Nuance Aims to Take a Piece of Adobe`s Pie with PDF Converter Professional 5

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

Nuance's latest iteration of its PDF Converter product takes aim at Adobe Acrobat by being cheaper, faster and better.

PDF files have become the defacto standard for transmitting, moving and storing electronic documents on today's corporate networks. The popularity of PDFs has been boosted by the availability of free readers and by creation tools that are bundled in with the latest document processing software packages. Add to that the ability to index and search PDF document depositories and you have a winning combination of features that are sure to keep PDFs popular in business environments.

Interestingly, most businesses only scratch the surface when it comes to what can be done with a PDF document. Additional options abound, such as the capability to create document versions, fillable electronic forms, embedded notes, encryption and many other capabilities, yet most of those features go unused or at the very least, unnoticed.

The problem is that most of those features require the purchase of additional software packages, such as Adobe's Acrobat Professional, a capable, but expensive software package, which retails for $449. Multiply that cost by the number of seats needed in a large business and you can see how easily budgetary constraints can torpedo a feature-rich PDF implementation.

Nuance Communications, with its recently released PDF Converter Professional 5 is looking to put the power of PDFs back into the hands of the masses. The company is using a simple formula to bring about success: provide the features that most users need at a price significantly less than the competition.

With a per seat price of $99, the PDF Converter Professional 5 proves to be a fraction of the price of competing products. The company will also be offering multi-user packs, an enterprise edition and site licensed versions, which will bring per seat costs down even further.

Click here to see Channel Labs' walk-through of PDF Converter Professional 5.

While PDF Converter Professional 5 may not offer every single feature that one can find in Adobe Acrobat Professional 8.1, Nuance has done a good job of nailing down the most important features. Users will find key features such as distributed document collaboration, automated document conversion tools, document splitting and re-assembly, document redaction and tools to integrate PDF files into popular document management systems. The feature list goes on, and it is easy to see that Nuance adopted one of the basic MBA 20/80 rule of software development: offer the 20 percent of features that users need 80 percent of the time.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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