Company targets electronic conversion

Anticipating a growing need in the federal government for converting print and data streams into electronic format, the Xenos Group Inc. recently opened a federal office and started shipping a new version of its flagship software, which it is marketing to agencies.

Xenos, based in Richmond Hill, Ontario, sells document "presentment" software that enables agencies to convert any print or data stream into any digital output media on any platform, according to the company. For example, the company's software, dubbed Documorph, can take documents stored on legacy systems and convert them to Hypertext Markup Language, Extensible Markup Language, Adobe Systems Inc.'s Portable Document Format and other formats. Documorph 2.0 started shipping last month.

The software is geared toward organizations that have a high volume of paper documents, such as customer bank statements, manuals and bills that they want to send out electronically. "Our target is large organizations, including the federal government. We specialize in high volume," said Marian Lewandowski, vice president for professional services at Xenos.

The Internal Revenue Service and Defense Department, for example, which make documents and forms available in PDF format, are potential clients, Lewandowski said. In addition, the U.S. Postal Service may want to take advantage of a system developed by the Canada Post Corp. that allows it to deliver mail, such as bills and advertisements, via the Internet. Documorph handles numerous print inputs and converts them to HTML as part of that system.

Xenos is looking to add its products to the General Services Administration schedule as well as other governmentwide contracts, said Deryck Weaver, account manager at Xenos, who heads up the company's federal office. "A lot of agencies are confronting the [problem] of legacy systems and sending out large numbers of documents via high-speed printers," he said.

Xenos plays a role in the larger electronic statement and electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) market, which is expected to reach $31.7 billion in 2005, according to a study conducted for the company by Killen & Associates, Palo Alto, Calif. The electronic statement segment is one of the fastest growing components, increasing from $500 million last year to an estimated $8.2 billion by 2005, the study found. "Data extraction from legacy systems is one piece of the bigger puzzle," said Karl Duffy, vice president at Killen & Associates. "It may involve electronic payments or advanced one-to-one marketing. It can involve customer care." For example, some organizations can take what they know about a customer and cross-market other services to them online. So EBPP can not only cut costs, but also create new sources of revenue, he said.

Xenos is in a good position because any organization wanting to get into EBPP has to start by transforming print or data stream into electronic format, said Avivah Litan, research director for financial services payment systems at Gartner Group Inc.

"If you want to size it, it's any document that goes in the mail today can now go over the Web," she said. "Invoices, bank statements, credit card statements—anything that you get in the mail is a potential candidate for this technology. Xenos is one type of vendor because it can help get the data out."


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