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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.