Friday, March 01, 2013

Kofax Acquires BI and Analytics ISV - Altosoft

It's a move Kofax has been talking about for about a year now - at least since last year's Transform Conference when CEO Reynolds Bish told DIR, "One technology we may be looking at is analytics that can be embedded in our solution.” This morning's announcement of the acquisition of Altosoft is the realization of that vision. Based in Media, PA (just west of Philadelphia), "Altosoft’s software provides rapid, no-coding development of near real time reporting and dashboard applications through the use of a data integration and analytics engine utilizing in-memory techniques."

Basically, here's how I see BI and analytics fitting within the Kofax capture and BPM platform (and some of this was laid out at Transform 2012. Kofax has a full suite of technology for capturing data from paper, electronic documents, e-mails, and mobile devices. With the acquisition of Singularity, it also has a BPM framework of building and executing processes related to captured information. The BI and analytics fit in between these two pieces and help the Kofax platform execute these processes more intelligently because users can now better make sense of the data being captured.

This all ties into Kofax's new focus on Smart Process Applications (SPAs), an emerging space defined recently  by Forrester. In a recent conversation with Craig LeClair of Forrester, he described SPAs as combining technologies like capture, analytics, and BPM to address specific pain points for business - rather than providing broad infrastructures like ECM and ERP systems. LeClair basically said the time for infrastructure systems has passed and businesses now care more about addressing specific applications with multiple technologies than about installing the technologies themselves.

LeClair gave me the example of a coffee shop improving its incident report process by replacing paper forms with e-forms on tablets, as well as utilizing the tablets picture taking capabilities. From a Kofax press release, "SPAs automate both structured and unstructured work activities in support of collaborative processes. SPAs contain all or most of the following core features: document and content capture for incoming documents, forms, and faxes relevant to the business activity; embedded analytical tools designed for the business activity; collaboration capabilities for people to create content needed for the activity; and BPM tools for executing the steps involved in the activity."

Forrester is projecting the SPA market to grow from $600 million in 2012 to $3.9 billion in 2016.

Kofax, which had $87 million in the bank as of Dec. 31, 2012, paid $13.5 million for Altosoft, with additional earnouts available in over the next three years. Altosoft's 2012 revenue was $3.4 million with an EBIDTA of $500,000.



















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