Kofax Transform Keynote: Martyn Christian and Anthony Macciola

The morning keynote came after the first round of breakout sessions, with Martyn Christian (CMO) and Anthony Macciola (CTO) providing some history of Kofax and its uses, plus a lot more about where it’s moving from a technology standpoint and how customers are using it. This is my last session of the conference since I have an early afternoon flight, so provided a good summary and wrapup to my Transform visit.

Their current message is around capture-enabled BPM: combining the Kofax content capture processes with the TotalAgility (Singularity) dynamic case management capability to improve the capture and processing of information. Capture becomes the driver and initiation of the business process, rather than something separate that happens before the process begins; in some cases, recognition can be sufficient that human intervention is removed and the whole business process is really just the capture and recognition process. When I first was introduced to Kofax, around 1989, it was all about scanning with a bit of recognition; now, it’s about all sort of content ingestion and recognition to reduce or eliminate human involvement in non-value-added tasks such as document classification and indexing. As greater integration with TotalAgility occurs, I expect that we’re going to see human intervention during content capture to be handled more as ad hoc or unstructured exception cases in that environment rather than the more traditional Kofax structured transactional environment.

Point of origination capture is also an increasing important part of their strategy, and was already evident from the breakout sessions that I’ve been attending over the past 1.5 days: control of MFPs and mobile devices through KFS, plus content capture capabilities on customer-facing portals. I’m seeing this trend in all areas of business process: customer-facing employees and customers want more functionality on the device of their choice, and IT can no longer specify (for example) that document capture is only done in centralized scanning facilities by data entry operators.

They walked through the case management capabilities coming in through the Singularity acquisition: I expect that some number of Kofax customers will be considering using that for at least the front end of their business processes rather than their existing BPM systems, since you can set up cases to do things such as define the documents required for a case and prompt for the missing documents. If TotalAgility is integrated pre-committal (that is, before documents are moved from Kofax Capture to a content repository such as SharePoint or FileNet), this has the capability to assemble the complete case of documents before committal for lower latency. Of course, there are many situations where you don’t want to do that pre-committal, for example if the documents need to be more widely available, but I can think of a number of use cases where assembling the complete set of documents is something that needs to be done interactively with the front-line capture user, and a round-trip to the ECM platform would just slow things down.

Is Kofax going to capture 35% of the BPM market, just like they have 35% of the capture market? No way. But can they make the front-end of document-centric processes much more capable and flexible, and likely eliminate some integration to heavier BPM platforms for case creation/completion? Absolutely.

They covered some of the emerging Kofax analytics tools – content extraction analytics, content analytics, traditional business intelligence and visualization, and predictive process analytics – and although they don’t see themselves as an analytics vendor, they provide capabilities for either standalone analytics into your Kofax-based processes, or driving into more comprehensive analytics solutions.

The keynote moved on to a panel at that point, but I had to duck out to catch my flight – check out the Transform Twitter stream for more updates on what they talked about.

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