them as being the equivalent of 300 dpi images captured with a flatbed scanner.

Product is schedule to start shipping in Sept.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

IBML Shows new Scanner at info360

IBML, the Birmingham, AL-based manufacturer of the ImageTrac line of high-volume scanners, showed off a new, not-as-high volume model at the info360 show. An OEM tabletop scanner, the new ImageTracDS 1150 still advertises throughput at up to 150 ppm. What makes it special is that it includes two output pockets and comes with IBML's Softrac Capture Suite. This potentially enables users to leverage the same scanning workflows they use with their traditional ImageTrac open track models, which are often utilized when outsorting items like coversheets and checks.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kofax Hires ex-Mitek Exec

In response to Mitek's announcement yesterday that it has hired a new senior VP of sales, Kofax announced that it had hired Mitek's previous senior VP of sales. Drew Hyatt has joined Kofax as senior VP of mobile applications. He will be based in Irvine, CA, and assuming he lives in San Diego (where Mitek is headquartered) he will join a number of ex-Captiva employees who make the commute north to Kofax (many by train).

 Kofax introduced its Mobile Capture technology earlier this year. There was a ton of end user interest in it at the Kofax Transform event, but CTO Anthony Macciola cautioned that the product/toolkit was still in its early stages. That said, Kofax certainly has some aggressive sales plans for the technology. 

An interesting sidenote is that Kofax's technology, to me at least, seems clearly to cross into the patents Mitek has in this area, but neither Kofax or Mitek has commented this issue (even though I've asked). Part of the USAA lawsuit that we mentioned yesterday involves trying to invalidate these patents.

Kofax's stock has seen a decent bump up this week, but it may just be due to general market conditions. That said, Mitek's stock was up another 13% through mid-day, so maybe mobile capture is attractive to investors.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hiring Spurs Stock Uptick

Investors seem to be in favor the mobile capture ISV Mitek's hiring of a new senior VP of sales and business development. Michael Diamond has experience in the mobile payment space, as well as the electronic transaction space in general (with S1 Corporation). He also spent time at IBM.

Mitek's stock value rose 14% today after Diamond's hire was announced. The value had sharply declined from a high of more than $13 per share - to a low of less than $2 per share in April after USAA sued Mitek for stolen technology and called out the validity of their patents around mobile imaging. Mitek is fighting the claims and its stock closed today at $3.35 per share, giving it a market cap of $85 million - still not bad for a company that reported just $1.2 million in revenue last quarter.

Mobile technology space is still clearly valued by investors.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Info 360 Follow-up

So, that may be the last one. At least that was rumor circulating around following the show. Apparently, Questex was talking about moving the event to a hotel in New York for next year and focusing more on educational seminars. You know, kind of the like what AIIM is already doing. I talked with one long-time event attendee, who commented something to the effect of, "That shipped has sailed."

When all was said and done, I counted somewhere north of 80 exhibitors for the info 360 (former) AIIM event and 40 for the On Demand side. Ricoh was probably the biggest name on the On Demand side (former staples like Xerox, Canon, and Sharp were all missing), and I think they were a very late addition. Personally, I had a great time networking at the event, even though it was really small and compact. I'd say I had close to 20 quality conversations/contacts at the event, and didn't even get to a couple booths I had wanted to. But, the exhibitors were not happy. Not a one that I talked to, which probably spells doom for the event.

On Wednesday, there was actually some decent traffic for a few hours early, then that was about it. Early on, everybody seemed satisfied that some end users had apparently made it to the show floor - after all, New York is a good market for imaging and content management. But then things pretty much dried up and on the second day or the event, which was actually shortened to two days for the first time I remember, there was really nobody there. 2,000 attendees total over the course of two days - that would be my generous guess.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ricoh Convergence 2012

Out here in Vegas the Ricoh Convergence conference before heading over the New York this afternoon for the info 360 event. Convergence is Ricoh's annual dealer event and there are more than 600 people in attendance. (Heck, it may turn out to be bigger than info 360 - just kidding, I hope.) The Ricoh event is being held at the Wynn, which is really a sweet location. Full casino, for those who go in for that, and electric curtains in the rooms for us less adventurous types.

Ricoh is an interesting dichotomy in a couple ways. A dual-dichotomy, if you will. First, like many organizations in our market, it is battling with the whole dealer/reseller vs. direct sales channel conflict. Of course, Ricoh's acquisition of IKON in 2008 didn't help things on this front. IKON had a huge national sales force that has now been merged with, after many fits and starts, Ricoh's direct sales force.

At Convergence, Ricoh stated a couple times that the digestion of IKON is now complete so it can re-focus its resources on growing its business. Then, someone from Ricoh indicated the IKON assimilation is "almost" complete, and we heard that there may be more changes in July. Ricoh has already changed its management team pretty extensively since last year's Convergence event.

The current CEO of Ricoh Americas is Martin Brodigan. He's been with Ricoh a long time, most recently serving as COO of Ricoh Americas. He's been in his current position less than two months. Brodigan has been charged with turning around U.S. sales, which last year he said were "unacceptable." Ricoh apparently lost quite a bit of money. In addition to declining paper use (which, at the event, was reported at 10% worldwide and accelerating), which obviously hurts printer sales, Ricoh had supply problems caused by the Japanese tsunami/earthquake, as well flooding in Thailand. Exchange rates also negatively affected the company.

