Category: Office

ECi Software Acquired by Apax Partners

Jeff Hayes
Aug 15, 2017

Apax Partners LLP announced it has agreed to acquire ECi Software Solutions (Fort Worth, TX) a provider of enterprise resource planning software solutions for small and medium-sized companies in the distribution, field services, building and construction, and manufacturing industries. The sellers are The Carlyle Group, a global asset management and private-equity firm which acquired ECi in March of 2014, and Level Equity. No financial terms were disclosed, but clearly the timing and price were right for the sellers.ECi Logo

Apax is a leading private equity firm headquartered in London and New York that primarily invests in companies across four global sectors of Tech and Telco, Services, Healthcare, and Consumer. The company has investments in 23 companies in the Tech and Telco sector including Exact Software (Delft, The Netherlands), a provider of subscription-based shop management, ERP, accounting, and CRM software for small to mid-size manufacturing companies. Read more »

Do You ChannelCon?

Sheryne Glicksman

CompTIA ChannelCon event was held in Austin,Texas in August. It was an amazing event filled with tons of educational seminars, interactive events, several vendors, great dialogues along with fun things to do like participating in a 5K walk/run and going to an event where we were fitted for cowboy hats. Everything is big in Texas!

ChannelCon’s message of Be the Change was apparent throughout the event. Cool posters were on the wall all over the venue such as the one highlighted that I captured while walking to another session. Discussions around diversity drove home the need for everyone to focus on unconscious bias and prioritize inclusion to help change a rigid culture. I believe one of the most important elements to a successful digital transformation is a collaborative culture with diversity at top of mind. Diversity IT Matters.

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Community forums such as Advancing Women in Technology, Advancing Diversity in Technology and the Technology Lifecycle Services held various meetings throughout the week. Women in Technology had a great discussion on the importance of mentorship including insights on reverse and pacing partner mentoring. Advancing Diversity had a launch party to kick off this new community and we were informed that the old ITSS Community now includes the MPS group and has a new name.

In one of the sessions, it was stated that disruptive trends such as Cloud, Mobility, Big Data, Automation and IOT will result in $2 trillion of IT spend in the future. These trends are creating different expectations from our customers as we change our conversations from product focus to the experience of impact focus. A large corporation we all know stated they are flooding the market with technical resources to help partners craft solutions. Many experts stated that subscription or pay as you go licensing programs will continue to emerge and new companies will be born in the cloud.

Customers will continue to look for partners who understand their business goals and drivers and can help them solve their problems. Sales reps & IT professionals need to move beyond conversations around speeds, feeds, solutions and have dialogues around business outcomes to eliminate the analog mindset. Sales and marketing departments will need to work closer together breaking down silos to drive brand awareness and a better customer experience for everyone.

Did you know that 90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years? This led to discussions on data silos inside companies, the importance of data driven decisions and the continued growth we will see with data along with future career opportunities in technical roles associated with data security.

It was noted that three breakthrough accelerators in 2016 were processing power, storage and bandwidth. Did you know processing power is doubling every 2 years and storage is doubling every 12 months? 5G bandwidth is next on the horizon which will provide us 100X faster connectivity, 50X faster data access and 90% less energy used. By 2030, over 100 billion devices will be connected. The number and nature of the devices that are connected to the internet are concerning to businesses with BYOD and Security at top of mind all related to the Internet of Things (IOT).

In closing with the future of technology, it was stated again that customers said they are using technology to drive business outcomes however many of these small to mid-size customers also stated they aren’t as confident yet in their internal IT staff. This gives opportunity for our future leaders in the IT world to help impact change. I would suggest taking the time to review all different types of candidates coming into the IT world today that can help make a difference in your business tomorrow and into the future.

Overall fabulous event. Look for details on next year’s ChannelCon and join me to Do ChannelCon in 2018.

 

 

Kyocera Hits the Accelerate Button with DataBank Acquisition

Jeff Hayes
Aug 4, 2017

Kyocera Hits the Accelerate Button with DataBank Acquisition

Synergies that go “Beyond the Document” 

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KYOCERA announced they have acquired DataBank IMX, a nation-wide provider of distributed capture and business process automation services and enterprise content management (ECM) solutions.  Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed, but although KYOCERA Document Solutions Inc. acquired DataBank, operationally DataBank will report to KYOCERA Document Solutions America, Inc.  This deal is an important move by Kyocera, which typically has focused on organic growth initiatives, and has the potential to create significant new revenue streams and further strengthen their close relationships with independent office equipment dealers.  After meeting with Norihiko Ina, President of KYOCERA Document Solutions Inc., and Chuck Bauer, CEO of DataBank, I had the opportunity of learning first-hand of this latest industry acquisition.

