The Silicon Review
“Our philosophy of Never Ending Improvements and not forcing a new product purchase on our customers every 8 to 10 years has created strong loyalty from our customers.”
Eclipse Corporation is a provider of enterprise document generation solutions for banking, insurance, government, and manufacturing applications. Since its inception, the company has developed innovative solutions incorporating electronic forms, workflow automation, and enterprise content management to bring about real operational savings, workflow efficiencies, and marketplace advantages.
Steve Luke (CEO) Spoke Exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is the interview.
Q. What was the motivation behind establishing Eclipse Corporation?
In 1992, when Eclipse was founded, the document industry was in the caveman era. Okay, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration. When compared with the technology, presentation, and delivery expectations in 2021, that’s not too much of a stretch.
In the 90s, mission-critical business documents and labels were printed using character based printing technology on pre-printed paper stock. The cost of printing was high, the options for delivery were slow (snail mail), and the ability to change the presentation of the documents could take weeks or months.
Our team was involved in the hardware printer industry for many years; we recognized serious problems associated with the current software technology driving the printers. We began to brainstorm ideas and came up with the idea of an “Electronic Form”. Our idea was to generate the document or label presentation in real-time when the data was produced by the line of business software. And it was just as important to improve the delivery of the document, to electronically distribute multiple copies directly to multiple recipients, no matter where in the world the recipients were.
Data-driven documents, forms, and labels were created using this technology. In 1992, we published our first data-driven form sample in one of the leading computer technology magazines (the internet was not available at the time). Our team was overwhelmed with more than 800 phone calls in the first four weeks. We had to immediately hire people to answer the phones. It was a great problem to have.
Q. Have there been any setbacks in Eclipse’s journey so far?
We have had challenging times being a pioneer in this industry. However, we used those challenges to improve the features and values we provide our customers and partners.
In order to set the stage for your question, I will refer to this point made in this Inc. article: “Visual content increases message association, brand awareness, and engagement – and enhances the overall design of your website.” I believe visual content has proven to be even more effective when used in business documents, forms, and labels.
Images speak thousands of words and transfer messages much faster than text descriptions. Images create instant emotions and enhance visual understanding to gain human emotion. Eclipse provides one of the most dynamic and robust visual document presentations in the industry. And we do this with our proven Integration Without Modification® feature, thus eliminating change orders to our customer’s business software.
“Don’t change your Business Software; change your Customer Communications Software.”
This and our only pay for what you need scaled pricing makes our solution affordable to SMBs and the Fortune 10.
Today our customers can present robust data-driven graphic images, real-time color charts and personalized communications in real-time using our IWM® technology. However, when the customers saw the value in the visible presentation with dynamic data-driven barcodes, marketing, branding, product images, safety warning symbols, and our ability to provide intelligent pagination to reduce page count up to 66 percent, the customers had no problem justifying the cost of new printers and workstations to display electronic documents and forms.
Q. Why are your solutions so important in today’s business world? Could you give us some context?
Documents are now and always will be a critical requirement for business communications! In legal terms, you often hear the phrase “Document of Record,” which loosely means that government entities globally accept the information on a properly created and archived digital document. Although most of our customers are not government entities, the documents they produce have to be legally binding to protect them and their customers. So the Document of Record requirement is important. Over the last few weeks we have seen the largest security breaches in history. Securely creating documents is crucial for all companies!
In the past, documents were often just used as a method to communicate the specific facts on documents like insurance policies, sales agreements, order acknowledgments, quotes, packing slips, patient discharge documents, etc. However, with today’s datadriven technology, documents are being used to improve a company’s bottom line, improve patient care, and upsell and cross-sell products and solutions. Using the technology Eclipse provides today and the same data the customers have produced for decades, our data-driven software can provide upsell, cross sell, safety warnings, and notices without modifying the core line of business software our customer is using. It was this technology in 1996 that prompted Eclipse to coin the phrase “Integration Without Modification®” which means we use the data you currently produce to dynamically enhance the presentation and messaging value of your document without requiring you to modify your ERP, MRP, HRM, or other core business software applications. Even more importantly, with our Business Communications Center™ software, powered by our DocOrigin® document generation software, we have a proven 99.9975 percent up-time and performance over 300 percent faster than our leading competitor running on the same server using the same amount of memory and CPUs.
Q. What are the advantages of using Business Communications Center powered by DocOrigin?
DocOrigin® is our flagship product and has been proven in every industry to be one of the world’s most reliable and high-performance document generation systems. Four years ago, we began to see a demand from customers globally that they wanted to use their documents and labels to improve communications with customers in real-time.
For instance, if you order something online and the order acknowledgment comes to you online to confirm the order, our customers want us to make it easy to up-sell and cross-sell other products and services using the document or label the customer is receiving. To make this happen, we needed a software solution that could be controlled by business users in sales, marketing, human resources and legal departments. Business Communications Center is the user-friendly interface that gives these departments full control of messaging, branding, up-sell, cross-sell, and safety messaging in the documents they already use, using the same data they have produced for years.
Q. What makes Eclipse a unique organization?
Eclipse is a privately held, profitable company. We answer to our customers, not to our shareholders. Yet, we have competed with the top publicly held competitors in our industry for decades. Our philosophy of Never Ending Improvements and not forcing a new product purchase on our customers every 8 to 10 years has created strong customer loyalty. This is why companies like 3M, AT&T, Konica Minolta, Legal & General Ins., McKesson Medical- Surgical, Pella, PPG Aerospace, Tyler Technologies and many more continue to renew their relationship with Eclipse.
Q. Do you have any new solutions ready for launch?
Yes, our philosophy of enterprise software development and support, as referred to earlier, is “Never Ending Improvements”. We coined this phrase in 2008 when we realized that all our competitors were sunsetting their current legacy software and forcing their clients to buy another product. The Eclipse business policy of Never Ending Improvements was our way of showing respect to our existing customers. Eclipse does not sunset our software unless an Operating System is discontinued by the OS vendor. If this happens, we allow our customer to move their license(s) to any currently supported Operating Systems. There is no additional license fee for the new platform. The only requirement is that they are up to date on their Maintenance & Support agreement.
Q. What is the next step for the company as it continues to grow?
Eclipse has a stable team of software developers, senior managers, product evangelists and a marketing team. If you have ever worked for a successful software company, you experienced the non-stop desire for improvements and the strong desire to continually create new features before a competitor comes up with them.
Having powerful feature-rich software, intellectual property, and exclusive rights and patents is part of the intrigue of the software industry. Since 1992, as CEO, I can truthfully say that rarely a week goes by that we are not discussing ways to improve the speed, add features and serve our customers better.
Eclipse Corporation| Leadership
Steve Luke serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Eclipse Corporation.
Alex Riess serves as the Chief Technology Officer of Eclipse Corporation.
Both Steve and Alex have been in the enterprise-class document business for more than 25 years. They have been friends, co-workers, and true leaders with passion and drive for what they do and the people they do it with. They have assembled a hand-picked team over many years that are loyal, hardworking, and respected immensely.