Well it looks like Open Text has finally stepped into the scanning arena, bringing it to parity with other vendors. Scanning has been a long missing piece in the Open Text suite but the acquisition of Captaris for $131M will fill that bubble for them. That’s half of what EMC paid for Captiva. But as Alan Pelz-Sharpe at CMS Watch points out, this acquisition may add some interesting headaches to Open Text.
For some Captaris might be a new name but for those that have tried to integrate faxes into content management system the name is probably very familiar. RightFax is a very affordable solution for scanning and integrates into every major ECM system and several vertical applications, like SAP and Siebel. The acquisition of this technology will put Open Text ahead of many of the other ECM vendors. In fact, it may even add a bit of complexity to scanning offerings of other ECM vendors as thy look for a replacement.
But will adding this technology be worth the extra headaches? This acquisition adds an sixth content management framework to Open Text. Adding to Open Text’s own CMS framework, acquisitions have brought in frameworks from Hummingbird (PCDocs), IXOS, Artesia, and RedDot. Furthermore, Open Text has made virtually no effort to integrate the platforms and you have different frameworks for different pieces of the ECM puzzle. I almost hesitate to call them an ECM vendor.
And they’re really not getting much more. At first I thought maybe being Redmond based they were getting some former Microsoft execs that could help them get more attention at Microsoft. We’ve speculated before that Open Text might be looking for an acquisition themselves from Microsoft. But none of the execs come from Microsoft. So it really looks like all they’ll be getting is scan and fax ingestion technology and yet another repository. Then again maybe Open Text is looking to be repository agnostic and add services on top of any platform.