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Kodak is releasing the next generation of network scanners – the
Scan Station 500 – designed specifically for the imaging and document
management needs of the midmarket. But the new product won’t be
generally available to channel partners for another 35 days.

Direct market reseller CDW will get an exclusive first crack at
marketing and selling the Scan Station 500, which retails for roughly
$2,500. After the exclusive selling period ends April 10, Kodak’s
midmarket channel for imaging and document management will have access
to the product. Kodak used a similar strategy last year when it
launched its ScanMate i1120.

“The last time we did this, it was successful and helped get the
word out to market,” says Roger Markham, channel marketing director for
distributed document capture.

The Scan Station 500 is an upgraded version of the Scan Station 100
that includes improved features such as programmable routing for
distributing scanned documents, a larger display for managing document
scanning jobs and an optional keyboard interface for entering data in
document fields. New to the 500 version is voice memo feature that
allows users to append audio instructions with the document.

“As the user is capturing the document, he can attach a voice
message. This will reduce the ambiguity over what to do with the
document,” Markham says.

Kodak says it chose to launch exclusively with CDW because most of
its midmarket solution provider customers will take the first 30 days
to study the product and educate sales teams before going to market.
During that period, CDW will market the Scan Station 500 to internal
sales teams and end users, seeding the market for the whole channel,
Markham says.

Once the Scan Station 500 is generally available to the channel,
Kodak believes solution providers will be able to position it as an
alternative to multifunction printers (MFPs) sold by vendors such as
Hewlett-Packard, Lexmark, Xerox and Oki Data. While the Scan Station
doesn’t have document output, Markham says its resolution capabilities
are superior for capturing achievable documents. Should the user want
to print a scanned document, the Scan Station 500 routing features can
send documents to any networked print for output.