How to get the best bang for your buck!

Why price is not the most important factor
when purchasing imaging hardware

When shopping for new imaging hardware, many customers look at their budget and let that dictate their purchase. Now I understand that budget is an important factor, however over the last 9 years working with imaging customers, many have purchased equipment based mainly on price – only to discover that it did not meet their long term growth needs.

So in light of these discussions, here is bits of wisdom that can be used as a checklist when considering new purchases:

  • Color or Black & White (B & W) scanning? The majority of scanners automatically come with color option but can also provide B & W scanning for smaller document size files.
  • Is Speed important – scanners are classed by Pages per Minute (PPM). How fast do you need the scanner to scan?
  • How much volume are you expecting to scan per day, week or month? Volume and speed is determined by the manufacturer when they develop the scanner.
  • Manufacturers group their scanners into categories based on PPM and the Daily Duty Cycle (DDC). DDC is how many images the scanner can handle on a daily basis. So if you have a large volume of scanning to be completed on a daily basis, a small desktop workgroup scanner will not be sufficient for the volume – it would break down all the time. Here are the general groupings that manufacturers use:

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Don’t Leave Money on the Table – How To Receive Cash For Old Scanners

As an Inside Sales Account Executive at ImageSource, I am constantly having conversations with customers that realize they have to upgrade their older scanning equipment.

What surprises me is that many customers do not know they may be eligible to receive trade-in credits or rebates for their old scanners when purchasing new equipment.

Some manufacturers also organize eco-friendly disposal of your used equipment at no charge.

If you have old scanners that need replacing, you might be surprised at the trade-in credit/rebates that may make this purchase financially achievable now!

Not all equipment qualifies, so please reach out to our team here at ImageSource to see if you can receive $$$!

Contact Megan Lane at (360) 943-9273 or insidesales@imagesourceinc.com.

Megan Lane
Inside Sales Account Executive
ImageSource, Inc.

I Love Paper!!!!

Untitled-2I love Paper. Yes, I sell Document Imaging Hardware and software that converts paper documents into their digital representations, but I love paper. I love the tangible reminders to go online and pay my bills. What’s that? Exactly, I pay my bills online, so why do I need paper? I grew up with paper. Apparently it makes me feel good to throw out a mountain of tangible junk mail, and it makes me feel important.  Paper is what I know, and it’s what we all know.

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What value does Virtual ReScan Software (VRS) provide with my scanner?

When purchasing a scanner for document imaging, software is bundled with the scanner that automatically examines documents and applies the correct settings to deliver high quality scanned images. Or in simple terms – it enables image clean-up and clarity to occur automatically at the point of scanning the document.  This software SAVES a great deal of TIME and is EASY to use…This little piece of magical software is called Virtual ReScan or VRS.

Many scanner manufacturers include the Kofax VRS software in the scanner purchase price. Fujitsu includes Kofax VRS Professional software with their scanners and Panasonic includes the latest version of Kofax VRS called Kofax VRS Elite bundled with their scanners.  Other manufacturers do offer the software at an additional cost (Canon, Kodak etc.).

Some of the features in Kofax VRS Elite software:

  • Auto-rotation
  • Auto-cleanup
  • Hole punch removal
  • Blank page deletion
  • Color detection
  • Color smoothing
  • Automatic crop and deskew
  • Improved recognition (increases the accuracy of OCR & ICR software)
  • Scan at the scanner’s rated scanning speed
  • Network-friendly images

Take a look at the Image Processing video on Kofax VRS Elite to get a visual on some of the functionality. I have customers that use the software and will not purchase another scanner without it!

Megan Lane
Inside Sales
ImageSource, Inc.

Inside KOM Day 2 – Document Imaging 2011

 “You may have read about Kodak in the news lately. CEO Antonio Perez commented on the Document Imaging division in his recent address to Wall Street Investors highlighting this division’s market growth and solid cash flow generation.” Again Kodak executives focus on the Channel Partner message.  “We need your help to extend new solutions to our customers.”    – Tony Barbeau, General Manager

Mr. Barbeau made sure to be specific about the needs of customers in the document imaging solution space.  This was well received by the partners as enthusiasm spread throughout the room.  Bud Webster and Russell Hunt did a tongue in cheek ‘cheesy’ unveiling of some of the new scanner models being released. Mr. Webster introduced the i5000 will deliver superior productivity with advanced features. This scanner doesn’t slow down when you turn on the advanced features; dynamic flow technology allows the scanner to deliver enhanced image quality and performance. Mr. Hunt introduced the i2600 workgroup and department scanner, this unit delivers the sharpest and clearest document image clarity on the market. The ease of use has been increased with one button scan to SharePoint and an LCD operator panel for the user. When the scanner is not in use the unit swivels upright to provide a near zero footprint this makes the scanner ideal for tight workspaces. Some have said all it needs is a handle for easy portability. Kodak provides a three year worry free warranty term for the Kodak i2000 scanners. This gives customers the peace of mind to purchase a world class scanner that provides 3yr advanced replacement.

