A couple weeks ago, Canon, through its European subsidiary, announced it was planning to acquire document capture ISV and systems integrator I.R.I.S., which is based in Belgium, outside of Brussels. Following is a Q & A put together through a correspondence with the Canon PR department about how the two companies will work together going forward. Basically, it sounds like Canon will enable I.R.I.S. to operate primarily independently, but that the companies will now be able to share more intellectual property. (As far as I know, the only current jointly developed product between the two organizations is the Advanced Scanning module in Canon’s UniFlow platform.)
1. How will the acquisition change the way that Canon is currently working with I.R.I.S.?
Canon anticipates leaving I.R.I.S. Group as a stand-alone company within the Canon group (in line with the acquisition of other software companies in the group). This should allow I.R.I.S. Group to keep its focus on high-quality product development.
Canon has no intention to change any of the strategic relationships in place between I.R.I.S. Group and third parties.
2. What will change at I.R.I.S. as a result of the acquisition?
See answer to question 1.
3. Does Canon have plans to market the I.R.I.S. products through its channels worldwide, or still primarily in Europe?
Canon anticipates leaving I.R.I.S. Group as a stand-alone company within the Canon group (in line with the acquisition of other software companies in the group [Therefore and NT-Ware]). This should allow I.R.I.S. Group to keep its focus on high-quality product development.
4. How will the operation of I.R.I.S. Professional Service group change under Canon?
See answer to question 1.
5. Can you tell me anything about the timing of the acquisition? e.g. why the decision was made to buy the whole company after spending three years as an equity partner?
The relationship between Canon and I.R.I.S. Group has developed very well since 2009 with Canon contributing well to the sales of I.R.I.S. Group’s products and both companies working together to develop new solutions.
However, the relationship is limited in its nature to that of a strategic commercial relationship due to the mutually agreed rules between Canon and I.R.I.S. Group that govern sharing of information.
Canon has a long standing strategy to develop end-to-end solutions in the business environment for its customers. This is better achieved when the relationship between Canon and I.R.I.S. Group is stronger and not subject to the current restrictions.