Posts tagged: Automation

How OpenText Is Improving Customer Experience With Intelligent Forms Automation

David Stabel
 Jun 14, 2017

It has been almost one year since OpenText announced its intention to acquire HP LiquidOffice, HP TeleForm, HP Exstream, and HP Output Management for a total transaction value of $315 million. Today, these products are housed within OpenText’s Customer Experience Management (CEM) Suite, which was recently updated with the Release 16 Enhancement Pack 2 (EP2). On the LiquidOffice and TeleForm side, OpenText has completed a wealth of additional integrations with OpenText Content Server, OpenText RightFax, and MS SharePoint.

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In a recent interview with Mark Jackson, Senior Product Manager, and Bob Murphy, Sales Director for OpenText LiquidOffice and TeleForm, we learned more about today’s market for enterprise forms solutions and the dynamics driving increased demand. Before diving into our discussion with Mark and Bob, here’s some background on OpenText LiquidOffice and TeleForm.

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The Top drupa 2016 Trends

Jim Hamilton
 Jun 14, 2016

After digesting a week of meetings at drupa 2016 (May 31st to June 10th, Düsseldorf, Germany) along with plenty of good German food and beer, the InfoTrends analyst team believes the show can be characterized by five major themes:

drupa 2016 flags - 400

  1. Inkjet 3.0 –After important advances in production inkjet printing at drupa 2008 and 2012, this drupa can be considered “inkjet drupa 3.0” because of new and improved print heads, higher quality levels, wide printhead arrays, improved performance on a range of substrates, and expansion across a range of document, packaging, and decorative applications. These developments have brought digital printing into the mainstream. All of the leading offset press manufacturers are now committed to a digital print strategy, and though for some there is an important component that is based on electrophotography, it is the high productivity levels of inkjet that have convinced them that there is a place for digital print in production environments.
  2. Digital printing of packaging – Though digital printing of packaging is certainly being influenced by inkjet, the major theme in this area is process automation. Digital printing, digital embellishment, and digital die-cutting were seen integrated across many production lines for labels, folding cartons, corrugated packaging, and even some direct-to-shape applications. Despite its commercial print heritage, drupa is morphing into a show with a significant package printing component. Meeting the needs of different segments of the packaging market is a challenge that requires effective software, workflow, and finishing if the true advantages of digital print for the entire supply chain are to be gained. It’s not clear today that digital printing system vendors have fully grasped the magnitude of this.
  3. B1 digital – Many commercial printers have an almost emotional attachment to the B1-format press platform that has served them so well for offset printing. The new generation of B1-format digital printing devices appeals to them because they can see how they would fit easily into their production lines with minimal disruption (despite the fact that smaller digital devices might be just as efficient and/or cost effective). drupa 2016 saw the arrival of larger format digital cut-sheet color printing systems as well as off-line systems for special effects such as spot gloss, dimensional effects, and metallic foils. The progress in B1 sheet-fed design is facilitated by wider inkjet arrays that benefit from the latest advances in inkjet head technology. The challenge for any of these larger format digital printing devices is to meet the production requirements for quality, consistency, substrate support, and color registration while performing at high speed. Also important is integration of finishing technologies that leverage the benefits of digital print. Therefore laser cutting and creasing, particularly for folding carton applications, is also advancing, and for some of these devices the focus is on a B1 sheet size. For the off-line digital devices used for special effects, the B1 sheet size opens up sizeable opportunities because these systems are capable of supporting conventional presses as well as digital printers.
  4. Special effects – Offset print processes have typically excelled at special effects beyond process color such as spot gloss, flood coats, foils, and corporate color matching. This kind of embellishment is now accelerating for digital print. Electrophotographic devices are using effects like printed metallic, dimensional, clear gloss, spot colors, fluorescent, security and other embellishments to differentiate the printed products and provide added value. Inkjet, particularly with ultraviolet (UV) curing inks, is extending this with some eye-popping results that leverage dimensional clear and metallic foil. The use of hybrid configurations, including those that leverage electrophotography and inkjet together, will have compelling applications in commercial and packaging markets. Many of the off-line special effect solutions, as noted above, are able to support larger format conventional sheet sizes, which opens their market impact significantly.
  5. Industry 4.0 – For many years, system providers have talked about how production data can be used to drive operational excellence and even facilitate predictive service calls. Cloud-enabled production data tracking is now making this type of data-driven production a reality, not only for commercial and packaging applications, but for decorative and industrial ones as well. Today these tend to focus on a single vendor platform (rather than a true heterogeneous ecosystem). Despite these limitations there are still many benefits, such as performance benchmarking across peers with similar equipment. This also elevates the importance of automated workflows that make it easy for production managers to assess and react to their production site(s) based on real-time data. Taking this even further, InfoTrends expects to see semi-autonomous print production and robotic automation culminate in what has been described as “Industry 4.0,” in other words the foundation of a fourth industrial revolution that is based upon automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies, similar as what has happened in the car industry.

