As the market continues to evolve, here are some news items (ripped from the headlines) that you as a value-added reseller (VAR) should be paying attention to in order to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive landscape:
Cloud Adoption Continues to Increase
According to IDG's 2015 Enterprise Cloud Computing Survey, “48% of enterprises are moving to the cloud to replace on-premise, legacy technology today.” While cloud adoption in the document imaging industry isn’t quite that high (some larger market leaders report around 20% cloud adoption figures for new customers, while a few smaller independent software vendors report closer to 50%), the cloud is clearly coming. It reduces end-user maintenance, eliminates capital expenditure on software installations, and potentially creates a quicker deployment. If you haven’t already embraced the cloud, here’s a number that might wake you up: According to a survey from BetterCloud, by 2022, 62% of organizations will run 100% of their IT in the cloud.
Embrace Multi-Channel Input
It’s no secret that most businesses would like to get rid of their paper altogether and move to completely electronic transactions. We also know from the infamous dot-com bubble of the early 2000s that this is not a realistic expectation. Hence, the continued growth of the document imaging market, which serves as a bridge to electronic information. That said, if there is an opportunity to bypass paper and implement e-forms, for example, expect your customers to jump at the chance. As their scanning technology improves, multi-function printers (MFPs) are also now a viable option for capturing documents. Emails are another way that documents are often now submitted into workflows. Paper is a good starting point, but remember: Especially with the growth in usage of mobile technology, what were once imaging-centric workflows are now diversifying. Don’t miss out on opportunities related to expanding the breadth of your capture applications.
The Rise of BPM
Related to the embrace of multi-channel input is understanding that capturing that input is not the end game. It’s what you do with it after it’s captured that produces the greatest ROI. No matter where the transactional information is coming from, it has to be processed in order to complete the transaction. And managing that processing, along with any related approvals, exceptions, calls for additional information, etc. is the focus of business process management (BPM) software. BPM software continues to evolve, and interfaces become more graphic and easy to use. Web services calls are often used in the background in order to create connections that can be designed through a drag-and-drop interface. While scanning for storage and retrieval may be a good place to start a document imaging implementation, multi-channel BPM is where the market is heading. Don’t get left behind.
Brother High-Print Volume Laser Models Emphasize Company’s Business Commitment
The reliability and durability of Brother in the mid to large business market is now underscored with the release of the company’s latest high-volume printers and multifunction copiers (All-in-Ones). Dubbed the Brother Workhorse Series, these powerful office machines deliver productivity and quality to workgroups with demanding print volumes within a broad range of office environments and industries. These business-centric Brother monochrome laser printers and All-in-Ones expand the company’s already robust lineup that can complement – and even replace – larger A3-sized copier/printers, and are built on the legacy of Brother quality.
Market Consolidation in the Works
Many pioneers in the document imaging market, which really started to take off in the mid-1990s, have reached the point where they are looking to sell their businesses. This, along with larger entities, like national service bureaus and MFP vendors looking to increase their document imaging footprints, has led to some VAR market consolidation over the past couple years. This can benefit your business in a couple of ways: 1) It offers you the opportunity to come in as a smaller, nimbler, more personal player compared to a larger corporation, and 2) it should drive up the valuation of your business and potentially give you the opportunity to sell out and become part of a larger organization.
There is no question that document imaging technology is hotter than ever. Adoption is on the rise as scanning hardware and software continue to become more accessible and organizations realize that imaging is the key to transforming their paper transactions. These trends are making the market more competitive than ever as more and more VARs are drawn to it. Staying on top of industry news is one way to stay a step ahead of the increasing competition. Stay tuned to this blog for more, or call your Ingram Micro Document Imaging team directly to find out more about manufacturer improvements and category advancements; 1 (800) 456-8000 ext. 76236.