Managed Document Services: Nuance Says SMBs Are Ready

What comes after basic managed print services for SMBs? Nuance Communications, a software company, points to document management services for small businesses. Bill DeStefanis, senior manager of MFP management in the Nuance Document Imaging Division, describes why.

Small business verticals like legal firms and real estate firms are increasingly embracing secure printing solutions, asserts DeStefanis said. Nuance's secure printing solution is called Follow-You-Printing. It allows businesses to choose which jobs to print even after they're sent to the printer. For example, if you send a document to the printer and then make amendments, you don't have to print both items. Nuance will give businesses either access cards or pin codes that they swipe or enter into their printers to choose which document they want to print. So you can trash irrelevant items before wasting paper.

DeStefanis said the solutions draws small businesses looking to cut costs on ink, toner and paper, and others who have adopted green iniatives to reduce paper waste. How much cost savings is Nuance providing? It's tough to give a solid figure when accounting for factors like time savings on business processes, but it's been enough to catch the attention of SMBs and to help Nuance grow into a $1.3 billion corporation with four divisions -- Imaging Applications, Speak Recognition Variance, Medical Transcription and Corporate Speak Recognition. "Paper is expensive to manage and store, and it's an insecure way of holding information," DeStefanis said. "Our goal is to extract relevant information from paper and put it in electronic fashion for our customers."

DeStefanis said the company has a strong presence in North America and Europe, and a growing presence in Asia Pacific. Nuance has also been on the acquisition track in order to "build a portfolio for multi-functioning environments," according to DeStefanis. The company made four acquisitions in 2008, three more in 2009, another in 2010 and most recently acquired Equitrac in  May, 2011.

Nuance sells its document management and print management solutions through channel partners like Canon, Ricoh and Xerox. The catch is that those companies have their own management solutions they're trying to sell. So Nuance has positioned itself as a VAR for those companies. So far so good. "We are in the business of managing the software and providing a development environment so that customers can connect to solutions and devices currently in place," DeStefanis said. Those devices tend to be ones sold by their channel partners, which is why the partnership works.

MSPmentor has often suggested that managed print services and managed document services are overlooked opportunities. But perhaps that's changing. Toshiba, Lexmark, Hewlett-Packard and Xerox among others have released a slew of managed document services -- specifically managed print solutions. But there's still a lot of work to be done. As of February 2011, only 20 percent of MSPmentor 100 companies were offering managed print services.

 

 

 

 

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