UPDATED 13:50 EDT / NOVEMBER 12 2018

AI

RPA provider Kofax to shell out $400M for Nuance’s document imaging business

Kofax Inc., a major player in the fast-growing robotic process automation market, today announced its first acquisition since moving under the wing of the private-equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC last year.

Kofax has inked a $400 million deal to buy the document imaging business of Nuance Communications Inc., a Burlington, Massachusetts-based enterprise software provider. The unit sells solutions for managing digital and physical documents. That’s not the most exciting field within information technology, but it’s a prime use case for RPA software.

RPA tools from Kofax and other players use artificial intelligence algorithms to automate the repetitive, time-consuming work involved in a company’s day-to-day operations. These algorithms can learn how to perform tasks by observing the way employees interact with business applications.

Kofax’s RPA platform, Kapow, places a particular emphasis on automating tasks that involve handling documents. The company also provides a range of complementary tools for associated activities such as extracting data from forms and collecting signatures. The acquisition of Nuance’s document scanning business should give Kofax a boost in all these areas.

The unit has built up an expansive product portfolio comprised of about a dozen different offerings. Among them are AutoStore and eCopy, two tools that enable companies to extract information contained in documents to the appropriate backend applications. The group also offers a mobile app that lets users securely access business records on their handsets, as well as solutions for managing printer fleets.

Kofax said the printer management products alone boast more than 100,000 deployments. Overall, the solutions that the company is set to obtain through the deal are used by more than 6 million knowledge workers worldwide. 

“Through the acquisition of Nuance’s document imaging division, Kofax will drive customer value by adding key technologies, including cloud compatibility, scan-to-archive, scan-to-workflow, print management and document security, to our end-to-end Intelligent Automation platform,” Kofax Chief Executive Reynolds Bish said in a statement.

For Nuance, the deal will free up much-needed organizational resources. The company said selling off the unit will enable it to divert more attention to its core artificial intelligence and software-as-a-service portfolio, which includes the popular Dragon speech recognition software. Dragon is notable for having helped power early versions of Apple Inc.’s Siri voice assistant. 

The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019. It comes less than a year and half after Kofax’s $1.5 billion acquisition by Thoma Bravo.

Photo: Unsplash

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