Adapt To Distributed Scanning
One of the concepts I retained from the few hours I managed to stay awake in 10th grade biology class is Darwin's theory of natural selection. While adapting to a scanning market clearly evolving from a centralized to a distributed model won't require you to sprout webbed feet or camouflage, you should take the following actions to be among the fittest.
Focus On Ease Of Use
Distributed environments put scanning in the hands of administrators and knowledge workers. Many of these employees are unfamiliar with how scanning technologies work, so the ease of use of the scanner becomes a primary selling point. Provide desktop and workgroup hardware that comes bundled with image enhancement software like Kofax VRS (Virtual ReScan) or Kodak PerfectPage. With this software, users won't have to worry about adjusting contrast and brightness levels to optimize image quality or rescanning documents to correct the skew. Features such as one-touch scanning, where scanning functions and image routing can be preprogrammed and executed with the touch of a button, are also helpful.
Sell The Solution, Not The Scanner
Today's VAR faces increased price pressures on scanners from horizontal resellers and Internet wholesalers. You may not be able to offer a better price on hardware, but you can still win the sale if you package the scanner correctly. Avoid quoting the price of the hardware directly in your proposal to a client. Include it in a line item called "scanning solution" that bundles the cost of the scanner with the installation, integration, professional services, and support. An end user can't get this type of solution from an e-tailer and will pay a premium for the domain expertise and vertical market experience you bring to the table.