10 More 2015 Document Imaging Industry Highlights

2015This is the time of year when we contact the key players in the document imaging industry—OEMs, software and solutions providers, and services and supplies providers—to find out their highlight of the year. The highlights, from those who respond to our simple request, appear throughout the month of December in ENX/The Week in Imaging. And now here’s our fourth group of highlights as well as the highlights we published during the first three weeks of December with the nine most recent listed first.

“I am excited to report that 2015 was another successful year for our team at Toshiba. Our dealers continue to perform at a high level while surpassing the expectations we set for the year. In addition to updating our industry-recognized e-STUDIO™ multifunction products with new versions encompassing multiple speed segments, we also introduced new solutions and thermal barcode printers to address thediverse content management needs of our customers.  We are also excited about the continuing success of our digital signage brand, Ellumina™ as we celebrate such successful 2015 implementations as the Minnesota Wild, Brookstone and continuing expansion of STAPLES Center’s unique fan engagement zone, LA Interactive powered by Toshiba.” Scott Maccabe, President & CEO, Toshiba America Business Solutions, Inc.  

“This year we further embedded our technology integrations into our dealers’ day-to-day software. While we continue to invest in financing and non-financing solutions around Managed IT and MPS (HaaR® financing, Service Leadership GreatAmerica Managed IT (S-L GAMIT) peer groups and single invoice solutions), we’ve seen dealers gain great efficiencies by working with our InteGREAT Web Services. One recent example of the trust dealers have put in us to develop seamless integrations is where dealers now allow us to post cash directly into their general ledger—saving some dealers more than 20 hours a month. We see technology integration as a big area of growth between GreatAmerica, our dealers and industry software providers.” Jennie Fisher, SVP & GM, GreatAmerica Financial Services, Office Equipment Group

“Over the past few years, OKI Data Americas has enjoyed remarkable growth in the BTA channel.  Independent Office Equipment Dealers are a major focus for OKI Data and will continue to be as we move forward into 2016.  OKI Data will focus on recruiting new dealers while developing and expanding relationships with existing partners – going deeper and wider with new hardware and complementary solutions offerings.  OKI Data will provide the programs and customer service needed to support the BTA dealer’s business models. OKI Data’s sharp focus on the BTA channel will help dealers reach new levels of profitability with an A4 MFP focus.” OKI Data

“We introduced two machines earlier this year. With the ES5500 we wanted to create a desktop machine with a deep feed table with advanced electronics and double-feed detection and other electronic sensors. It took us by surprise how well it sold. The other machine, the ES8000 was not a new concept, but an improvement over a previous model. It’s easier to clean because of its redesigned frame. People bought replacements for [their existing] machines because they were so [impressed by] the ES8000.

“In late 2015, we redid our Website to make it more mobile friendly. Because our product is a niche product it was important that our dealers and their sales reps could pull out their tablet at the customer site to see video demos of the equipment. We’re proud of our website and have received a lot of compliments.” Art Waganheim, Vice President of Operations & Chief Financial Officer, Paitec USA

“The highlight of 2015 was our official launch of our 3D printer and being successfully funded by our KickStarter backers as well as fulfilling our backers [by shipping them their 3D printers in October]. That’s been a big push for our company to make a bigger footprint into that industry. 3D printing is only going to grow; it will change and evolve, and as it’s doing so we will [be there].” Joseph Wu, President, The Green Project, Inc./GP3D 

“In 2015, Canon U.S.A. offered a glimpse into the future of imaging and a chance to ‘See Impossible’ at the company’s once-every-five-year event, Canon EXPO. Among the wide array of technologies and services at the event was the Professional Printing Zone, which featured inspiring printing products and solutions that allowed visitors to experience live printing processes and to view a gallery of stunning prints and lifelike textures. Attendees also got a first-hand look at the Océ VarioPrint i300 – a first-of-its-kind digital, high-speed, sheet-fed inkjet press designed to help accelerate the printing industry’s transition from offset to high-volume digital output.” Canon U.S.A. 

