Document management vendor FileHold strengthens search capability by embedding dtSearch engine

FileHold’s FastFind, Powered by dtSearch, now lets customers search for documents even when they are in a third-party application.

Burnaby, B.C.-based FileHold has extended their relationship with dtSearch, which specializes in text retrieval and document filters. The agreement embeds the dtSearch Engine in FileHold’s FastFind feature, allowing users to find documents with it in terabytes of data even when they are in a different enterprise application.

“dtSearch has been an important part of our product from the beginning,” said Larry Oliver, President of FileHold. “It has been evolving and with this it has finally been perfected.”

FileHold itself has evolved considerably in their dozen years of existence.

“The company was formed in 2005 by four individuals who had a vision – to make the category of document management software affordable,” Oliver said. “They started with a clean sheet of paper, used only Microsoft tools, and tightly integrated with Office and SharePoint. The single platform helped make it affordable. All the marketing was SEO driven, with pay-per-click or pay-per-lead to drive prospects to the website, and we sold, supported and installed through the Web. There wasn’t any putting people on planes.”

Oliver said that the product is feature-rich, easy to install and enterprise grade. It is available both on-prem and in the cloud.

“We started with a basic product in Version 1, and we are now up to Version 15,” he said “Adding Workflow was a big addition. Adding Courier [secure email service] was a big addition. We now have customers all over the world, with BMW in China being a major spotlight customer for us. Probably about 80 per cent of our customers are in the U.S.”

While the product is enterprise-grade, and FileHold targets enterprise companies as prospects, they have a fairly broad range of customer sizes and shapes.

“Our sweet spot for user licenses is in the 50-100 or 50-200 user range,” Oliver said, pointing out that this is the kind of product that can be on a relatively small percentage of employee desks. “Our largest customer has 1800 seats and we have several that are over a thousand.”

While there are many players in the space, FileHold doesn’t compete with most of them, and sees companies like LaserFiche and M5 as among the significant ones.

“OpenText is the market leader, but they are really in a different world, with very large organizations, and we don’t compete with them a lot,” he said. IBM FileNet and Xerox were once significant, but they sold mainly to their own install base and are kind of disappearing. There are new players that only have a cloud version, but we don’t much compete with them either. They are lower in the market than us, and tend to go after small real estate and law firms which are not really our market.”

FileHold now uses a hybrid sales model, with a channel that is fairly limited in size complementing a direct sales force.

“Our attitude is that we want the person who has the better possibility of closing the deal on the deal,” he said. “We tend to give Ontario leads to one reseller there, who is just dominant in the small municipality market. He has over 20 such customers. The channel is select. We would love to grow our channel, but there is really a 4-6 month training period, and very few channel people want to make that investment in a single technology. The best partners we have sold a competitor of ours, got fed up, and came to us.”

Oliver said that the new enhancement, FastFind, Powered by dtSearch, will significantly strengthen FileHold in the marketplace.

“We find that 8 out of 10 prospects ask us about integration with some other product, and if they can search that with FastFind,” he stated. “A common one is accounts payable. If they are in that application, and want more information on a customer or to see the contract, by highlighting the customer name they can be taken into FileHold and all the documentation will come up.”

This integration comes out out-of-the-box, with no professional services work required, and works on all third party applications.

“This strengthens the product around integration significantly,”Oliver said. “We can now easily solve the two most commonly asked-for integration features, to be able to search from third party applications, and to add documents directly into FileHold from a third party application.”