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Industry News - October 1999: Open Text, SAP team up on MySAP.com

This article appears in the issue October 1999 [Volume 8, Issue 10]

Open Text (www.opentext.com) and SAP (www.sap.com) have formed a technology alliance to leverage Open Text Livelink's collaborative capabilities in MySAP.com.

MySAP.com is designed to provide an open collaborative business environment of personalized solutions on demand.

"With MySAP.com, powered in part by Livelink, we can establish collaborative markets and facilitate dynamic relationships. Livelink adds a key ingredient to the success of business collaboration," said Heinz Ulrich Roggenkemper, executive VP of SAP Labs.

The agreement between the two companies is expected to result in MySAP.com users leveraging Livelink functionality to bring buyers and sellers together, form virtual collaborative teams and leverage the collective experience of the entire SAP user community.

Livelink features including focused industry discussion, knowledge libraries and news channels are currently in use on MySAP.com, with plans to use the software's team calendars by year's end.

"This alliance offers a unique opportunity to the SAP business community. The addition of collaboration with MySAP.com Marketplace allows users to instantly create business communities around specific opportunities and interests," said Les McNeill, executive VP of Global Marketing at Open Text. "The alliance with SAP confirms that Livelink is the engine of choice to power collaborative knowledge management for business portal solutions."

MySAP.com debuted last month.

Marking consolidation in the capture market, Kofax Image Products (www.kofax.com) has purchased technology rights to RAF Technology's (www.raf.com) Cartouche automated data capture platform. Kofax gains usage rights to the software, which is targeted primarily at Medicare forms capture installs, postal address recognition and financial services applications. As part of the deal, RAF retains its right to use the technology, but is prohibited from licensing the technology to Kofax competitors.

Kofax intends to leverage the acquired technology to develop a high-end solution targeted at complex data capture.

RAF's OCR engine, according to Kevin Drum, Kofax VP of marketing, "together with RAF's specialized dictionaries and contextual validation, means Kofax now has access to technology that can capture extremely complex forms at high volume and with a high degree of confidence."

With the release of Ascent Capture 3.0, Kofax introduced a strategy to tackle all capture--document capture, where the actual document appearance is pertinent; data capture, where only information from fields on a form are pertinent; and distributed capture, where remote sites capture, process and transfer data and documents to a central location for further processing and release.

With the addition of Cartouche, Kofax positions itself to deliver more capture functionality.

A licensing agreement between Corechange (www.corechange.com) and Autonomy (www.autonomy.com), will put Autonomy's core technology into the Coreport portal.

Corechange's corporate portal will leverage Autonomy to add information categorization and personalization capabilities.

According to Corechange Executive VP Lars Ivarsson, the technology will automate some of the most time-consuming tasks associated with organizing vast volumes of information--from news feeds to Web sites to Notes documents.

Autonomy's technology is "capable of analyzing a piece of text and identifying the main ideas. That means it can automatically categorize each item, insert hyperlinks to related material, and even route it to those individuals most likely to be interested," said Ivarsson. "By using Autonomy's technology to organize vast amounts of internal and external information into easy-to-navigate directories, Coreport will help its customers make information easy to find. And by enabling Coreport to provide personalized reports and real-time alerts to key text-based information, Autonomy will help our customers anticipate each employee's individual information needs."

As part of its European expansion, capture software provider Cardiff Software (www.cardiff.com) has announced that German-based SER Systeme AG (www.ser.com/en) has selected Cardiff as its supplier for document capture and data collection products. SER Systeme, a document management and workflow vendor, will work with Cardiff Germany on product integration, services training and support programs as part of the agreement.

Fujitsu Computer Products of America (www.fcpa.com) has formed a new Internet sales and distribution division and online store.

"Our new online store and Internet Sales and Distribution Division are representative of Fujitsu's commitment to an electronic business future. Our initial experience in developing tools that improved operational efficiency in supply chain management and sales force automation helped us realize the dynamic possibilities of the Web," said Larry Sanders, president and CEO of Fujitsu Computer Products of America.

The new unit is dedicated to driving Internet-based sales and service for Fujitsu's line of storage and imaging products.

Integrating voice conferencing and collaboration capabilities is the premise behind an agreement between Lotus (www.lotus.com) and Latitude Communications (www.latitude.com). The companies will work on joint development of Latitude's Meeting Place solution for voice conferencing and Lotus' Sametime collaboration platform, as well as on joint sales and marketing of the solutions.

"Our partnership with Latitude fulfills another piece of the Sametime vision by providing our joint customers with another way to communicate with others," said Paul Haverstock, general manager of Lotus Sametime. "By streamlining the audio and data conference setup and management, customers can quickly and easily engage others in live e-meetings and customer service applications."

In a move to expand its records management functionality, Open Text (www.opentext.com) has acquired PSSoftware.

Open Text, which acquired all the shares of PSS, will create a records management division and add the functionality into its Livelink product.

"The agreement with PSSoftware will broaden our document management capability by providing Livelink users with more advanced records management, for full life cycle management of electronic documents," said Tom Jenkins, CEO of Open Text. "With this acquisition, we are pleased to join the Canadian Government's RDIMS project specifications through PSS. We believe Livelink will bring significant enhancements to this application, as well as other applications presently delivered by PSS to its customers."

According to The Delphi Group (www.delphigroup.com), Open Text is likely the first of the DM vendors to integrate with records management products. However, other DM vendors have done so through partnerships, they said.

"When available, Open Text's product will likely have broad appeal among those evaluating electronic records solutions because it resolves the dilemma of product version synchronization in the hybrid solutions offered today," according to The Delphi Group.

Mitek Systems (www.miteksys.com) has signed an agreement with Unisys (www.unisys.com) to provide its technology to Unisys' Payment Systems Division.

Unisys has combined multiple recognition engines, including Mitek technology, in SoftCAR+ (Courtesy Amount Recognition) to improve recognition results.

The Mitek recognition engine combines CCITT Group 4 TIFF CAR and LAR (Legal Amount Recognition) with JPEG gray level CAR to improve performance. That is further combined with Unisys' JPEG CAR engine.

"Mitek competed for this business by developing a product with unique capabilities for Unisys," said William Boersing, Mitek's VP of North American Sales. "This relationship represents, in real potential, one of our very largest OEM agreements, and I think that people who understand check imaging know that."

"There are really only four of these players--IBM, Unisys, NCR and BancTec," said James Hoyne with Financial Relations Board, an investor relations group working with Mitek. "Mitek is already working with IBM, but the Unisys deal is perhaps larger in its worldwide scope."

KOM Inc. (www.kominc.com) has unveiled its OptiStorm V. 4.0 storage management software for Windows NT. OptiStorm V. 4.0 supports a mixed OS environment and is designed to handled mixed devices and media, all daisy-chained through a single server--including DVD, CD and optical including WORM and RAID.

OptiStorm acts as a device driver and is designed to provide full utilization of NT's capabilities, according to the manufacturer. OptiStorm allows the drives to be viewed through standard system tools.


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