Nuance Announces Power PDF

Allison Correia
Apr 11, 2014

Just last week on April 2nd, Nuance Communications announced the launch of their new product, Power PDF (Standard and Advanced), and I joined some of Nuance’s team in Burlington, MA for a day to hear more about the product.

Power PDF is a desktop PDF application for Windows meant for business users that provides them with the tools needed to create, manage, share, and secure PDF files, with additional Nuance features for document conversion, search and connectivity. Nuance’s Imaging division focuses on controlling and managing documents, capture, conversion, and print. PDF is the most commonly used/shared document. Power PDF uses OCR technology to convert PDF to anything, and contrariwise convert any document to PDF. This digital workflow solution serves the entire organization as perhaps something more than just document management or print management. Power PDF brings a higher level of functionality and enhances workflow productivity. Nuance really drilled into the usability of the application, so it’s a natural, intuitive way for the user to work. Jeff Segarra, Senior Director of Product Management at Nuance, who led the afternoon’s discussion stated, “With [the complexity behind] PDF, there is room to break things, but we don’t break things.” Segarra is confident that they have produced the best desktop PDF application on the market.

Nuance claimed they have never before put in so much design, engineering, and research into a desktop product. When researching, they looked at customer experience and workflow. They studied the way users interact with technology, and had extensive beta/preview testing with users. The goal was to reduce the interaction required for use of the application. They learned that PDFs are used differently by different users even within the same organization. With this in mind, Nuance wanted customers to be able to customize their PDF experience. As a result, on the enterprise level an organization can have a network administrator who has the ability to customize the application for specific groups, while also creating a reader version of the application for everyone else in the organization.

Nuance will target vertical markets with key messaging and use of case examples, but they don’t have vertical focused versions of Power PDF. The advanced version has some features that are specific to the Legal market such as stamping, and some features specific to Finance such as conversion to excel and indexing. The functionality for the network administration should allow for specific use within a wide variety of verticals without the need for vertical-specific versions of the product.

Nuance has increased marketing with this product launch to address awareness issues they had recognized with other products. They created an advertising campaign including a radio ad that will be broadcast in North America on stations like Sirius radio and Fox News. There is increased digital media support with the goal to build stronger brand recognition and awareness. Nuance wants to promote their unique value proposition of being “uncomplicated and uncompromised”.

As far as the target channel, currently Nuance sells Power PDF directly to customers and through their global network of reseller, retail and e-commerce partners. In the next 3 to 6 months they plan to roll out to their MFP partners who can sell Power PDF as an extension of their print management offerings for example.

Of course Adobe Acrobat is Nuance’s biggest competitor within this space. Nuance believes Power PDF will be most adopted by large enterprises with the immediate adoption by Acrobat users, followed by new users. They set themselves apart from Adobe by a few key factors. Nuance wanted to make their solution affordable, without compromising high usability and workflow optimization. They wanted to increase the speed within the application and the ease of document conversion. They wanted their product to be easy to maintain, install, purchase, use, and deliver. And overall, Nuance wanted to be easy to do business with by freeing the customer of rigorous licensing and by providing a better total experience.

Nuance Power PDF is “uncompromised” desktop productivity software that focuses on how the business community utilizes PDF and frees organizations from the confinements of traditional PDF solutions. InfoTrends believes that in the future, updated versions could look to accommodate cloud and mobile as their presence in the business environment is ever growing, and also more advanced integrations with their other products could be created. There are also high areas of service opportunities surrounding PDF productivity around document management services and cloud services. It will be interesting to see how MFP resellers handle this product, as Nuance is currently sorting out their relationships with this launch. It will also be curious to see if down the line OEMs will pick up Power PDF, and how they would incorporate it into their current offerings. Nuance has made an increased marketing push surrounding this product launch, as Adobe has held such a strong presence in the PDF market. Only time will tell how successful their more aggressive advertising efforts are as they continue to push out their newest PDF solution.

For more details into Nuance Power PDF’s functions and features visit here.


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