Kofax has continued its journey beyond document capture tech – buying US-based operational BI vendor Altosoft last week for $13.5m. Building on its acquisition of UK-based BPM technology provider Singularity in December 2011, Altosoft’s technology further extends Kofax’s ability to play a more strategic role for its clients.
In the press release, Kofax talks about helping clients with “the first mile of customer interaction”; this is a neat way to explain how the company is moving beyond just providing the foundation technology for digitising and managing external communication, to providing a much richer technology platform that can help clients systematically improve the performance of their customer interactions and the co-ordination of work that flows directly from those interactions. If Kofax can live up to this promise then it should be in a position to play a much more active role in something that companies are consistently prepared to pay significant money for.
We’ve covered Altosoft in the past (you can find our report on the company for free here); even when we wrote our report in 2008, we could see that it had some pretty interesting technology that would add value to clients looking to carry out end-to-end business process-level monitoring across multiple applications and platforms. [Note that this report doesn't use our up-to-date branding.]
Being Microsoft .NET-based, Altosoft’s technology fits not only with Kofax’s core technology, but also with Singularity’s platform; and, having a SaaS option, it also plays in this respect alongside Singularity. With Altosoft executives coming from BPM technology players Appian and webMethods (among others), there’s also a clear cultural fit here with where Kofax wants to go.
This is a smart move from Kofax; however the company has been struggling with a challenging decline [financial results, as PDF] in its heritage capture business for a while now. This decline isn’t yet being offset by the positive performance of its recent acquisitions, so no-one should expect the addition of Altasoft to lead a reversal of Kofax’s fortunes by itself. Still, the acquisitions of Singularity and Altasoft make Kofax a smaller business process technology player that’s worth watching.