In November, dealers from across the country descended on Tempe, Arizona, for the Camp ACDI Solution Summit. The theme of the event was “the power of collaboration and the promise of innovation.” As print continues its seemingly inevitable decline, the emphasis is now on creative and innovative ways to transform businesses to stay on the growth path. But this is a significant undertaking, especially if you’re going about it on your own. The whole point of Camp ACDI was to renew, recharge, and refresh dealers’ transformation journeys; to show them that they are not alone in this pursuit; and to show them that there are plenty of helpful hands that they can hold onto along the way. 

Demand for digital transformation is through the roof

During the Industry Insights session, Keypoint Intelligence’s CEO, Anthony Sci and ACDI’s VP of Marketing and Business Development Mark Hart discussed how IT buyers plan on spending their budget in the near future, and what it means for the channel. 

Mark Hart and Anthony Sci.

Keypoint Intelligence’s research found that, while core products like PaperCut still have small growth ahead (the firm projects print management sales to increase at a 3% CAGR by ‘28), the real growth opportunities are in digital transformation. According to Keypoint Intelligence, 62% of IT buyers want to invest in technology that digitizes and automates business processes, such as intelligent document processing (64%), document management (45%), and robotic process automation (42%) solutions. 

“DX is on the top of mind of almost every IT buyer that we talk to,” said Sci. “This is an enormous opportunity in an adjacent space that you can easily slide into.” 

While DX represents a tremendous opportunity, there are some challenges. You can’t simply add a document management partner and hand your sales team a sales playbook, and expect the sales to start rolling in. According to Keypoint Intelligence’s research, 3 out of 4 IT buyers said that they would rely on an outside partner to handle their DX projects, and that reputation is the most important buying factor. This means dealers will need to invest in resources so that they are able to design, deploy, and support these systems—not just sell them. It will also require some attention to your branding and marketing, and showing customers that you’re a trusted and capable steward of digital transformation. 

Software thought leadership

During the software thought leadership panel, hosted by David Brown of ACDI and with representatives from PaperCut, KPAX, and ScanShare, the discussion revolved around how trends like the cloud, SaaS models, and integration are impacting their own product development, and how these platforms can help dealers with their transformation. 

David Brown of ACDI, Johann Fassbender of Scanshare, Dimitri Moreau of KPAX and Dave Farrell of Papercut.

Johann Fassbender from Scanshare (capture, document management, and workflow automation solution) and Dave Farrell from PaperCut both discussed how their respective companies have embraced the cloud and SaaS model. In the past, Scanshare and PaperCut were only available on-prem and sold as a perpetual license. But recently, Scanshare has engineered its flagship product to work in multi-tenant cloud environments and decided to license it through a subscription model. Likewise, PaperCut developed PaperCut Hive, a cloud native version of its flagship product. 

The respective cloud offerings from Scansare and PaperCut help dealers and end-customers eliminate extra IT infrastructure (like servers and local agents), which simplifies the administration (and cost) of these systems. Adopting the subscription licensing model also increases flexibility and improves its value proposition, by transforming hefty, front-loaded CAPEX costs into palatable OPEX costs. 

We also heard from Dimitri Moreau of KPAX, developed by Bluemega. KPAX is an MPS tool that enables service providers to remotely monitor and manage their customers’ print environment. The solution collects data from devices in the field that is used to generate indicators, dashboards, and alerts that can provide insights into their customers’ environment, automate inventory management, consumables fulfillment, and invoicing, and improve customer support. 

A recent innovation that KPAX made was with the release of its Liberty Box. Many MPS providers are reliant on a data collection agent (DCA) at the customer’s site to relay device data back to the dealership. However, not every customer site is going to be accommodating of your DCA (Mac environments, for example). KPAX Liberty is a very simple computer that addresses this problem. It creates a reliable and persistent connection between the MIF and the dealership, simplifying DCA management chores for technicians, and increasing profitability within those accounts. 

Our take

At the summit, ACDI highlighted the pressing need for dealers in the print industry to embrace digital transformation as a key to sustained growth. ACDI is uniquely good at helping dealers identify segments in their legacy business that can be improved upon with the right technology partners, and they made a point of introducing new technologies that can serve as their core business in the years to come. Camp can be fun, and also educational – ACDI made sure it was both.

Attendees were able to hone their skills, just like any camp worth its salt.
And there was entertainment.

Patricia Ames is president and senior analyst for BPO Media, which publishes The Imaging Channel and Workflow magazines. As a market analyst and industry consultant, Ames has worked for prominent consulting firms including KPMG and has more than 15 years experience in the imaging industry covering technology and business sectors. Ames has lived and worked in the United States, Southeast Asia and Europe and enjoys being a part of a global industry and community.