Category: Solutions

Kofax to Acquire Nuance’s Document Imaging Business

Christine Dunne
Nov 16, 2018

On November 12, Kofax announced its intention to acquire the Nuance Document Imaging (NDI) division of Nuance Communications. If the deal closes as expected in Q1 of 2019, the move will catapult Kofax—already the 800-pound gorilla in the document capture market—to the leadership position in print-management and cost-recovery solutions, too. NDI itself is a product of Nuance’s once-acquisitive nature.

Source: http://www.picpedia.org/highway-signs/a/acquisition.html

The division’s portfolio of document solutions includes a host of product families purchased over the past decade or so, such as Equitrac (purchased in 2011), Output Manager (which came with the NSi acquisition in 2014), and Safecom (bought in 2012) for print management; Equitrac Professional and Copitrak (added in 2012) for cost recovery; AutoStore (another NSi product) and eCopy (acquired in 2009) for document capture and workflow; Business Connect for mobile document imaging; and OmniPage, PaperPort, and Power PDF for PDF and document conversion (these products, or the seeds for them, came from the original merger between Nuance and ScanSoft in 2005). Read more »

Konica Minolta Acquires MWA Intelligence

Christine Dunne
Jul 11, 2018

On July 2, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. announced the acquisition of MWA Intelligence (MWA)—a provider of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for the imaging channel. Scottsdale, Arizona-based MWA offers the FORZA ERP solution, which is built on SAP Business One.

The platform provides visibility and control over a variety of business operations, including accounting and finance, sales and customer management, inventory and distribution, purchasing and operations, service and mobility, and reporting and administration. It has an open architecture, and can be customized by dealers for various functions and industries.

MWA employees will join All Covered, Konica Minolta’s IT services division.

Acquisition in context

ERP software helps businesses manage their core business processes, often in real-time and with the goal of operating more efficiently and effectively. The global ERP market is valued at approximately $34 billion; market leaders include companies like SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, and NetSuite.

Of course, the imaging channel represents just a fraction of this opportunity. Within the United States, for instance, about 2,200 office equipment dealerships are in operation—including about 600 with branch locations.

These dealers often use ERPs like Compass Sherpa and E-Automate, or internal systems, to manage their business. Considering that declining profit margins are considered a top threat to indirect office equipment vendors (dealers and resellers included) in both the United States and Western Europe, it is clear that an ERP can provide valuable insight into opportunities for operational improvement.

What are the three biggest threats to your business based on shifts in the industry?

Source: Office Channels Survey (Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends, 2017) Read more »

Smart Package Manufacturing: HP One Package Workflow Suite Brings New Levels of Optimization

Pat McGrew
Jun 25, 2018

Corrugated product producers have traditionally thought in terms of square meters and board feet. The goal: keep corrugated products heading out the door. For corrugators that meant keeping the corrugator online and in production which was managed with a Manufacturing Execution System tied to standard business management software suites. Corrugated board manufacturers often use their business systems to manage their manufacturing requirements, augmented with process-specific tools. The advent of digital corrugated production options adds many more requirements to the production workflow, most of which are closer to traditional commercial printing than traditional converting. With experience born from implementations of both digital liner preprinting ahead of corrugation and digital corrugated board printing (“post printing”) comes the HP One Package workflow suite targeted toward users of all HP PageWide Industrial corrugated presses.

HP PrintOS Site Flow Drives End-to-End Print Production for HP Corrugated

Source: HP

Read more »

The Smart Workplace, According to Konica Minolta

Deborah Hawkins
May 24, 2018

The traditional work environment is fundamentally transforming, and visions of the future Smart Workplace are emerging. Through the combination of the Internet, mobility, cloud, sensors, and the Internet of things, work can get done virtually anywhere people can communicate, collaborate, and transact.

