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Scan-Optics to acquire SCS

Following on the heels of several product releases, Scan-Optics has decided to take the M&A route to build its market share. The company has signed an agreement to acquire Southern Computer Systems (SCS), a provider of production data input solutions. The deal is expected to close in the middle of June. SCS has 2,700 customers and 40,000 users of its products, and recently unveiled the VistaCapture image data capture suite. The move seems a natural part of an ongoing trend to analyst Bruce Silver, of Bruce Silver Associates. "It's tough to make a business out of hand-built custom hardware, but Scan-Optics has been making it work with increasing solution value," he said.

"The proposed purchase of SCS meets our stringent criteria," according to Scan-Optics CEO James Mavel. "It is expected to have an immediate positive impact on our top line as well as our bottom line, and complement our current business with new products, core competencies, skilled solution service personnel and a large established customer base." With the addition of VistaCapture, Mavel believes that Scan-Optics "can offer our customers an even more complete, single source data processing solution." According to Mavel, "Both companies have very prestigous customer bases and by coming together we think we can be more efficient."

While Scan-Optics has a firm hold in the healthcare and regional government, SCS brings strength in federal government applications. In many verticals, the companies compliment themselves, according to Mavell. For instance, while both are strong in transportation--SCS has many applications dealing with weigh bills while Scan-Optics has a major presence on the proof of delivery side of the business.

"We're extremely excited as the strengths of Scan-Optics and Southern Computer Systems brings to bear a significant player in the data capture market," said Raymond Griffin, president of SCS. Griffin said the acquisition really builds a solid player in terms of "a complete set of services" including consulting, application development, integration and ongoing support. SCS CEO Stephen Freeman said he is "pleased to be entrusting the large and prestigious customer base to a company like Scan-Optics that has many years of successful experience in this market."

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