Digital Copiers and more…

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Sorry about the length between posting, was busy trying to scrap together a newsletter last week. Ended with with some pretty relevent stuff about the forms processng industry, the FAST search engine and some other stuff that may or may not interest you. I did one story about an enterprise software company acquiring a document output management vendor that also does imaging – because archiving is hot. Just more evidence that this technology as really hit its stride. ASG told me they compete with Computer Assocaites and BMC and were “falling down” against them becuase they didn’t offer imaging. So they bought this company called Cypress, who I first wrote about like five years ago. I hadn’t heard much from them since, but apparently, they’ve done pretty well as a repository vendor and Kofax reseller. Best wishes to them in the post-acquisition world.

I just got done posting several press releases. Go the home page to see them. A few of them involve the eCopy PaperConnection event I’ll be attending this week. eCopy of course is one of the great success stories in the document imaaging market, going from minisule revenue to somewhere north of $30 million and claimed end-user total of more than $80 million per year – all within the last 7-8 years. I remember meeting CEO Ed Schmid and marketing manager Noel Colletti in the press room at AIIM in like 1998 when they were known as simplify. I had no idea what they were talking about – trying to do scanning on digital copiers. Sure, Xerox was talking about it then, but nobody was doing it.

Well, it so happened someone at Canon shared Ed and Noel’s vision and away they went. The two got together in a partnership that has set the standard for scanning from digital copiers over the years. First, it was scan-to-email, now it’s scan for ECM, but eCopy keeps growing and as other vendors enter the space, they keep evolving.

The big news at PaperConnection of course is that their software is being opened up to run on platforms other than Canon. I believe four vendors will be there to announce they have joined eCopy’s hardware developer’s program. These include Ricoh, Toshiba, HP, and Sharp. Ricoh of course is the big one. Canon’s main competitor and we understand Canon is none to happy about it. Canon has gone on the record as saying, however, that it doesn’t see any need to work with eCopy copetitors. We’ll see.

Why is this market so important. Well, for one, it seems to be growing faster than the overall document capture market. It feeds beautifully in to the trend toward distribtued scanning, and digital copiers, which people already have, can do this stuff anyhow.

Will digital copiers kill dedicated document scanners? They haven’t yet, in fact the market for workgroup scanners continues to grow. Scanning from a digital copier is nice because it can be added into the lease of the machine and it enables the end user to work with the same interface their used to, but in the end it might be more expensive than buying a $1,000 dedicated document scanner and a $500 capture program. For now, both markets appear healthy. We’ll see where they go?

Hope to log in from Miami.



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