Life with the KS810:

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

The KS810 from KeySpan may be the perfect accessory for a business drowning in paper. Cramming a color scanner into a keyboard is no easy feat, yet KeyScan pulls it off at a price that most businesses can afford.

While the marriage of a keyboard and scanner is not something new, other vendors that had attempted pulling off that deed have met with failure or have perished over the years. That leaves KeyScan as the only company currently offering a product such as this and the first to add "color" to the equation.

Desktop scanning in itself is neither unique nor uncommon, but has required that yet another device to be placed on a user’s desk, taking up valuable desktop real estate. Some scanners, such as those from Xerox and Visioneer, are small enough to make that less of a problem, but none offer the small footprint and convenience offered by the KS810. That helps to make the KS810 a great option for a system builder or a solution provider to offer. What’s more, bundling in a KS810 with a new system can power up-sell opportunities to document management or image management software and services.

Solution providers will find the bundled software pretty much only covers the basics of getting scanned images into the system, perform basic OCR and PDF creation. More importantly, that software will integrate into some mainstream scanning applications, such as OCR applications from Nuance or PDF utilities from Adobe and others. That integration is the key to add-on sales and productivity-boosting services.

The unit is very easy to use and offers clearly labeled buttons to scan different types of paper or to launch an ad-hoc photocopy application. With a footprint of little more than a typical keyboard, the unit fits on most any keyboard drawer or shelf and the convenience of having a scanner at arm’s length helps to make all that paper disappear, or better yet, transform into the digital realm.

For solution providers, the KS810 is more than just a nifty toy, it is a path to selling document-management solutions and services and offers customers a taste of the benefits of scanning. When coupled with searchable PDF technology, the KS810 can become the horsepower behind solving filing nightmares, organizing correspondence and bringing the paperless office one step closer to reality.

The product offers quite a lot for the money, with the only downsides being the lack of 64-bit Vista drivers and Linux support. If Keyscan can push the price down to the $99 area, the KS810 should start to fly off the shelves and become a no-brainer for most any business user.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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