August 2010 Edition

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Ideas In Motion:

Kim Hogan Offers Insight on Mobile Scanning Solutions

By Scott H. Cytron, ABC

While many vendors offer document management solutions to the accounting community, very few advocate mobile and remote scanning solutions the way Fujitsu does. Although many of these solutions are designed specifically for CPAs and accountants who work in the field, many offices now include mobile document scanners as part of their technology arsenal. Understanding the needs and explaining the functionality is Kimberly Hogan, Business Development manager, ScanSnap Sales. As she travels and meets accountants in person, here are some of her insights.

Scott Cytron: How to you approach accountants with information document management solutions and what do you do to convince them there’s a better way, e.g, the ScanSnap?

Kim Hogan: Fortunately, for me, I represent a product that is extremely easy to understand and use. It never takes more than a few moments to convey the value in Fujitsu’s approach with this product line, especially if a person is able to see the ScanSnap in action.

I often refer to the “light bulb moment” when CPAs and auditors see ScanSnap digitize paper right before their eyes, without any of the cumbersome configuration or scanner driver requirements of many other scanners. For somebody who is already familiar with document management, I always take the approach of asking how the person currently works with paper, then show how ScanSnap’s approach would make life easier.

Kimberly Hogan
Scan Snap Sales

SC: Tell me more about the ScanSnap scanner. What makes it so unique?

KH: ScanSnap takes a completely different approach to document management. Many accountants use all-in-one type devices, which only allow for single-sided, and/or black and white scanning, or mobile scanners that only scan a single sheet at a time. While these products deliver the same end result of less paper, there isn’t much productivity gain.

      ScanSnap, on the other hand, combines the best of both worlds. Users can stack multiple sheets of paper, and even various sizes, into the document feeder, and with one button, create a fully searchable .PDF to be filed, archived or e-mailed. Best of all, there is no need for an IT staff to configure a ScanSnap. Even novice scanners can successfully navigate installation and basic use.

SC: ScanSnap is up against some very established providers in the document management space. How do you differentiate yourself?

KH: Fujitsu is convincingly the market leader in dedicated document imaging scanners – and ScanSnap a big reason why. While there are several other players on the personal productivity and mobile scanner scene, ScanSnap sets itself apart in several ways.

      First, the ScanSnap S1300 is the smallest/lightest mobile scanner that still allows users to scan multiple documents all together rather than just scanning a single sheet. This is where productivity really comes into play, minimizing time and effort to digitize documents.

      ScanSnap comes bundled with a great suite of productivity software, including a business card-reading solution, a personal document filing cabinet, and OCR tools to enable scanning to .DOC and .XLS file formats. Another major differentiator is the simplicity of the ScanSnap Manager that enables the device to truly be “plug and play,” compared to cumbersome and complicated TWAIN drivers, which require much more effort to configure and use.

SC: You previously worked for Altec, a major player in the document management space. How do you apply your experience with them to what you’re doing with Fujitsu?

KH: Working at Altec gave me an excellent window into the accounting world. My business development efforts exposed me to some extremely valuable contacts in the mid-market accounting and CPA space that have led to key strategic partnerships for the ScanSnap team, including SaaS (Software as a Service) and cloud computing partners.

      It was a natural transition for me to take on this market, given the similar message of productivity, efficiency and streamlined business processes that document management software and hardware share. The benefit my software background brings is that I can easily look at a scanner as simply the paper on-ramp to a complete solution for a customer. 

SC: I know you attend quite a few accounting trade shows. As an exhibitor, how do you know when a prospect – or someone just stopping by the booth – really “gets” what you’re trying to communicate?

KH: I mentioned “light bulb moment” earlier, and that really is the best way to describe it. We say that ScanSnap is a “show me product.” Often, when speaking with accounting professionals at shows, I can sense when they aren’t quite following reasoning behind mobile scanning.

      While there is value in quoting speeds and feeds, rarely do you sell hardware by throwing out numbers of pages per minute or duty cycles. When an accountant sees a tax return fly through the device and instantly opens the document on their desktop however, the solution really comes alive. Combining that process with a software solution for workflow, bill payment or collaboration just builds on that.

SC: Tell me one of your favorite prospect-to-customer conversion stories.

KH: Last year during a break at an AICPA event, I started chatting with the vendor next to me. The gentleman, who happened to be the owner of the company, was a CPA who explained that he wanted to “go paperless” but didn’t quite know where to start. After hearing my pitch to attendees “just push the blue button” and “one button push to .PDF scanning,” he asked for a more in-depth demo. Within a short while, he asked to borrow my laptop so that he could purchase an S1500, which he promptly did at – free shipping and all. I received an e-mail from him the following week saying that he had fallen in love with his ScanSnap and had ordered another one for his assistant. His plan was to eventually roll out additional ScanSnaps to his entire office.

SC: I love your strategy to educate audiences through video, especially the new ScanSnap Paper Party video. Why do you think video, itself, is a good way to turn prospects into customers?

KH: I think it’s all about hitting the audience with something they can relate to. ScanSnap tries to bring real-life scenarios to our prospects and users in order for them to grasp the value of document management. Video enables us to reach them in ways that printed ads, case studies and data sheets cannot. When it comes to document management and scanners specifically, dispelling the myths of difficult and complex solutions, and showing it in real time, is priceless. I guess you can say a video is worth a million words.

SC: If you were stranded on a desert island and had to survive with only one kind of technology, what would it be, and why?

KH: If I landed myself on Survivor, there’s no doubt that I’d bring my BlackBerry as my luxury item. I confess that I can’t go too far from the device without my heart stopping, and I have been asked if it is permanently affixed to my right hand!

      All joking aside, I can honestly say without a doubt that a smart phone is an absolute must-have for a road warrior like me. While I’m not always in a position to open up my laptop, I can stay in touch and up to speed on pressing work while I navigate my hectic schedule.

      I was just spotted this week on a jet way in Washington, D.C. franticly sending off one final, important e-mail before shutting down for the flight. The gentleman behind me commented on my ability to type so quickly, then asked me why I felt the need to send an e-mail right then and there. I simply replied, “It’s just another day at the office.”



About Author:
For more than 20 years, Scott H. Cytron, ABC, has worked with CPAs and accountants, providing public relations, marketing and communications services. He is a frequent contributor to industry publications covering professional services industries, including accounting, healthcare, legal, financial planning, collections and debt, and high-tech.

Contact info:
Scott H. Cytron, ABC
Cytron and Company
Phone: 214-647-2611, ext. 150
Website: Blog:


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