As the business world struggles against the triple whammy of digital transformation, a global pandemic, and working from home, there is a dramatic new imperative for dealing with paper. With COVID-19 continuing to drive non-traditional work arrangements, a new enterprise dedicated to serving the imaging scanner business in Canada has arrived – and just at the right time.
An off-shoot of Fujitsu’s PFU Limited, a world leader in document scanners and the recipient of 11 consecutive Reseller’s Choice Awards for Best Scanner Vendor in Canada, PFU Canada Inc. (PCI) opened officially on July 1, 2020. Speaking from PCI’s Toronto headquarters, the company’s first president & CEO, Masanori Shibusawa, acknowledged the Canada Day opening as a great way to pay tribute to Canadians.
“Opening on July 1 was a symbolic decision,” he says. “We are committed to providing strong service and a broad range of tools and supports for Canada’s network of authorized resellers and independent software vendor (ISV) partners.”
Creating a web-based Interface
Because service begins with a healthy partner ecosystem, one of PCI’s first moves was to introduce the Partner to Win Portal, a web-based interface designed to improve the flow of information. Using a secure login, partners are able to access a variety of features, such as deal registrations, evaluation unit requests, and sales and marketing documents. As a repository for historical data, the portal gives resellers a convenient record of their previous dealings with PCI, a real time-saver when planning future initiatives.
“Fujitsu scanner products are a premium brand and it’s important that our channel partners have all the tools and knowledge they need to properly position our products with their end-users,” says Steve Oblin, senior marketing manager for PCI. “Because the Partner Portal is a secure environment, PCI is able to provide details about promotions and sales documents – information that couldn’t be shared through a public website.”
Working together to win
Another advantage of the portal is that resellers are able to request a short-term demo scanner in order to familiarize their organizations with products and showcase the latest technology at a customer-facing event. “PCI welcomes the opportunity for end-users to actually try one of our scanner evaluation units,” says Oblin. “There are some things that are hard to convey on a spec sheet, so we offer our resellers the opportunity to try equipment in their own environment and experience first-hand the benefits of Fujitsu scanners.”
A further benefit of being a Partner to Win member is that resellers have exclusive access to PCI’s Sales Accelerator, a program that improves profitability by offering special discounts for those who promote select Fujitsu scanners. Partners who generate the need for document imaging scanning are critical to PCI’s success and the company is committed to supporting and encouraging them.
Although all businesses have felt the negative effects of the pandemic, the impact has been minimal for PFU’s new Canadian entity, PCI. When COVID-19 was initially perceived as a brief interruption, people improvised in their home offices and would capture documents as poor quality photos taken with their phones. As the situation persisted, it became clear that scanners were necessary for dealing with any volume of paper, not to mention applications that require automation, document search capabilities, and superior image quality.
Meeting the diverse needs of remote work
With approximately 4.7 million Canadians abandoning their workplaces to work from home in the spring of 2020, Canadian resellers have seen a great deal of activity in the home office market, and a dramatic increase in sales of the business-built ScanSnap line in particular. The newly released ScanSnap iX1600 offers one one-touch icons on an easy-to-read screen make scanning simple, dedicated software turns images into searchable PDFs, and Wi-Fi compatibility allows users to connect wirelessly to their computers and smart devices via the Cloud for simple access – all at speeds of up to 40 pages per minute. Not only does a ScanSnap unit prevent the home office from filling with piles of paper, but it also allows workers to share their work remotely and safely.
“Since the COVID-19 outbreak, we have seen a surge of sales from companies seeking a scanner for remote employees,” notes Alex Muir, owner of ATS Systems in Toronto. “The Fujitsu ScanSnap has been a perfect solution because it allows end-users to scan to the cloud and share scanned documents easily from their home offices.”
At the other end of the spectrum, high-level scanners such as PCI’s fi Series models are also a hot commodity with government, healthcare, and large enterprises. Designed with operator usability as a priority, the fi-7900 scans 140 pages per minute and has an expected daily volume of 120,000 sheets. Top-quality, scanning software, PaperStream Capture Pro, includes options for high-level data extraction and indexing, the import of electronic images, and support for multi-station licensing.
Rethinking business processes
Businesses and organizations of all sizes have known for some time that digitizing paper improves operations, yet many have relegated the scanning of documents to the “when we get time” category. With the urgent rethinking of document storage, processing and access to information, this is the time to make the transition from paper.
“Our partners have surmounted unique challenges in the past 12 months and they are looking for ways to increase business and attract customers,” says Masanori Shibusawa. “PCI is happy to help them make this happen. Working together makes us stronger and our strength positions us to help grow the channel.”