Category: Business Process Automation

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.

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

Barbara Richards
Jul 27, 2017

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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

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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.

 

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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?

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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

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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.

Thoma Bravo buys Lexmark Enterprise Software

Steve Pearl
May 11, 2017

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“So…what do you think about Hyland’s purchase of Kofax”?  That’s how conversations in the past few days usually start out. Which then lead to explanations of who Thoma Bravo is.  Some background and perspective is clearly in order…

The Facts

Hyland Software’s majority owner, Thoma Bravo, one of the largest private equity firms in the SW industry, announced a definitive agreement on May 3rd to buy Lexmark Enterprise Software (LES), consisting of Kofax, ReadSoft and Perceptive Software, for a reported amount of $1.5 billion. Read more »

Kodak Alaris Announces IN2 Ecosystem

Anne Valaitis

KAOn April 25th, Kodak Alaris introduced IN2 Ecosystem, a combination of scanners, software, and services along with partnerships intended to tackle the issues surrounding information content and “data chaos”. Kodak Alaris has a long history with capture technology spanning many years and includes hardware and software products that handle a variety of applications from compact distributed devices to high-volume sophisticated production engines and solutions.

This announcement is built of key pillars vital for the imaging provider; Right Fit, Right Experience and Right Results. Right Fit looks to make the best integration into the business environment, Right Experience builds on this with simple yet powerful features and processing and the Right Results look to deliver the deserved business outcomes. The pillars are then woven together through a partner and developer community that can ensure delivery and support.

As information and content, often in the form of paper, ebb and flow within a business environment, it becomes increasingly challenging to manage. In fact, the myth of the paperless office seems to be just that…a myth. In a recent Primary Research study conducted by Keypoint Intelligence InfoTrends, we found that only 15% of respondents felt that the paperless office “Was Realistic”, in addition when asked what percentage of business content still remains on paper, the result was more than 50% of company’s data is still paper-based. Information and data chaos is apparent as businesses look to automate processes to control regulations, compliance, and security and efficiency demands.

Kodak Alaris IN2 is a packaged answer to the demands of information and content. Working with their heritage and history of image capture, and further placing a greater emphasis on an ecosystem that will include strong partnerships, Kodak Alaris’s goal with the IN2 solution is to focus in key areas that can benefit most from a combination of capture hardware, software and services delivered by strategic partners. To support the partners, Alaris will provide materials and tools to provision and educate partners in an effort to simplify and reduce complications that could arise while penetrating new solutions markets whether horizontal or vertical.

Keypoint Intelligence feels that a balanced approach when addressing information and content mismanagement is best and Kodak Alaris with the announcement of it’s IN2 Ecosystem directly reflects the real need to create linkages and integrations for a solid information solution.

Kyocera Document Solutions America Announces Alliance with DataBank for “Enhanced Total Data Solutions”

Barbara Richards
Sep 15, 2016

On September 14th, Kyocera Document Solutions America announced a business alliance with DataBank, North America’s leading end-to-end business process solutions provider to provide business process improvement services to their mutual customers.  According to Kyocera, this alliance represents a distinctively unique partnership between a business process solutions provider and a global document imaging company to offer their customers a new level of consultative expertise in simplifying complex workflows, managing mission-critical information, and optimizing business performance. Furthermore, Kyocera believes joining forces represents a significant leap forward in capabilities, and an exceptional opportunity for companies across North America.

Figure 1 – Kyocera & DataBank Strategic Alliance

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About DataBank

DataBank was founded in 1991 and is the single largest North America reseller of Hyland OnBase, a global (ECM) enterprise content management solutions platform.  DataBank has roughly 3,500+ customers and 604 OnBase customers with over 1 billion images produced annually.  Their products include Business process automation, ECM, SharePoint & Advanced Capture Solutions.

Alliance Advantage

This alliance will further accelerate Kyocera’s integration to OnBase with its custom-developed HyPas business application.  Furthermore, according to Kyocera, this alliance will deliver one of the most comprehensive end-to-end-business process improvement solutions available on the market today from any hardware manufacturer or ECM provider.  Kyocera’s strategy is to further expand their total document solutions portfolio utilizing their TASKalfa MFPs and ECOSYS printer hardware for optimal deployment along with their HyPAS customizable software and their ADIMO (Assess, Design, Implement, Manage, and Optimize) sales approach coupled with this latest strategic alliance with DataBank for a “Total Data Solutions” approach.

Figure 2 – Kyocera’s “Total Data Solutions” Sales Approach

KyoceraTotalDataSolutions

At present time, Kyocera will be focusing on their direct and enterprise accounts with the new DataBank alliance while their independent dealers are not excluded; there are several logistical issues that need to be finalized before they roll it out to their channel partners. Kyocera stated that their initial focus will be within North America with further expansion into Pan-America at a later date.

InfoTrends’ Opinion

ECM solutions are becoming increasingly important for organizations to manage, streamline, and access all types of content in this “big data” age.  InfoTrends believes more and more of the next key phases for equipment vendors is to incorporate Business Process Automation solutions into their strategies, especially as they relate to vertical markets or horizontal processes.  Kyocera’s latest strategic announcement with DataBank is another example of this expanding market trend and if executed effectively could lead to big gains for both partners.

Canon Launches Latest Version of Cloud Portal and uniFLOW Online

Anne Valaitis
Aug 8, 2016

Canon U.S.A., Inc., announced today Version 2.0 of its ADVANCE Cloud Portal for compatible imageRUNNER ADVANCE systems and the availability of uniFLOW Online, a multi-tenant, cloud-based print management solution. uniFLOW Online enables small and medium sized businesses a way to manage their print environment without the need for a local server. ADVANCE Cloud Portal V2.0 helps users directly scan, store and print documents to and from their cloud file services.

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HP Announces Software to Enhance Mobile Printing Experience

Allison Correia
Jun 2, 2016

 

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Following the spring hardware updates, today HP announced a range of solutions and enhancements to their mobile printing and print analytics solutions strategies for business. HP is addressing IT needs and end user expectations with these new solutions that attend to security challenges, cost containment, deployment issues, and device lifecycle management that IT struggles with, while also addressing end user wants such as flexibility and device diversity. Read more »

2016 InfoTrends, Inc.

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