Migrating Capture Technologies To The Front Office
Written by: Vicki AmendolaIn the October issue of Business Solutions I included a brief mention about a keynote speech delivered by Reynolds Bish, CEO of Kofax, at the TAWPI 2008 Forums and Expo.(To read the article go to BSMinfo.com/jp/3722.) The message Bish was trying to drill home was the need for continued migration of capture technologies into front office environments. Bish had some pretty impressive figures for VARs dedicated to the scanning and capture markets, and I thought they were worth an expanded mention here.
HSA (Harvey Spencer and Associates) provides analysis specific to the document capture market. According to the HSA 2008 report, the capture market experienced 17% growth in 2007, reaching $1.7 billion. In 2008, the market is expected to achieve another 15% growth, and by 2011 sales are projected to come close to the $3 billion mark.
In a similar study, a 2007 report from research firm Infotrends investigated the growth of workgroup and desktop scanners in terms of units shipped. The largest growth is seen in the workgroup and departmental market segments, with workgroup increasing by 14.6% (620 million units), and departmental increasing by 12.8% (84 million units) in 2007. These segments are expected to reach 934 million and 121 million units respectively by 2010. In comparison, while still showing some growth, the production scanning market was limited to 12.9% growth in 2007, or 50 million units shipped. Moderate growth is anticipated to increase this figure to 65 million by 2010.
Lastly, IDC, a research firm providing market intelligence and analysis in the IT community, did a study in 2007 to determine where capture was occurring in relationship to business processes. Across the board, respondents indicated that capture was occurring at the end of the business process. In contrast, 71% of these same respondents reported a desire to have document scanning and capture occur at the beginning of the business process in order to reduce costs and speed processing times.
So, what does all this research mean to VARs? It means that the capture market is continuing to evolve, and VARs should get on board to capitalize on the opportunity. Since the early part of this decade, the trend has been to move capture closer and closer to the front office. The rise of workgroup and desktop scanners, as well as MFPs (multifunction peripherals) with the ability to scan to e-mail and fax applications, are all products of — or catalysts to — this movement. In the next decade, VARs should be prepared to see MFPs optimized for capture process automation applications, and maybe even the emergence of mobile phones as virtual scanners.