“Nuance rolled out our ‘Gain Control’ platform that showcased the value to organizations in gaining optimal control of document and information processes. The initiative has been a major success in helping our channel partners connect with customer audiences about Nuance solutions that enable them to finally gain control over their print, capture, and business process workflows.” Chris Strammiello, Vice President of Global Alliances & Strategic Marketing, Nuance

“As we look back at 2015 it will be remembered as a memorable year. ODC further defined its relationship with FMAudit and ROI Print Manager by creating dynamic connectivity into Central V4, delivering the most comprehensive MPS solution set in the industry. Imagine device data (service and consumable alerts) and user data (where are the users printing along with what applications) all displayed on the end users floor plans inside Central, it has been a big hit. We also launched a brand new mapping app with multi user mapping, auto syncing capabilities online or offline and finishing the year with the release of DOCassess Platinum V2 ODC’s flagship product.” Mike Lamothe, President, Office Document Consulting

“We were able to get Essendant (formerly United Stationers) to take on a new line. That’s very difficult to do. In a crowded marketplace we identified the value of our products and convinced a $5.5-billion company to invest in our inventory, understanding that it was something their dealers would want to purchase.” Jamie Luety, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, RPT Toner

“2015 was another outstanding year for the Business Technology Association, with the net growth in our membership under the strong leadership of 27 elected dealer volunteers at the national and district level. From my perspective, the most significant highlight at BTA for 2015 was the continued growth in overall attendance at our five district educational and networking events. At each of these events, I observed the essence of the association in action—dealers helping dealers. Our dealer volunteer leadership teams developed and hosted each of these district events, providing premier educational sessions and unbeatable networking opportunities. Collectively, the guidance, strategies, information and ideas shared at these 2015 events helped to further strengthen the independent dealer channel.” Brent Hoskins, Executive Director, Business Technology Association   

“Focusing on buyer personas, the launch of Konica Minolta’s redesigned website,  www.kmbs.konicaminolta.us, promotes its industry leading quality hardware and solutions and welcomes visitors with bold bright colors, a clean design and simplified layout, featuring a more intuitive user interface. It highlights content focused on Enterprise Content Management (ECM), Document Management and Automated Workflow solutions for the legal, healthcare, education, government and finance sectors. The site’s refreshed and simplified look, combined with enhanced content, is improved and optimized for mobile and smart devices, for an amplified reach and a more engaging user experience.

“Konica Minolta developed content and design elements which quickly enable users to self-identify and align them with content specific to their needs.” Kristina Marchitto, Public Relations Manager, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.

“2015 for Copier Careers was very similar to what our Copier Channel clients have experienced.  As the channel has grown and diversified, so has Copier Careers so that we can serve the staffing needs of our growing and evolving clients. During 2015, we purchased additional office space to allow us to double our staff and facilities. Our internal database of candidates has grown to an unbelievable, almost 78,000 contacts from within this industry. In addition, we are very proud that our four annual Salary Surveys (Technician, Sales Manager, Service/Operations Manager, Sales Representative) had a total of 17,497 industry experienced participants which we in turn are pleased to provide to the  industry. We look forward to continuing this growth as the channel does into 2016.” Paul Schwartz, President, Copier Careers

“In 2015, e-automate achieved another milestone of successfully implementing our 1,500th dealer. Significant enhancements to the software and development of new tools like DeskTech that help our dealers expand into managed services have contributed to much of our growth. In 2016 we look forward to continuing to focus our efforts on providing even more benefits to our dealers.” Laryssa Alexander, President, Service Technology Group, ECi Software Solutions 

“Ricoh has been collaborating with dealers to differentiate our offerings in the market and to approach the more contemporary buyer. In 2015, examples of how we’ve worked together to develop our initiatives to succeed with the new buyer (known as Buyer 2.0) were by leading one-on-one meetings, seminars and hands-on time with the solutions to gain actionable insights on how to drive growth in 2015 – and beyond. “Another example of our collaboration is the recently launched RICOH Pro 8100e monochrome production printer, which features many enhancements based on dealer feedback. We continued to expand on our stated commitment to be the number one dealer provider in the industry — in 2015 we made great strides with this commitment and are looking forward to continuing this in 2016 and beyond.” Jim Coriddi, Vice President, Dealer Division, Ricoh Americas Corporation

“For Fujitsu, 2015 was the year we transitioned from a hardware focused organization to being an all-inclusive information capture solution provider.  As organizations face the daunting task of managing and leveraging information, we broadened our product offerings to include information capture software.  Our recently released PaperStream Capture Pro transforms both scanned and imported documents into highly valuable information.  This front-end capture software not only captures but optimizes, extracts and delivers intelligent data that fuels critical business processes.

