New intelligent and non-invasive routing technology delivers information from any source, in any format, to any destination
Stillwater, OK - January 16, 2001 - Esker Inc. today announced the availability of Pulse, a versatile solution for the intelligent multi-channel delivery of application generated information. Pulse is a server-based solution that recognizes application output, transforms it into widely used formats - PDF, HTML, XML, image, text - and routes it to recipients via secure web server, e-mail, fax, wireless, or distributed print according to the preferences of the recipient. By streamlining and automating the delivery of documents previously tied to costly and sub-optimal delivery methods, Pulse reduces the cost of customer communications while improving service levels through the delivery of essential documents such as invoices, bills, statements, and trade confirmations based on user preference. As a result, Pulse improves the value of the information it delivers while reducing business cycle times that are linked to the delivery of time-sensitive information.
The e-business revolution led enterprises to invest in technology to enable electronic business transactions. However, these efforts primarily enhanced the front-end experience for the user, where e-commerce transactions are initiated. The back-end process of delivering essential e-business documents does not currently benefit from the same level of sophistication and automation that exists on the front-end. For many enterprises, these essential documents remain trapped inside enterprise systems, bound to delivery on paper. Enterprises are now turning to electronic methods of delivering information as they recognize potential competitive advantages in the way they deliver essential commerce-related documents. The efficiencies gained through delivery of information using transport methods and formats preferred by the recipient substantially reduce the cost of delivering these documents.
"At present, both businesses and individuals spend too much time and effort converting documents from one format to another. Any application that enables businesses and their customers to automatically send and receive information in their preferred formats takes some strain off the information exchange process. Savings in time are obvious. Savings in frustration are harder to quantify but perhaps even more important in cultivating good customer relationships," says Sue Feldman, director of document and content technologies at IDC.
"For years, Esker has worked with large and medium size enterprises to automate the delivery of time critical documents through fax," says Dan Speer, CEO of Esker Inc. "Now that email, the web, and rapidly expanding wireless networks are pervasive, these technologies are viable for delivering notifications, statements, confirmations, and other time critical information. Pulse consolidates these electronic delivery technologies into a single platform through which our customers can implement the policies and business rules to automatically deliver the information in the most desirable way. Pulse is unique and timely because it will intelligently automate the communications process based on document content and recipient preferences, all without requiring changes to the source application. We see a tremendous growth opportunity for Esker by providing intelligent multi-channel output capability to web content providers, personalization engine vendors, document management systems, secure delivery providers, and the enterprise application suites of our traditional corporate customers."
Using Pulse to transform and deliver documents based on their content and user preferences enterprises can realize significant customer service advantages. Pulse eliminates the need to modify output generating applications by providing a middle-tier that seamlessly recognizes, routes, transforms, delivers, performs notification, and audits information as it flows out of applications. To the application software producing output, the Pulse server looks like a print destination, making for simple integration. Once the output reaches the Pulse server, pre-defined rules determine where and how to deliver output based on its content. An administrator uses a wizard to specify these rules at the server; so programming skills are not required. These rules provide the parameters to transform output into formats such as text, image, PDF, HTML, XML, and automatically deliver it to users via the web - open or secure -, e-mail, secure transport providers, fax, print services, or wireless devices.
An example application using credit card statements illustrates Pulse’s capabilities. Today, most statements are printed and delivered as hardcopy via standard mail. Pulse will allow statement recipients to indicate their preference for receiving their statement at the financial institution’s web site. Statements would be processed just as before, with the output directed to Pulse.
Pulse identifies the document as a cardholder statement, and then identifies the cardholder by correlating any available identifying information with routing information, probably by referencing an external LDAP directory to retrieve an e-mail address, pager, or fax number. The statement is ultimately delivered to the cardholder in the preferred format. Furthermore, Pulse offers the capability to structure delivery of this information, notify cardholders when they are nearing their credit limit, and provide the option to debit the cardholder’s bank account for payment via an XML transaction. Pulse makes scenarios like this possible without changing core business applications.
In conjunction with the announcement of Pulse, Esker also announced an agreement with the French postal service, La Poste, to connect Pulse to the French Mailev@ postal service. Mailev@ was developed by La Poste to enable application generated documents to be sent with the ease of e-mail. Until now, users of the service had to modify their applications by adapting them to a special interface through which Mailev@ could accept documents for processing. Pulse and Mailev@ now enable businesses that regularly print and mail large volumes of bills or statements to completely automate the delivery of this information by simply redirecting the output print stream generated by their applications to the Mailev@ service through e-mail. Mailev@ receives and translates this information, then prints, folds, stamps, and posts the documents, which are sent as traditional mail items. Mailev@ and Pulse users thus overcome the limitations linked to traditional postal methods, such as local document printing, folding, and mail distribution. Pulse and Mailev@ replace these physical document handling operations with a simple point-and-click operation - without requiring changes to the application that generates the original information.
Pricing and Availability
Pulse becomes available in February 2001 and is being licensed with capacity-based pricing that begins at $17,500.
Esker software enables intelligent access to and delivery of core business information from any data source, in any format, to any recipient. Organizations use Esker software to streamline information exchange, open new channels of communication, and achieve business objectives with new levels of speed and efficiency. Esker extends the reach of information technologies and shortens the distance between people and information. The company’s products include:
- Corridor for Active Server and Corridor Wireless for legacy applications extension
- Persona for web-to-host connectivity
- PulseTM for Intelligent Information Delivery
- SmarTerm for PC-based host access
- Tun Plus for PC-to-host, web-to-host, and multi-user Windows connectivity
The company was founded in 1985 and is traded on the French Stock Exchange (Le Nouveau Marché: 3581). In 1999, the company achieved sales of $29.4 million - a 44% increase over 1998. In September 2000, Esker finalized an agreement to acquire VSI, a California-based developer of fax server solutions. Esker’s operations span North America, South America, Europe, and Asia/Pacific with about 300 employees and an installed base of two million licensed users worldwide. For more information, visit: http://www.esker.com
© 2001 Esker S.A. All Rights Reserved. Esker, Faxgate, General Document Recognition, GDR, Persona, Pulse, SmarTerm, and Tun and are trademarks or registered trademarks of Esker S.A. in the United States and/or other countries. Active Server is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation. All other trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners.
Analyst references for Esker’s Pulse announcement
- Darcy Fowkes
- Virginia Higgins
- Peter Davidson
- Dan O’Brien
- Mark Gilbert
The Gartner Group
- Jim Lundy
The Gartner Group
- Alan Weintraub
The Gartner Group
- Sue Feldman
- Riley McNulty
- Michael Killen
Killen & Associates
- Andrew Warzecha
The Meta Group
- Paul Hughes
The Yankee Group
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