Nuance Adds Document Management to its Portfolio with New Equitrac Acquisition

Nuance Communications, which markets voice-recognition and document-imaging technologies, will acquire Equitrac Corporation, which markets document tracking, management, and cost-recovery software, for $157 million in cash.

Equitrac, which was established some 30 years ago, has more than 25,000 customers in 70 countries, and its print-management solutions are deployed in Global 500 companies, AMLAW 200 legal firms, as well as in colleges, universities and school districts. Among Equitrac’s print-management and cost-recovery solutions is Equitrac Office software. With this software, administrators can track print, copy, and scan usage, generate usage reports, set and enforce print rules (including rules that help reduce print costs, such as duplex- and black-only printing), determine print costs for departments, authenticate users, and re-direct print jobs to more cost-effective printers and MFPs.

Nuance expects to complete its acquisition of Equitrac late in the fourth quarter of Nuance’s fiscal year 2011, which ends September 30, 2011. For fiscal year 2012, Nuance expects its Equitrac acquisition to add between $27 million and $29 million in revenue.

Overall, the acquisition should significantly expand and enhance Nuance’s market presence and document-imaging portfolio, the latter of which includes eCopy ShareScan automated scanning workflow solutions that it obtained when it purchased eCopy in 2009. Nuance also markets leading software such as OmniPage OCR software for converting scanned files into “editable” digital files; PaperPort software for organizing and managing scans and files; and PDF Converter Professional software for converting files into Adobe PDFs, and which it OEMs to printer and MFP vendors.

By adding Equitrac, Nuance will likely also enhance its global partnerships with printer/MFP vendors such as Canon, Xerox, Konica Minolta, Ricoh and Hewlett-Packard, all of whom currently sell both Equitrac print-management and Nuance eCopy scanning solutions through their dealers or as part of their Managed Print Services programs.

Equitrac President and CEO Michael Rich, noted, “There’s a long history of customers selecting Equitrac as their MFP print-management solution and Nuance eCopy as their MFP scanning solution. From day one, the combination of Nuance and Equitrac delivers the best of scanning and best of print management to our customers and partners worldwide,” For printer/MFP OEMs, an advantage should be that one company (Nuance) can now provide both eCopy and Equitrac solutions. Equitrac will also give Nuance access to Equitrac’s partnerships with Fuji-Xerox, Lexmark, and Samsung. Equitrac, which also connects to over 50 cost recovery, auditing and financial systems, will expand Nuance’s capabilities to include support for enterprise applications such as SAP and others.

For the office and enterprise, Equitrac also markets its FollowMe printing solution. With FollowMe printing, users print documents from their desktop as usual, then swipe a plastic card or enter log-in credentials at a networked MFP’s control panel to view and select their documents for on-demand printing. The advantage is that the user can print from any networked MFP that’s most convenient or closest to them.

Nuance says that it will offer both eCopy and Equitrac products as an integrated product, but will also continue to offer eCopy and Equitrac as standalone products that support both print and scan partners, such as NTware, NSi, Omtool, GlobalScan and SafeCom.

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