Monday, February 27, 2012

Kofax: Less to capture or inadequate capture solutions?

Kofax this month announced a reduction in benefits of 40.6% in the last half of 2011 and is expected in the first quarter of 2012 and continue the decline incompany profits.
Kofax now plans to look "beyond the traditional capture market"  which seems for them to have few prospects for growth. Others, however, don't think the same, according to HarveySpencer Associates Inc., the capture market is expected to reach $ 3 billion. Furthermore, according to AIIM, companies continue printing, copying and faxing a trillion pages annually.

If the market continues to grow and sales are falling, Kofax has to wonder if the solution is meeting market expectations. Some of the weaknesses of the Kofax Capture applications are:

Compatibility limitations
Most Kofax applications have been developed to run on Windows. While it is true that Windows absorbs 84% of the market of operating systems, there is still a 16% market that does not work with proprietary operating systems. In terms of servers, the market changes a bit, according W3Techs in 2011 63.90% of the servers using an OS other than Windows. Kofax Capture 10 (released 08/31/11), the latest version of the capture software leaves out most versions of Windows Server prior to 2008, except for some in 2003. In terms of browsers, Kofax Front Office, in its latest version, 3.5.2 only works with Internet Explorer 7, 8 and 9, while Firefox and Chrome in 2011 took over 70% market share and are left out.
As for integration with other document management, Kofax has fewer compatibility hassles. Officially, Kofax supports integrations with EMC Documentum, IBM DB2,FileNet, OpenText and Oracle 10g and SharePoint (although some of its partners have developed other UNOFFICIAL connectors Kofax which are not supported directly). But in Databases we find difficulties again: Virtually it is only recommended the use of Windows SQL Server and Oracle.
For customization, integration and development, more of the same, we can only do it in C# or Visual Basic.

Expensive licenses
Kofax provides a licensing system according to the workload, equipment (or workstations), that will make use of it, but also, modular licensing or specific functionality via plugins. Modular licensing types are often the most beneficial to the user, since they pay for the new functionality, no matter who or how much uses it. To get an idea, let's see how a Kofax product costs. The Kofax Express product, which doesn't offer classification of documents, distributed capture, or various types of documents (which means too much manual work to do), but it helps scanning and indexing batches of documents, has 5 separate licenses. Suppose we choose the license for the average volume of production (which can work at 90 pages per minute). In dollars, just for the right to use the software you're charged around 5,100 dollars, but a maintenance contract is also required which costs almost $ 1,100 per year per workstation. That is, pay for two workstations around $ 7,300 without counting the costs of integration with the DMS.

Software made ​​by developers for developers
Although the latest versions of Kofax products have improved considerably the user experience when installing the application and making it work, this remains one of the weaknesses of the range of capture solutions. For the software to operate in the desired manner, it is required the installation of various modules and the installation itself often requires technical support or some type of training. Kofax Capture 10, has eased much of the initial configuration process, as did the version 9. Now we can use an automatic install, which, however, will require a number of configurations in an initialization file. Kofax requires installation and configuration on both client workstations and servers, and if you choose a different database than the standard (SQL Server 2008) installation is a bit more complicated. However, we repeat, in this sense Kofax has made strides in the last two versions with respect to ease of use, installation and configuration.

Click here to see a comparison between document capture solutions such as Athento, Kofax, EMC Documentu and other useful solutions.

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