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Interview With Lewis Levey, President and CEO, Computime Inc.

Interview With Lewis Levey, President and CEO, Computime Inc.

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Published by findbiometrics
The core Topaz technology is in the capture, binding and verification of a handwritten signature with forensic qualities in the context of any electronic form, document or receipt. This includes both a robust SDK (Sig Plus) that enables rapid application development and the most diverse number of signature pads that yield multiple choices. The software and hardware have numerous patents and patents pending.
The core Topaz technology is in the capture, binding and verification of a handwritten signature with forensic qualities in the context of any electronic form, document or receipt. This includes both a robust SDK (Sig Plus) that enables rapid application development and the most diverse number of signature pads that yield multiple choices. The software and hardware have numerous patents and patents pending.

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Published by: findbiometrics on Dec 22, 2009
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12/21/2009

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Interview with Lewis Levey, President andCEO, Computime, Inc.
Sep-05-08
FB
 Can you please provide our readers with a brief background of thecompany?
Computime
 Computime, Inc. was founded in 1980 as a distributor of missioncritical printers and pcs that marketed to enterprise end users andresellers in Missouri and the contiguous states. In 1990 as a
distributor for rugged tablet pc’s made by GRID Computer it
learned about capturing a handwritten signature in the context of
electronic forms. In 1993 when the first iteration of tablet pc’s lost their market appeal we sold
signature pads attached to traditional notebooks as part of field automation applicationsparticular to the insurance industry and photo ID card dealers. In early 1996 we becamefulfillment partners for Topaz Systems and sold the printer and pc business in May of 2006.Today Computime, Inc. promotes and distributes Topaz Systems products as our sole focus,
with several thousand customers in 92 countries with a majority of those customers’ resellers.
 
FB
 Can you review your Biometric signature product lineup?
Computime
 The core Topaz technology is in the capture, binding and verification of a handwritten signature  with forensic qualities in the context of any electronic form, document or receipt. This includesboth a robust SDK (Sig Plus) that enables rapid application development and the most diversenumber of signature pads that yield multiple choices. The software and hardware havenumerous patents and patents pending.The software SDK includes sample code in Active X, JAVA Bean, .Net, and C Library formats(all cross-
compatible) with numerous examples, plug in’s and tools. There is compliance with allelectronic signature legislation and particular emphasis on California’s version of the Uniform
Electronic Transaction Act that specifies if the electronic signature is a handwritten signature thevendor must provide Software Tools to easily put the signature to authentication and repudiationtesting. Topaz also provides patented software tools for signature authentication - SigComparefor the real-time visual verification Sig Analyze for the professional document examiner.On the hardware lineup Topaz provides multiple series of products that are based on eitherresistive or electromagnetic technology. This permits an ink tip to be inserted in the pen or just aplain stylus. The benefit is that the user can print and sign with ink or simply sign and print onlyon demand. The Gem series is electro magnetic and ranges from non LCD, to multiple LCD
 
formats, monochrome and color; and standard letter size or Legal size Clip Board formats. Theresistive technology based Sig Lite series carries a lower cost and also comes in various nonLCD and LCD formats. It carries a one year warranty and the Gem series carries a three yearwarranty. We also have specialty pads with built in fingerprint readers, Magnetic Striper or cardreaders and various wireless configurations that support DSSS, Wifi and Bluetooth.All Topaz pads are supported with a common Software Development Kit that has beendeveloped and supported directly by Topaz beginning in 1996, and continuing as a majorongoing emphasis in the company.We have been promoting and distributing Topaz products for 14 years.
FB
 Has this been a good year for the company?
Computime
 Yes. Every year has been better than the year before from both revenue and profitabilityperspectives. From a standing start in 1993 our signature pad sales have increased year byyear. 2006 we did 19M, 2007 25M, and 2008 is projected to be 32M. We are private, productiveand profitable. Our market share is dominant in the document centric application space. We arenot a major player in the payment or receipt centric space where the signatures are generallysimple fax-type bitmaps with a receipt-filing-system emphasis.
FB
 What would you say are the key advantages of signature?
Computime
 A handwritten signature is the most traditional, popular, and accepted form of authenticating an
individual’s identity and self acknowledgement of consent and commitment. The challenge is in
using it in an electronic method in such as way to comply with past and current legal tests.Topaz methodology emulates the pen on paper process and is easy to implement (through SigPlus Software Development Tool Kit) and easy to understand by the legal community andforensic document examiners. The answer in the broader sense is that if the document, form orreceipt is created on a computer then it can be signed with Topaz electronic signaturetechnology in its original format. There is no need to not be green. You do not need to print andthen scan it in order to sustain all the benefits of electronic means. Since in our case it is aforensic or biometric signature it can be easily bound to the document and pass legal tests thatimage or bitmap signatures can not.
FB
 Which vertical markets are ideal for signature biometrics?
Computime
 
 
The Financial services industry that includes banks, credit unions, and brokerage houseenrollment; insurance companies for policy enrollment by the customer and financial illustrationsby the agent and any document that needs chain of custody and documents cash values are thepioneers and made up the lobby efforts for electronic signature legislation. Enrollment and "signin" applications for health clubs, voter registration, finger print registration, sign in and outpersonal property either from private security or public safety organizations. Compliancedocuments of any kind. Field automation: whether sales contracts for office equipment (PitneyBowes) or renewal of distribution agreements (RJ Reynolds); or technician visits are both strongapplication markets. Interestingly, the law requires a signature for only contracts for goods ofservices that extend for more than a year; any form of Real Estate contract; and a marriagelicense.The earliest use of signature pads was the placement of a captured signature on photo ID cardsor access control badges but they were also just image files without the forensics. The same
pads were then used for Driver’s license purposes. The use of a forensic signature de
rived from
a signature pad was pioneered on tablet pc’s in compliance of FDA requirements of sample
drugs being received by doctors from pharmaceutical companies.
FB
 Can you also tell us about a typical deployment?
Computime
 The process begins with a demo loan of a pad for proof concept. The form is often signed with aplug in for Microsoft Word or an Adobe PDF. This can be done in a few minutes. We have ROItemplates that can be used by the end user to make the business case. If done properly adevelopment effort commences with use of our source code examples in either VB script orC++. The IT department often can do a make or buy analysis with a third party vendor familiarwith the vaulting, storage and retrieval of electronic forms. Our technology is the easiest foreither the end user IT department or third party vendor to deal with as it is the last piece of avery large puzzle.Once we help in the consultation of what pad to use (based upon the intensity and friendlinessof the signing environment as well as a thorough understanding of the demographics of therelying and signing parties not to mention the budget constraints) there normally is a pilot phase
of anywhere from 20 to 200 users. This number is a function of the end user organization’s
ability to do training and risk containment. The next step is a managed rollout. This can be stateby state, branch by branch, quota achievers or non quota. Volunteer sales agents willing to payfor the pad or captive agents versus independent agents. We often provide free training anddocumentation for the customer help desk prior to transitioning from prototype to pilot to amanaged rollout. Also, we are supporting independent third parties in this effort that can rangefrom a local reseller to folks like Unisys, IBM, HP and Dell.
FB
 What are some of the challenges you face with this technology?
Computime
 

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