ImageSilo® becomes “Most Profitable” part of Datamation’s Imaging Business
CASE STUDY FACTS:
DIGITECH SYSTEMS RESELLER: Datamation Imaging Services Corporation, Chicago, IL
PROBLEM: Simplify and reduce cost to provide on-demand ECM service to their customer base
“We made a business decision to get out of the costly and complex software development world and resell ImageSilo. We decided to buy, not build, and it’s worked out great. ImageSilo is the most profitable portion of our imaging business.”
– Jim Collins, President
Datamation Imaging Services Corporation was founded in 1995 to provide service bureau document scanning services and electronic document and content management (ECM) to businesses in the greater Chicago area. They now have more than 200 customers and generate around $5.5 million in annual revenues.
With a focus on helping organizations reduce operating costs, improve efficiencies and gain fast access to critical business information, Datamation had developed their own in-house hosted, or on-demand, document server system, which was designed to offer clients access to their information over the internet. However, as Microsoft technologies continued to change, Datamation realized how complex and expensive it was to continue to build and update their own system.
Their partnership with Digitech Systems has allowed them to meet their customer’s demand for an inexpensive, yet effective on-demand ECM system without burdening their own organization with the onerous costs and complexity of developing and maintaining the system themselves. ImageSilo places their client’s information at their fingertips securely and reliably. “We decided to buy, not build, and it’s worked out great,” says Jim Collins, President of Datamation.
- More than 1.3 TB of data available to Datamation customers through ImageSilo
- Revenue growth averaged 20% from 2000-present
- Eliminated overhead expenses associated with building and maintaining an in-house system
- Relieved Datamation technical personnel of the hassle of hardware and access management
- Grew online customer base from five users to hundreds of companies
Datamation scans thirty to forty million pages of paper documents for their customers each year. Many of those documents are printed in color and require accurate presentation of that color when converted to electronic images. In addition, Datamation needed the ability to scan images into a single page .tif format. Many of the capture software providers at that time (1999) wrapped files into proprietary formats, making them difficult to transfer between systems. Collins also wanted to be able to use his sizable investment in scanners and other hardware to its fullest capacity, or the full rated speed for each machine.
Perhaps the biggest concern for Datamation, however, was the need to provide cost-effective, on-demand ECM to their client base. When Microsoft’s announced release of Windows XP signaled the need for an extensive rewrite of their in-house system, Collins decided to see what other options were available.
Digitech Systems Solution
Datamation became a Digitech Systems reseller in October 2000. They now utilize PaperFlow™, Digitech’s production-level document capture and indexing software to convert their customer’s paper documents into electronic images. PaperFlow allows them to index those images for fast retrieval in the ImageSilo system. “Upon learning the flexibility and functionality of PaperFlow and ImageSilo, we soon made PaperFlow our standard capture platform to scan for our clients and began selling PaperVision Enterprise and ImageSilo for customer document retrieval,” says Steve Cady, General Manager. They now utilize ImageSilo to provide online access to documents for their customers. To date, Datamation has more than sixty-four entities on ImageSilo, which encompasses hundreds of individual organizations, each with multiple users.
“One of the primary reasons we became a Digitech Systems reseller, was the high level of support we got from the technical and sales support team.” Collins noted the time Digitech staff spent on-site at his organization training his operators as key to their selection of Digitech. He continues, “They’re always honest about product functionality, which is refreshing. The support really is great, but honestly the products are so easy to use that you don’t have to rely on them very much.”
Business Value to Datamation
Initially, Datamation planned to load images to ImageSilo just until they had time to burn them to CD. It quickly became apparent that many customers preferred to utilize ImageSilo versus receiving and storing CDs. “It basically sold itself. This was an interesting evolution, because we did this to help meet tighter turnaround deadlines for my customers,” said Collins. ImageSilo’s licensing policy allows organizations to open up secure, controlled access to anyone who needs it, and they don’t have to pay more for additional users.
“ImageSilo is the most profitable portion of our imaging business.”
– Jim Collins, President of Datamation
No overhead means higher profit margins for Datamation. It takes only fifteen minutes to train new users and less than an hour to train individual administrators and Datamation does not have to install software at the customer site, which saves them time and money. “It’s less overhead and less risk for us, and we don’t have to manage the installation from an infrastructure standpoint,” said Collins
PaperFlow has simplified scanning services in Datamation’s service bureau. Instead of the different types of software they previously used for specialized tasks, they have consolidated on one platform, simplifying their vendor relationships and reducing the time spent training and using the system. Collins says, “Our results have been excellent. We can use the software features to solve almost any customer’s imaging requirements.”
Datamation has benefited from the legendary customer support offered by Digitech Systems’ technical staff. “They are outstanding,” says Collins. “The technical support staff is available with virtually no waiting and always knows how to solve any problem we post. It makes the products easy to sell and implement.”
Best of all, ImageSilo shortens Datamation’s sales cycle, allowing them to generate more new business with the same amount of time and resources. “Utilizing ImageSilo with an imaging solution provides the fastest deployment and best value to my customers.” Clients are up and running more quickly and encounter fewer hassles with their financial and technical approval processes.
By adding ImageSilo to their product and service offering, Datamation is able to provide an inexpensive, yet full featured ECM service to their client base without the cost and complexity of building it themselves. It reduces their overhead, since they no longer have to build and maintain software or hardware storage. Their relationship with Digitech Systems has allowed them to grow their business while focusing on the customer’s needs and goals. Jim Collins describes his relationship with ImageSilo and Digitech Systems in these words, “ImageSilo has been a huge boost to our overall service offering and revenue stream. It is responsible for a large amount of new and residual business.”