Kofax Transform Offers Assurance To Channel
Written by: Vicki AmendolaWhat do the movies Rocky, The Natural, Hoosiers, Rudy, Remember The Titans, Goal, and Miracle all have in common? Every one of them illustrates the power of teamwork and the ‘can-do’ spirit of the underdog. This year’s Kofax Transform event in Austin, TX opened with an inspiring and energizing montage of clips from these movies, creating an atmosphere of excitement and motivation among the more than 300 channel partners in attendance.
The underlying theme of teamwork was undoubtedly sown to calm rising fears among Kofax’ channel partners surrounding leadership and restructuring changes occurring during the past 18 months, with some management changes occurring as recently as three days before the event. Most notably, the appointment of Reynolds Bish as CEO in November 2007 spawned suspicion in the channel that Kofax would walk away from its channel partners in favor of a direct sales model. Although a new direct sales strategy aimed at securing large, enterprise customers was discussed at the event, Bish was adamant in his assurance that this does not indicate an abandonment of the capture vendor’s strong channel commitment.
Kofax leaders also revealed strategies aimed at increasing market share at both ends of the spectrum, both SMB and enterprise. At the high end of the scale, the vendor plans on taking the direct sales approach, citing the fact that most customers of this size prefer to buy from the vendor, and not from a channel partner. Kofax plans to target these sales specifically, and bring in channel partners where appropriate. In the lower and mid-market tiers, however, the channel is still the primary focus. In fact, a new product aimed squarely at these latter markets was announced during the event. Unlike Kofax Capture, Kofax Express is a software solution that meets the needs of smaller companies where stand-alone capture implementations are commonplace. It was designed to function as an all-in-one batch scanning solution, including functionality to address everything from image quality and indexing to release into backend business systems.
In an effort to level the competitive landscape in the invoice processing segment of the capture market, Kofax also announced its purchase of OptiInvoice Digital Technology AB, a company that develops electronic invoice software. The adoption of electronic invoicing requires a capture solution that is capable of accommodating information in both paper and electronic format. Prior to the acquisition, Kofax would need to partner with a third party to provide these capabilities. Now the combination of OptiInvoice, Kofax Capture, and Kofax Transformation Modules will enable Kofax resellers to address these market requirements without requiring outside involvement.
Kofax brought the theme of teamwork and diligence full circle at the closing dinner and awards gala with an inspiring commentary by recent cancer survivor and Olympic gold medalist, Eric Shanteau. Despite the under-the-breath mumblings made by some VARs at the event regarding the emergence of a direct sales model, the majority of those in attendance remain positive about what the future holds for both Kofax and its channel partners. Kofax reported $350 million in revenue last year, equating to an overall 11% market share. (Its biggest competitors by comparison were Nuance and EMC/Captiva, both of which tied at 9% market share.) It will be interesting to see if the teamwork message sticks throughout the coming year. If it does, the resellers at next year’s Transform event could indeed have some very exciting sales stories to tell.