As a bit of a background, Zia Consulting is a value-added reseller and systems integrator of content solutions. In addition to being a long term Ephesoft partner, we were the second partner to join in 2010. Since then, we wrote two books on Ephesoft, helped develop and deliver certification training for years, and delivered multiple implementations in a slew of horizontal and vertical solutions.
I have read several posts on the acquisition of Ephesoft by Kofax. Mostly, I agree with a post from Ralph Gammon. The market will consolidate as companies try to grow their customer base and/or expand their product set. We will see this across the entire software market, not just capture. It is a matter of the current state of the economy, with venture firms cashing out in a down turned market.
As with most acquisitions, I don’t believe there is going to be any major changes in the next couple of years. If anything, we will see changes in branding and marketing. Even that is likely to be down the line. During that time, Kofax and Ephesoft will be reviewing the technology and synergies within the company.
While some are concerned about conflicting technologies, I don’t see it that way. When Kofax evolved from Kofax Transformation Modules (KTM) to Kofax TotalAgility (KTA), they moved from a traditional Intelligent Document Capture (IDC) platform to an enterprise orchestration and process automation solution. Today, KTA has workflow, RPA, form processing, capture, eSignature, analytics, and many other enterprise features. While KTA is a very powerful enterprise suite, I believe there is room for companies that are just looking for an IDC platform to enhance the automation of their solution. For those companies, bringing in KTA may be like bringing a shotgun to a knife fight. In this instance, I believe that Ephesoft may be a better fit for their capture needs.
Ephesoft gives the ability to create configuration for document classification, separation, and data extraction for either traditional mailroom automation or embedded capture via web services for portals, RPA, workflow, or service bus. KTA may be the ticket for an organization that needs all those features. However, many will already have other technologies or developed a proprietary solution. For those customers, Ephesoft is easy to use and integrates with out of the box integrations with RPAs (e.g., UiPath), ESBs (e.g., Mulesoft), various databases, many content repositories, and much more. If desired, the open framework allows for customization. It also has flexible deployment options varying from hosted, cloud, private cloud, on-prem and can be deployed on Windows or Linux. It is important to note that web services allow for integration in a headless manner. Customers can embed IDC that adds automation of document classification and data extraction in existing applications without having to retrain employees or change customer experience.
I also believe there is going to be a lot of room for cross pollination to make each product better. A good example is the introduction of Semantik AI in Transact, as they can both use and expand on an ML/AI engine to enhance the out of the box ability for automation. Ephesoft was going down the road of microservices and containerization for their product. Since Kofax has already done that, they can contribute to their efforts.
Things will unfold in the coming months and years, but I believe that this acquisition will make both products more powerful and successful. Keep an eye out for other thoughts related to engineering, channel partnership, and marketing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pat Myers, EVP and Co-Founder
Pat has 20+ years of software architecture and engineering experience across many industries. He is an Enterprise Content Management and Capture expert and an authority on Robotics Process Automation. Pat’s experience ranges from application development and consulting to sales and business development. He is an author of two editions of Intelligent Document Capture with Ephesoft, and co-developed the original certification training. Over the years, he has taught Ephesoft certification courses internationally. In 2021, he was inducted into the Inc. 5000 Master’s Group. Outside of work, Pat enjoys family time, snowboarding, biking, camping, and making great memories with friends.