Friday, February 28, 2014

I.R.I.S. Partners with Scytl to Create Document Imaging Systems for Elections

I.R.I.S. recently made an interesting announcement about a partnership with Scytl, which develops election management and voting systems. I.R.I.S., which is now owned by Canon Europe, is a developer of document imaging and automatic recognition/data extraction software. The companies recently got together and successfully completed election projects in Ecuador and Honduras.

From the press release, "Scytl looked for a company that could prove efficient extraction technology to complement their offering for the Ecuadorian elections 2013. The request encompassed supporting the election specific process where: the voting slips were gathered in the polling stations and grouped into reports. These were then scanned and processed in a decentralized scenario in 105 scanning centers. With I.R.I.S.’ advanced extraction technologies, Scytl was able to capture the election results from the reports automatically."

The reason this partnership interests me so much is because of what I, and several other people, consider to be security concerns associated with electronic voting systems installed in many states in the U.S.A. that don't produce any paper records. Due to my experience with document imaging, I don't understand why we don't utilize scanners, like Scytl is apparently doing with the help of I.R.I.S.' technology. A couple years, OMR technology was tried in the NYC area, but several glitches occurred. Perhaps Scytl, which seems to have successfully pulled off two Latin American elections with I.R.I.S.' help can bring its technology North.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

TIS Names New VP, Americas

Top Image Systems continues to evolve. The long-time document capture ISV, which has recently expanded into mobile capture with a focus on the banking industry, has named a new Executive VP and GM for TIS Americas. Avi Mileguir joins TIS from Click Software where he ran U.S. West region and Mexican sales for the past several years. Click Software, which markets a cloud-based workforce management software.

"We believe Avi's leadership skills and successful sales experience in cloud-based offerings will enable us to reach our revenue goals and align resources between our previous separate American branches," said Michael Schrader, TIS Chief Operating Officer, in the press release.

With the appointment, TIS has combined its Latin American and North American operations. It is also relocating Oren Ilan, its current VP of Global Engineering and who has been with the company for 14 years, to the U.S. to lead professional services for the Americas.

Mileguir's appointment seems to build on two recent developments at TIS:

Regarding eFLOW 5, here's what Schrader had to say about it when we interviewed him in September: "We changed our architecture from client/server to more of a full Web-based design. Our clients want to grow more and more into branch capture and scanning at the point of origin. In addition, we are sure businesses want to move more of their software into the cloud and SaaS and PaaS models. So, in general, it’s our goal to move all our software to a Web-based architecture and have it cloud ready." This meshes with Mileguir's cloud background.

The sale in Brazil was through a partner, Xerox, which will hopefully lead to more Latin American mobile imaging sales, so that meshes with Mileguir's Latin American sales experience.

Mileguir's appointment apparently displaces Omri Gelb, who had been managing TIS North American sales, most recently as GM of TIS' North American division.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Kofax Announces $4 Million TA & Analytics Deal

Today Kofax announced it had won a $4 million contract with a Western European-based "global wealth and asset management company." The deal includes Kofax's Total Agility 7.0 smart processing application (SPA) platform, as well as Kofax Analytics software (which is based on software from Altosoft, which Kofax acquired last year). It breaks down into $1.25M worth of software licenses and approximately $2.75M of maintenance, professional services, and training charges. The deal closed in Kofax Q2 (ended Dec. 31) and was delivered in January.

The software is being used to "capture, classify, process, act upon and analyze more than 20 million financial documents received from customers each year."

Certainly a solid deal for Kofax, especially because it includes two pieces of software that are separate from its legacy (as a capture ISV) and geared toward its future vision of serving the SPA market. That said, it's worth noting that software licenses made up less than one-third of the total price of the deal. Is this going to be the standard SPA sales model due to the complexity of the implementations? As a comparison to Kofax's legacy model, for the six months ended Dec. 31, software licenses made up about 40% of Kofax's total revenue with maintenance and professional services making up the remaining 60%. In that regard, the recent SPA deal doesn't seem like that big a departure from Kofax's traditional revenue model - although it's probably worth considering that the six-month period includes maintenance contracts related to more than 15 years of software sales, which should push that percentage higher than what you'd expect as related to a one-time deal. Do you know what I'm saying?

