Capture-enabled business process management (BPM) technology vendor Kofax is partnering with open source enterprise CMS solutions provider Alfresco to provide an integrated BPM/enterprise CMS platform.

Managing Information

Kofax designs its technology to capture and streamline the flow of information through a business. Meanwhile, Alfresco applications are intended to organize the storage of business documents and other content. By combining their functionalities on one platform, the vendors hope to enable the management of enterprise information, as well as its transformation to actionable data that can be shared across the enterprise. According to the vendors, they already have numerous mutual customers.

Kofax Extends Functionality

For Kofax, the partnership with Alfresco continues a pattern of the vendor trying to extend its BPM functionality through acquiring or integrating with other vendors. In May 2011, Kofax purchased imaging software developer Atalsoft for US$ 5.5 million in cash.

Kofax followed the acquisition with the January 2012 release of Kofax DotImage Enterprise Edition, a repackaging of the former flagship Atalsoft product. The new DotImage gives browser-based portal applications document scanning, viewing, annotating and processing capabilities that can go beyond the firewall to line-of-business applications. Kofax says the result is the extension of a common capture architecture across the enterprise.

And this new partnership is not Kofax’s first joint venture with Alfresco. In June 2009, Alfresco included upgraded support for Kofax Capture in version 3.1 of its enterprise CMS. Open source document management vendor KnowledgeTree offered integrated Kofax document capture capabilities. Kofax, which has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1997, announced plans for a US IPO in September 2011, but has not done so to date.

Alfresco, which released version 4 of its enterprise application in February 2012, has also been busy trying to extend its reach. The vendor partnered with Jive to allow socialized enterprise content management later in February, and introduced a cloud solution the following month. March also saw Alfresco release five Formtek extensions for tasks including auditing and file linking.

It’s All Data to the End User

The new Kofax-Alfresco partnership, as well as other recent integrations and product releases from these vendors, illustrates once again that, although vendors make distinctions about what type of data they help manage -- enterprise information, documents, social data, cloud data -- to the end user it is simply “data.” Businesses don’t really want to have to deploy one solution to manage content coming in from social media and another to manage content coming in from image scanners. They simply want to collect, aggregate and analyze data as conveniently as possible while avoiding silos. Judging by this and other recent content management partnerships and joint ventures, it appears vendors are catching on.