I just returned from a Nuance analyst conference in New York City. It was held at LDI Color Toolbox on Broadway, a very successful dealer that focuses on nationwide accounts. LDI also apparently sells a lot of eCopy, as eCopy hosted an analyst event there a couple years ago.
It’s a great venue, but what was especially interesting to us was the Canon/eCopy message that Nuance was presenting. No, eCopy founder Ed Schmid was not there, although he is apparently still is a VP assisting with the transition, but Nuance Executive Robert Weideman talked extensively about the ShareScan and even the PaperWorks desktop products that were picked up when Nuance bought eCopy last year. Interestingly, Nuance’s Paperport, definitely a more successful desktop product than PaperWorks to date, was hardly mentioned. It may just have been the crowd, as LDI is a Canon/eCopy dealer and Canon has some top execs on hand as well, but Nuance’s voice recognition products got more play than their legacy imaging products. And Nuance certainly has some interesting ideas about integrating voice with imaging technology….
It’s probably worth nothing that Ricoh, Xerox, and Nuance’s Personalized Scanning Platform, which it kind of touted as an eCopy killer before the acquisition, were barely brought up. Well, Ricoh was brought up, but just as competition for Canon…More on all this in the first March newsletter.
One other thing, while the event was going on, Nuance introduced a free PDF reader to compete with Adobe’s free reader. I’m mean, they’re free, right, so what’s the competition? Well, Nuance also introduced a PDF to Office conversion service available through the cloud to users of its PDF reader. It’s also free, but eventually, I guess the plan is to charge for something. Weideman did note that Nuance is number two in the PDF conversion market behind Adobe (I assume he means revenues), and it at least seems to be cementing its position there.