Nuance aquires eCopy

October 6, 2009

Here is the link so you can read it for yourself. Congratulations Ed & Crew!

The first thing that came to my mind is finally eCopy will get a better OCR engine. It’s no secret that I have NOT been a fan of the ReadIRIS OCR capabilities. And the “answer” has always been that you can use OmniPage if you want, the problem has always been the cost to upgrade. Now that Nuance owns both OmniPage & eCopy I am hoping that the default OCR engine will be greatly improved. I am not sure that they will have a choice, because from what I am hearing ReadIRIS dropped eCopy (like Canon droped Ikon) once their chief rival bought them. Go figure?

There has been increasing pressure on eCopy to separate their offerings from what the MFD Manufacturers now include in their own embedded scanning solutions. There have also been a lot of other companies nipping at eCopy’s heals with similar Scan stations (like EFI’s SendMe).

eCopy’s strengths are their extensive connector catalog for their SSOP  product (over 250) and now an emerging connector catalog for their Desktop\PaperWorks product. Their other strength is a unified End User Scanning interface across platforms. For dual line dealers (for instance we sell & support Canon & Konica Minolta) this can be a powerful arguement to lead with an embedded eCopy solution. Now with Nuamce strengthening their OCR engine, as well as possibly other Nuance technology making its way into the eCopy product line this could help them stay relevant even as the manufactures close the gap on their own scanning solutions.

One thing that I would like to see added to both eCopy’s SSOP and their Paperworks product is Nuance’s Dragon Naturallyspeaking voice recognition capabilities for Indexing!!! If it worked as advertised that could revolutionize indexing documents before committing them to a document Management system. Indexing, adding the meta data to the scanned image, is the key to making a Document Management System work. But everyone is always trying to make indexing easier (read less typing). Voice recognition (if it works well) could be a quantum leap in document indexing, both in speed and ease of use.

I really love it when two solid technologies come together in a previously unconsidered use to solve a real business problem. Sir Isaac Newton said “If I have seen father than other men, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.” Nuance & eCopy, You have a real opportunity here, I hope that you have the vision to make it work. Good luck!

That’s my $0.02
Vince McHugh

PS: The only sad note, for me personally, is since I turned down that job offer from eCopy a few years back, I won’t be cashing in on any stock options, I hear that there are some happy folks over at eCopy tonight. Good for you!



  1. Some additional Info I just received (off the web).

    Prior to the sale, Nuance had filed a lawsuit against eCopy, I.R.I.S. and ABBY(of Russia), claiming that all three companies were infringing on its OCR engine patent. (this lawsuit may have forced eCopy to sell)

    eCopy, which used an OCR engine from I.R.I.S. of Belgium, will now use the OCR engine owned by Nuance

  2. This is going to be bloodshed for ecopy. Nuance is coming in and raping all technology and moving engineering to Budapest much like they have done with previous acquisitions. Everyone at ecopy is just waiting for the pink slip. It is a shame since there are many talented engineers that have worked hard over the years to make eCopy the leader that it is today. Oh and the stock option thing most got screwed by the accounting mess up that was baked into the plan. BTW Nuance has no interest in keeping SSop or Paperworks the software that helps to automate document workflows. They want to squash it like with silly xSolutions or other lame software that they have aquired. Incorporate their lame-ass pdf creater based on Adobe 6.0 – what is adobe at version 9.0?? Seriously??? Nuance has aquired so many companies over the years they have lost the soul of who they originally were. eCopy had a great soul and Nuance is treating it like just one more acquisition to gobble up and say yes we own this and we will sue if you come close to our technologoy. Sorry but eCopy is home to real people that have been turned into just bottom line assets for Nuance. Shame on you Nuance for only thinking of the bottom line and not the peoples lives that you affect and the way you do it.

    still working at ecopy but expecting the pink slip anyday now. Actually Nov 2nd is supposed to be the blood bath week. Hope we still have a job then.

  3. There are two distinct and different things that eCopy has that Nuamce needs;

    eCopy’s extensive connector catalog and eCopy’s distribution channel. While it is possible for Nuance to simply absorb the eCopy technology (including the connector catalog) it will be difficult to farm out the eCopy Channel to India. If they try to do this they will do it at their own peril. They will need to maintain a dealer presence. keeping their people in front of the dealers if they want the dealers to Lead with thier products.

    Truthfully, eCopy was struggling to maintain its edge, as the manufacturers were all putting forth better and better scanning offerings built in to their MFDs.

    The combination of Nuance technology (OCR engine, Voice recognition, Paperport) and eCopy’s technology (SSOP, PaperWorks, 250+ Connectors) could help them maintain their unique edge. It will be a shame if Nuance squanders this opportunity.

    While I appreciate your unique insight, I hope that you are mistaken.

  4. While the end result remains to be seen, I must say from a personal perspective, eCopy had a truly supportive, positive, healthy culture. Yes, we did bicker amongst ourselves, as any family often does. As with any company that grow quickly there was indeed process to consider and leadership needed in some areas more than others perhaps. However at the end of the day, and the beginning of the next, we were all proud employees of eCopy, and proud co-workers of each other. We all have different journeys in life, our work is only a small portion of that journey. However it is an important one. To have worked for eCopy as it was, proud and started in a condo with a very large dog for a mascot, it is indeed a sad day to see it become not about the people and quality of product, but about a very simple business fact in America today…… The bottom line.

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