IBML acquires Intelliscan (Banctec)

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IBML acquires Intelliscan (Banctec)

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IBML and Intelliscan (known previously as Banctec) were fierce competitors for over 25 years, selling into the narrow market niche for ultra high volume (UHV) document processing at the world's largest banks, insurance companies, and government offices. These companies had to (and many still do) process millions of incoming paper documents every month, and normal business scanners could not handle it.

The Undisputed King of Ultra High Volume Intelligent Document Processing

I am a software analyst and rarely report on scanner hardware companies. But IBML is a different breed of document scanner company, one who has always integrated intelligent document processing (IDP) and AI software with its specialized high-speed hardware. So its acquisition today of the Intelliscan scanner solutions from Exela, the large BPO company, is of interest to the greater IDP community.

IBML and Intelliscan (known previously as Banctec) were fierce competitors for over 25 years, selling into the narrow market niche for ultra high volume (UHV) document processing at the world’s largest banks, insurance companies, and government offices. These companies had to (and many still do) process millions of incoming paper documents every month, and normal business scanners could not handle it. A UHV scanner with software could cost as much as $250,000 – and some customers bought dozens. 

UHV scanners are impressive mechanical and digital devices that can digitize paper at eye-watering speeds over 10 pages per second. Both IBML and Banctec went well beyond page scanning and over the years added intelligent software functionality such as field-level OCR extraction, barcode reading, and automated outsorting into separate bins. Go to ibml.com to see this in action.

Both companies also had to create their own document capture software because Kofax and other capture software could not keep up with the speeds. Today IBML sells a full IDP software suite and a cloud document management solution. Some of its scanner customers will prefer this as a “one throat to choke” solution.

With this acquisition, IBML cements its position as the undisputed king of ultra high volume document processing. Paper volumes in business processes have peaked and even declined in some industries. But with some regions of the world still drowning in paper, combined with the long lead times to change government operations, we predict at least 15 to 20 years before the demand for UHV scanners diminishes. Good move, IBML.

Every IDP vendor who wants to sell large enterprise deals should pay very close attention to where IBML scanners are sold. Why? Simple. That’s where you will find the highest demand for IDP.
 
(full disclosure: I was IBML’s CMO from 2011 to 2016.)

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