Ricoh to Acquire Document-Management Provider DocuWare

In an unexpected but very interesting move, Ricoh Company of Tokyo, Japan, today announced that it’s entered into a definitive agreement to acquire DocuWare, a leading provider of document-management and workflow solutions, for an undisclosed.

One of Ricoh’s strategies has been to diversify from simply office-imaging equipment.  This has included the acquisition of Anajet for wide-format commercial printing, and recently, the acquisition of Elixirgen Scientific, with which it will be involved with 3D bio-medical printing. Over the last several years, it’s also expanded into digital document workflow solutions, and says in the future, it will expand into industrial and 3D printing.

DocuWare Details

Headquartered in Germany and the United States, DocuWare provides cloud and on-premise document-management and workflow automation software to over 12,000 customers in more than 90 countries across the globe through a network of 600 partners. DocuWare solutions are ultimately designed to enable users to access and retrieve information more efficiently. For instance, DocuWare Intelligent Indexing uses AI-based technology to convert scanned documents into indexing terms for much faster retrieval once they’re stored in digital format. See here for more information on DocuWare solutions.

David Mills, corporate senior vice president at Ricoh Company, stated that DocuWare will operate as a standalone subsidiary of Ricoh and that Ricoh is committed to maintaining and growing its partner program, through expanding its channel network and investing in further product development.

DocuWare currently integrates with Ricoh’s new IM C series of MFPs printers, through Ricoh Smart Integration, providing customers with a simple, secure way of scanning documents and feeding them directly into workflow processes.

Ricoh’s Mills also noted: “We are intent on building a thriving business which meets the growing need of companies around the world to digitize their businesses and workplaces, wherever they may be. We see a strong demand from our customers to maximize the value of their documents and business content to support their growth. The agreement we have made with DocuWare, which has a market-leading, cloud-first content services offering, is a hugely significant step in meeting that need. We are delighted at the additional capabilities we will be able to offer current and new customers.

“Ricoh has a long-term existing partnership with DocuWare, and employs its software both internally in its own operations and with existing customers,” Mills added “DocuWare takes the pain and cost out of business processes, helping reduce human error and, importantly, improve business efficiency to free-up valuable employee time.

“Our ambition at Ricoh is to ‘empower digital workplaces’. What that means in practice, is connecting people to information faster and more conveniently, improving communication and creativity; the synergy between Ricoh and DocuWare speaks directly to this ambition.”

According to Mills, as a long-time partner, Ricoh understands the power of DocuWare’s channel to deliver document management and workflow automation solutions to customers, and wants to strengthen and grow this route to market.

Dr. Michael Berger and Max Ertl, presidents of DocuWare, commented: “DocuWare has a bold growth plan, and that includes enabling current and future partners with leading document management and workflow automation technology. Having Ricoh as a strong investor and owner gives us the certainty that we can achieve our goals and continue to be a reliable, trustworthy and innovative provider for the entire DocuWare partner and customer community.”

Ricoh notes that it’s been investing in digital workplace services by growing both organically and through acquisitions. The acquisition of DocuWare is in line with Ricoh’s strategy to grow its digital workplace offerings.

Ricoh expects to close its acquisition of DocuWare this summer. The acquisition is subject to receiving clearance from the relevant competition authorities in Germany and Austria, and completion of other customary closing conditions. Following completion of the deal, DocuWare will operate as a subsidiary of Ricoh with Dr Michael Berger and Max Ertl remaining as presidents.

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