Kodak Celebrates 15 Years In Digital Document Imaging

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Seventy-seven, fifteen, and one:  Three numbers that describe the industry leadership and digital innovation of KODAK Document Imaging Products & Services.

            Seventy-seven years ago, Eastman Kodak Company launched into the document imaging business when George Eastman helped a New York banker with a business problem handling the increasing volume of checks.  Eastman in 1928 developed a commercial camera and special film called microfilm to help the banker capture images of the paper checks.  Thus was born document imaging at Kodak.


Fifteen years ago, Kodak became one of the first document imaging companies to launch a digital document scanner the KODAK IMAGELINK Scanner 900.  Designed as a high-volume production scanner for use by companies with large, centralized scanning operations, the Scanner 900 also represented one of the first digital products by any Kodak product group.

            No. 1 is Kodaks current market share position in the mid- and high-volume production scanner segments worldwide, according to market analysts, who further noted that Kodak grew its market share in these segments during the past year.        

Our rich 77-year heritage 15 of them in digital serves as the platform for our strategy of offering the industrys broadest portfolio of document imaging products and services, said Erwin Schwarzl, general manager, KODAK Document Imaging.  In fact, during the past five years alone, we have launched 56 distinct hardware and software products or product enhancements to help businesses better capture, manage, archive, and deliver their critical business information.


Digital Document Scanners

Corporations, including those in the healthcare, financial, transportation and insurance industries, as well as government and regulatory agencies, rely on document scanners to convert paper documents into digital images that can be shared and stored electronically via information technology networks.  But as business has changed, so have document scanners.  Initially, the scanners developed and manufactured by Kodak were high-volume models capable of scanning tens of thousands of pages a day in large, centralized operations.  But as information technology has permeated the workplace, more and more companies are turning to distributed scanning environments, using desktop models to scan documents as they are created or received.

Recognizing this trend, Kodak is integrating the robust features of its production scanners into lower volume models such as the KODAK i100 Series Scanners, which the company rolled out in January, and the KODAK i55 and i65 Scanners, launched on May, 30st.  The goal, Schwarzl said, is to provide customers with the best document scanners from high-volume production models to workgroup models with the qualities Kodak has become known for:  outstanding paper handling, image quality, simultaneous output capabilities, and, more recently, Perfect Page Scanning with iThresholding.

West Canadian, a KODAK Authorized Imaging Reseller and commercial printer in Calgary, Canada, was one of Kodaks early customers.

 We bought one of the original KODAK IMAGELINK Scanner 923s back in the early 1990s, and its still running today, right next to newer scanners from Kodak, said Irene Price, executive vice president, West Canadian.  In fact, our 923 has captured 300 million images to date.


Reference Archive

Meanwhile, Kodak has applied digital technologies to its original document imaging product microfilm, which still is considered the medium of choice for the long-term preservation of documents and critical business information.  Because electronically stored data can begin to degrade after about seven years, companies and other organizations rely on microfilm to preserve documents for much longer periods of time.  To meet this need in a digital world, Kodak rolled out the KODAK DIGITAL SCIENCE Document Archive Writer, Model 4800, in 1996.  This innovation, which has evolved to todays KODAK i9600 Series Writers, writes digital images to a special archival microfilm developed by Kodak.  The KODAK i7300 Scanner can then convert microfilm images back to digital files so they can be shared electronically within an enterprise when needed.

Our ability to apply digital technologies to what was once thought to be a purely analog process again illustrates our industry leadership and digital innovation, Schwarzl said.  And our customers have responded to these innovations as we are recording double-digital sales growth in the archival media used in our digital-to-film writers.


KODAK Service & Support

A key component in helping Kodak provide the broadest portfolio of products and services to its customers is KODAK Service & Support, a 1,200-employee team across 120 countries that helps customers maximize productivity.  In addition to providing hardware and software support for Kodaks products, KODAK Service & Support also provides support for more than 1,000 products from more than 100 other manufacturers.

But hardware and software support are just a part of the picture.  KODAK Service & Support also has been expanding into storage services as part of a strategy to grow its multi-vendor IT services, which also include digital and film conversion services.


Kodaks Graphic Communications Group

            The next stage of evolution for KODAK Document Imaging Products & Services and KODAK Service & Support has been their integration into the Graphic Communications Group.  Effective in January, the integration is intended to provide customers with a single entry point to all of the products and services Kodak offers to help companies and organizations move from capture to customized communications.

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