To better segment and organize the “Smart Workplace,” Keypoint Intelligence has created a taxonomy of services related to our industry. This taxonomy helps define and categorize disparate technologies and services into a more concrete and comprehensive view of the Smart Workplace solutions and services. Read more »

Making Efficient Workflows: 2018 Solimar User Conference

Pat McGrew
May 13, 2018

San Diego is known for being a hub of invention, from inkjet development to dynamic software solutions. Solimar Systems is embedded in that innovation hub, with 27 years of providing solutions to companies with workflow challenges. Their 2018 User Conference in San Diego (May 8-10) brought together their top users to share their solutions, learn about new features and provide feedback to the Solimar technical team. I am a huge fan of user conferences for the networking opportunities they bring for both the solutions staff and the customers. Face to face is always the best way to gain trust among users and for users to develop all-important relationships.

This year’s event began with a Customer Advisory Council meeting that included a Keypoint Intelligence Keynote: Like Childred, Your Workflow Needs Attention! The council consists of 23 Solimar users who meet on a regular cadence to provide guidance. The goal of the keynote was to talk through the power of workflow automation in driving efficiency and profitability. We are advocates of workflow assessments, as are the team at Solimar Systems, so the presentation walked through a ten step review of workflow processes, with supporting data from the latest Keypoint Intelligence North American Software Investment Survey.

The most interesting takeaways from the Customer Advisory meetings was the diversity of issues faced by Print Service providers of all sizes, and the variety of approaches they take to move toward efficiency. We heard from companies that approach workflow with multiple solutions and some that approach with a single-threaded workflow approach, all using the Solimar products to add efficiency to their production processing.

The Solimar User Group encompasses the Advisory Council and an extended group of Solimar Users. The event included presentations from partners, including Konica Minolta, SCREEN, Ironsides Technology, Reality BLU, BCC Software, and RISO. Customer panels included deep dives into Operational Efficiencies, Differentiated Services, Compliance and Security, and Customer Experience, allowing customers to share their best practices.

Two keynotes touched on tangential workflow issues. The first was the Keypoint Intelligence presentation by Pat McGrew: The Workflow Revolution: Are You On Board? The goal was to provide guidance on how to approach workflow as a moonshot, moving toward the best level of optimization possible. The theme was that operational excellence requires an executive commitment and an open mind to allow change. The goal is Smart Print Manufacturing that embraces automation.

The second keynote came from Tim Cooper, Chief Enterprise Architect at Harland Clarke. If you have not heard a Tim Cooper presentation you have missed something special. Tim has decades of experience in workflows and is a deep thinker when it comes to optimization and breaking down barriers. His presentation was A Discussion on Workflow Facts that Can Lead to Wrong Conclusions. He walked through how looking at data in a vacuum can lead to the wrong architecture and implode operational efficiencies.

Tim shared how he arrived at his philosophy of workflow, and how using the Solimar solutions he was able to wrangle multiple, disparate workflows in to a single workflow, and reduce processing time from more than 3000 hours to under a couple of days. That drew gasps from PSPs in the room struggling with the same challenges.

The true value of user group meetings comes from the networking and sharing, as well as guidance that analysts can supply to provide guidance for decisions about the next investments and architecture changes need to be made. The Solimar team did an excellent job of tuning the mix of technical sessions focused on products and solutions with partner presentations and announcements, and customer panels.

Xerox Hosts Security Summit at New York Stock Exchange

Rebecca Schiffenhaus
Jan 24, 2018

CNBC Bell Ringing

On January 23rd, 2018, Xerox hosted the Xerox Security Summit at the New York Stock Exchange. Understanding that cybersecurity has become essential for MFPs and printers as “always on end-points”, Xerox brought together thought leaders and partners in this field to join Xerox for the bell ringing and an afternoon of cybersecurity conversations. Mike Feldman, Executive VP and President, NAO, Xerox Corporation, opened the event by reflecting on the rebirth of Xerox one year ago, when Conduent became a separate company and Xerox was able to center itself.  In this past year Xerox has had many accomplishments, including a huge launch of 29 new devices, growth in ConnectKey and apps, and new devices and inks for production print.

