In another strategic move by Kofax, the company has acquired German company Softpro GmbH which is a leading provider of signature verification, signature fraud prevention, electronic signature (e-signature) software and services. The acquisition of Softpro GmbH has been confirmed by Kofax in a Press release on September 2, 2014. The acquisition costs a total of $34.7 million in cash to Kofax, out of which $31.2 million has already been paid on September 1, 2014 to formally close the deal.
After acquiring Singularity, Altosoft and Kapow, the latest acquisition of Softpro by Kofax is another bolt-on to the TotalAgility based Kofax Smart Process Application platform. More than 20,000 existing Kofax customers are going to benefit most with this strategic acquisition of Softpro GmbH by Kofax.
It is quite easy to see how the existing Kofax product suite compliments this newly acquired signature verification and e-signature technology.
Softpro GmbH – Expert in Signature Verification and Fraud Solutions
In the last couple of years, we have witnessed a phenomenal increase in online financial, e-commerce and m-commerce transactions. It means an increased demand and focus on transaction security and accountability of transactions not only for B2B transactions, but also for B2C transactions.
Softpro GmbH is well known as an expert in signature verification and fraud solutions as well as processing electronic signatures. The company has developed many e-signature technologies such as SignAnalyze®, SignBase eFlow® and FraudOne® to manage signature verification and fraud solutions. Softpro GmbH has also developed another set of signature products under SignDoc® to support e-Signing of electronic documents on mobile, web as well as desktop solutions.
Softpro Acquisition Fuels Kofax Smart Process Application Platform
With the rapid growth of e-commerce and m-commerce markets across the globe, the acquisition of Softpro by Kofax is going to accelerate their Smart Process Application development and deployment platform. Digital transaction management is going to be much easier than before with the combination of Kofax TotalAgility platform with Softpro’s digital signature technology. The stage is geared up to transform the overall digital business environment globally.
The acquisition of Softpro by Kofax is mutually beneficial to both the companies. Kofax has been quite interested in developing e-signature technology from a long time. Softpro has already established itself as a leader in signature technology amongst many leading financial institutions such as Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and Citibank. This strategic acquisition will help Softpro to expand its reach to global market, including its penetration to North American market. Now, Softpro is in a better situation to improve its product development, marketing and sales processes by gaining access to a wide array of Kofax resources.
Integration of e-signature Capabilities into Kofax TotalAgility SPA
On one hand, Kofax deals in Smart Process Application development and deployment platform while on the other hand Softpro GmbH has developed signature verification and e-signature capabilities. The acquisition of Softpro by Kofax is a strategic acquisition that will catalyze the growth of both the companies by complementing each other into their business offerings. Softpro will continue to sell its products and solutions in a standalone mode, along with an integration of their e-signature capabilities into Kofax TotalAgility, Smart Process Application development and deployment platform. It is expected that by the end of 2014, Softpro will be fully integrated into Kofax.
e-signature Integration – Competitive Advantage to Kofax TotalAgility
The opportunities from this strategic acquisition of Softpro by Kofax are unlimited. Now, Kofax need to harnesses the power of e-signature by embedding it into their solution strategy to take their Smart Process Application platform to another level. It also gives an added advantage to Kofax over its competitors such as EMC, IBM and OpenText. Organizations can now enjoy smooth and fully streamlined secure digital transactions happening at a very fast pace. Delays introduced because of the wait involved in signing the documents physically will now be eliminated.
E-signature embed into Kofax solutions will also reduce the operating costs by eliminating the overheads involved with physical capture and verification of signatures. Now, consumers have one more reason to choose Kofax over its competitors. Kofax can now integrate e-signature capability in their solutions workflow to transform the entire Smart Process Application platform as purely digital. It will be a great opportunity for all the Kofax financial vertical customers.
e-signature Eliminates the last Barrier to Hybrid Paper-to-digital WorkFlow
The vision of business strategist Geoffrey Moore seems to be getting instrumental with this acquisition of Softpro GmbH by Kofax. He has said that the acceptance of e-signatures has removed the last barrier present in a hybrid paper-to-digital workflow. E-signature breaks the dependency of handwritten signatures to close a contract. Now, users can smoothly sail through the workflow without waiting for their handwritten signatures to get verified for the completion of any digital transaction.
Challenges to Existing Kofax Partners and Kofax Developers with Softpro Acquisition
Looking at the acquisition of Softpro GmbH by Kofax from an integration viewpoint, the SignDoc SDK can throw some new challenges at the existing Kofax Partners as well as Kofax developers. Kofax developers may need to brush up their C, C++ and/or Java skills. The news about its Windows, Linux and Apple iOS support also seems to be quite promising for Kofax TotalAgility users and developers as it will widen the development scope on almost all the major operating systems.
Softpro GmbH is a private company headquartered at Boeblingen, Germany, founded in 1983 by Heinz Reschke. The company already enjoys a huge market share in the e-signature domain. Softpro is involved in marketing and developing applications as well as developer kits, including the devices used for digital capture, digital transaction management and digital/electronic signatures verification and fraud prevention. Kofax has announced that the principal shareholders and the existing Softpro employees will continue their positions in the same capacity.
Implications of Softpro Acquisition by Kofax on Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform
Adobe seems to have been a very important partner of Softpro GmbH, especially in e-signing for Adobe Reader. It will also be quite interesting to see how the relationship pans out in the long term with Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform (ADEP – formerly known as LiveCycle). The situation appears more speculative because ADEP is a competitive product to TotalAgility.
In the upcoming blog articles, I will look at integrating the SoftPro software and hardware components with the TotalAgility Kofax Smart Process Application platform. Stay tuned and do not hesitate to leave your comments, views and thoughts on this strategic acquisition of Softpro GmbH by Kofax, which has a strong potential to change the future of Smart Process Application platform.