The document imaging market is evolving rapidly. Once confined to back offices in large paper-heavy industries like insurance, financial services, and government, today imaging is a tool that is applied in at least some capacity at every organization. It can be applied for tasks as basic as scan-to-email to share documents with customers, partners, and co-workers. It can also be used to automate highly structured business processes like employee onboarding and invoice processing.
Chances are, every organization that you service can utilize imaging to make itself more effective. As a reseller, your job is to help your customers maximize their returns on their imaging investments. This might involve optimizing what they are already doing or upgrading them to more comprehensive technology with a broader set of capabilities that can deliver greater returns.
However your customers can utilize imaging, here are some industry insights that can help you address their needs more effectively:
Imaging is everywhere: SharePoint, the cloud, browser-based interfaces, mobile computers, desktop scanners, scanning from MFPs—all these avenues have converged in recent years to help make document imaging something that almost everyone in an organization can participate in. Sure, utilizing back-office imaging specialists might still be the best way to deploy imaging in some higher-volume centralized applications, but more and more, the order of the day is distributed capture and a mobile workforce. Oftentimes, the knowledge worker who collects a document is the person best qualified to process it into an imaging workflow. Take advantage of that with new and emerging imaging interfaces designed specifically for knowledge workers and encourage your customers to extend capture to the edge of their enterprises in order to achieve the best results.
EFSS (Enterprise file sync and share) merges with ECM: Dropbox reports more than 400 million registered users; Box, more than 30 million. Google Drive has another couple hundred million…. You get the idea: most ECM vendors would be thrilled to just reach seven digits of user numbers. In addition, according to a recent survey by industry trade association AIIM, mobile access to ECM is sorely lacking. By contrast, the use of mobile apps in conjunction with popular EFSS platforms is practically a given. It’s clear that ECM is lacking something as we move rapidly into this age of mobile computing—and it seems like EFSS can fill that void. No, current EFSS systems can’t replace traditional document and image management systems in terms of functionality, but, in some cases, they can be integrated with them. This provides the best of both worlds. Look for more of this EFSS–ECM integration in the near future and leverage it to best serve your customers’ needs.
Merger of ECM with MPS (managed print services): There is a theme here, and it has to do with integration. These days, ECM is more often becoming an enabling technology rather than an end in itself. We are seeing ECM and document imaging show up more often than ever as complements of systems in areas like ERP, EHR, or CRM. MPS is another area that is starting to envelope ECM. MPS started out focused on providing better control over print jobs. However, now that MPS vendors have their customers’ paper document process under control, they are looking to extend their capabilities to address electronic document processes. These processes have traditionally fallen under the realm of ECM. Look for more and more ECM functionality to be bundled with MPS going forward. Of course, just because the functionality is there, it doesn’t mean it’s configured. Leveraging document imaging process expertise to help end users get the most out of their MPS implementations is a clear opportunity for value-added resellers.
The bottom line is that document imaging technology is only going to continue to become more pervasive as it continues to become more accessible thanks to improved integrations, platforms, and ease of use. But just because a user has access to the technology, it doesn’t mean that they know how to optimize it. That is the value add that a reseller should bring to the table. Configured correctly, document imaging can provide a strong ROI that your customers will definitely be willing to pay for.