Kodak continues to deliver high end microfilm solutions with the i9600 ImageWriter. I know this is still an important function for long-term archival of historical or vital records but it sure seems old school. Nevertheless the Kodak ImageWriter leads the market in performance, durability and feature set.

Russell Hunt went on to comment that, “We remain committed to improve and enhance our process for deal registration to protect opportunities. We are committed to communication about our programs and products. We want you to understand our vision and corporate strategic direction. We will provide you with effective tools to drive business.” “Kodak wants you to be loyal to Kodak, to be a strong ambassador of our products and services. The Channel Partners can help foster open communication and increase sales to help Kodak document imaging group drive growth”.

According to Mr. Hunt no competitor offers what Kodak does in terms of Industry Commitment, End User Knowledge, Technology and the People to help drive customer satisfaction and growth. We are focused on helping you be profitable and successful; in turn this will enable us to drive our growth and goals for revenue targets.

Next up SharePoint took the spotlight with Mike Gannotti; Senior Collaboration and Technology Specialist http://www.seproductivity.com with Microsoft. You can find him on facebook http://facebook.com/samurai.mike and twitter http://twitter.com/gannotti

Opening SharePoint facts from PowerPoint 2010 Slide Deck:
• 100M+ seats of licensed SharePoint software and growing
• Windows for the Internet
• 1900 publicly reference able internet sites, Ferrari was used as sexy example

I thought it was cool that that Mr. Gannotti shared Microsoft’s internal nickname for SharePoint, ‘Pac man’. Just like the video game of the 1980’s SharePoint gobbles up other Microsoft technologies and is positioned to be the cornerstone of everything Microsoft does for Web2.0. After Mr. Gannotti’s presentation I asked Mike what he thought the single biggest revenue opportunity was for the Partners in the room. He stated that he thought Workflow consulting was a big area. This is important because Systems Integrators like to consolidate Software Sales, Maintenance Contracts, Professional Services and Hardware to give customers a single point of access.  Personally we have found that the revenue opportunities around SharePoint services are valued at a much lower rate than other project work our company does. There seems to be way more buzz around SharePoint than actual Partner revenue being generated. Eventually Partners have to see the dollars come in before a wholesale shift to focusing on SharePoint solutions occurs. As a Microsoft Gold Partner we are skeptical that the revenue opportunity is significant, we have invested time to generate revenue around SharePoint services and projects without much return.

In Conclusion I must first thank John O’Grady, Tony Barbeau, Russell Hunt, Sophia Marchi, Jeff Shuey and the entire Kodak team for the hospitality they showed me as one of a thousand attendees. I was surprised at the amount of focus on the Latin American Region (LAR) in terms of excitement for growth and revenue generation. I believe the America’s partner community and region has much to offer Kodak in terms of innovation, sales and growth. The event continues through the end of the week for Kodak Employees with the Circle of Excellence Awards.  Check out http://twitter.com/jshuey for more updates throughout the event.

 

Inside KOM – Kodak 2011 Americas Kick off – Unleash our Potential

Opening video messaging plays on two screens beckoning the over 800 attendees to ‘Achieve More’, ‘Succeed More’, ‘Accomplish More’, ‘Encourage More’ and ‘Deliver More’

Today John O’Grady took the stage in Orlando, FL. at the Orlando World Center Resort.  As the Managing Director of the Americas, John welcomed over 1000 attendees from 33 countries.

Despite legal battles with Apple and concern over Kodak’s long term financial stability as noted in this recent Yahoo Finance article and interview with CEO Antonia Perez  Mr. O’Grady began by announcing key growth areas for Kodak:

  • Consumer Inkjet up 21%
  • APEX Install base up 45%
  • 19 Flexcell NX Systems booked – up 80%
  • Pocket Video up 151%
  • Scanners / Software up 42%
  • UWS Latin America up 96%
  • Doubled commercial Inkjet business
  • New 4yr retail printing contract renewal with Walmart Canada

John went on to congratulate Sales Teams across the Kodak business units and the Channel Partners

  • We have the Portfolio that is unmatched in the industry
  • We have the People required to succeed
  • We have the Partners
  • Customer Centricity Solutions

K-Zone panel interview with host Tim Palmer

Mr. Palmer moderated a discussion panel consisting of key Kodak Executives from various business units Gustovo Oveido, Chief Customer Officer | Pradeep Jotwani, President Consumer Digital Business / Chief Marketing Officer | Doug Edwards, General Manager PrePress and VP of Eastman Kodak

Kodak KOM K-Zone

In order to get everyone in the room engaged Mr. O’Grady led everyone in the audience in a rousing sports inspired ‘Wave’ back and forth across the ballroom.

As the panel gets warmed up Mr. Palmer asks “What is the biggest opportunity for unleashing Kodak’s potential?”    The panel took turns and offering perspectives from each executives view.  I took away a paraphrased message that focused on Kodak’s broad portfolio. “We have the broadest portfolio of anyone in the industry” By working together we can grow each one of the components in that portfolio.  Key to the message was a focus on turning every customer interaction into an opportunity to position the other areas of the Kodak portfolio.