Anyhow, I guess it's natural that as Kofax moved into more complex SPA solutions its professional services revenue should rise - as in addition to more complexity, many professional services related to capture deals have historically been managed by resellers. It will be interesting to see how this affects Kofax's long-term profitability.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Investment Funds Manager Agrees to Buy BancTec

HandsOn3, which is described as "a Santa Monica, Calif., global manager of funds" has agreed to acquire BancTec. Based in Dallas, BancTec has been a long-time player in the document and check imaging hardware, software, and services space. Lately, it has tried to transition more of its business toward document outsourcing, which seems to have been the attraction for HandsOn3. HandsOn3 apparently already owns a BPO organization named Dataforce Group, "whose services include accounts receivable management, end-to-end auto insurance, and expense and benefits management."

The plan is to combine Banctec and Dataforce, which will create a $280 million company. It's worth noting that in 2011, the last year that BancTec filed an S-1 with the SEC, it alone was on target for more than $250 million in revenue. BancTec recently announced it had opened a new BPO center in El Paso to better handle its growing healthcare claims outsourcing practice.

According to the press release on the acquisition, "The current BancTec leadership and management team will remain in place and play a key role in the growth of the combined company."

BancTec executives are not discussing the acquisition until it is completed. In 2012 BancTec had an agreement to be acquired by document outsourcing and software specialist TransCentra, but the deal was never completed. BancTec is a sponsor at this year's AIIM Conference in early April and we are looking forward to catching up with them there.

Digitech Introduces New E-Forms, Upgrades Workflow

Digitech recently released a new version of its PaperVision Enterprise software, which includes new e-forms and improved workflow technology.  (Digitech's hosted ImageSilo offering is based on this platform.) These additions are designed to address the needs of Digitech's reseller channel, as well as end users, who previously had to rely on third party ISVs to provide this type of functionality.
Rebecca Wettemann, VP of Nucleus Research, had this to say about the new additions: “Many businesses have covered the basics of ECM and are now turning to additional options like workflow, electronic signatures, and e-forms to further boost the ROI from their technology investment,” she said. “Unfortunately, most have had to bolt together options from multiple vendors to get a complete solution. PaperVision Enterprise includes all three options as a seamless, fully-integrated suite, making it easier to share data between functions and easier to implement than a multi-vendor solution.”

Basically, with this latest release, Digitech is expanding the ECM capabilities it is offering its mid-market customers - a natural progression in any technology market.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Ease of use, network deployment highlight FineReader 12

(Article originally appeared in DIR 2/21/14 premium issue)
New network deployment capabilities, more accurate table extraction, improved efficiency features, and compatibility with Windows 8 are some of the highlights of ABBYY’s FineReader 12 OCR application, which was announced last week. “Our primary objective when we do a product refresh is to continue to increase accuracy,” said Angel Brown, director, product marketing for ABBYY’s OCR products. “We also want to add features that make the software easier to use.

“Also, while we’ve been making inroads with FineReader focusing primarily on the SOHO and SMB space, with the new release of our Corporate Edition, which has network installation capabilities, we expect to move deeper into the small enterprise and departmental level at large enterprises. End users now have the capability of rolling out systems for potentially thousands of users, and we will be offering volume licensing discounts. We’ve sold a lot of single user licenses over the years to organizations where we plan on going back and turning those into multi-user sites.”

FineReader 12 Corporate Edition starts at $399 to work with a dual core processor and $599 for a quad-core version. FineReader 12 Professional lists for $170. CDW, Ingram Micro, and the ABBYY direct store are the three most popular sales channels for the application.

