streamlining paper-choked operations. But so far, it has been used modestly by the public sector due in large part to high costs and the government's use of heterogeneous computing platforms, which thwarts the sharing of data, text and images. By offering products that run on a variety of platforms, Wang and FileNet could help agencies deploy imaging solutions more broadly. At the same time, however, agencies that use other imaging products might be concerned about whether or not they will end up with an orphan system.

Strategies The other leading imaging vendors have yet to announce or clarify their strategies in the face of the recently announced acquisitions and alliances. Smaller vendors remain vulnerable to acquisition by larger vendors or to dropping out of the imaging market altogether. Before they start worrying, however, said Silver, government agencies need to examine their own imaging strategies. "They have to decide whether they want a single supplier to cover all their needs or will they mix and match products, as well as how to fit things like workflow into the organization," he said. "Once they have done that, then they can go eyeball-to-eyeball with their vendor or prospective vendor in terms of where they are going over the next two years."


Florida Community Affairs Adds Imaging TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- Florida Community Affairs, Florida Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has awarded Unisys Corp. a contract to develop an imaging system with workflow capabilities to automate its financial and compliance areas, and a host of housing-related programs. The value of the contract was not announced. The contract calls for two Unisys object servers, one fax server, two jukeboxes, one stand-alone optical disc drive, four scan stations, four scanners, 10 index monitors, one print server, two printer accelerator cards, comprehensive user training, database development and project management support. Implementation was scheduled to begin in July. Since 1981, the FHFA has financed approximately $4 billion of low-income housing in Florida. For fiscal year 1995/96 the Agency will lend nearly $350 million for low-income housing.

Wildlife Agencies Reel in Forms Recognition AUGUSTA, Maine - Two state wildlife agencies have turned to handwriting recognition technology to help process hunting and fishing license applications. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has announced the purchase of the Intelligent Forms Processing System (IFPS) from Wheb Systems Inc., to automate the processing of 40 different types of fishing and hunting license applications. Driven by a federal mandate to capture demographic information on license applicants, the agency decided to use Wheb's intelligent character recognition technology to scan and read the mostly handprinted and typed applications. The state handles approximately 500,000 forms per year - 75,000 per month during peak times. The system, which is expected to cost $230,000, will increase the speed and accuracy of data entry. IFPS uses intelligent character recognition and forms processing technology to convert hand-printed and typewritten characters into computer-coded text. Tennessee has also purchased IFPS from Wheb Systems to process its hunting license applications. The federal government requires demographic information on license applicants in conjunction with the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program, which is chartered with gathering data on approximately 130,000-200,000 species of migratory birds. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency handles between two and three million licenses each year.