Q&A With Tony Barbeau Kodak Alaris

By Patricia Ames

Tony Barbeau is a products and services general manager, and vice president of the Information Management division at Kodak Alaris. He is responsible for business management, strategic planning, product development and commercialization for the Kodak Alaris information management products and solutions. Barbeau knows firsthand the challenges that business process outsourcers (BPOs) face today in meeting customer demands for faster, lower cost document processing while working to help their clients leverage the advantages of digital transformation. I had the opportunity to speak with Tony regarding the new Kodak i5250 and i5650 Scanners, and how they help service providers keep pace.

The document scanning marketplace is a crowded one. What makes these different?

One thing is the real world, continuous throughput at full rated speed at 300dpi even with complex image processing features on. Also, advanced image enhancement technology creates exceptionally clear images that reduce the need for quality assurance checks or rescans, and greatly enhances OCR and IDR and validation rates. Together, these are important differentiators in the market.

What do these scanners offer BPOs and service providers that is new?

BPOs have an uphill climb to win customer confidence, especially in the face of ongoing digital transformation. The new i5250 and i5650 scanners help service providers do just that. For example, the advanced indexing capabilities in both models allow service providers to take on more complex projects. One of our BPO customers works with a large law firm here in the United States, and they are currently using the i5650 to scan all the documents received in a pre-trial discovery phase of a very large class action lawsuit. This is a huge undertaking, especially since the discovery process stipulates that litigants provide an index of every document referenced in the legal proceedings with proof of provenance. The Intelligent Printing Indexing feature of the i5650 allows them to print a Bates Index stamp and a date and time stamp on every page of the scanned documents.

This is just one example. BPOs and service providers can also add value by offering a higher level of assurance that they will capture documents and the associated metadata with great image quality and accuracy.  The expansion of captured metadata includes bar code reading in the scanner and the use of patch codes to gather indexing data. Ultimately, end customers benefit from faster job completion when BPOs and service providers take advantage of new productivity features in the i5250 and i5650, such as interactive multi-feed resolution, intelligent document protection and intelligent imprinting. 

You say that these new scanners give service providers the ability to speed the pace of business … how so?

The Intelligent Imprinting capabilities that are on-board the i5250 and i5650 help keep track of documents after they are scanned and provides metadata to applications. And there are four layers of document protection and preparation that really make a difference: Ultrasonic multi-feed detection alerts the user if two sheets of paper are going through the scanner at the same time; Intelligent Document Protection safeguards documents by “listening” for the first indication of potential document damage from staples, paper clips or other obstructions; Metal Detection also catches staples or paper clips and pauses scanning so the document can be separated carefully; and finally, Controlled Output Stacking keeps even mixed batches of document sizes and paper weights neatly lined up.

What makes the barcode reading features unique in the market segment?

Barcode reading is done in the scanner so users don’t need to purchase specialty barcode reading software.  The scanner reads barcodes – up to 16 per page – in their native raw format and applies a special algorithm to improve the captured image.  The result is highly accurate data and metadata capture provided to line-of-business applications.

What is “intelligent imprinting?”

Intelligent Imprinting describes the options to physically print a data sequence on the front or back of the scanned sheet of paper or to digitally print a data sequence on the captured image. The imprinter is an optional accessory. Patch Counting allows batches of documents that are separated by patch sheets to be scanned with a print counter. Indexing allows batches of documents that are separated by patch sheets to be scanned with both a document counter and a page counter. Image Addressing allows customers to use legacy applications to take advantage of traditional Image Addressing functionality and flexibility.

A recent study discovered that 49 percent of BPOs’ clients expect to undertake a wide-scale transformation of their business processes within the next two years. What transformations do you see taking place?

Let’s face it, most businesses want to take document-centric processes to make them more digital. As a result, more and more business processes will shift to digital and automated workflows. So the question becomes: How can BPOs and service providers help companies find efficiencies in their digital documents – as well as the paper documents?  Today, many companies outsource their document capture and data extraction to a service provider.  But they are also looking for help to deal with incoming information that is digital.  Even though some companies have started to automate, there are a lot more processes to go.

Visit kodakalaris.com/go/i5000news for more information. Patricia Ames is senior analyst for BPO Media, which publishes The Imaging Channel and Workflow magazines