Lexmark Acquires Australian-borne Search Firm ISYS Software

19th March 2012. Sydney-borne ISYS Search Software, a global leader in embedded search and universal information access solutions, today announced its acquisition by Lexmark International, Inc. (NYSE: LXK). Terms have not been disclosed.

Established in Sydney in 1988 by Ian Davies, ISYS previously marketed and sold enterprise search applications. Davies developed prototype text retrieval software that would be suitable for use in large databases. The Australian market for the prototype software developed, and in 1991, PC Week Magazine wrote a favourable review that assisted in attempts to break into the US market.

An ownership interest held by the wife of Australia’s federal shadow communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, created some political discussion in 2010, as the Government asserted that Turnbull had a conflict of interest between his shadow portfolio and his personal financial stake in ISYS.

ISYS counts among its customers the CIA, the FBI, the US Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the US departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Agriculture, as well as Scotland Yard, the WTO, every Australian state police force, the Australian Defence Force and the Federal Court of Australia.

ISYS products compete with the Verity Ultraseek product and the Google Search Appliance, while its infrastructure and embedded search applications compete with Autonomy and FAST Search & Transfer (now a subsidiary of Microsoft). The ISYS engine is capable of searching multiple disparate data sources, including Microsoft Office, WordPerfect, Open Office, HTML, ZIP files, all major email products, all SQLdata sources, SharePoint, Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino. Some of ISYS’s content mining capabilities include automatic Categorisation, entity extraction, parametric search, Hit-highlighting and navigation, relevance ranking and multiple query methods. In 2007, ISYS entered the Linux marketplace with the release of the ISYS:sdk and ISYS:web server for Linux platforms, the company’s first foray into non-Windows environments. In 2009, ISYS released several new applications and a new suite for information access (see applications listed above).

Lexmark is a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of printing, imaging, document workflow, and content management solutions for businesses of all sizes. The company operates in the office imaging and enterprise content and business process management markets. Its acquisition of ISYS follows on from other recent acquisitions – Nolij, Brainware and Pallas Athena.

Lexmark’s recent acquisitions have advanced its “capture/manage/access” strategy, enabling the company to intelligently capture content from hardcopy and electronic documents through a range of devices including the company’s award-winning smart multifunction products and mobile devices, while also managing and processing content through its enterprise content management and business process management technologies.

“Lexmark’s acquisition of ISYS recognizes the fundamental strength of our business, our strategic direction and the scale of the market opportunity available in the new world of big data,” said Scott Coles, ISYS CEO.
“As organizations look to better identify, analyze and extract value from their expanding enterprise IT assets, the ability to effectively manage and leverage intelligence between the physical and digital world will become increasingly critical for business growth and competitive advantage. Joining Lexmark will enable ISYS to further enhance its already strong IP base, and to more quickly achieve the next major stage of its commercial development” added Coles.

The transition from privately-owned company to Lexmark was welcomed by ISYS founder and Chairman, Ian Davies. “It has been an amazing journey for ISYS since we first came on the scene in 1988. In those days, enterprise search as a term didn’t exist. Today, we are competing and winning major business against some of the biggest IT companies around and seeing our technology deployed globally by Fortune 500 companies and leading IT vendors. ISYS is now about to embark on the next chapter of its remarkable story within Lexmark. I have no doubt that ISYS will continue to prosper in its new home.”

The Chairman and CEO of Lexmark Paul Rooke said “We are delighted to welcome ISYS into Lexmark, where it will strategically complement Perceptive Software’s growing business,” . “ISYS has a tremendous business and technology heritage within its market, and will form a key part of our business process solutions that enable organizations to effectively manage their information assets.”

The addition of ISYS technology to the Perceptive Software product suite is expected to help augment Perceptive’s process and content management solutions the company offers across multiple industries.

“ISYS’s leading search technology adds to our unique set of integrated process and content management offerings, and will give our customers cross-platform visibility to better manage and access the content that supports their business processes,” said Scott Coons, Perceptive Software’s president and chief executive officer and Lexmark vice president. “We understand our customers’ need to access and render content, regardless of where it resides, so they can work more efficiently and bring greater value to their customers.”

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