Interview

Kodak Alaris stands out in the scanner market

Explaining about the USP’s of Kodak Alaris Scanners, Mr Ashok Dash, India Cluster Sales Director, Alaris, Kodak Alaris India, explains how the performance of a scanner in a business application is influenced by the image quality and paper handling technologies and Scanners from Kodak Alaris are differentiated based on their image quality as well as paper processing capabilities, which are designed to meet advanced customer requirements

Briefly tell about the current scanner market?

The current scanner market in India shows a healthy demand for all scanner classes ranging from Personal (business) use to Workgroup and Departmental type applications as well as Production type use cases. Many of the scanners that were purchased several years ago are due for a refresh, as companies go in for technology up gradation
as well as replacements. In addition, digital transformation efforts create greater demand for the conversion of paper-based documents. Advanced technologies allow users to automatically extract and process data, which sets the stage for additional use cases for scanning into business transactions or analytics.

What are the technologies influencing the scanner performance and design?

The performance of a scanner in a business application is influenced by the image quality and paper handling technologies. There is a direct correlation between performance/design, how these technologies are integrated in the system environment of an organization, and how they are deployed by an end customer. The value of scanning technology increases based on its ability to meet tomorrow’s end customer needs. Kodak Alaris addresses this in its System on a Chip (“SoC”) platform that handles mission critical image processing functions and a combination of
new software routines to deliver flexible solutions with cloud connectivity, security and superior ease-of-use. Unlike conventional ASIC platforms, SoC is programmable and therefore adaptable and scalable to future requirements.

Which are the market trends driving the scanner market growth?

The underlying mega trend is the economic growth in India. This growth is supported by digital transformation initiatives both in public and private organizations. The modernization initiatives by the Indian government have created a significant push to digitalize processes (e.g. in “Digital India” and the “India Stack”), which
have shifted processes to digital first and require the remaining paper-based documents to be digitized as early as possible in the process. The Government of India has also taken significant steps towards Digitization with initiatives such as “Smart Cities” and State-wise Land Records Digitization. Apart from this, many organizations are realizing that Digital Transformation, Information Capture and Management is key to improve business productivity and efficiency. Data management is critical and Indian companies are taking steps to bolster IT and Data Management initiatives.

How far is digitization responsible for the growth of scanners?

The digital adoption in India varies significantly between sectors and between urban and rural areas. Where private and public organizations have embraced digitization or information intensive processes, they need to ensure that all incoming documents are scanned to be inserted into the digital processes. In most cases there continues to be significant volume of paper documents that need to be scanned as a first step of the business workflow in order to extract data that is required to execute a business transaction. This drives the demand for Distributed scanners. As organizations in earlier maturity phases start to scan documents, this increases the demand over time. There is also a significant backlog of documents, which, in order to meet the directives of a digital ecosystem, need to be scanned. This will continue to create demand for Production scanners.

What is the USP of your scanners?

Scanners from Kodak Alaris are differentiated based on their image quality as well as paper processingcapabilities, which are designed to meet advanced customer requirements. The quality of the image produced by the scanner coupled with superior features to enhance and optimize the produced image to meet the requirements in a given use case, has a significant impact on OCR rates, manual exception handling and the results of post scanning efforts like the implementation of Robotic Process Automation technology. The paper handling capabilities of a scanner determine whether a batch of documents need to be pre-sorted or documents need to be fed one by one. This has a significant impact on the productivity of a scanning process i.e. time spent before or after scanning and disruptions caused by paper jams.

What is your marketing and sales strategy?

The Marketing and Sales teams at Kodak Alaris closely collaborate with our channel partners to provide the best solutions for a customer business problem. We optimize and position our offers based on the local requirements. We work with our channel partners to analyze the customer requirements and enable them to develop a solution that addresses the customer business problem. We follow a 360 Degree Integrated Marketing Approach incorporating key elements such as Digital Marketing, PR, Social, Partner and Customer centric engagement events.

What is your channel engagement strategy?

Kodak Alaris is committed to our network of channel partners and in many cases the relationships have been in place for decades. Kodak Alaris provides our partners with extensive support including regular training and updates as well as sales tools. Kodak Alaris also supports its partner network with demand generation efforts starting with marketing initiatives, joint customer seminars and participation in conferences. We have a tiered approach to distribution with our Key Distributors, a network of Value Added Resellers spread across the country, and we actively support and work with various System Integrators (SIs) and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) depending on the market requirements.

What are you doing in the short and long run to enable the market from a visibility and sales acceleration point of view?

Kodak Alaris continues to monitor the market dynamics and changing requirements in key target markets like India. Our local Management team in India and global experts in Marketing, Product Management and Engineering work closely together to track market changes and anticipate future requirements. For current and short-term market opportunities, the team collaborates closely with channel partners to ensure that products and solutions are visible in the market and positioned to respond to the requirements of a specific target audience. For mid-term and long-term market requirements, the Global team collects local requirements and reflects them in their portfolio and roadmap planning as well asin collaboration with strategic technology partners.

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