Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Kofax Introduces New Digital Mailroom Technology

Kofax has introduced a new application called Kofax Mailroom Automation. It basically introduces some of Irvine,CA-based ISV's BPM technology into the world of mailroom capture.

We've been talking about the digital mailroom in the document capture industry for years. In fact, current Kofax CEO Reynolds Bish was one of the first big proponents of the technology in his days back at Captiva. And there have been several implementations of the digital mailroom worldwide to date, in several different fashions. Most ISVs in our industry look at it as an extension of line-of-business capture in areas like claims processing - only adding more lines and document types into the mix. Of course, then there are companies like Earth Class Mail that advertise the ability digitize everything and distribute it electronically - or at least give users the option of turning down paper copies of magazines...it's complicated.

Kofax Mailroom Automation falls into the first category, as Dermot McCauley, VP, solutions product marketing, explained that Kofax is going after primarily transactional documents. Kofax has always gone after these types of documents and even has installed what it calls digital mailroom applications. But, the new application introduces the ability to both track and manage better what comes into the door.

McCauley gave us the example of a customer of a bank applying for a loan and sending in the application in the mail. But, in this case, the customer is a foreign citizen and doesn't realize that the loan application required a picture of his passport is included. With Kofax Mailroom Automation, the bank would be notified that a piece was missing and the customer could even automatically be sent a correspondence asking for a copy of the passport. "The problem with many [capture-only] digital mailroom solutions is that they end up sending an incomplete or erroneous set of documents to a line of business applications, where someone has to deal with it there."

There are also some other new features around tracking and monitoring all mail in Kofax Mailroom Automation. Pricing will be based strictly on page count and will embrace Kofax's multi-channel capture philosophy. 

More in next week's issue of DIR!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Zagami Contracts with Beyond Recognition

Back in September, we did a story on an innovative classification and full-text indexing operation out of Tennessee called BeyondRecognition. Basically, its claim to fame was having successfully indexed 2.3 billion images that were given to it in boxes full of CDs and DVDs with little-to-no indexing information attached to them. BR used some glyph scraping and matching and threw some other semantic type understanding into the mix and successfully completed the project.

BR has productized its technology and is marketing it to the legal space, for help with discovery, as well as anyone else that requires classification and grouping of large volumes of documents. BR also can incorporate innovative data extraction techniques.

BeyondRecognition recently announced that is has signed on former AIIM and TAWPI Chair Bob Zagami as a member of its Advisory Board. Zagami is a veteran of the document conversion services market, most recently serving as an executive with DataBank IMX. For BeyondRecognition, Zagami will act as an authorized sales agent for BR with the intent to focus on large-scale document management processes for Fortune 500 companies. Read the complete press release.

NSi Acquires Print Management ISV

Document Capture ISV Notable Solutions, Inc. has expanded its business with the acquisition of the Enterprise Output Management (EOM) business and operations of Barr Systems. Based in Gainesville, FL, Barr develops software for managing printing from mainframe, ERP, and other data-driven applications. It's software can also be used to direct and control print jobs at both high-volume production and general office printers.

To date, NSi has made its living primarily selling capture software for MFPs. It has reported impressive growth over the past few years and in 2011 landed a multi-million with the U.S. Department of Defense. NSi's main competitor in the MFP capture space is Nuance, with its eCopy software. In 2011, Nuance acquired print management ISV Equitrac and has reported several large wins as a result of the synergy between the two product lines. NSi will position Barr's EOM software in the same way the Nuance positions Equitrac.

In addition to managing print to paper jobs, Barr's software can be used to output reports into the same workflows and back-end systems that NSi's AutoStore capture can. Barr's software can also be used to track print jobs and provide secure printing.

More on NSi's exciting acquisition in the next issue of our newsletter. Here's the complete press release.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

TIS Reports 'Q4 Shortfall

Document capture ISV Top Image Systems reported that it's year-end revenue will be approximately 8% lower than the low end of its previously announced guidance. TIS expects to end the year with revenue between $30.9 million and $31.5 million, which still represents 8-10% year-over-year growth, which is about in-line with Harvey Spencer Associates projections for the capture market in 2012. TIS also expects to report a non-GAAP operating profit of $4 million to $4.2 million, which represents 10-15% growth over the previous year.

In a press release, TIS blamed the shortfall on two major factors: delays in closing several major deals (now expected to close in 2013) and the devaluation of the Euro vs. the U.S. dollar (TIS does the majority of its business in Europe, but trades on the Nasdaq.)

From the press release, "In parallel, several orders that were to close in 2012 are expected to be finalized in 2013, and the pipeline of potential sales internationally and in the United States has increased. Therefore, management remains confident regarding its ability to deliver solid growth in 2013 and will announce formal guidance in conjunction with the release of full-year results."

TIS also announced today a win for an invoice processing solution with a large U.K. retailer. The retailer liked TIS' multi-channel approach for ingesting multiple invoice formats: "paper or electronic, in any format – including pdf files by means of the unique eFLOW® PDFR (PDF Reader), xml and other popular e-invoice file types – all via one efficient workflow - integrated with SAP - on one consolidated platform." Click here to read the full press release.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Canon Introduces Unit to Enable Wireless Scanning


One of the conversations I've had multiple times over the past year has to do with how behind the times scanning technology is. No, not the scanners themselves, which are smaller, faster, cheaper and produce better quality images than ever before. In fact, in regards to "speeds and feeds," there is not much further vendors can go...But connecting a scanner to PC is pretty much being done the same way it was five years ago, when USB scanning was first introduced.

Basically, you load a driver, plug in your scanner through the USB port and scan to your computer. Of course, there has been a movement toward capturing document images with mobile phones designed to circumvent scanners altogether. But, the problem with mobile phone cameras is that image quality isn't nearly what you get from a dedicated document scanner. In addition, if users are capturing more than one or two pages, it can become very cumbersome.

A few years back, at AIIM 2010, I asked for some technology that could possibly connect the high-quality mobile scanners that were being produced with smartphones which were beginning to flood the market. Well, since then, Visioneer has introduced Eye-Fi technology into its Mobility scanner for wirelessly capturing JPEG images directly to smartphones.

Canon now has introduced a device that can wirelessly connect its personal scanners wirelessly to PCs, MACs, and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. The new WU-10 has a USB port a scanner plugs into. It powers the scanner (through a rechargeable Canon camera battery) as well as sets up a wireless network connection between the scanner and a user's device of choice. With a PC, a user can scan just like they had a wired USB connection. With a mobile device, they can scan through a free downloadable app.

Canon will be showing the WU-10 at the CES show in Las Vegas. It lists for $169. The device has been available in Europe for a few months, but according to Canon executives, it's still too early to tell if there are any particular markets where it is gaining traction. That said, it seems like a great way to combine the high-quality images produced by dedicated document scanners with the mobility of tablets and smartphones.