ScanSoft has restructured its channel to regain greater responsibility for product promotion and take it into potentially lucrative new markets, according to regional division director, Bob Anderson.
The US-based imaging and speech recognition specialist signed a distribution agreement with Alloys International last week, which joins Fuji Xerox Supplies Division, Scholastic Australia and Voice Perfect Systems as ScanSoft distribution partner in Australia and New Zealand.
ScanSoft retains Support Group Sevices (SGS) as its outsourced customer service, technical support and reseller management supplier.
ScanSoft dropped ACA Pacific last year as it concentrated on larger projects and didn't suit the company's product direction, Anderson said.
"We've been focusing hard on tidying up our channel," Anderson told ARN. "We're gradually taking back control of marketing and end-user support."
ScanSoft's main productivity offerings are PaperPort, a desktop-based document archive and share utility, and OmniPage, an optical character recognition package for converting paper documents to searchable text.
Anderson said Alloys fitted in perfectly with ScanSoft's strategy to promote its PaperPort software to home office and small office users who are finding a need for a document management application.
"There are so many potential sites for document management solutions in small offices. Paper management is becoming overwhelming for people," he said.
"Our products are perfect for use in small workgroup environments and with multifunction devices."
Alloys sales manager, Greg Powis, said ScanSoft came along at a time when the wholesaler was looking for a lower-end offering to complement other products in the document management division.
"We deal with a lot of the high-end document management solutions, plus our multifunction device business is growing rapidly," Powis said. "We were looking for an opportunity for entry-level document management system that would complement these devices, plus fill a gap in our document management offerings."
Powis said Alloys would be looking for opportunities to bundle ScanSoft's PaperPort product with entry-level production scanners, and would be heavily promoting and developing ways to market for both PaperPort and OmniPage.
He described how the opportunities in the multifunction device market would take ScanSoft's products to a new audience.
"ScanSoft's existing channel had not been a good one for them... They'd made a mistake or two," Powis said. "We don't claim to be everything to everyone, but in our specialist fields we're untouchable."