Nuance Analyst Briefing 2010

Randy Dazo
Mar 26, 2010

In February, Nuance held an industry analyst briefing to provide an update of new announcements, status of the acquisition and integration of eCopy, and the future direction of the imaging group. Robert Weideman, Nuance General Manager and SVP, kicked off the meeting with an overview of Nuance and the history of their company. With the tagline “Nuance — the experience speaks for itselfâ„¢”, Mr. Weideman recounted the rich history of applications, solutions and technology wins for the company. Some of these include mobile solutions in over 3 billion cell phones, applications in 4,000 healthcare institutions, and more than 8 billion customer care interactions annually utilizing some form of Nuance technology. Although many of these accolades stem from their speech to text division, there are certainly strong statistics coming from their document imaging group such as more than 21 million registered desktop users and 100,000 MFP solutions. Nonetheless, Nuance has positioned itself as a leader in the conversion space, whether it is voice or image to text.

To further enhance their PDF solutions, Nuance announced a new version of their PDF Reader software that is currently free for download at Nuance and other affiliate download sites such as CNET’s download.com. Nuance claims better security with this version as it allows users to select an option that disables JavaScript that can pose security risks with PDF files. As an added value, as users are viewing their PDF files from the reader, they can also choose to convert the file to standard Word, Excel, PowerPoint or WordPerfect formats. This function actually performs this conversion through the cloud in which the user uploads their PDF file to Nuance over the internet, converts the file in the cloud and then sends the converted file back to a user specified e-mail address. Best of all, this conversion utility is also currently free.

It has been a few months since the Nuance acquisition of eCopy, and analysts were eager to ascertain the progress of integration. Acquisitions are not foreign to Nuance and eCopy was approximately their 34th (they admit to having a hard time keeping track). The purchase of eCopy allows Nuance to expand their core imaging solutions beyond the desktop. The eCopy solution will provide Nuance with a robust platform, API and hundreds of connectors instantly. At the same time, Nuance will develop into the platform their OCR and conversion code to enrich the capabilities of the eCopy engine. Nuance shared how the future of this platform will transition over time and may include a focus on certain markets. The focus on vertical and horizontal market solutions has always been evangelized by InfoTrends. It is with these turnkey solutions (often vertical is scope) we see a movement towards solving real customer problems. Nuance also revealed the possibility of moving away from their “one-price-fits-all” model to a more industry driven approach to pricing for their platform, which InfoTrends expects to be quite unique and disruptive. To offer a complete solution along with a pricing model that corresponds with an industry; it makes a lot of sense.

Concluding the analyst event, Nuance demonstrated an application that joins their voice recognition technology with the MFP device. The demonstration was a secure access application that unlocked a secure MFP using voice commands and recognition. Worthy of note, the InfoTrends Network Document Solutions roadmap, published in January, referenced innovation through the convergence of technologies and the example given was with secure access capabilities with a Camera and Microphone. An easy integration of a camera would allow for the capturing of facial as well as a physical auditable trail of exactly who was at the device along with date and time stamp. The microphone would add the additional login security as well as voice control of the copier.

Nuance and eCopy provide a very interesting industry proposition. Prior to this meeting, there was quite a bit of speculation regarding the eCopy brand, platform and strategy and how it would fit into Nuance. Nuance communicated well their strong direction and inclusion of eCopy elements into the Nuance strategy as well as a commitment to move the eCopy brand and platform forward.

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