Following news that Fujitsu has shipped its five millionth ScanSnap scanner, Managed IT asked Brian Fortune, General Manager Sales at PFU (EMEA), about the benefits of distributed scanning
Managed IT (MIT): How are scanner sales? Is demand still strong?
Brian Fortune (BF): Scanner sales are relatively stable, if not slightly growing, in volume terms. There are a lot of things driving the requirement for the scanning and capture of images. One, which organisations don’t have a choice about, is compliance. In the future there is likely to be even more regulation around how the UK interacts with Europe and the world. Companies must make sure new hires have the right to work in this country and our technologies are being used to capture, record and ensure compliance in relation to that.
GDPR is massive as well. Organisations need to secure the information they hold about people and it is much easier to do that if they are in digital rather than paper form.
Then there is business transformation. One of the low hanging fruits in any organisation is to look for the paper. Organisations will try to remove paper wherever they can by making deep changes to processes, but even just taking paper, digitising it and triggering workﬂows based on that can significantly change how organisations work and interact with customers and suppliers.
Then, there are things like Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Imagine a scenario where scanning an invoice and extracting the information it contains triggers a myriad of different processes that require no human intervention. Instead, a machine makes rules-based decisions, providing consistency throughout an organisation and reducing the potential for error.
These sorts of thing are driven by digitisation, whether the content is created digitally or converted from a paper document by scanning, so we are optimistic about the future for capture.
MIT: What, right now, are the big growth areas for you?
BF: We see significant growth in workgroup/departmental devices. In the past, organisations would capture documents centrally and have someone responsible for doing that in one location. Now, organisations view scanning as something that everyone should do as part of their daily routine. The technology is so intuitive that people whose main focus is something else entirely can easily use it. So, there is massive growth in distributed capture.
At a product level, we believe the newly launched f-7300NX (see caption story right) is going to be a signifcant product for us, because it talks to the need for distributed capture and because it is such an innovative product. It combines many different technologies in one device; it has the imaging capability, but also security – NFC and keypad security – so you can record who scanned what and when.
The other thing about scanners that has challenged some organisations in the past is that the minute you put a peripheral device on someone’s desk you have to manage it: there are drivers to install; if you have a new operating system, you have to make sure the technology works with it. Over many years, we have developed remote management technologies to address these issues, but the 7300NX has so much ﬂexibility that it can be deployed very easily and can even be PC-less. You don’t need a PC to use this technology.
With multiple set-up options, including network connection to a PC or a central server, the f-7300NX supports image capture by distributed teams. It can scan at speeds of up to 60 pages (120 images) per minute and offers a choice of software options: Paperstream IP NET, for simple integration of Paperstream Capture or Twain/ISIS PCbased workﬂow applications over wired or wireless networks; PaperStream NX Manager, for a company wide deployment of a centrally administered document capture solution, without the need for local PCs; and Paperstream NX Manager APIs, for integrating devices into third party applications.