Company profile: Kodak Alaris

Kodak Alaris adds mobile capabilities to web-based document capture solution

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Company profile: Kodak Alaris David Whitton, regional sales director for Middle East and Africa, Kodak Alaris.
By  David Ndichu Published  May 22, 2016

What is your company’s history-including Middle East History?

Kodak Alaris was created on September 3, 2013 by the UK Kodak Pension Plan (KPP) after it had taken over the Kodak Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses from Eastman Kodak Company. Alaris is licensed to use the Kodak brand. Kodak Alaris is driven by the simple belief that “we can always find a better way.” The Information Management division of Kodak Alaris was set up to help organisations deliver the right information to the right people at the right time and across the right channels, with an essential role for intelligent document recognition, business processes automation and intelligent information management overall.

The Middle East Information Management (IM) business has more than doubled in size since then. This is the fastest growing region in the world for Kodak Alaris’ IM business and the company will continue to expand in order to provide the best service to our customers and partners.

Because Arabic is widely spoken across the region, Kodak Alaris launched both Arabic Interface and Arabic TWAIN drivers to its scanners capable of displaying Arabic text in its LCD Panels, unlocking new opportunities for Arabic speakers. The launch of the Arabic interface followed the opening of the service centre in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia mid of last year, which demonstrates Kodak Alaris’ commitment to offer the best possible service to the region and its growing demand by offering tailored solutions for the Arabic speaking world.

What is your company’s core competence?

Kodak Alaris’ Information Management solutions enable customers to capture and consolidate data from digital and paper sources, understand and extract valuable insight from the contents, and deliver the right information to the right people at the right time.

The company helps organisations transform and modernize their business with the latest technology.

The company’s offerings include document scanners and capture software, information management software, driven by artificial intelligence, a wide range of professional services that is continually expanding backed by a global service and support team.

With customers ranging from small offices to global operations, Kodak Alaris delivers superior systems and solutions to automate business processes, enhance customer interactions and ultimately enable better business decisions.

What are some of the trends impacting your sector?

The biggest challenge for most businesses in the coming years, as has been the case over the last few years, is how to channel information. And this is not just direct information- letters, emails or documents that pass directly to and through a business or government department. But information, in this Information Age, comes from everywhere now.

We all know about the power Twitter, YouTube and Facebook and all other aspects of Social Media. Things go viral! So not only do businesses want to be a part of that, but they want to control that, to remain reputable in a time when a mention of your company, in either a negative or a positive way, can snowball and catch you unawares. Governments want to protect its citizens and maintain national security.

These are all pressing issues which need solutions. All this information needs to be gathered and harnessed somehow. There are products out there that are pioneering in this field and will become a much larger aspect of business practice and everyday life.

What is your presence in the Middle East?

In 2013, the company established its regional branch office in Dubai. The main regional headquarters for the Information Management Division of Kodak Alaris is in Dubai and it has dedicated service centres in Dubai, Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Khamis Mushait. The company has plans to expand further in the MENA region, continuing to help make its customers and partners more competitive through innovative solutions.

Within the Middle East, the GCC countries are our priority markets and again, within this territory we are focusing our efforts on the Saudi market.

Saudi Arabia represents the largest market for ICT sector in the Middle East in terms of capital and volume of spending, representing 50% of the total sector in the GCC. We find that with the Kingdom’s smart government initiatives and focus on digital transformation, Kodak Alaris’ solutions become increasingly relevant.

Describe some of your biggest successes in the region?

Kodak Alaris is a $1.2 billion company globally and in the Middle East the business has more than doubled in the past 2 years. We have a 20% unit share of the Distributed Capture and 38% of Production Capture markets.  Every third scanner sold in the MENA region is a scanner from Kodak Alaris. We have a strong presence in the government and banking sector as well as with BPO sector. We are poised for accelerated growth in the next few years in the region.

What are your regional goals for the rest of the year and beyond?

The primary goal is to continue to drive rapid growth within the region by increasing our in-country investments and resources and introducing innovative products and solutions.  Naturally, no growth strategy is complete without a highly skilled and motivated channel. Therefore, we aim to ensure we have the highest performing channel in the region with continual investment in training and channel programs throughout the coming years.

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