Scansoft seeks VARs

Scansoft seeks VARs

Voice and image recognition software company, ScanSoft, plans a further shake up of its channel, with the appointment of 10-15 value-added resellers by the year-end. This will increase its local representation and support.

The move follows the Belgian business outsourcing its channel manager role to services company, Channel Managers, and its service and tech support functions to SGS (Support Group Services), which owns Channel Managers.

Scansoft, previously Xerox Information Systems, presently uses Scholastic Australia, the Fuji Xerox Document Supplies Division, Voice Perfect Systems and ACA Pacific as its major distributors. It also claims hundreds of resellers including Harvey Norman, Dick Smith, Domain and Myer.

"ScanSoft is very much an arms-length company," Australian managing director, Bob Anderson, said. "We have also taken away some of the functions of our distributors. We have taken away the requirement to have customer support and service, plus reseller development. That is all done through Channel Managers. There is no requirement for marketing; that is done through our marketing department.

"The shift is aimed at make the business more co-ordinated so the distributor concentrates on what it is supposed to do: distribute."

ScanSoft claims the move is working well, so it is now moving to an advanced stage of appointing 10-15 value-added resellers who can offer a portfolio of services, such as pre-sales support, installations, training and experience.

Currently, the company claims just two VARs in the region - Voice Perfect Systems in Australia and Mistral Software in New Zealand. "We are [now] more a solution development model," Anderson said.

"People understand Paperpoint [a Scansoft product] but people do not understand you can create a document management solution by using this and other products."

In other moves, Scansoft is offering a volume licensing system for its products, claiming this approach offers end-users more aggressive discounts.

It is also advancing the technologies of its recognitions systems, with a range of new products.

Sales were growing annually by 25 per cent, Anderson said.

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