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Face to Face with Thomas Senger

Q: Kofax is one of the older, more established document capture providers – why do you think Kofax has prospered where others have failed?thomas s kofax

A: Well, I think one of the answers lies with our ability to be able to re-invent ourselves. We’ve been in business for over 30 years, and over that time we’ve managed to combine the best elements of our vast experience with innovation.

Q: Ok, but as an older company which is likely to have an established corporate culture, do you sometimes struggle to be as agile as you’d like to be?

A: No, not at all. The essence of innovation isn’t just present in our software, but in our approach to how we run the business too. In fact, the size of the company works to our advantage in that we are small enough to be agile and respond to new market requirements, but big enough to offer the advantages of global coverage. We are a $330m company - and in fact, within our market segment, we spend more on R&D than many of our direct competitors. And this enables us to be just as innovative around our solutions and platform offerings.

Q: Of course, Kofax’s solution was founded before the rise of the cloud - how are you adjusting to that?

A: Well, as you may know, Kofax is all about the business critical First Mile of real time, information intensive customer interactions and smart process applications.  We help our clients to significantly increase their ability to respond to customers, provide a higher level of service, gain competitive advantage and better manage and grow their businesses – while also greatly reducing operating costs.

And you’re right – back in the mid-80s – the opportunities that the cloud presents were not on the radar. In recent years, many of our offerings have become the perfect enabler to on-board large quantities of data into our customers’ business process and cloud environments. Our customers can choose to run the applications in the cloud, on premise, or in a hybrid fashion.  Of course, this is particularly important when you think about government regulations to keep certain information within your premises.

But on top of our own R&D efforts -  over the last few years, we have also acquired young, upcoming companies who live and breathe the cloud.  Kofax has adapted to incorporate these, and enhance some of the existing offerings.  So, while we’re still focusing on the importance of the First Mile, we have extended our reach into new areas of our customers’ business. Take for example what we can now do with mobile capture, effectively bringing the B2B experience more into line with how consumers operate in their personal lives.

Q: So you’ve been with the company for around 6 years, what do you see as the major changes the company has gone through in that time?

A: For me, I see a couple of major things. Firstly, we have changed from offering technology tools to offering applications. We’ve emerged into an enterprise software company which offers businesses positive outcomes to their processes. And then secondly – the way we go to market has changed dramatically. In the past, scanning was seen as an infrastructure issue, and the technology was mostly sold through resellers. In today’s world, our offerings have become more business relevant and enterprise customers often require a direct vendor relationship - in the initial decision process, and throughout the lifestyle.  So we’ve established a hybrid go-to-market model where we sell direct, often together with System Integrators, and through certified partners/VARs.

Q: In an industry where it’s sometimes difficult to stand out – what would you say Kofax does best? What keeps the customers coming back?

A: Yes, the markets are getting closer and closer. But Kofax delivers robust, scalable solutions with a good return on investment, often within 9 – 18 months.  We’re one of the few vendors in our market segment able to offer global coverage to our customers.  But on top of that, as we’ve just been saying, we thrive on innovation and accompany that passion with a solid reputation built over many years. What keeps customers coming back? Basically – it works.

Q: So where do you see things heading/what’s next for Kofax?

A: Well, we’ve had a very busy few years – with major acquisitions such as Singlularity, Altosoft and Kapow, and most recently - SoftPro. So a big part of our “what’s now” is going to be a roll out of the integration of those purchases as part of our solution and engaging with our customers and potential customers in a big education push. Ultimately, we’ll be continuing with our aim to increase the level of automation our customers can achieve while helping to reduce operating costs.

As far as “What’s next” for Kofax – well, we’re going to continue to expand into additional smart process applications – which will be built on the fundamentals of our core expertise. And we’re going to continue our push into web capture, supplier portals and continue to expand into social media. The next few years are going to be fun and exciting times for us and our partners.

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