CompuSchmooze Podcast #16: AIIM/OnDemand Conference, Philadelphia, May 2006

In this edition of the CompuSchmooze podcast, we conduct interviews on the exhibit floor of the AIIM/OnDemand conference held in Philadelphia in May 2006. (Photos all Copyright ©2006 Steven L. Lubetkin.)

Participating in interviews (timecode indexes are shown next to the interview subjects) were:

02:06 – 19:45: Gadi Aharoni, CEO of ARx, maker of CoSign Digital Signature technology.

19:46 – 29:18 Lotfi Belkhir, CEO of Kirtas Technology, maker of the APT BookScan Digitizer.

29:19 – 40:41 Ben Campbell, vice president of Safend, which produces security software that allows network administrators to control access to a network by data storage devices such as USB flash drives.

40:42 – 49:25 Santi Perini, senior vice president of Day Software, maker of Communiqué, a content management system for web sites.

Download the podcast file here (72.4mb stereo MP3 file, 51:27 length).

Here’s the text of the related “CompuSchmoozeTM” column as it appears in the Jewish Community Voice of Southern New Jersey in June.

CompuSchmooze June 2006: AIIM Conference Spotlights New Technologies
By Steven L. Lubetkin
Copyright © 2006 Steven L. Lubetkin. All rights reserved.

This year at the AIIM/OnDemand trade show in Philadelphia, we learned about some interesting technologies for business users from Israeli companies.

Some 20,000 people from all 50 states and 62 countries attended the show, according to its producer, Questex Media Group. The show’s focus is technology for high-volume commercial printing, and the “pre-press” hardware and software used to design digital documents and prepare them for conversion into actual printed brochures, books, and other materials.

One technology that could help many companies deal with data security issues is offered by Safend . This Israeli firm, which has its local headquarters team in Two Penn Center in Philadelphia, has developed software that lets computer network administrators monitor and centrally control the devices that are connected to the USB ports on all computers on the network.

Most companies have serious data security issues because of the wide acceptance and use of portable data storage devices like Blackberries, Palm and Windows PDAs and cell phones, and the seemingly ubiquitous “thumb drives,” or “flash drives.”

Because these devices make it easy for users to download and transport data, companies with sensitive data often have little or no control over the data. Safend lets data security professionals determine which devices, if any, will be permitted to function on the network, and also provides a data audit trail that indicates what data was copied onto which devices, and it will identify specific USB ports and computers.

Safend views its software as a productivity enhancer, rather than a security enforcer, according to Ben Campbell, vice president of sales operations.

Safend software allows administrators to authorize specific connections, like a Blackberry, an encrypted flash drive, or wireless, infrared, and other devices depending on individual employees’ needs. It also lets administrators understand how different devices are being used on a company’s network, he said.

Safend has a free “auditor” product available for download from its website, to let users scan their networks for potential vulnerabilities that its full software can address.

“We can really look for all types of threats that can be brought into an organization,” Campbell said. “The perimeter is not as clearly defined as it used to be.”

Elsewhere on the show floor, Lotfi Belkhir, CEO of Kirtas Technologies, demonstrated his company’s APT BookScan 2400 high-resolution image scanning system designed to automate mass-digitization of books.

Amid the high-tech gadgetry on the show floor, the device has a throwback sort of charm reminiscent of Rube Goldberg contraptions.

It flaps its noisy vacuum-powered page-turning finger-like mechanisms to turn the pages of books as digital SLR cameras make images of each set of pages. (There’s a very cool animated digital image of the device on Kirtas’ website at

“If we didn’t digitize all of those books in the next 20 or 30 years, future generations would ignore that information,” he explained. “Our children today think that everything is on Google, and if it’s not on Google, it doesn’t exist for them.”

The device is aimed at libraries and scientific institutions with large amounts of bound documents that need to be preserved digitally, Belkhir said.

“Our most precious documents, we tend to bind them to preserve them for a long time,” said Belkhir, noting that his company’s device can rapidly complete the image scanning of books at the rate of 2,400 pages per hour, completing a book of 300 pages in about eight minutes, compared to a manual scanning process taking one day per book.

Algorithmic Research Inc. is trying to make it easier for users to add reliable digital signatures to electronic documents with its CoSign product.

Managing the process to create these signatures has previously been complex, discouraging users from employing it, said Gad Aharoni, Algorithmic Research CEO.

The company’s product makes signature management simpler, and enables users to transmit unforgeable documents electronically, dramatically reducing the need for hard copies and manual signatures.

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