Interview of Don Field by Sebastian Wenzky from Ephesoft partner it-novum

Don FieldDon Field of Ephesoft asnswers our questions. Ephesoft offers an open-source software for document capture and recognition, and has recently become a partner of it-novum. Don Field is CEO of Ephesoft and began his career 30 years ago at Kofax. Since then he has in lectures, workshops and scientific contributions to the challenges of detecting and recognizing documents apart.

Don, how are you connected to open source?
Ephesoft is my third company in the document imaging space. I’ve been able to track the progress from the early days in this industry. I spent 21 years with Kofax running the Professional Services groups worldwide and learned how complex, closed systems cause problems for users and delay implementations. Four years ago I did not know much about the ‘open source’ world but Ike Kavas, my friend and Ephesoft’s CTO, educated me on ‘open source’ and I read books to understand the market.

What does open source mean to you?
We like to say it really means open standards and the ability to leverage the best engineering and tools globally to build the best products at the lowest possible price. Our feeling is most businesses would love to get the benefits of ‘smart capture’ but the big old-line vendors with closed systems have made the barrier to entry too high for these companies both in their requirements for technology and the price point. Open source brings these solutions to the mass market at affordable prices for most companies.

Can you describe your “normal” working day?
With a global company selling in 30 countries; the day never stops. I check email before sleeping and again first thing in the morning. I’m in California and I’m involved in all updates. I receive an update from Ian Pope, our VP of EMEA, early mornings and we frequently Skype on most important issues. There are often calls with current and future partners, users, OEM partners, market analysts, and potential new employees. Each day, I speak with Ike and David Talarico, our SVP, Sales and Marketing-Americas in a group setting to review the key topics and make quick decisions. There’s no bureaucracy in Ephesoft! Decision making is fast and we move forward. The days go quickly as there is always something new to work on.

What has been your most exciting and challenging project so far?
Launching our version 1 product release and well-established was stressful but fun since we grew this from nothing but our reputations. Early customers took a chance on us and we are grateful. Since then, the product has progressed to version 4 expect to be released this summer. This will be our first Linux version with new enhancements that customers have been asking for and we believe they will love.

What kind of changes do you expect for Open Source World in the coming years?
Open source will continue to grow and touch all types of technologies. I think proprietary systems of the past will be fading away even quicker in the next 5-7 years when open source becomes the new standard for companies to insist on when buying new technology. We are well positioned for growth and a great foundational product with wonderful new capabilities in our roadmap. These are indeed exciting times!