Vanguard Systems, Document Imaging Solutions Merge
August 21, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Vanguard Systems, a supplier of document management, workflow, and related storage applications for the i5/OS and OS/400 platform, has merged with Document Imaging Solutions, a provider of document processing and content and records management software for the Windows platform.
DIS has created a set of records management tools called e-DMS/Workflow, which runs on Windows boxes. Like other enterprise content management (ECM) players–notably FileNet, which was acquired by IBM two weeks ago for $1.6 billion–DIS has created a set of customized records management extensions to the e-DMS/Workflow product that are tailored for specific industries. Specifically, e-DMS/Workflow has been tweaked for the following industries: electronics, aerospace, and heavy manufacturing; automotive distribution; chemical and metals manufacturing; engineering services; financial services; healthcare; insurance; retail, utilities; education; and government. Not only do these tailored programs create and store the right kind of documents for each business, but they have the workflow that each industry typically uses embedded in the product, so documents can be routed around a company as work progresses. This is, in many ways, the real transaction processing that most companies do and to which the central systems that drive ERP software or other back office applications are only intermittently connected.
DIS had most of its success in manufacturing firms, engineering companies, and utilities. Vanguard, by contrast, created an OS/400-based solution called IMS/21, which was commonly used among midrange insurance, healthcare, financial services, and distribution companies that also rely heavily on documents to do their business. IMS/21 is used to keep electronic versions of all of the fax, invoice, statement, and other documents that OS/400-based applications generate, and you can also plug in notes, contracts, resumes, and other kinds of documents. The idea is to get everything that was once on paper or that would have been printed out on paper turned into electronic data that is stored on a central system and that is searchable.
The financial details of the merger of these two privately held companies was not disclosed. Vanguard is based in Media, Pennsylvania–an apt name for a document management software provider if there ever was one–while DIS is located in Dayton, Ohio. The companies said that they will keep the two names separate for their products, and will continue operating from their current facilities and retain all of their respective employees. The two firms have already begun the process of integrating their software, too.