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There was some surprise last May when document workflow and print management vendor Lexmark bought ECM vendor Perceptive (news, site). Only six months later the two have released Interact, a jointly developed Embedded Solutions Framework (eSF) application, which slots into some of Lexmark’s (news, site) multifunction products (MFP).

When the deal was signed -- worth in the region of US$ 280 million -- there were question marks over how well Perspective’s ImageNow and Lexmark’s print management software would be integrated.

With this release those questions have been answered. By combining the two, Lexmark says Perceptive has extended the reach and functionality of Lexmark’s products by adding ImageNow (Perceptive’s flagship ECM) into the mix.

The new product called Interact enables users to:

  • Intelligently capture information at the point of entry and send it across the enterprise
  • Connect documents captured by Lexmark with business applications across the enterprise
  • Centralize content regardless of where it’s captured
  • Customize the e-Task capture touchcreen to add document management to specific business processes.

Lexmark and ECM

Although Lexmark already had some document management capabilities through its DocMP application, an application which manages document workflows from capture to storage using Lexmark’s Multifunction Peripherals (MFPs), buying Perceptive added a full enterprise content management system that has already made in-roads into the education, healthcare and government segments.

As well as moving it into the ECM space where it is able to market its extensive MFP line of products, Lexmark said at the time that the deal would provide it with new revenue streams in software maintenance and professional services that are not paper usage dependent.

Perceptive’s ImageNow platform was the focus of this acquisition, which differs from other document management platforms by adding its technology to a specific business process rather than applying generic document management software across an enterprise.

Easily and quickly integrated with many ERP, CRM and line-of-business applications, the last upgrade to ImageNow came with eForms, workflow views and out-of-office workflow routing.

Perspective’s Magic Quadrant

Percpetive has also been making ground in its own right. In the recent Gartner’s ECM Magic Quadrant, it made it into the challenger’s quadrant based largely on ImageNow’s fast integration and transactional content management.

Gartner also suggested that one of its weaknesses was that its install based was principally in the US and that it would take time before it got properly grounded in Europe.

However, with this release and the fact that its ECM can now be sold along with Lexmark’s MFPs, Perceptive should make inroads into markets that have until now been closed. It will be interesting to see where it ends up in the Magic Quadrant next year.