Additionally we added to our scanner product line the FUJITSU N7100 network scanner, which extends capture to satellite offices and centralized areas, and the FUJITSU fi-7160 Deluxe Bundle featuring our top selling fi-7160 Duplex Document Scanner and PaperStream Capture Pro software, which is revolutionizing distributed capture with its exceptional ROI. The combination of our hardware and software uniquely positions us to meet the information capture needs of organizations from SMBs to the Global 2000.”  Pamela Doyle, Director, Fujitsu Computer Products of America, Inc.

“Square 9 Softworks closed out another highly successful year with the launch of GlobalAction, an exciting new web based Business Process Management (BPM) platform that seamlessly integrates with Square 9’s desktop, web and cloud based ECM platforms. GlobalAction, is designed to take businesses beyond the limitations of traditional workflow engines. At Encompass 2015, Square 9’s inaugural dealer conference, GlobalAction was received with tremendous excitement by more than 240 solution integrators and office equipment dealers. As a compliment to the GlobalAction platform, Square 9 simultaneously introduced GlobalAnalytics, featuring dashboard views to provide organizations greater insight into their business processes in progress.” Stephen Young, President & CEO, Square 9 Softworks

“In review of 2015, I have quickly realized that MWA Intelligence, Inc. has a lot to be proud of and choosing just one highlight is incredibly too difficult. That being said, I would like to share with you just a couple fun and proud moments. MWAi received the Innovator of the Year Award, beating hundreds of other resellers in the SAP Business One family – outstanding moment for us to share! Also, along the same line, we became one of four OEM resellers in North America for FORZA and SAP Business One – allowing us to provide more support to the imaging channel. Finally, and probably most important, MWAi forged an unprecedented relationship with Konica Minolta. Together, MWAi and KMBS will offer FORZA to the imaging channel  – the first ever true ERP, fueling growth in expanding sectors including managed network services and profitable growth in conventional business areas.” Jenna Stramaglio, Chief Marketing Officer, MWA

“Fiscal 2015 was a banner year for PrintFleet; we had record growth, launched in a new channel, and explored exciting opportunities throughout Europe and Asia. If we had to pick just one highlight from last year that we are excited to build on, it would have be our embedded DCA which we officially released globally with Samsung. The embedded DCA broadens our reach in SOHO and SMB markets and enables easier MPS engagements for our customers.” Elise McFarlane, Global Marketing Manager, PrintFleet  

“IBPI growth continued to skyrocket this year!  As we near the end of 2015, we have reached 387 member dealers—by adding over 35 new members this year!  This is the second highest amount of new members in our 28-year history and we should top the previous mark by the New Year!  Most of our new additions are referrals by our own membership.  It is very rewarding to have the faith and confidence of our membership, to add so many new independent dealers.” Randy Horshok, Executive Director, IBPI  

“Dealers don’t know we are the leading provider of FREE e-commerce Retail Web stores. Our 100 percent turnkey solution with private-label drop shipping allows dealers to immediately turn profits and grow their business with no money and very little time invested. This includes OEM, remanufactured and compatible printer supplies. Additionally, we have closed the loop of the order processing cycle for e-commerce and MPS transactions with database integration to e-Automate. The order workflow is completely automated from dealer PO/website order capture, to tracking, to closing the SO/PO, to accounts payable – all at NO COST to the Dealer.” Jim Loparich, Pinnacle Sales, Inc.

Wells Fargo Equipment Finance’s Office Automation Group established new strategic relationships in all ten of its sales territories throughout the United States. These new relationships cemented year-over-year growth above and beyond the market expectations for the office industry vertical. We are dedicated to the industry now and in the future and look forward to the many exciting things to come in 2016.” Rob Parker, Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo Equipment Finance

“[Our highlight of the year was the] addition of our Harrisburg, PA distribution center (DC) in March, which has provided great growth opportunities. Dealers are discovering that with our three strategically located DC’s in Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Nevada, we now deliver to 90 percent of the U.S. population in one to two days by economical UPS and OnTrac ground service. Since adding the Pennsylvania DC we’ve increased our inventory to over one million printer cartridges, so we’re able to immediately fulfill any size order. With over 3,000 compatible imaging supplies SKU’s in stock we’ve become the go to wholesaler for resellers of all sizes.” Bob Willmes, CEO & Cofounder, Supplies Wholesalers 

