IBM acquires document capture firm Datacap

IBM has today announced the acquisition of Datacap, a software firm specialising in document capture.

IBM is to integrate Datacap within its Enterprise Content Management (ECP) business as part of its Software Solutions Group. It intends to use Datacap and its software developments in paper-intensive industries such as healthcare, insurance, government, and finance, all of which it believes will be only too happy to digitise their documents for better organisation and management, which will ultimately, according to IBM, drive down costs. Just like in the NHS and all of its successful IT incarnations.

Datacap currently has over 200 clients throughout a range of industries, including the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Dutch Tax Office, Dow Jones & Company, and St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Centre, giving IBM a large pool of customers to add to its existing base.

Datacap has already worked with IBM before. In fact, the two companies have had a partnership for fifteen years, with Datacap’s former CEO, Scott Blau, now holding the position of Director of Enterprise Content Management at IBM.

With more than half of companies failing to have a data retention plan, and 75 percent of companies  storing data, including useless documents, indefinitely, it’s not difficult to see why IBM was interested in Datacap. The sheer volume of documents companies produce will mean that one day it simply becomes unsustainable, particularly with the world becoming more environmentally aware.

Storing paper copies of everything may still be a popular thing to do, but as we move into the next decade it’s almost certain than many companies will want to digitise everything and will require document capture software to convert their existing data into a neater, more accessible digital form.

“We’ve chosen to make Datacap’s approach the foundation of IBM’s document capture strategy,” said Ron Ercanbrack, VP of Enterprise Content Management at IBM. “Datacap’s approach to image capture, using sophisticated business rules management, sets it above the rest in the industry and provides the most complementary capabilities for IBM.”

The financial terms of the acquisition were not revealed.