Some Background:  Kyocera’s Total Document Solutions (TDS) Strategy

During their April 18, 2017 Business Technology Conference, the President and CEO of KYOCERA Document Solutions America, Yukio Ikeda, explained that Kyocera’s alliance with DataBank, announced on 9/13/16, was critical to the next phase in their Total Document Solutions (TDS) strategy. Mr. Ikeda described this next phase as TDS 2.0, offering Business Process Improvement, Business Process Outsourcing and IT Services as expanded Kyocera offerings. In his presentation, he went on to explain that all business processes, not just document-related ones could benefit from these additional services.  He announced that within FY18, their North American dealers would be able to “offer business process improvement services through Kyocera and DataBank’s team of BPI specialists.” This acquisition confirms that Kyocera has executed on this approach by fully incorporating the services provided by DataBank – now a wholly owned entity.

Why DataBank?

DataBank claims to be the single largest North American reseller of Hyland OnBase with over 800 ECM installations across the country. The company offers solutions built on a variety of leading document capture, enterprise content management, and business process automation tools.

Kyocera has been focusing on distributed capture and document management solutions for Hyland OnBase and Microsoft Sharepoint customers in document/workflow intensive industries including healthcare, education, and legal. DataBank enables Kyocera to accelerate and deepen its offerings in these areas, as well as provide additional direct sales and professional services capabilities. A quick thumbnail on DataBank:

  • Founded in 1991 with headquarters in King of Prussia, PA
  • Variety of solutions based on Hyland OnBase and Microsoft Sharepoint
  • Extensive professional services for re-designing complex document and data-intensive business processes and implementing and managing automated and outsourced solutions
  • Over 620 employees across 7 Imaging Centers and 6 sales offices in the U.S.
  • Approximately 65% of revenue from healthcare and public services accounts

Other DataBank technology partners include:

  • Hyland OnBase (DataBank is a platinum reseller in North America)
  • Microsoft Sharepoint
  • Anydoc, AvePoint, DocuSign, Hyperfish, K2 Nintex
  • Leading scanner & mailing system vendors

DataBank solutions also connect with a variety of MFPs from other vendors, and Kyocera has indicated that they will not disrupt the support offered to those customers, but will look to shift customers to Kyocera-based devices and solutions wherever possible.  Kyocera also believes they can more tightly integrate their devices with DataBank solutions as part of future product development.

Why Now?

Kyocera clearly sees solutions as integral to their business strategy and has been impressed with the DataBank management team and offerings. The company is focused on offering customers a new level of consultative expertise in simplifying complex workflows, managing mission-critical information, and optimizing business performance.  Kyocera has also been steadily building out their Total Document Solutions portfolio through internal development and industry partners, with nearly 50 software offerings focusing on distributed capture, data extraction, document management, device management, output management, and security.

Kyocera also has the financial resources to make a mid-sized acquisition, and has not been burdened with integrating previous acquisitions like some competing OEMs. The company has outperformed the industry recently with revenue up 104% over the previous year and has reported 8 consecutive years of growth.  With the steady economy, strong balance sheet, and a good partner in a strategic part of the market, Kyocera believes now is the time to make a move. 

Industry Impact

This acquisition doesn’t change the structure of the industry, but clearly indicates that Kyocera is committed for the long term. Keypoint Intelligence believe this move is important because it:

  • Signals Kyocera’s strategic direction further into the solutions business and enterprise accounts
  • Strengthens Kyocera’s position in important vertical markets (healthcare, government, legal)
  • Significantly expands Kyocera’s professional services capabilities
  • Creates a new services revenue stream around business process automation
  • Provides new opportunities (solutions) and capabilities (integration) for Kyocera dealers
  • Has long-term potential for Kyocera to expand within the U.S. and other regions

InfoTrends’ Opinion

Expansion and contraction has become common place in our industry, with Xerox and Lexmark recently divesting its solutions and service entities, and now with this acquisition by Kyocera – clearly vendors are trying to find ways to better serve the expanding needs of their customers for services that go beyond the document.  Acquisition is one way to accomplish this, and this recent course taken by Kyocera and DataBank, which began as a partnership a year ago, may have been a prudent one that could work to their mutual benefit.  During this past year, both companies have had a chance to familiarize themselves with their respective product and solution portfolios, as well as their corporate cultures. It is also likely that their sales channels have had a chance to work closely together, aligning resources and finding ways to combine forces to better serve their customers.  With this acquisition, it is anticipated that Kyocera will be able to continue on the path in offering expanded technologies and services to their customers, and realize phase 2.0 of their Total Document Solutions strategy.

