CXO

Perceptive Software's closing the gaps in enterprise content management

Perceptive Software wants to tackle unstructured information with its content software. CEO and President Scott Coons talks about the company's latest ECM release and new hybrid cloud platform.

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Image: iStock/IvelinRadkov

Perceptive Software, a business unit of Lexmark International acquired in 2010, provides process and content management software designed to close the "information gaps" in modern organizations and reflect how people do business. According to the corporate website, those gaps come in the form of uncontrolled processes and unstructured data.

Perceptive Software held its annual Inspire conference in Las Vegas in April 2014, where it announced Perceptive Content 7, the latest version of its enterprise content management (ECM) product, and Perceptive Evolution, its new enterprise hybrid cloud platform meant to allow customers to quickly move and manage content in the public cloud, the private cloud, and on-premise environments.

Also newsworthy is Perceptive Software's entrance into the Leaders quadrant of Gartner's ECM Magic Quadrant report in September 2013. Gartner cited Perceptive Software's "strong execution and customer focus," adding that "customers are generally highly satisfied" with their product line and its ease of deployment.

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Perceptive Software's Scott Coons
Image: Lee P. Thomas
Since 2010, Perceptive has used acquisitions (with financial and strategic support from Lexmark) to fuel a substantial part of its double-digit growth. In the ECM Magic Quadrant report, Gartner wrote that Perceptive "needs to better articulate its strategy and road map" for its acquisitions, noting that its purchase of Twistage and Acuo Technologies helped to strengthen its solutions in healthcare and higher education.

TechRepublic recently had a conversation with Scott Coons, CEO and President of Perceptive Software, regarding the Content 7 and Perceptive Evolution announcements, and also the company's business model, growth, and acquisitions. Here are the highlights of our talk.

Perceptive Software's value proposition

"We first start with this unstructured information challenge that is in front of our customers. The value proposition to the customer is our ability to take process and content management solutions and apply them in very deep, industry ways, and to provide the software in a way that it's easy to integrate with their core systems, easy to manage, and easy to use. The value proposition ends up being a lower total cost of ownership, and a higher return on investment. I know those are often overused terms — but at the end of the day that's why we win. And I've spoken with a lot of customers who have said that's why they chose us."

Perceptive Software's business model

"We now see our business as four primary capability areas: capture, content, process, and search."

"Process management is basically process automation, even if content is not a part of it. Intelligent data capture, which is providing meaning to the data that you bring in, is taking a piece of paper and extracting meaningful vector information off of it so that it can be used in downstream processing. And we bought an enterprise search product that allows us to extend our reach across the other capabilities."

"Enterprise content management typically is the content you manage within your own ECM system. There are plenty of other information depositories or silos that aren't managed in your system. So search, as an example, gives us the ability to get to everything, and aggregate it to the knowledge worker. Capture allows us to bring the most value into content, and then process allows us to provide the connectivity between various core systems to automate processes that are not easily automated in other systems. And they all kind of work together to effect a solution. That's extremely important to our growth — it has fueled our past growth, and it is fueling our growth moving forward."

Organic growth and acquisitions

"We have been very busy with strong growth due to acquisitions and with strong organic growth as well. We have a lot of initiatives. You look at the numbers, we are growing very fast, it's just about doing our best to continue to execute at [a high] level."

"We are working hard to get all that technology integrated. The [acquisitions] that we made a few years ago, it's all been integrated. The more recent ones we are still working on. So from a technology perspective, we want to bring those capabilities together, and continue to create innovative solutions. From a customer perspective, it is to continue to get better and understand and listen to our customers, and get better at providing great products and services."

Perceptive Content 7

"One of the big things we are seeing in the market is this challenge around unstructured information. And Content 7 addresses a lot of this. It's not only the type of content you have to manage, but the amount of content you have to manage. When you get content into your organization, it's your responsibility to deal with it in both audit and governance, as well as being able to synthesize it in a way that brings value to your customers."

"We offer Content 7 in the cloud, and we host it for many customers. But it's primarily an on-premise solution. You can access information and interact with the product through the browser, or through your mobile devices. What we released in Content 7, that our customer base was really excited about, we reached what is called DoD 5015 certification, which is a Department of Defense certification around records management."

"Content 7 is integrated with our Rich Media Management. It will manage not only documents, through library services and things of that nature, but also manage audio and video. That's our current product offering. It is powerful, highly scalable, and we have lots of customers using it across a variety of industries: very large customers and SMB type customers."

Perceptive Evolution

"For two and a half years we have been working on this next platform, Evolution. And in a lot of industries that we serve, a lot of customers have concerns about moving their corporate unstructured information to the cloud; some industries are moving faster than others, and obviously some are playing catch-up with a lot of the consumer-based products. But as they want to move that information to the cloud, Evolution allows them to get there in a very modern way, and there are a lot of strengths to that."

"The great thing about Evolution, eventually everything that's in Content 7 will be available on Evolution. One of the things that was really neat was to make it so Content 7 and Evolution could talk to each other. There are unique solutions that we have already announced on Evolution that tie directly into the Content 7 product line, so customers can start to move some of their solutions to Evolution over time."

"And one of the products we announced on Evolution is called Cloud Share (available in May 2014), and it's designed for marketing organizations to manage rich media. It's kind of an enterprise version of YouTube, if you will. It is designed for large businesses who don't want their data in the public cloud, they want it in their own private cloud."

About Brian Taylor

Brian Taylor is a contributing writer for TechRepublic. He covers the tech trends, solutions, risks, and research that IT leaders need to know about, from startups to the enterprise. Technology is creating a new world, and he loves to report on it.

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