Technological advancements coupled with Government initiatives have triggered a rise in scanning across the country. Scanner vendors have quickly moved in to cement their position as enablers for this document digitization. With simple scanning techniques transforming into document automation and mobility, the road ahead looks very promising for the space.
The evolution of scanning has induced vendors to change their understanding of the market. Moving on from the common scanners, now the sector is seeing equipment designed for specific purposes as vendors are now looking to cater to a wide range of customers ranging from SOHOs and enterprises to Government departments. The market size for scanners in India is expected to be approximately between 20,000 and 30,000 units per. Today, manufacturers are continuing to adapt to the ongoing changes in an effort to customize their product portfolio, according to customer needs.
“There will be a huge ecosystem of scanning services that will now develop. Today we have managed print services; in the coming future we’ll have Manage Scanning services.”
Parikshet Singh Tomar
Country Category Leader
HP Inc. India
Technological innovation has been the main factor in the evolution of the document scanner. Another crucial factor is the need to leverage stored, dormant information for the purpose of business communication and formulation. Parikshet Singh Tomar of HP India says, “People want to get their documents digitized for three reasons, firstly, to secure their documents for a longer period of time, secondly, for quick access to information as it will available at a click of a button and finally to ensure that at any time of need it can be easily printed.”
“The recent announcements by the government with regards to the Digital India program will only add more impetus to the same.”
Kodak Alaris India
These two factors combined with convergence of both Customer Experience Management and Enterprise Content Management as modern day tools for an enterprise, have transformed the segment into a document management service. According to Vivek Naidu, Vice President, Information Management, Kodak Alaris India, “In a nutshell, leveraging data and information will result in growing revenues (for enterprises), technology innovation will result in improved citizen interface (for government services) and a combination of Customer Experience Management and Enterprise Content Management will ensure better healthcare for hospitals. There are numerous manifestations like this across sectors.”
Another major factor is document security. HP’s Parikshet Singh remarks, “Documents need to be scanned, they need to be archived and documents need to be secure. All our scanners ensure that the documents are in a secure environment; so that not everybody can access the information.”
Digital India and its Impact
The move towards digitization of all official documents and e-filling of forms has spurred scanner adoption. Vivek Naidu says, “The government is looking at digitizing all its documents and files, so as to serve the citizens better and efficiently. The recent announcements by the government with regards to the Digital India program will only add more impetus to the same.” HP’s Parikshet Singh comments, “Across the state and the central government we have been working in the Paper intensive departments. We are very serious about the scanning and printing opportunity in India and we will lead this forum of digitization. Our focus is on all paper intensive places say Land records, court records, citizen services and police services all of these are our target areas under the Digital India initiative.”
Undeniably scanners are pivotal to this initiative. “Scanners are a fundamental building block of this initiative and this is amply manifested in the thousands of document scanners that Kodak Alaris has supplied in such initiatives like e-Office, e-District, National Land Record Modernization Project and e-Courts to name a few,” adds Naidu.
Evolution of technology
Scanning too like printing is advancing towards the managed services concept. Companies are driving towards adoption of Managed Scanning Services. Parikshet remarks, “There will be a huge ecosystem of scanning services that will now develop. Today we have managed print services; in the coming future we’ll have Manage Scanning services. Hardware is just 20% of the need that a customer has because somebody has to physically stand and scan the papers.”
Naidu adds, “Today the cutting edge of this technology is integration of output from scanning tools entering key business processes and business applications, thereby enabling customers leverage the power of Information. Kodak Alaris has very advanced hardware and software tools which take the least amount of time to convert information from paper to digitized formats. It also allows for a safe and smooth archival along with a complete inflow of indexed information into key business applications, which is hugely beneficial.”
Channel Partner Aspect
Partners, just like MPS have a big role to play in today’s scanning business. With scanners too becoming highly intelligent, educating partners is core to scanner makers. Seconding the notions, Parikshet says, “Partners are our traditional commercial partners, they only do most of our work and handling the customer’s needs. The global market is pretty much the same as we do for printers or PC’s. But like I said we are moving towards the Manage Scanning services area there are some very specialized people who do that and we are building partnerships to address those needs.”
Provision of end-to-end solutions from the partner is being emphasized heavily upon by companies. “Kodak Alaris ensures that its products and solutions complement the core competencies of relevant partners and aims to provide effective end customer solutions. In this way, we ensure that the customer experience is of a complete end to end solution with accountability and solution delivery by a composite team,” adds Naidu.
The Future of Scanning
Integration with cloud, wifi and computing has taken scanners to a new level. Recently, Kodak Alaris launched the first Scanner with ‘direct to cloud’ scanning capability. Apart from new features, the concept of scanning as a service has also gained momentum. “There will be a huge ecosystem of scanning services that will now develop. Today we have managed print services; in the coming future we’ll have Manage Scanning services. Hardware is just 20% of the need that a customer has because somebody has to physically stand and scan the papers. So this thing will evolve in a very good opportunity in the scanning field,” forecasts Parikshet.
Naidu believes that users will want to adopt scanner as a commonly used office device, “By 2020, users will demand scanners to be used like any other essential component in the IT infrastructure of an enterprise, which provides all time availability, simplified use and compatibility with any operating system and business application”
The Indian scanner market is moving forward in leaps and bounds, ably supported and pushed by scanning giants like HP and Kodak Alaris, who themselves are leaving no stone unturned. Apart from government initiated document digitization, and enterprise level scanning requirements, the SME sector is projected to take the lead in nationwide consumption of scanning technology. The players are excited at the prospects and have already witnessed a spur in business due to the catalytic Digitize India Platform of the Indian government.
They are eyeing the opportunity to establish themselves as pioneers of Managed Scanning Services, which appears on course to become one of the major revenue divisions. Enterprises and SMEs alike are adopting scanning in their workplaces, initiating a move towards a paperless environment. The growth in the sector has just commenced, but with the amount of legacy paper occupying space in offices around the country, scanning is a move towards business optimization, adoption of IT, enhancing mobility and collaboration, and above all saving millions spent in printing and preserving paper records.