“[We launched] SmartProtect Plus—the industry’s first fully-integrated connected power protection solution. Innovolt SmartProtect Plus combines industry leading power protection with fleet-wide aggregation and analytics through a web-based power event dashboard. The solution provides valuable insight into the power environment of your electronic assets and allows those devices to be remotely restarted from the dashboard.” Amy Hoang, marketing manager, Innovolt 

2015 was about helping our partners make the shift from transactional sales to becoming strategic, valuable partners to their customers. We launched ‘Innovate to Grow’ to help them unlock profit opportunities with managed print services, document workflow, light production printers and personalization capabilities. Xerox technology and print services provide investment protection for customers and additional recurring revenue for partners, with document workflow solutions that can easily extend the value of the box. As SMBs grow, Xerox is there – whether it’s enabling a mobile sales force or improving the flow of work with customized apps that save time. The initiative provides turnkey sales support materials: talk tracks, videos and customer presentations. The Partner Solutions Playbook helps partners build repeatable, automated, customized workflows, with the recurring revenue potential for every solution.  So far, we’ve had hundreds of partners show interest and it’s great to be able to help them expand their business.” John Corley, President, Channel Partner Operations, Xerox Technology

This year EverBank Commercial Finance, Inc. renamed our Office Products platform to Office Technology to align with our evolving industry. We added key personnel to our talented originations group and made significant product and technology investments. Our team has expanded to include IT specialists with deep domain expertise in the products and services being sold by today’s dealers and VARs. These enhancements have been well received by new and existing relationships with independent dealers and manufactures, and have contributed to impressive year-over-year growth, exceeding 20 percent in 2015. We look forward to serving the needs of our industry once again in 2016.” Fred Carollo, VP of Originations, Office Products, EverBank Commercial Finance, Inc.

“For Fujitsu, 2015 was the year we transitioned from a hardware-focused organization to being an all-inclusive information capture solution provider. As organizations face the daunting task of managing and leveraging information, we broadened our product offerings to include information capture software. Our recently released PaperStream Capture Pro transforms both scanned and imported documents into highly valuable information. This front-end capture software not only captures but optimizes, extracts, and delivers intelligent data that fuels critical business processes.

“Additionally we added to our scanner product line the FUJITSU N7100 network scanner, which extends capture to satellite offices and centralized areas, and the FUJITSU fi-7160 Deluxe Bundle featuring our top selling fi-7160 Duplex Document Scanner and PaperStream Capture Pro software, which is revolutionizing distributed capture with its exceptional ROI. The combination of our hardware and software uniquely positions us to meet the information capture needs of organizations from SMBs to the Global 2000.” Pamela Doyle, Director, Fujitsu Computer Products of America, Inc.

“2015 was a breakthrough year for Business Printers from Epson America. Epson launched its award-winning WorkForce Pro Replaceable Ink Pack Printers and MFPs. This revolutionary business approach to office printing has led to new revenue streams for Epson partner resellers and provides end users with affordable, easy to manage color office printing.” Epson America, Inc.  

“This year will be remembered for numerous achievements at Sharp, including the prestigious 2015 Business Technology Association (BTA) top overall Channel’s Choice award. Sharp received the award for overall satisfaction of a manufacturer based on: Corporate Support, Distribution, Product Line and Inventory performance. In addition, Sharp also won six Summer 2015 Pick awards from Buyers Laboratory LLC (BLI), the world’s leading independent evaluator of document imaging products and solutions. The award recognized top accolades across the multifunction printer (MFP) product spectrum, including the flagship Pro Series, for superior quality and high reliability in their respective categories.” Sharp Imaging & Information Company of America

“The addition of Kofax immediately enhances Lexmark’s industry-leading enterprise content management and business process management offerings. In the capture technology field, the combination of Kofax’s smart process applications with Perceptive Intelligent Capture will create the broadest and deepest portfolio of capture solutions in the market, ranging from Web portals and mobile devices to smart MFPs.” Phil Boatman, Business Alliance Manager, Lexmark International

