Anacomp announces new alliances which bring hosted capture to its already broad range of services. The trend towards a one-stop shop will appeal to many.
Anacomp, best known until last year for its docHarbor document repository, has taken a further step towards offering a full service solution for data handling. It first came to attention on my patch – litigation and regulatory disclosure – last year with the acquisition of the highly-regarded document review application CaseLogistix. This seemed a sound move, giving an attractive front-end to encourage data into Anacomp’s enormous storage capacity.
Earlier this year, it turned its attention to the other end of the process – getting data in – by an alliance with IPRO which integrated IPRO’s eCapture application into CaseLogistix. The aim was to provide a seamless data acquisition path from first import into IPRO through to display in CaseLogistix.
A betting man might have put money on the probability that the next step would involve the capture of paper documents and other media, and that is exactly what Anacomp has done. Alliances with EMC Corporation and with Kofax bring their scanning and intelligent capture and management solutions into play to feed the docHarbor repository.
The main message in the press release is this passage:
Designed for rapid deployment and production capability, Anacomp’s hosted capture services are available via a web-browser and require minimal client personnel, and no server installations, software downloads or additional up-front capital expenditures. Offered services include document preparation, scanning, indexing and conversion, intelligent document recognition (IDR), advanced data extraction, multiple retrieval options and data integration and delivery into enterprise systems
What it boils down to is that Anacomp is by-passing the need for businesses to outsource the conversion of paper into data to a third party bureau, and enabling direct input into docHarbor via a web browser, either by the client company itself or by making use of Anacomp’s own services.
This is consistent with an aggregation going on across the market, with the bigger players extending their scope from one end to the other of the capture-storage-review-archive continuum. The lines are blurring between what were distinct products and services – something I hope to explore in a wider article shortly.
What is not clear – yet – is what this will do for those who come to these pages for guidance as to how to give and receive electronic disclosure for UK courts and for regulatory investigations. Anacomp’s press release gives the impression that this end of their service is for companies with enormous continuing requirements for data capture. That, of course, is the market at which the press release is aimed, and my impression may be a false one. All the players target their promotional material at the bigger and most lucrative business, and one is never really sure whether the products scale down for more everyday tasks and more typical scenarios.
On the face of it, what is described in the press release ought to be attractive at the lower end. Taking tasks like this in house generally involves replacing transactional outsourcing bills with capital investment, but the passage quoted above strongly suggests the best of both worlds – keeping the work in house without significant investment, with Anacomp’s resources available on demand as a service.
There is only one way to find out – get quotations for more than one way of skinning the cat. As UK courts begin to demand a closer involvement in the management of cases it will, I think, become more common for the lawyers to get quotations for discrete stages of the disclosure process, if only because the courts require them to. The temptation to consider a company offering a one-stop service will increase, and several companies are extending their offerings beyond their primary fields – LDSI’s development of LiveReview and Epiq’s acquisition of ECM are examples which I have written about recently.
Whether this will work for Anacomp depends perhaps on whether they can create the relationships with potential clients which the existing UK service providers have, and on how well they promote CaseLogistix as a review tool over here.
It is not clear anyway whether the hosted capture service is available in the UK – the web front-end can obviously be anywhere, and Anacomp has storage facilities in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. EU clients will want to know that every stage of the processing is done in the EU. Anacomp’s very attractive new corporate web site – a 40th birthday present to itself – has not yet reached the UK and it is not clear from the existing UK site which of the company’s new products and services are available here.
I will try and find out more. Anacomp’s European headquarters is at Wokingham where the telephone number is +44 (0)118 936 1600.