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Scanning, Electronic Documents, and Profits

1 Oct, 2001 By: Lester Anderson imageSource

Scanning, Electronic Documents, and Profits

Copier Dealer has been force into a new role for its customers. No longer do
they only provide products that make copies, they also must offer applications
and products that improve document workflow in the office.


products are now available that will dramatically increase the number of meter
clicks dealers can sell, such as: capturing business from line printers using
electronic forms, offering document imaging solutions, print control solutions,
as well as making money by offering consultative services; are just some of the
areas that dealers need to take advantage.


this in mind, we are proud to welcome you to the newest section of The Image
Source magazine called ‘The Document Solutions marketplace’. Every month, we
will profile products and services that dealers are using to increase profits,
and improve services, by offering software and hardware solutions to their
customers. In this month’s issue we profile ‘A Scanning and Document
Management/Distribution Solution’ by eCopy.


Ventures recently published a White Paper on Scanning in the office. The outcome
of that research is that now that many documents are available electronically
with a company, those documents that “arrived on paper” cannot be excluded
from the company’s information base. This has increased the need and desire of
the office user for an effective way of scanning and managing all the documents
in electronic form.


Is Not New

is no secret that the scanning function has been around for a long time, but
other than within document imaging archiving applications, it has not taken off
as a general office application until recently. In the past twelve to
twenty-four months, every office equipment vendor has introduced or reinforced
scanning capabilities and applications. For most vendors, this not only includes
the MFP fax-based systems and MFP copier-based systems, but also the
network-capable scanner. It is now not just the scanning functions that excite
the end users; it is the scanning as a component of electronic documents.


products in this industry have always been involved in the scan system because
they all perform scanning as a part of the function of scanning. Light-lens
copiers did not scan,
but all
digital copiers scan the image, transmit it as a digital image through wires,
and then relay it to the marking engine to make the copies. This is the way
digital copiers work, and it happens whether or not the device is connected to a
network. Yet many in the industry, particularly those in parts of the
distribution channel, do not realize they have been selling scanners.


of the activity in the market has been driven by the end user’s desires to
purchase these electronic document management solutions, even more than by the
dealers marketing effort to sell them. In the CAP Ventures research with end
users, in the past, often a customer “pushed” a dealer to sell the scan
solution instead of the dealer proactively promoting the functions.


Office Today

users are now seeing a need for scanning in the office. More and more of a
corporation’s documents are electronic, often created in-house, and available
on the network electronically. These include Microsoft Word documents, Excel
Spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, and the often externally delivered
documents in Adobe’s PDF format. But these documents are not all the documents
in the company’s knowledge base. Mail continues to arrive daily. Not every
communication is electronic or available in electronic form. To have a
comprehensive set of documents, those that are not available in electronic form
must be converted by scanning them into the system.


addition, scanning has become more accepted. Home scanners are found in almost
every home with school age children. The
market for small office scanners started a few years ago with Visioneer. They
introduced the market to a scanner that was simple to install, easy to use, and
affordable for an executive to expense.


multifunction product solutions have been accepted in the office, and the
concept of scanning with features like a document feeder is now viable and
acceptable. Scanning can be performed with the touch of a button, and the
scanned images are available from the desktop as soon as a worker returns to his
desk. Combine this with the easy-to-use document storage and retrieval systems
that are being provided as part of the total solution, and the vendor has
elevated the “technical capability” into the “function” of a
multifunction device.


e-mail communication has become so widespread that virtually anything that needs
to be communicated between businesspeople must be e-mail enabled. This business
operations requirement is only a few years old but it is has become universally
accepted. We may be years from the “beam me up Scotty” transportation of
people and objects, but we have reached that point for electronic transmission
of information.