Leveraging ABBYY’s ADRT (Adaptive Document Recognition Technology) IDR, FineReader 12 improves table recognition by up to 40%, which means users have to spend less time tweaking their results. Users can also save time by extracting items like tables and quotes without having to apply OCR to an entire document. Along those same lines, users can now extract text from single pages, while OCR processing of an entire document carries on in the background. 

Windows 8 compatibility means that the application can now leverage the latest PC touchscreen features. FineReader 12 Professional is available now, with the Corporate Edition due to become available next month.

For more information:

Monday, February 17, 2014

ReadSoft 2013 Revenue Growth Flat; Recurring Revenue Percentage up 6%

ReadSoft announced its Q4 2013 and year-end numbers on Friday. Some highlights:
  • 2013 revenue was $118 million, which was basically flat, when considered in local currencies, compared to 2012.
  • License sales, when considered in local currencies, grew 1% to $38 million, or about a third of total revenue.
  • Recurring revenue, which includes both maintenance and subscription software and hosted software sales grew to $55 million, or 47% of total sales, up from 40.4% in 2012.
  • "U.S. and rest of the world" sales were basically flat in 2013 - at $35.5 million.
From CEO Per Ã…kerberg's comments:
  •  The global roll-out of XBOUND during 2013 took longer than expected and consequently we didn’t reach our full sales potential for this area
  • Although our 2013 results are not where we ought to be, we believe the investments we made and actions we took in acquisitions, employees, products and organization are essential to our long -term growth, results and margins
  • It is very gratifying to see that all the hard work on increasing our recurring revenues is continuing to pay off. This will have a very positive impact on ReadSoft’s future profitability. Our cash flow from operating activities remains strong. 
  • During the fourth quarter our markets in North America, Asia and South Africa have shown the way with good growth and profitability. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

TIS Announces P2P Deal with European Biopharma Company

One of Italy’s leading biopharmaceutical companies has selected Top Image Systems' eFLOW platform to  automate its P2P processes. This will include the capture of invoices, orders, contracts, and proof of delivery notes from thousands of suppliers at two locations in Italy. The eFLOW implementation will be integrated with the company's existing SAP and Microsoft SharePoint systems.

Read the full press release.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Perceptivce Lands $1.6M Invoice Processing Deal

Perceptive Software announced it has landed a $1.6 million invoice processing software contract with Doosan Infracore International. Doosan will implement Perceptive's Intelligent Capture (powered by Brainware), as well as Perceptive Content, which will manage workflow. Doosan is a Global 2000 company based in Seoul,  South Korea. It manufactures construction machinery. 

The Perceptive technology will be integrated with Doosan's Oracle and SAP systems. For the complete press release, click here.

“EDI provides a great deal of efficiency in reducing our paper volumes, but it will not work without a clean three-way match, and it’s simply not a feasible solution for our lower-volume vendors—which is to say, most of them,” said Jim Adkins, director of materials for Doosan. “Perceptive Software’s technology offers a great capability for keeping exceptions manageable, standardizing the workload for all territories and converting diverse paper documents to electronic data that is visible and processed with efficiency. We anticipate this project will remove a considerable amount of manual data entry from our routines, giving our staff more opportunities to pursue improvements for the shared services center.”

Monday, February 03, 2014

Large Mobile Capture Deals

Last week, we had Top Image Systems, in conjunction with its reseller partner Xerox Brazil, announce they had closed a deal for a 3,000 site mobile capture application involving the processing of contracts - presumably for mobile communications services. Today, Kofax announced it had landed a $1 million contract with a bank that is licensing its mobile capture technology. The bank is looking at deploying it an apps for check capture and deposit, bill paying, and new customer onboarding, and more.

These two deals are signs that the mobile capture market has evolved beyond checks and that mobile document capture is moving out of the planning and discussion stages and into the early real world adoption stage. This is also good news for vendors like Mitek and EMC, which also both recently launched new mobile capture initiatives. Mitek announced new bill paying app technology, while EMC launched the new Captiva Mobile Capture SDK-initially targeted at enabling its Captiva Capture customers to add mobile capture to their on-ramps.