“Print Audit had an exceptional year filled with innovation and excitement. Surpassing all industry expectations the 2015 Top 100 Summit was a smash hit. The positive reviews from attendees and sponsors alike continue to roll in and we couldn’t be happier!  A video with highlights can be seen here:  http://www.printaudit.com/Top100.  Another big highlight was the release of our business intelligence dashboard, Print Audit Insight.  Print Audit led the market in 2015 by providing the only device, user, and document data dashboard provided by a RMM (Remote Monitoring & Management) tools provider.  Insight also provides dashboards for MPS Certification (www.mpscertified.com) and Market Metrics intelligence.  To learn more about Print Audit Insight, visit http://www.printaudit.com/downloads/pdf/Print_Audit_Insight_Brochure.pdf.” West McDonald, Vice President Business Development, Print Audit

“We launched a market-shattering, breakthrough product called Continuity 24/7 in March. It’s a revolutionary backup disaster and recovery platform that is leveraging the entire cloud-based ecosystem to make backup much more affordable, much more secure, and much easier to sell and support. We’re using IBM software, which is a big public cloud environment, and we’re using some revolutionary technology for instant virtualization. We’ve been going to market with this and it’s been accelerating our growth tremendously. That without a doubt has been a ringing success for us as a company.” Michael George, CEO, Continuum 

“This year Digitek proudly launched our Partner Pro business growth platform, which helps dealers and resellers grow recurring revenue by strengthening their field sales readiness across in-demand solutions categories, including Managed Print and Managed IT. This video-based eLearning system is unlike any other offering available in the industry today, and the feedback we’re getting from customers is overwhelmingly positive. Find more information at http://partnerpro.digitek.com.” Jennifer Saunders, Marketing Director, Digitek

“Our highlight of 2015 was, together with our network of partners and customers, releafing our 500 millionth page and 60 thousandth tree.” Jordan Darragh, Founder & CEO, printreleaf

“The highlight of 2015 for Muratec was the successful launch of seven new A3 products that have positioned Muratec to capture increased market share within our dealers’ core segments. Based on these product additions, Muratec has experienced record growth in both new dealership signups as well as A3 revenue. We look forward to continuing this momentum into 2016.” Lou Stricklin, Dealer Marketing & Sales Support, Muratec America, Inc.  

“Our Corporate Executive Board data showing the buyers are almost 70 percent of the way through the decision-making process before contacting a sales rep drove dealers to reexamine their online marketing strategies. In addition to enhancing our web and social marketing services we launched the Social Sales Academy to help sales reps master LinkedIn and digital prospecting.” Darrell Amy, Chief Innovation Officer, Dealer Marketing

“The programs and initiatives we have rolled out in 2015, knowing that they will help make our customers more profitable and bring great value to their business. Just to name a few, in 2015 we rolled out our Empower dealer marketing portal, Printreleaf sustainability program, a dealer, customizable e-commerce platform, a live chat function to our website, and a full-blown inkjet troubleshooting web interface.” Luke Goldberg, Global SVP Sales and Marketing, Clover Imaging Group 

“Our Solutions Group has had a highly successful year, not only have we grown this segment of our business, but we continue to add compelling services that ultimately create a competitive advantage for our reseller partners. Revenue increases have been achieved across the board with significant contributions from expansion in equipment sales of both A4 and A3 product lines and continued success of MPS with a growth rate well over 30 percent, much of that derived from our Cost-Per-Image services with managed pages reaching the billions. We continue to invest in services that ensure our partners can offer a holistic solution for the management of the print environment. We’ve introduced national printer installation, staging and configuration services and local device management–key services that close gaps experienced by many customers. It’s evident that these solutions are creating differentiation and advantage in the market.” David Concors, VP of Sales, Supplies Network

“The highlight of this year was that we finally saw the breakthrough of Cloud Computing in Enterprise Content Management. Close to 20 percent of all new implementations in 2015 were cloud-based!” Thomas Schneck, President, DocuWare Corp.

“Katun enthusiastically introduced the MPS Profit Calculator to North American customers in 2015 as part of KDFM—our MPS portfolio. The MPS Profit Calculator is a quick, easy-to-use tool that enables dealers to analyze a customer’s devices and projected parts/supplies usage, then create a professional MPS proposal that ensures profitable margins. The response has been very positive.” Katun Corp.

Scott Cullen
About the Author
Scott Cullen has been writing about the office technology industry since 1986. He can be reached at scott_cullen@verizon.net.