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What’s behind the merger mania?

In a move that initially raised a few eyebrows, has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Cardiff Software for a purchase price of approximately $50 million in cash. But Verity is far more than just a search vendor these days—it now describes itself as an intellectual capital management vendor—so the move makes sense for a lot of reasons.

Andy Feit, Verity senior VP of marketing, explains: “We’re already doing a lot more than just search—classification, recommendation, profiling and evaluation of content. We really operate in the larger enterprise content management space, and acquiring Cardiff extends our offerings into the complete life cycle of content—beginning with how it’s created to how it’s accessed later, to how portals play into that and how to manage it.”

The Cardiff move allows Verity to engage at the origin of where information is created and input. “So the whole forms capture and scanning and other elements bring us in front of the process,” says Feit. “A lot of what Cardiff does are really proxies for business processes—a job application cycle, a purchasing cycle.”

Feit goes on to say, “It’s important to be able to search that information, that you be able to mine data and look for clusters of similar things happening in your enterprise, no matter what business you’re in. There are a number of high-value business cases where this makes a lot of sense. One that we’ve been talking about is a clinical trials environment where doctors fax in their forms for their patient information forms.

“Today, people look at those forms and decide what programs to put people into--which treatment programs, which clinical trials are the best match. With search and classification, you can now more aggressively look for certain kinds of candidates. You could profile the ideal candidate and have it flag and trigger things with our technology. That’s a perfect example of how forms capture can feed into the Verity ICM system and then into a workflow, automatically sending the right form to the doctor so he or she can get the patient into the right program.”

Cardiff products include TeleForm, LiquidCapture and LiquidOffice, a suite that automates document capture, e-forms and business process automation. Verity anticipates closing the transaction in 30 to 60 days, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Cardiff Software sells its products on a direct basis, as well as through an extensive international network of resellers and OEMs, into numerous vertical markets including financial services, healthcare, and federal, state and local governments

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