Ricoh's dealers accounted for 32% of units sold in 2011, up from 30% in 2010, which is a good trend for the dealers, but were not sure how good of  a trend that is for the former IKON.

Ricoh's second tricky conflict has to do with its legacy as a copier/printer business and its desire to move more toward professional services. Ricoh seems to have a few visionaries that are at the forefront of leading the company towards a "services-led" business model. However, there is still a ton of inertia-related to hardware sales and print click-charges that these visionaries have to fight. Much more on this in our next premium issue!

Friday, June 08, 2012

MetaSource Hosting AppX Conference

MetaSource, one of two national distributors for EMC's ApplicationXtender product, will be hosting its Second Annual National Partner meeting next week. According to a press release,  "The three-day conference for MetaSource partners and guests who offer EMC’s ApplicationXtender and Captiva Software Solutions will be held at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey, June 10th-12th."

I just thought this was interesting because I just got back from the annual Cranel reseller conference, where EMC ApplicationXtender was also featured. Cranel is AX's other distributor. Even though its been years since EMC has had a major new release of this product, it apparently continues to make improvements, such as this application integration module.

MetaSource is expecting "over 80 attendees from 32 AX/Captiva partners."

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

ReadSoft Lands Large Capture Deal

ReadSoft's acquisition of foxray has started to pay some dividends. Today the Swedish capture and business process automation ISV announced one of the largest deals in the history of its company--worth almost 2 million Euros in an XBOUND capture software sale. XBOUND is the document capture platform that ReadSoft picked up with foxray.The customer is Debeka, which ReadSoft lists as "Germany's largest private health insurance company."

According to a press release, "The first stage of the project will be to migrate Debeka’s old input automation solution processing approximately 76 million pages per year. In the second stage the organization is planning to expand the new input automation solution across all Debeka Group’s classes." We're not sure whose solution ReadSoft is replacing. foxray does already list Debeka as a reference, saying, "For many years, foxray AG has realized various projects with Debeka. The xbound platform is used to automate the processing of housing applications for the building society and has been in active use since January 2008."

Paradatec also counts Debeka as a customer. According to a Paradatec newsletter, Debeka processes 200,000 claims and invoice images per day utilizing Paradatec's data capture. Of course, foxray and Paradatec are partners, so even though ReadSoft has its own invoice and claims capture technology, we don't necessarily see Debeka moving away from Paradatec. (XBOUND is more of a document capture/batch management workflow platform than a data capture application.)

On the document capture side, this is certainly a great win for ReadSoft. Said Bob Fresneda, who was recently promoted to president, ReadSoft North America, "I think with this nice win due to our acquisition of foxray and a couple of nice, normal wins here in our SAP AP space within the US you can see that the ReadSoft business model is working well."

Friday, June 01, 2012

Number of Large Capture Deals Announced

Delayed deals were the most prominent trend among document capture software vendors in the first quarter of calendar 2012. (Sample story from premium edition on Q1 results.)  Over the past couple weeks, it seems that maybe some of those delayed deals have been brought to close, as we've seen multiple announcements of large deals from a ReadSoft and Kofax. Four of the deals were related to accounts payable automation-with Kofax's deals coming in Oracle environments, where its MarkView process automation software has traditionally been strong and ReadSoft's in the SAP space, where it has traditionally been stronger.

 Kofax announced an A/P automation deal worth over $1 million with a "leading global cruise ship line," as well as an A/P automation deal with Helena Chemical Company in Tennessee for more than $440,000. ReadSoft, meanwhile, announced an A/P automation deal for more than $310,000 with a "a global giant in asset management," and a $470,000 invoice processing deal "with a significant international company that provides pipeline and storage facilities to the oil and refined products sector, as well as owning fuel and asphalt refineries." Kofax also won a $300,000 deal with a branch of the U.S. military for software to capture 1 million personnel health forms, medical lab reports, EKG results and other medical documents....annually."

Hopefully, this all leads to more positive second quarter results.

Cranel Event Follow-up

Had a great time at Cranel's annual North American Executive Partner event held this past week in Columbus, OH. This was the second year in a row that I attended - having keynoted the event in 2010. There were almost 70 resellers and a dozen vendor partners at the event, which VP of marketing Scott Slack said was about 20% larger than last year's event.

According to Slack, Cranel continues to grow despite a challenging landscape, which included losing Fujitsu as a partner in the past year. Cranel is a value-added distributor that focuses on the document imaging market with a combination of hardware and software products. In our next premium issue, we'll have an article featuring some insights from Slack on how Cranel has managed to stay ahead of the game.

For the second year in a row, the weather was beautiful, which was nice, because quite a bit of the Cranel event centers around golf. If you're a PGA fan, you know that Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament is being held this week in Columbus. Cranel shared a house off the 12th green (a tough little par 3) where attendees were able to network and watch some great golf. We also had passes to head down onto the course.

I ended up following the Mickelson, Bubba Watson, and Ricky Fowler group for several holes, which was certainly interesting. Unfortunately, I can't disagree with Phil's complaints about the noise and the cell phones. I saw an huge amount of cell phone activity, including pictures, going on throughout the tournament with the marshals (as well as caddies) being asked to do an inordinate amount of policing related. Yes, it's a great convenience for spectators to have cell phones, but I'm thinking tournaments need to go back to banning them if that's how fans are going to act. It really was a huge distraction.  - Anyhow, that's my non-DI thought of the day.

Cheers.