How effective is your MPS program?

Sheryne Glicksman

On a recent webinar, it was stated that 65% of total cost for an MPS program is associated with consumables and supplies. This can be as high as 75% when we consider the A4 conversion going on. Business firms that offer MPS to their customers must continue to focus on this area to improve their MPS programs.

There are many variables that stack up to make an effective MPS program for your customers. One of the variables is associated with shipping consumables. Customers don’t want to stock extra supplies and you don’t want to ship too many supplies, so how we do find the happy medium? First, it’s important for customers to know that they don’t need to replace the toner cartridge the minute it says running low. Are your reps and specialists speaking to customers about your process for shipping toner and why they don’t need to duplicate efforts? Have you invested in dedicated staff to track toner usage and help proactively manage the program? Do you have any kind of system alerts, such as email notifications to customers, before the toner ships? One of the things you can do is make sure your sales reps can easily explain your MPS program to your customers including the importance of managing the supplies.

Another trend we are seeing is the potential growth of inkjet. According to a recent KeyPoint Intelligence study, 2017 was the year that inkjet in the office is expanding. Epson, Canon, HP and Brother continued making investments in business class inkjet and Riso launched the first high speed (120 ppm) inkjet for the office market. How does your MPS program handle inkjet? What are your plans to proactively consider the growth here to incorporate it into your program? How will you track it? As you can see in the chart below, Inkjet serialized segment 3 forecast the highest growth in the next several years.

Business Inkjet vs Laser: 2016 – 2021  North America Placements Forecast

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We’ve heard the term “Everything as a Service” associated with the future of Managed Print Services. Let’s also consider “Print as a Service”. In a recent study, we found that vendors will intensify efforts to increase user loyalty by offering various plans to add service components to supplies. MPS is well-penetrated in large organizations, but it has not had the same success in SMB. OEM’s are looking for the right formula to convert SMB’s from transitional to a contract sale or a subscription type program. Other plans, such as fleet supplies, auto-order or individual device re-order will continue to be analyzed and developed.

Fleet optimization is another variable to look at. Talk to your customers about how you can help them design solutions around their workflow during your quarterly business reviews. Most dealers successful in the MPS world are adjusting or making tweaks along the way that help customer’s control their costs in printing. A simple thing like swapping one device for another one based on volume, removing the costliest devices and shifting pages to workgroup printers are all good examples of fleet optimization and right-sizing of the fleet conversations you should be having on a regular basis.

Are you using tools that can help track page yields per cartridge, volume per machines and end-user printing? By adding advanced behavior modification software, you can help drive down costs of printing by 20% or more. Simply by having tools to indicate where to send print job based on the specific job is one way this type of software can help. It can also eliminate printing and with the savings from not printing, you can help your customers use these dollars in process automation tools for their business workflow.

Currently digital tools like email are most likely replacing print though many other options exist with document collaboration tools and business process automation. Does your firm have a paper reduction policy? If so, what resources and tools are being used? How are you marketing this to help your customers? Are you considering factors such as security in printing?

Paper Reduction Policies in SMB’s and Enterprises

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The dealers who intensify efforts to increase user loyalty by offering various plans to add service components to their supplies, move into subscription programs such as “everything as a service” and offer security services will continue to be on the leading edge of MPS.

The future of MPS is today and beyond.

Epson Announces Partnership with Nuance and showcases new products at “Prism of Possibilities” NYC Event

Barbara Richards
Jul 27, 2017

epsonlogo nuancelogo

Epson and Nuance form Strategic Partnership

On July 25th, Nuance Communications, Inc., and Seiko Epson Corporation announced a worldwide strategic partnership to enhance the Epson customer experience by providing Nuance document imaging solutions through Epson distributors and resellers. According to Epson, this new partnership brings together the low running costs, reduced intervention and environmental impact as well as the high reliability of their printers, with the ability to securely control and manage print and capture to enhance productivity, while reducing operating expenses for their customers. 

