Gdox enters eDocument world

There’s a new kid on the eDocument management block.

Global Document Solutions Inc., which launched in April, is looking to capture 50 per cent of the document management market in North America, said company president Mark Welfred.

To achieve that lofty number, the London, Ont.-based firm,

which currently sells direct, is working on establishing channel partner relationships across Canada, United States, England, Germany, Australia and Dubai.

It recently signed its first channel partner in St. Louis, Missouri.

The privately-held company specializes in Electronic Document Manage-ment System (eDMS) — a set of computer-based technologies used to capture, process, index, store, access, view, revise, reproduce, distribute and dispose of information.

Unlike traditional imaging systems that are designed to capture images of paper documents, eDMS is designed to work with scanned paper documents, electronic documents, output from mainframe computers and e-mail.

eDMS spending on the rise

eDocument management is the ability to archive most file formats into one central repository, allowing information to be retrieved, viewed and shared with employees, partners, consultants and agencies anytime, anywhere. Gdox’s solutions include document imaging, document optimization, file conversion, collaborative workgroups, security SSL, backup restore and archive retrieve.

Welfred, who has been in the office equipment business since 1989 and is also president of office equipment dealer Doering & Brown Corp. — a Gdox dealer — had spent a number of years trying to develop a solution to address the document management market.

The first Web-based version of Gdox was developed as part of a collaborative effort with the Bank of Montreal in Toronto in 2000. Gdox maintained all communications including digital and paper documents between all parties involved in BMO’s Value Based Management learning portal.

Market trends show that document management spending has risen steadily over the past five years and accelerated after 9/11. Forrester Research reports the volume of stored information is growing at 200 per cent per year. An Aberdeen study found content/document management software is the number one planned purchase, ahead of CRM, in 2005. Over half of study respondents said they have “”intent to buy.”” Celent Communications reported that between 2002 and 2003 companies spent around $18 to 20 billion on IT insurance spending.

Despite the market reaction being the same here and in the U.S., Welfred says the difference is the amount of work his company can accomplish south of the border. “”In Texas alone, there are 2,600 dealers. It’s just the sheer volume and that it’s closer together,”” said Welfred. “”We’re setting up Canadian dealers, it’s just that our focus is on the U.S. right now.”” Gdox is targeting copier dealers, aiming to have installed 200 dealers by the end of the year. Welfred says he’s getting a lot of calls from dealers in the U.S. who are looking for eDMS that deliver higher margins than traditional office equipment such as copiers.

Gdox lists Fujitsu as partner

Fujitsu’s line of scanning equipment is completely integrated with Gdox’s all-in-one document imaging solution. Doering & Brown, which used to sell Fujitsu fax machines in the ’80s, was one of Fujitsu’s premier resellers.

“”It is a bit of a small world,”” said John Hay, national sales manager at Fujitsu Canada Inc.

“”(Gdox) was quite comfortable with the quality of product we offered when we did do the fax machines and we’ve built a very strong reputation in the marketplace with our document imaging scanners as well. The business (Gdox) moved into is a natural tie-in with our product line.””

Hay says the market is growing and there’s a lot of changes coming about on the regulatory side that are having organizations look at how they control and manage their paper information. For example, after 9/11 companies began looking at having disaster recovery plans in place.

Evans Research Corp. tracks the document imaging market and has seen growth in this area.

“”Document management is a growing trend in businesses today,”” said Michelle Warren, IT industry analyst at Evans Research. “”It’s improving business processes and it helps improve communications between departments and organizations.””

Part of that trend can be credited to Microsoft and its push towards online collaboration and tools. “”Individuals are working in different environments across the world. If you have document management you’re able to easily share documents from computer to computer,”” she said.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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