At the Kodak Breakaway 2006 show. Their resellers extravaganza for Document Imaging. Had a lot of great converstations here. It’s really a well attended event. I think there were like 500 people. Last night was the ISV show and there was plenty of new blood exhibiting. We saw Cabinet NG there, advertisting its imaging for QuickBooks. Also saw FileBound, maybe somebody called Scanning America. There were also a lot of old school resellers in the house.
Sat on a media panel the past couple days with Harvey Spencer, Ken Congdon, Brian Sherman, Ron Galz of IDC, Mike from InfoTrends, and even Doug Henschen was in the house for the first day. (I apologize for any misspelled names.)
Big concern of the VARs in the audience was digital copier dealers and how to compete with them. My basic view is that a decent scanning soluiton on a digital copier can be expensive and that resellers can definitely compete on price with workgroup scanners and know-how about the imaging industry.
The other big point I was trying to make, and I don’t know if I had the full support of the rest of the panel on this, was that VARs need to focus vertically if they want to thrive in the next 10 years. Imaging as a horizontal solution is becoming a commodity. And new protocols in areas like SOA, XML, and Web services are going to make it easier to “image-enable” vertcle packages. This is where the margins are going to be.
Recently spoke with a VAR CSI, down here in FL, that has sold a tremendous redaction solution to some county courts that automates a process associated with a new regulation. These guys seem way ahead of the game on this and their sales number are up like three times thanks to it. They were already working with the courts on some extraction stuff, and because they were focused were able to come up with this redcaction thing. So, now they have a repeatable solution (even filed for some patents) that they can sell around the country. It’s driving revenue and I’m assuming it’s driving profits.