Under the new partnership, Epson will sell and distribute Nuance eCopy ShareScan and Equitrac Office/Express software on their family of inkjet MFPs including the high-speed WorkForce Enterprise WF-C20590 (launched in Spring 2017)http://client.keypointintelligence.com/bliQ/InfoCenter/Document/Item/52413605-84e7-47cd-9f6a-a5e10fb45b1d and LX -10000/7000 series of linehead technology for SMB and corporate workgroups.

In addition, Epson will also integrate the Nuance Omnipage SDK and Epson scanning applications for better OCR accuracy within document workflows and will bundle Nuance’s Power PDF software with a select line of Epson document scanners.

Nuance Solutions to be made available to Epson include:

Epson products Nuance products Nuance products Nuance products
WorkForce Enterprise/Pro Printers Equitrac Office Express Equitrac Express eCopy ShareScan
Document Scanners OmniPage Capture SDK PowerPDF

New DS-410 Document Scanner

At the event, Epson also announced a new commercial document scanner, the DS-410, complete with a 50-sheet automatic document feeder, duplex scanning and 26ppm/52 ipm scan speeds. It offers support for ISIS and TWAIN drivers for seamless integration into most document management software along with a three year limited warranty. According to Mark Pickard, Senior Product Manager of Scanners, the DS-410 is ideal for environments that require a fast and flexible document scanning solution that provides paper-intensive businesses an affordable solution to save, store and protect critical documents. The DS-410 is available today through select resellers and distributors nationwide at a MSRP of $379.

Figure 1- Epson DS-410 Document Scanner

EpsonDS410

 

In addition to the new scanner and partnership announcement, Epson also showcased products from their commercial and enterprise divisions as well as new wearable technologies that will be available later this year.

 

Read more »

According to Recent InfoTrends SMB U.S. Office Primary Research Study 46% of business content still remains on paper today

Barbara Richards
Jul 18, 2017

According to 216 U.S. SMB IT decision-makers surveyed, 46% of their business content currently remains on paper today. Nonetheless they are moving along the digital transformation path, if at a slower pace than larger Enterprises as they are more worried about the cost of conversion. Our study found that cost was the number one hurdle associated with converting to digital processes. Furthermore, SMBs main cost concerns are training, time constraints, legal requirements and IT resources. In addition, survey results also found that 32% of SMB decision makers indicted a preference for paper for business processes. This was most prevalent in the Manufacturing, Education and Prof. Service’s sectors.

What are the major hurdles to converting paper processes to digital?

Read more »

HP Inc. – Positioned for Growth

Jeff Hayes
Jun 19, 2017

HP Inc. held its Power of Print analyst briefing on June 15th at its headquarters in Palo Alto, CA to update the printing industry on its strategy and key initiatives. While there was essentially no new news, what was clear is that HP is building momentum as a leaner and more focused company nearly a year after its separation. Read more »

InfoTrends Forecast Continued Growth in A4 Color MFPs and Business Inkjet Shipments through 2021 in both North America and Western Europe

Barbara Richards
Jun 14, 2017

While the overall office equipment markets in NA and WE is mature, InfoTrends expects unit growth in A4 Color particularly within the 45+ppm MF speed segment and Segment 3 Business Inkjet SMB according to the recently published SF Printer and MF Hardware Forecasts for both regions.

InfoTrends believes the market will continue to shift from SF laser printers to multi-functional products and from monochrome to color engines. In fact, in 2016 MF printers represented 52% of all laser unit shipments by 2021, our forecast shows MF devices will grow to about 58% of total unit shipments. While color laser devices are also expected to grow from 31% to 34% of total shipments in North America and from 37% to 40% in Western Europe during the same period.

In North America, Office Color Laser A4 MF shipments are expected to grow at a 3.9% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) through 2021 while in Western Europe shipments there are expected to grow at a 2.5% CAGR.  InfoTrends forecasts the majority of unit placements will be within the Laser Segments 2–4 (21-69 ppm) speed range as the shift to color and multi-functional devices continues in the office environment.

