Robotics-focused Ripcord deepens partner play with hiring of their first channel chief

While Ripcord has gotten media attention for their use of robotics, they emphasize the robotics' use within an end-to-end data retrieval and content enrichment and management solution.

Alan Brotman, Ripcord’s Vice President of Channels and Alliances

Ripcord, a software company that digitizes both online and traditional paper records within a single platform, has announced the appointment of Alan Brotman as their Vice President of Channels and Alliances, the first time they have had an executive in that role. While the company has channel partners today – although not yet in Canada – Brotman’s job will be to both broaden and deepen the channel, by building out vertical expertise, and by adding skilled partners who can expand Ripcord’s presence beyond the enterprise.

Ripcord is classified as a robotic digitization company, but that’s only a part of what they do, Brotman said.

“We are a young exciting company that is attracting a lot of really talented people,” he stated “We are more than a robotics company. We are a content enrichment repository company.”

Ripcord is four years old, and the first several years were spent on the technology development of the robotics and content platform.

Ripcord’s ‘Robot Row’

“Our service marketing has three aspects to it, which we call the 3 Rs,” Brotman indicated. Robotics is well known, but there is also Recognition and Repository, and they are all integrated. We take data that is hidden in paper records or electronic warehouses, and make them available for analytics or compliance, or cost savings or revenue products. Our Recognition system provides value into it, and our Canopy platform provides records access management and retrieval.”

The robotics part is unique – although the process does have some human involvement in document preparation, like taking the pages out of a binder.

“The robotics is only a part of what we do,” Brotman said. “The goal is to get at the hidden data, organize it in a retrievable form, and classify it. It’s a true end-to-end service. We are a strong data enrichment company.”

While Brotman comes to Ripcord from a partner program development company that he founded, the lion’s share of his career was spent at Iron Mountain, the long-established company in the records access management space. He was there for 15 years in senior positions in information technology, document management solutions and channel sales.

A majority of Ripcord’s sales do go through partners of one type or another, but the management of this sales force in the past has been basically ad hoc.

“Before my arrival, this work was all done by different people on a case-by-case basis,” Brotman said. “It was all done informally. Our longer-term strategy has been to enable our channels, but my joining the company formalizes this process.”

Ripcord’s channel partners include a broad range of integrators, resellers, consultancies and ISVs.

“We are not the end provider of all the engineering or data analytics,” Brotman said. “We are the extractors of the data, the enablers. The partners we work with are generally solution providers who have a client who needs to extract that high value information from the data. We are an essentially part of a data transformation project. It’s not just scanning, which any service bureau can do. It’s providing that intrinsic high value within content in one spot, entirely in the cloud.”

Brotman is now tasked with expanding the productivity of Ripcord’s channel, and recruitment of strong partners is a top priority.

“Since mid 2018, we have been expanding our Go-to-Market, which continues to be the focus in 2019,” he said. “We have a good cross-section of clients in different verticals, but many of our initial clients were enterprise. Our strategy now is very much to go beyond the enterprise into the midmarket, and into the larger SMBs. That’s my goal in terms of channel development – to expand beyond the enterprise.”

How large the channel will be when it is built out has yet to be determined.

“We are trying to be very pragmatic,” he said. “The partnering will be around dynamic vertical markets with very high value active records, like banking, or energy, where the documents could be well logs or pipeline engineering documents, or plant maintenance records in manufacturing, or eDiscovery documents in legal.”

They do not yet have any clients or partners yet in Canada, although they are looking to expand here.

“We do have clients in Europe, who send records to the west coast of the U.S.,” Brotman indicated.

“We will be making some announcements in the next couple of months, involving larger alliance partners we will be working with, as well as channel partners,” he said. “The strategy will be very broad.”