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Xerox Making MFPs Smarter with New Enhancements

Allison Correia
 Mar 11, 2016

Xerox ConnectKey User Interface

Yesterday, March 10th, Xerox announced advancements to its Xerox ConnectKey technology to expand what multifunction printers (MFPs) can do in the workplace. The Xerox ConnectKey-enabled i-Series MFPs are equipped with ready-to-use apps, speed up paper-dependent business processes and make it easier for users to collaborate and work more effectively. The technology also gives Xerox and its partners opportunities to better understand customer business needs and uncover new recurring revenue streams. Read more »

Kodak Alaris Partners with Google to Build an IoT Strategy

Allison Correia
 Jan 29, 2016

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the millions of smart devices that are connecting with each other, and we see it impacting and infiltrating the document solutions industry.  Last year, Google launched Brillo and Weave, the key parts of their new IoT platform, to enable easier device setup, phone-to-device-to-cloud communication, and user interaction from mobile devices and the web. Google is presenting Weave as “a solution for everyone:” OEMs, app developers, and end-users. With Weave, OEMs can build interoperable communications into their devices, build on Brillo, or add the Weave capability library to their existing OS.  App developers can use Weave to extend the reach of their iOS and Android apps by building one app to control multiple devices at home or work, and leveraging Google services such as voice actions. Read more »

Xerox Announces Next Generation Workflow Automation Solutions and More

Allison Correia
 Nov 17, 2015

On November 16th, Xerox announced two new workflow automation solutions for the insurance industry and HR departments, updated versions of two of their platforms (Digital Alternatives and DocuShare), and new components of their MPS strategy for the channel.

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Print Service Provider Concerns about the ‘Cloud’

Jim Hamilton
 Jun 11, 2015

I spoke recently at a user group meeting composed largely of commercial printers when the topic of the ‘Cloud’ came up. I was a bit surprised to hear a very high level of suspicion. I asked the audience: “Who is excited about the opportunities presented by the Cloud.” Two hands went up. “Who’s not?” About half the audience raised their hands. Multiple questions were put forward about data security, possible integration issues, and overall viability. The bad vibes were much stronger than I anticipated.

It continued. The ‘Cloud’ was dismissed as a marketing buzzword. “It’s just a question of where the server resides,” said one attendee. Others were very skeptical about turning over their production data or any client data to a third party. Some said that their agreements with clients would not allow it. Another attendee told a horror story of a cloud service that became unavailable for two days because of a snowstorm and power outage on the East Coast. There was also concern that integrations that their companies had built on top of workflow software could stop working if software revisions were made to the cloud offering. Loss of control, concerns about expense, and cloud-based licensing issues were also key themes. One attendee described the cloud today as a “royal cluster of inconsistent services.” Wow.

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Kofax Lands $2.4 Million Deal

Allison Correia
 Apr 24, 2015

Despite the proposed acquisition of Kofax by Lexmark, Kofax is going about business as usual with the recent announcement of a $2.4 million deal with a leading U.S. financial services firm. Just days ago, Kofax, a leading provider of smart process applications that simplify the business critical First Mile of information-intensive customer interactions, announced that an undisclosed leading U.S. bank has invested in Kofax TotalAgility to automate their banking operations including new customer onboarding, and loan application processing. Read more »

Lexmark International Set to Acquire Kofax Ltd

Anne Valaitis
 Mar 25, 2015

 

 

In what seems to be shaping up as an exciting year in document and information technology, late yesterday it was announced that Lexmark International would seek to acquire Kofax Ltd for approximately $11 a share, or $1 billion. Upon news of the agreement, Kofax shares spiked 36%.  This is most certainly a disruptive move by Lexington, Kentucky-based Lexmark, and it positions them to be a “powerhouse” in intelligent capture and document processing while adding sophisticated platform capabilities for BPM.

Lexmark’s most recent acquisitions:

 

Lexmark’s acquisition spree kicked off in 2010, when the company acquired Kansas-based Perceptive Software (for a reported $280 million) with the goal of transitioning from a hardware-centric vendor to a solutions provider. Perceptive Software was a major provider of ECM software and solutions with specific strength in the higher education, healthcare and government sectors and its Image Now software platform offers a broad range of workflow solutions.

