I should have known better than to fly U.S. Air. Last time I flew with them, I ended up stuck in some two-star hotel near the Birmingham, AL airport overnight because of mechanical difficulties. Then, just last month, they narrowly avoided a disaster near New York. Now, of course, I’m stuck in Brussels, well not really in Brussels, but in an airport hotel outside of town for an extra night due to, you guessed it, “mechanical difficulty.” But enough on airlines…
I’m out here because I attended the annual I.R.I.S. conference, which went well with a few hundred attendees and some significant announcements. Details in this week’s DIR. The most imortpant announcement was probably that I.R.I.S. continued its profitable growth, up 13% over $100 million Euros for the first time and also generating cash. They run a pretty good business, with a lot of high-end document imaging focsued solutions installed Belgium, France, and Luxenburg, and some pretty good OCR contracts with the likes of HP, eCopy, and Adobe. Recently, they’ve been adding IDR technology to their mix and last year launchced their own capture software after working for several years as Kodak’s OEM developer of capture technology.
Speaking of Kodak, here’s an interesting quote from the press release they issued today:
“The success of Kodak’s core investments stems in part from the company’s ability to maximize its cash-generating businesses. These market-leading product lines represented approximately $6 billion in revenue in 2008, and include the following: Prepress Solutions and Document Imaging in GCG, Digital Capture & Devices and Retail Systems Solutions in CDG, and Entertainment Imaging from the Film, Photofinishing and Entertainment Group (FPEG). For these businesses in 2009, Kodak will focus on margin improvements, including cost reductions, as well as continuing its successful intellectual property licensing program.”
So, it’s good that Document Imaging is generating cash, but it’s bad that apparently cost reductions are going to be made to apparently help make up for losses in other areas. Curiously, the press release didn’t get into too many specifics about the money losing areas, of course that was probably done in depth enough with the fourth-quarter report.