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Epson and Nuance alliance means profit opportunity for channel partners


Channel partners of Seiko Epson Corp. will soon have a new opportunity to make a margin on reselling software from Nuance Communications Inc. after a new strategic partnership was announced on Monday.

The agreement will see Epson become a reseller of Nuance’s software itself. Namely, it will be selling and distributing Nuance eCopy ShareScan and Equitrac Office/Express software. That will come onboard its inkjet multifunction printers, on models including the Workforce Enterprise WF-C20590 and LX-10000/7000 series targeting small to mid-sized businesses and corporate workgroups.

Epson will also be integrating the Nuance OmniPage SDK into its scanning applications for better optical character recognition (OCR) accuracy when automating customers’ document workflows and will bundle Nuance Power PDF software with select lines of Epson document scanners.

This will also result in new opportunities for Epson’s channel partners, says Larry Trevarthen, director of business printing at Epson.

“Through Epson they will get discounted Nuance software they can resell to their customers. So it’s a profit opportunity for them on solutions in addition to the profit they make on hardware and services.”

Both parties have something to gain from the collaboration, Trevarthen says. Nuance is recognized by Epson as a market leader on document management software and “they expand our reach,” he says. For Nuance, the company already has a number of partnerships in the laser printing space and wanted to make a partnership in the inkjet market as well.

“They will tell you they’re a believer in business ink because you want a blended portfolio of ink and laser,” he says.

Here’s some more details on the Nuance solutions that are being made available to Epson:

  • Equitrac Office: A printing management solution that bypasses the need for print servers or print drivers.
  • Equitrac Express: For IT administrators of educational institutions, this is designed to allow students, faculty, and staff print from wherever they happen to be located. It can also enable guest printing through a pay-for-print feature.
  • eCopy ShareScan: A document capture solution that’s suited for collaboration work flows where multiple team members are contributing documents for feedback or review. Using a MFP, eCopy guides the workers through proper document capture.
  • OmniPage: The OmniPage Capture SDK is billed as the world’s most accurate OCR technology by Nuance. It can be used by developers to add imaging, OCR, and PDF creation and conversion capabilities into their applications. It also supports barcode recognition technology and zonal recognition features.
  • Power PDF: Software for managing PDF work flows, providing the ability to create, edit, convert, assemble, and securely share PDF files.

Expect more details on the partnership and how it could involve the channel in the Fall, Trevarthen says.