 North America & Western Europe Color Laser A4 MF  Laser Seg 2-4 (21-69ppm) Forecast

  

Business Ink Poised for Market Growth

InfoTrends forecasts continued growth in unit shipments within our Business Inkjet Segments 3 & 4 in both North America and Western Europe through 2021.  In North America, shipments are expected to grow at 6.2% CAGR while in Western Europe the combined segments are targeted to grow at a 4.6% CAGR during the same period. Shipment growth is being fueled by a new breed of high-end serial inkjet and page-wide models introduced over the last few years. This new breed of inkjet devices offers an attractive alternative to laser particularly within the SMB office environment with standard wireless connectivity, high yield consumables and in some cases, comparable cost per page to laser.

 

Read more »

Are Millennials All That Different? Not Really.

Christine Dunne
Jun 1, 2017

Companies are eager to learn more about Millennials, or those born roughly between 1981 and 1997 (making them between 20 and 36 years old). As they enter the workforce and move up the corporate ranks, they are increasingly making decisions around what to purchase and how to conduct business.

Here at Keypoint Intelligence, we frequently receive questions from clients interested in how Millennials are behaving differently from their Generation X and Baby Boomer counterparts—particularly from an office printing and document workflow perspective. Perhaps surprisingly, a mounting body of research is showing they are quite similar in their habits.

European primary research as an example
Last year, we conducted a web survey of 250 Western European office workers (125 in Spain; 125 in the United Kingdom). Responses were balanced across four age ranges: 18-29 year olds, 30-39 year olds, 40-49 year olds, and 50+ year olds. Among the 18-29 year olds, the large majority of whom are Millennials, printing levels were similar to (and in some cases greater than) those of older workers. For example, similar percentages of Millennials are printing various document types.

Percent of respondents that print various types of work documents

Percent of respondents that print various types of work documents

Read more »

Nuance Announces eCopy ShareScan 6.0

Rebecca Schiffenhaus
May 18, 2017

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On May 17th, Nuance announced eCopy ShareScan 6.0, an update to their popular capture and workflow solution. eCopy ShareScan offers sophisticated tools while retaining simplicity for any customer. Nuance has added new features for productivity and security, designed with the prevalence of ad hoc capture, mobile workers, and the need for custom workflows in mind. To serve those looking to automate, Nuance eCopy 6.0 features innovations in the mobile space, “learning worker” level workflows, easy deployment and maintenance with added security features, and extensive integration with Microsoft Office 365.

Mobility

Nuance eCopy can now be integrated with Nuance Business Connect, the mobile application for iOS and Android. Subsequently, users can capture a document with a mobile camera and access workflows via mobile devices with support for form data entry and document signatures. These documents can then be processed via Nuance eCopy to content management systems, email services, collaboration tools, and more. This allows remote workers to work as effectively as those in the office.

Workflows

The Visual Workflow Editor and Personalized Workflow combine to make workflow design simple and easy for every worker. At the administrator level, the Visual Workflow Editor offers a guided building experience, drag and drop functionality, intuitive possible steps, and a built-in test simulator. The Personalized Workflow allows any user to configure connectors via an easy to use wizard for custom “send to folder” workflows. RapID remembers user’s preferred or recent settings, simplifying repetitive document tasks.

Deployment and Security

To ensure eCopy serves each aspect of an organization, Nuance has considered concerns like support and security. To keep servers from being overwhelmed, eCopy enables industry hardware load balancers like Citrix Netscaler. Nuance has also added several security features. Content-based security warnings monitor scanned documents and flag predetermined classified information via an email. Enterprise-grade security standards, TLS 1.2 and SNMP v3, are now supported as well. The integration with Windows Active Directory also furthers security, ensuring only authorized users have access via secure session log-on. For those already using eCopy, upgrades are as simple as installing eCopy 6.0 over eCopy 5.0, keeping all saved workflow settings.

The trend toward business process automation is highlighted in the InfoTrends Future of Office Print study, which suggested that more organizations are discovering the benefits of document software solutions. Nearly two thirds of respondents indicated that their companies have taken steps to remove, simplify, or automate document-related business processes. Nuance answers that growing demand with this new version of eCopy, a scalable solution to simplify document workflows in and out of the office. Nuance eCopy ShareScan 6.0 will be available to partners in June, and satisfies the needs customers looking to gain control of document processes, empower mobile workers, and manage costs without sacrificing security.

2016 InfoTrends, Inc.

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