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Abbyy aims at intelligent document processing for business users.

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Travis Spangler has spent 15 years as a partner and reseller executive for the Abbyy document capture system, observing the evolution of the vendor up close.

As Director of Sales and Operations for User Friendly Consulting in Lawrence, Michigan, Spangler leads an IT team dedicated to implementing and managing Abbyy’s newest platform, Vantage, and other Abby products. Vantage is a drag-and-drop, low-code document capture system aimed at business and non-technical users.

Abbyy started in 1989 as a provider of language and dictionary software and entered the traditional optical character recognition software market. Founded in Russia and now headquartered in Milpitas, California, the vendor has offices in 13 countries.

Over the past 20 years, Abbyy has been a pioneer in AI-based intelligent document processing (IDP) technology that enables organizations to easily digitize complex physical and text documents such as invoices, driver’s licenses and contracts. has become one of the best known brands in the growing market. .

“We kind of grew as their technology developed,” says Spangler.

Abbyy introduced Vantage as its first cloud-native platform in 2009, with many features based on machine learning neural networks, as well as a SaaS version of its traditional FlexiCapture system. The vendor released a major upgrade to his Vantage 2 in August 2021, along with the Abbyy Marketplace of pre-packaged skills for automating document data extraction and classification.

On June 8th, the vendor released a new set of out-of-the-box skills, including skills that extract data from bank statements, tax returns, payslips, and identification documents in 248 countries. .

Referring to the CRM and CX giant’s vast ecosystem of software capabilities, Spangler said, “We realized there was a lack of a Salesforce-like platform in the IDP market.” When we realized that this was not only a low-code, no-code SaaS offering, we also had ideas for this whole market and partners like us to contribute.”

Its long history allows Abbyy to be characterized as a legacy player in the field of document capture and processing, but it has evolved to keep up with technologies such as AI, says IDC analyst Neil Ward-Dutton said.

They have put a lot of energy into modernizing and innovating their platform. They have worked hard to stay in the lead pack.

Neil Ward-DuttonAnalyst, IDC

“They have put a lot of energy into modernizing and innovating their platform,” he said. “They have worked hard to stay in the lead pack.”

Young startups have embraced new technologies such as natural language processing and AI-powered computer vision from the beginning, but face the challenge of scaling to meet the needs of large enterprises. The question for incumbents like Abbyy is whether they can innovate fast enough, he said.

“Abbyy has done very well in this regard and they have a huge customer base,” he said. “And if we can convert a significant percentage of that customer base to her Vantage, we can keep our shareholders happy.”

Abbyy is private. Merlin Equity Partners became the largest shareholder with a May 2021 investment.

Abbyy competes with start-ups and start-ups such as AntWorks, Edgeverve, and Indico Data, including software automation vendors such as Automation Anywhere, Hyperscience, and WorkFusion. Well-established vendors in the intelligent document processing market include Kofax, Parascript, Datamatics, IBM, Microsoft and OpenText.

“For example, we have specialists who perform well in very specific use cases, such as contract analysis,” Ward-Dutton said. “But looking at a kind of generic solution, I think Abbyy does a really good job.”

Abbyy’s journey over decades is consciously recognized by its leaders as vendors appeal to a new class of non-data scientists, non-data engineers, who are increasingly climbing the ranks of enterprise data workers. Evolution.

Abbyy has also relied on its size and stature to provide stability to its customers, innovating at about the same pace as younger vendors entering the market.

Anthony Macciola, Chief Innovation Officer, said:

“The market we have historically worked in, the capture market, could not be farther from low-code,” he continued. “Like us, all of our historical competitors prioritized flexibility over ease of use. Now the business knows the process, his users, the knowledge workers themselves, start automating I am authorized to do so.”