The marriage offered clear synergies for growth at a time when Lexmark’s revenue had slumped following the decline of the inkjet market.  Lexmark’s subsequent exit from the inkjet business reaffirmed the importance of new revenues streams. Lexmark, with its global infrastructure of direct & indirect channel for printing hardware, was an excellent fit for Perceptive with its advanced software solutions and vertical expertise. Both came from positions of strength in the medium sized business sector reaching up to the enterprise.

 

 

 

Irvine California-based Kofax provides a diverse set of software and platform solutions for information intensive customer interactions.  With $297 million in revenues reported in 2014, the company has direct sales operations in 30 countries and 850 channel partners working in 70 countries. Kofax has also made strategic acquisition investments in recent years.  In February 2013, Kofax acquired Altosoft to add business intelligence and analytics, then shortly after in July they acquired Kapow for data analytics. In September 2014, Kofax further strengthened its capabilities by obtaining Softpro GmbH for e-signature and fraud detection.
The combination of solutions from Lexmark (with Perceptive) and Kofax for sophisticated capture, intelligent routing, data mining/analytics and other key business processes creates a very strong and comprehensive portfolio.

“The acquisition of Kofax enhances our best-in-class offerings so our customers can capture, manage, access, and act upon their information more efficiently, and extends Lexmark into the high-growth smart process applications market,” said Paul Rooke, Lexmark chairman and chief executive officer. “Our customers will have a breadth of hardware and software solutions that connect their information silos and automate their business processes – enabling them to access the most relevant information at the moment they need it to drive business forward”.

“We believe joining forces with Lexmark benefits our customers, partners, employees and shareholders and the merger will build on Kofax’s rich history of continuous innovation,” said Reynolds C. Bish, chief executive officer, Kofax. “Our market-leading ability to simplify and transform the First Mile™ of customer engagement is a strong complement to Perceptive Software’s strength in managing information across silos. As a result, we’re excited about the future and working together to realize the full potential of this opportunity to the benefit of all stakeholders.”

 

The Kofax acquisition reflects Lexmark’s ever-growing emphasis on software (including enterprise content management, business process management, document output management, search, intelligent capture software, vertical-oriented solutions); other high value offerings like laser products and MPS; and creating synergies among all three. The Kofax pickup also provides Lexmark with strong end to end vertical industry solutions such as financial services, insurance and healthcare, thus providing a foothold in the entire document lifecycle.     This is a significant move for Lexmark into software, considering a short time ago they were primarily print focused. This industry will continue to change and transform rapidly away from printed pages, and towards flexible, sophisticated solutions designed to solve business problems.

 

HP Introduces Next-Generation LaserJet Printers

Christine Dunne Dunne
 Mar 10, 2015

Today, HP announced the global launch of a “re-engineered, sleek” new series of A4 color LaserJet printers intended to make businesses more efficient. The devices—which consist of one MFP and three single function printers—are a significant departure from previous LaserJet products. Comprising new “JetIntelligence” technology, they take up 40% less space; use up to 53% less energy; and wake up, print, and duplex “in a fraction of the time.”

The “enterprise” M552 and M553 single function printers, for instance, offer 100% duplex productivity—meaning that in addition to printing 40 one-sided pages per minute they can achieve 40 images per minute spread across two sides of the page. HP says the announcement represents its most significant laser printing re-engineering since the launch of the first LaserJet in 1984.

Footprint of New HP LaserJet Devices

Source: HP press event in New York City

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HP Flexes Its Packaging Muscles: Part 1

Ron Gilboa
 Nov 24, 2014

HP’s Graphic Arts division demonstrated its ongoing commitment to the future of digital printing for packaging applications by announcing a partnership with Kama, a major manufacturer of finishing automation.. The announcement came a part of a recent open house that Kama held at its Dresden, Germany headquarters; also at that event, Kama, a 120-year-old manufacturer of automatic die cutters, hot foil stamping systems, and folder-gluers, revealed its collaboration with HP Indigo to launch a prototype of the FlexFold 52, a folder-gluer that will become commercially available in Q2 2015. During his introduction, Kama CEO Marcus Tralau proclaimed that “packaging is coming home” to Germany with this new technology introduction.

The FlexFold 52 offers automatic setup for rapid changeovers from one job to the next, making it ideal for producing short runs of folding cartons. Setup is handled via JDF and JMF commands, and the device can automatically adjust the length and width of the folding elements before gluing them together at a speed of 200 meters per minute with nearly whisper-quiet operation. Developed in collaboration with HP Indigo’s team, the system complements the capabilities of the HP Indigo 30000 printing system when producing folding carton applications.

 

Kama FlexFold52

Kama FlexFold52

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