Recognising that it has been trying to make money out of a fairly small market, London-based SoftCore UK Ltd is using its experience in electronic document management, until now concentrated in the Mac field, to move into the open systems arena. It has gone to Odesta Corp, Northbrook, Illinois for its Livelink Workprocess Systems, a […]
Recognising that it has been trying to make money out of a fairly small market, London-based SoftCore UK Ltd is using its experience in electronic document management, until now concentrated in the Mac field, to move into the open systems arena. It has gone to Odesta Corp, Northbrook, Illinois for its Livelink Workprocess Systems, a document management, work flow and collaborative computing package, and added to it document capture and storage technology. It will aim the product at organisations with mixed computing systems that need to process documents, paper or otherwise, and images. And while it would not talk market share it expects Livelink to boost company turnover to $2m from $1.2m last year. That’s if people come to accept it as a Windows-type provider and not simply a Macintosh specialist, as which it has specialised up to now. Back in 1988, the company chose the Apple Computer Inc system as the host for its electronic document management software, because the Mac was then the only machine with a viable graphical interface. The move to the potentially far more lucrative market of Windows-based machines and Unix is seen purely as a commercial decision and that is why the company has bought in the technology and not developed it itself. The resulting package, the company said, is system-independent – all the code runs in the database application so once it is set up for the customer’s database it can move from hardware system to system. It comes with its own tool kit so users can customise the interface. Livelink is actually release 3.0 of Odesta’s software. It works on Windows-based personal computers and Macs, and will be available on OSF/Motif clients for RS/6000 and Sparcsystems by the end of the year. Integrated into Livelink is Watermark Enterprise Edition for image-enabling personal computers and Acrobat Capture which provides an alternative format, Portable Document Format, enabling documents to be viewed in Windows, MS-DOS, Mac and Unix environments. The company expects a lot of its current customers, 250 in all in Europe, to migrate from its ArchIS Mac product to Livelink. However, while all the products within the package are well known individually, the integrated stuff has not been beta tested. But the company said its customers have confidence in it and it has confidence in the products it has used and so is not expecting any problems. Originally a Belgian company, Softcore moved its headquarters to London 15 months ago, closed the Brussels office and opened one in Amsterdam, which it reckons is a better location from which to target Europe.
It will market Livelink in Europe, but probably not in North America as it, and the products the company has integrated into it, are of American origin. Also its main competitors, Saros Corp, Documentum Inc, FileNet Corp and Odesta, are all American and it believes it can make a bigger impact this side of the pond, although it may license to Odesta some of the integration work it has done. But the company said it will continue to support, ArchIS, which it developed with the help of Apple’s money (CI No 1,940). Livelink costs ú7,000 plus ú1,500 per attached personal computer, a little bit more for Unix terminals, but the unit price falls as the number of users rises. The company said the number of users that could be supported was only limited by the power of the server.