Mr. Palmer asked Mr. Jotwani, “How is Kodak capitalizing on the Social Media opportunities with photo sharing?”  Kodak is focused on personal imaging, people are “Preserving memories, while living in the moment” and this has created an explosion in the sharing of images/photos.  We are pleased that we have a greater focus on video and market share is growing, “we are now the clear number two behind flip in terms of consumer video products.”

Also discussed was the personal greeting card business using Kodak Kiosks in retail stores like CVS Pharmacy that give consumers the choice to make a greeting card from my FaceBook photos, printed on greeting card stock and creased like a standard greeting card.

One of the largest profit opportunities in the IT sector is consumable components, Ink business is doubling.  We have launched a fundamental new program with a brand new inkjet engine.  Kodak has told Wall Street they will grow 50% in the US with consumable inkjet products.

Kodak Services for Business, Mr. Oveido spent a few minutes describing this opportunity.  We are moving from products to solutions in the imaging business.  Data Management, Facilities Management, Print Services.  Kodak is different because we are willing to partner, we are late to the game but we are the only one that really, really wants to partner.

We have a significant number of attendees from the document imaging partner community.  The document imaging business is a great business with lots of growth potential.  Retail is a huge opportunity for the new i5000 and i2000 scanners.

Mr. Oveido stated that for the first time in 30 years the Latin American economies are showing a readiness and tremendous enthusiasm for IT sector solutions and growth.  I see impressive opportunities for back office solutions for document management.  The market is booming, the team is in place and we have high expectations for Latin America across the entire portfolio.

Mr. Jotwani reflects on how impressive the turnaround has been for Kodak as the film business has declined and the markets predicted the worst.  The Kodak team had a strategic vision and plan that has enabled Kodak to grow in the digital IT world with new products, services and technology.  The future is bright for Kodak and I can taste the success in the future.  His closing comment was Kodak is back.

My favorite presentations came later in the day when Garth Neenan showed of the new Photo Department at CVS Pharmacy.  The completely revamped the idea of the photo lab from a carbon copy of the Pharmacy Dept. to a state of the art, warm and friendly place.  They took the audience on a journey through the conceptualization of the new Photo Department to the actual launch of the first store.  This was probably the most interesting and defining moment of the day for me.  It showed some innovation and some real customer touch that made the Kodak technology come alive.

Richard Ford also took the stage to the show how Kodak is positioning itself to capture major market share in the handheld camera and video market.  Lots of great statistics to back up the size and growth opportunity in this market with a heavy focus on the ability to ‘Share’ using various social media platforms.   Richard used Facebook as the biggest example that Trillions of images are being generated.  100,000 photos per second are served up to users, 60M photos added every week with a total of 1.7B user photos and growing.  He highlighted the Kodak Pulse digital picture frame and the PlaySport waterproof digital video camera.

Goin’ Green with a Scannin’ Machine

Goin’ Green with a Scannin’ Machine

We all know that document imaging demonstrates the capacity of “going green” just by definition.  It is inherent in concept.  Technology expands so quickly and in the world of document imaging hardware, there lies no exception.  The most respected manufacturers like Fujitsu, Kodak, and Canon make the entire scanning process, from pre-scanning to post scanning, more automated and efficient for the end user, while also providing the latest in document imaging features and functionalities.

A couple examples of some of these particular technological advancements take are new LED’s replacing traditional lamps in scanners as well as production scanners with smaller footprints.  For instance, LED technology is featured in the Kodak/Bell &Howell Ngenuity as well as the new Fujitsu fi-6800 production scanner.  LED technology helps significantly reduce the scanner’s power consumption during operation and as well as in “sleep mode.”  Also, LED’s are designed to last the life of the scanner thereby eliminating the cost of replacement bulbs and the production costs and waste of replacement bulbs as well.  Since there are no replacement bulbs needed for these scanners, there’s nothing new to throw away.  Speaking of consumables, like scanner bulbs, companies making document imaging scanners are also manufacturing other consumables (pad assemblies, pick rollers, roller assemblies) with longer life spans.  Fewer consumables are needed and the ones that are needed, last longer.  The manufacturer’s that are seemingly taking the lead on this front include Fujitsu, Canon, and Kodak/Bell & Howell.

Better materials used in the manufacturing of document imaging scanners is not the only advancement that is happening that exemplifies this industry embracing green initiatives.  The design of the hardware is changing as well.  Manufacturers like Fujitsu are designing and building scanners that have significantly smaller footprints – the space they take up on the desk or the tabletop in the working environment.  Take for example the Fujitsu fi-6800.  This is a full–fledged mid-volume production scanner that is the smallest document scanner in its class.  The trend is moving toward fewer materials being produced to make these machines and therefore less energy is being consumed.   This translates into less waste and fewer emissions into the environment, as is obvious.

Since these new scanners are more intuitive as a result of new technology and better design, they can recognize in advance multi-feed issues, so the user can adjust settings as necessary.  Bottom line – the user can become more efficient at document scanning and do more, in less time.

With new technology and better design comes new efficiency and related side benefits including using fewer materials and generating less waste and fewer emissions.  It’s encouraging to know that the ECM Industry continues to do its part.

Ian Hundtofte

ImageSource