Scan Station

of the first solutions in this market was a company called eCopy. eCopy
(formerly Simplify Development Corporation) has been in the scan and scan
management business since the beginning of the MFP marketplace in the mid
1990’s. They have a comprehensive scan solution tied into multiple options:
storing the image, sending as a fax, sending through UPS for a secure delivery,
and sending as e-mail. The solution works with many different scanners, but
eCopy currently has two major distribution agreements, one with Canon, and one
with Océ. In addition, other devices are being tested and implemented. The
eCopy solution combines hardware for interface and operation with client and
server software.


eCopy ScanStation is a small-format touch screen panel that attaches to any
scan-ready, eCopy-enabled digital copier or MFP. The eCopy ScanStation allows
users of a departmental or enterprise network to share the digital copier's
ability to turn paper documents into eCopies (their term for scanned documents),
which can then be distributed.


make an eCopy, a user inserts the paper document into the digital copier's paper
tray and pushes a button on the eCopy ScanStation touch screen. The document can
be eCopied to the user's desktop, network fax, e-mail, or the UPS Document
Exchange service for encrypted, secure Internet delivery. Once the user selects
an eCopy option and picks recipients from the online address book, the document
runs through the digital copier at high speed. It creates an eCopy of the
document, which is a file with the .cpy extension, which can be handled like any
other electronic file. A typical 20-page eCopy is transmitted as a digital
document file in less than 1 MB in size.


ShareScan drives the eCopy ScanStation and serves the eCopies to the network.
ShareScan also features a preview function. Once a document is eCopied, images
of the pages are displayed on the eCopy ScanStation control panel, allowing the
user to validate the scan, check the image quality and make any adjustments
prior to sending the eCopy to its destination.


Desktop is the client-based software that provides network users with the
ability to treat eCopy document files just like paper. Users can view and
annotate, perform Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to generate editable text,
and store or distribute eCopies from their desktops. eCopy Desktop also allows
users to combine or separate pages from multiple eCopies, create a new document
of selected pages, or attach a signature stamp.


Desktop works with most network fax, e-mail and document management
applications, including Lotus Notes Mail, Microsoft Outlook/Exchange, RightFax
(NT Server), iManage, Open Text and others (eCopy Desktop was previously known
as MailRoom).


leveraging the scanning capabilities of digital copiers and their increased
connect rates with office networks, the eCopy solution is nicely positioned as a
value-added sale to integrate the office’s enterprise applications directly to
their copier. Ultimately, this helps the customer realize significant cost
savings in fax charges and overnight delivery, and a higher ROI on their digital
copier investment.


is at the cusp of the digital copier/scanning wave and the ubiquity of email,”
according to Ed Schmid, founder and CEO of eCopy. “We’ve made it easy for
any user in an organization to take paper documents and integrate them with the
rest of the digital workflow – by using two technologies they already have and
already use – copiers and email. The momentum and adoption of our solution in
the marketplace reflects user’s demands for an easy-to-use solution that will
quickly improve document distribution and decrease overall costs associated with
paper processes.”


Uses It

Cable Corporation, a leading manufacturer of portable electric and cordless
power tools and related accessories for the commercial construction, plumbing,
and electrical markets, saw cost savings very soon after implementing the eCopy
solution. “Every week we faxed more than 1,000 documents to suppliers,
including purchase orders and scheduling updates. The phone bill for the fax
line, which included regular overseas faxing to our foreign suppliers, was about
$2,400 per month,“ according to Gary Meeseman, Director of Materials and
Purchase Supply Management. “The eCopy solution more than pays for itself. Our
$2,400 monthly fax expenses dropped to $400 in the first month.”


Kunert, Director of Quality Assurance at New World Jet, a major aircraft charter
operator for corporate aviation, echoes Gary Meeseman – “The eCopy solution
is a perfect answer to our aviation records-keeping and access problem. We
estimate that eCopy saves us at least 20 percent over our manual documentation,
storage, and long-distance faxing expenses, and you can add to that the time and
money saved by the convenience and efficiency of 24/7 access to paperless


eCopy solution, which includes the ScanStation touch panel, ShareScan, and a
20-user Desktop license, has a SRP of $7,000.


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