Alissa Johnson, Chief Information Security Officer and former Deputy CIO for the White House opened the sessions by emphasizing awareness. Johnson said that breaches can usually be traced to a visible IP, an open port, or a vulnerable service. To protect these areas, Johnson had three tips, 1. Hunt- always assume there is a compromise, 2. Zero trust- whitelist instead of allowing, and 3. Cognitive security- develop advanced AI. Candace Worley, Vice President and Chief Technical Strategist for McAfee, discussed cybersecurity fears around automation. Namely, individuals fear that the system will malfunction, and they will be held accountable. Worley shared some important developments in this field, like the shift from prior work environments, with only a few operating systems and devices, to the current, complex network ecosystems with virtual desktops, countless devices, cloud services and more. Worley also discussed the anticipated labor shortage in cybersecurity, as there is a lack of talent to fill the jobs necessitated by cybersecurity. It is anticipated that by 2022 over 70% of jobs will go unfilled, and 9 out of 10 cybersecurity workers believe that they will need technology to fill that talent gap. Worley emphasized the need for more open culture, with sharing across vendors, to develop the technology to handle this.

Sergio Caltagirone, Director of Threat Intelligence and Analytics at Dragos, discussed the offensive and defensive sides of hacking. Encouraging everyone to be realistic about security, he stated that there are hunters and hunted. Caltagirone shared the Defender’s dilemma, “the adversary needs to be right once, the defender needs to be right every time,” but Caltagirone emphasized that the defender has the power, “the defender controls the space”. By shaping and controlling the environment, security experts have the upper hand so long as they maintain it. Dov Yoran, Sr. Director, Strategy and Business Development Security Group for Cisco, shocked and awed sharing this video, discussing the industrialization of cybercrime and how prevalent and intelligent it has become. Steve Hoover, CTP, Xerox, and Ersin Uzun, Vice President, Director of System Sciences Laboratory, PARC, discussed how approaching cybersecurity can emulate the way we approach parenting. Teaching security programs how to “think” by interrupting processes and asking it to explain why it made choices and having teaching moments for the next event. This leads to greater trust and faith in the program and helps preserve the human role in cybersecurity.

Over lunch, famed hacker Kevin Mitnick, showed us all how easy it was to fall victim to an intelligent cyber-scheme and made everyone feel like throwing their devices into the Hudson. He shared tips and tricks about phishing, ransomware, malware, cloning HID cards, and proved just how simple it would be to be targeted through a great number of innocuous daily business processes. During the final panel, the panelists were asked which they would prioritize: protection, detection, or prevention and the unanimous winner was detection. Detection was emphasized as necessary for expedient handling, as well as integral as a learning opportunity. To end the event, the panelists  shared what would be the one piece of advice they’d give for the day:

  • The most important things are integration and automation, this allows you to react faster and technology to work together.”- Dov Yoran
  • Patch quickly! It’s old school advice but do it. Patch rapidly because people hack rapidly.” – Candace Worley
  • Be proactive about insecurities- if your day to day is just monitoring, you’ve already lost.”- Sergio Caltagirone
  • Stay current.” – Steve Hoover
  • Educate your people about security, people are still a major source of access.”- Ersin Uzun

Xerox introduced the personified tenants of its security approach as characters of a “Super Cyber Squad”- the Protector, the Detector, the Preventer, and the Partner. It’s abundantly clear that conversations about cybersecurity are vital, and the more our industry collaborates and brings together different players, the better we will become achieving those tenants. This summit, and ongoing opportunities for sharing and learning among vendors, customers, partners, dealers, and subject matter experts, help to shape the future of cybersecurity.

 

Kevin Mitnick cloning an HID card 3 different ways in under two minutes.

Panel: Alissa Johnson, Ersin Uzun, Steve Hoover, Sergio Caltagirone, Candace Worley, and Dov Yoran 

 

 

ECi Software Solutions Acquires PrintFleet

Steve Pearl
Jan 5, 2018

Consolidation in the document imaging space continues, with ECi Software Solutions adding PrintFleet to its portfolio of business-management tools for office equipment dealers. That makes ECi the purveyor of two of the leading fleet-management platforms that underpin MPS (managed print services) practices. The company acquired FMAudit in 2011 to expand its dealer-focused software portfolio. According to ECi, this latest acquisition represents its commitment to the field service industry by expanding its service offerings and providing a global reach in print and service management. The President of PrintFleet, Chris McFarlane, will continue in his position—as part of ECi’s Field Service Division. Ron Books will maintain his role as ECi’s CEO.

Read more »

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