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Document Accounting Solutions

30 Oct, 2003 By: Alicia Ellis imageSource

Document Accounting Solutions

Historically riding on the coattails of the OEMs, Equitrac, a leading
provider of automated Document Accounting and Cost Recovery solutions, is ready
to step out into the limelight with a new look, a new team and a new mission to
create a comprehensive document accounting solution (DAS) that enables
organizations to monitor, measure and manage all document related activities in
order to increase productivity, control costs and intelligently manage assets,
Equitrac hopes to double it revenue over the next five years and become the
market leader for document accounting systems.

At a media/analyst event held recently, Equitrac's new President and CEO,
Michael Rich, introduced his new executive team and outlined plans for
Equitrac's growth by offering enhanced features to existing products,
introducing new products with lower price points, incorporating new sales and
distribution strategies, and branching into both vertical and horizontal

"There have been a lot of changes over the past year," said Rich.
"With this reinvention, we are committed to strengthening our sales and
marketing, consolidating our product delivery, consolidating product development
efforts and streamlining business with a customer 800 number and newly designed

Citing a report from IDC entitled The Expanding Role of Document Accounting
Systems, John Johasky, Senior Vice President of Sales, said that, "document
accounting allows organizations to reduce overall output costs from 5 to15
percent." The benefits for document accounting include the ability of its
users to minimize waste and unauthorized use of office equipment; recover or
allocate document output costs; discover optimal deployment of devices; manage
office equipment consumables; and increase document security controls.

"No single budget can be scrutinized for costs of paper, toner and
inkjet cartridges because they are spread across so many accounts in different
departments," said Johasky. "This cost dispersion camouflages the
magnitude of the overall print expenses. What is visible, if anything, is just
the top of the iceberg."

Equitrac's new solutions approach separates the industry into three core
segments: legal, general office and education. Each segment has its very own set
of solutions designed with the tracking and accounting needs of the users in
mind. Although maintaining an internal sales staff, the new solutions approaches
to price and distribution channels, will allow office equipment dealers to find
new opportunities in large, medium and small corporate sales.

Legal Issues Equitrac's legal product has become a leader in the industry
with 76 percent of the Amlaw 100 and 79 percent of the Amlaw 200 utilizing
Equitrac's cost recovery software. According to Chris Wyszkowski, Vice President
of Product Development for Equitrac, "Time and billing are at the core of
law office practices. However, in the past, law firms charged back 'clicks'
solely from the production of photocopies. Law firms today work with documents
in a variety of forms. Forms that used to be filed manually are being
electronically sent; scan to e-mail is replacing the use of the fax machine, and
the old 'print and deliver' method of sending documents is moving to a 'render
and e-mail' solution."

The opportunities for dealers lie in the number of products and options for
law firms of all sizes. Equitrac Professional Enterprise Edition offers a
complete solution to recover costs and manage expenses associated with prints,
copies, faxes, scans, phone and miscellaneous disbursements. Equitrac
Professional is a suite of integrated software and hardware products that
provides complete cost recovery functionality that can be tailored to the needs
of large and small professional firms.

While the average high-end sale is around $20,000, Equitrac Professional
offers copy/print solutions under $3000 and MFP solutions at a little more than
$6,000. These products were developed specifically for lower end applications
and are beyond the scope of Equitrac's own internal sales division. "We
need new distribution strategies," said Rich. "It is difficult to
dedicate direct marketing efforts to small to medium sized firms. This is where
a saavy dealer can find great success."

General Office "While Equitrac's legal products focus on cost recovery,
Equitrac Office focuses on cost management," said Jim Kwock, Senior Vice
President of Marketing and Global Alliances. "Cost management software
suites lower the total cost of ownership of devices and accurately allocates
costs by revealing over-worked or under-utilized devices; identifying optimal
devices based on cost and workflow; producing an audit trail for printed
documents; and restricting access to printed documents to heighten

"Non-legal new sales represent 30 percent of Equitrac's new purchase
revenue," said Rich. "Our horizontal growth is all about distribution
in the general office segment. We expect revenues to grow from $60 to $70
million today to more than $100 million in three to four years."

Equitrac Office, Equitrac's next generation accounting server, is a network
document accounting solution that enables companies to monitor, measure and
manage all network document output. To expand the functionality of Equitrac
Office, dealers can help customers to choose from a series of licensable options
including Client Billing, Desktop Printing, MyPrint Secure Printing, and more.

"Non-legal sales will be almost entirely through the channel," said
Kwock. "Equitrac's Partner Program for VARs, is designed to provide dealers
with the sales, marketing, services, and education they need to promote and sell
Equitrac's document accounting solutions. Through a Channel Services Program,
dealers will have access to Equitrac's knowledgebase and industry solutions
through its partner extranet. Equitrac University will provide sales and
technical training certification. Dealers can benefit from volume incentive
rebates, cooperative marketing funds, promotions, and lead generation

Typical sales for Equitrac Office average $4,000 through the channel for
software only. Terminals range from $800 to $1,000 and options can be added over
time as the need arises.

Higher Education/Library "Schools need methods/systems to better
control, account and budget for imaging technology platform use by faculty,
administrators and students," said Johasky. "DAS adoption is a smart
investment rather than competition for scarce budget resources. There are $4,142
college campuses in the United States with 14.3 million students. Taking into
account an IDC study that indicates a 40 percent adoption rate of DAS over next
five years and an average $35 DAS spending per student, there will be a DAS
higher education market estimate of $200 million spent over the next five

As Susan Scurry, Education Product Manager explained, "Equitrac Express
and Equitrac PayStation are complete pay-for-copy/print solutions that will no
only discourage wasteful, excessive or personal printing but will recover costs;
enforce access and use restrictions; and manage printing and copying across
distributed environment."

Equitrac Express offers a complete solution for a facility, ensuring that
every document that a student, staff or faculty member sends to any networked
printer is being tracked, analyzed and accurately charged. Equitrac Pay Station
is a payment system designed for the education and retail markets. The product
line combines revalue stations, which enable users to purchase cards and add
value to their cards or account, and control terminals, which interface with
output devices to pay for documents.

Whatever the solution, dealers can benefit from the new channel opportunities
that Equitrac is offering. The advantages to using a document accounting
solution, whether it be for cost recovery, cost management, or
pay-for-print/copy environments, are expanding into every segment of business
and provide users with the tools they need to succeed and dealers with a new
growth segment to become a total solutions provider.

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