BLI Announces Spring 2009 “Picks” In Four Software Solution Categories
June 1, 2009 – Hackensack (NJ) – Buyers Laboratory Inc. (BLI), the world‘s leading independent evaluator of document imaging products and solutions, today announced its Spring 2009 “Pick” winners honoring outstanding software solutions from docSTAR, eCopy, Equitrac and Sharp. BLI‘s semi-annual “Pick” awards are given to the hardware and software offerings that measure up as the best in BLI‘s comprehensive evaluations, which assess a wide range of the most important features and performance factors for buyers.
The Spring 2009 solutions “Pick” winners are:
docSTAR (a division of Astria Solutions Group, LLC)
Outstanding Document Management Solution
eCopy ShareScan Suite, eCopy ShareScan Essentials
Outstanding Document Capture/Routing Solution
Equitrac Office 4.1, Equitrac Express 4.1
Outstanding Accounting/Cost Recovery Solutions
Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America
Sharp Printer Administration Utility 5
Outstanding Network Device Management Solution
“With the growing importance of solutions in the document-imaging industry, it is imperative that equipment dealers and other resellers come to the table equipped with the best understanding of the myriad offerings available to their clients. That‘s where BLI comes in,” said BLI Managing Editor Daria Hoffman. “These ‘Pick‘ winners rank among the very best in their respective fields among the many solutions BLI editors have evaluated.”
docSTAR Delivers Robust, Scalable Document Management
With the explosion of both paper and electronic documents in today‘s businesses, giving employees the tools to manage and retrieve files is critical to increasing efficiency and cutting costs. docSTAR, evaluated in version 3.9, is a proven document management platform that incorporates enterprise-class data handling. The system supports both scanning of hard-copy documents and importing of electronic documents (such as e-mail), and enables indexing, filing and retrieval of documents via templates that walk users through the process.
“docSTAR is both easy to use and scalable, which makes it an ideal solution for companies just getting started in document management as well as those that need a robust, flexible platform that can grow as a company‘s needs change,” noted Hoffman. “The platform also supports a range of advanced functionality, including barcode recognition, records management and automated workflow, all at a competitive price.”
“We are honored that Buyers Lab has chosen docSTAR as the award winner for Document Management,” said Tom Franceski, president of docSTAR. “Over the past 12 years, we have been constantly improving the docSTAR solution, which has been implemented by 6,000 organizations. With over 90,000 users, docSTAR is a time tested product. On behalf of our employees and our 125 channel partners, this award validates our commitment to building quality products, delivering the highest levels of customer service and providing an environment where our employees can excel.”
In BLI‘s evaluation, docSTAR particularly excelled in ease of use, ease of administration, software integration and security, garnering a perfect 5-star rating in each of those sub-categories. It also earned a 5-star rating for overall value thanks to the versatility and functionality docSTAR offers for the price. The docSTAR solution is available a la carte or in pre-packaged turnkey configuration directly from the company as well as from certified docSTAR resellers.
eCopy ShareScan Offerings Earn Perfect 5-Star Ratings
When it comes to leveraging a company‘s investment in MFP equipment, a document capture and routing solution is key. Such a system lets employees replace paper-based workflows with more efficient electronic ones, while also delivering documents to various mission-critical applications. eCopy ShareScan Suite and eCopy ShareScan Essentials, each evaluated in version 4.3, let almost any networked MFP or scanner serve as the entry point for paper documents to merge into an organization‘s digital workflow. Thanks to one-touch buttons on a supported MFP‘s touch-screen control panel (or on the optional ScanStation kiosk), users can very easily scan documents into the more than 100 leading business applications and services supported by eCopy Connectors.
“Routing documents directly into electronic workflows speeds access to information and also enhances information security through the use of document audit trails, document rights and encryption,” noted BLI Associate Editor Jamie Bsales. “By routing document images and data directly to back-end applications, eCopy ShareScan makes it easier for office workers to capture and share documents with others in their organization or beyond.”
“Being selected for a BLI ‘Pick‘ award demonstrates the compelling business value delivered by eCopy ShareScan Suite and eCopy ShareScan Essentials,” said Bill Brikiatis, eCopy director of corporate marketing. “Our products provide a standard document imaging software platform that works with all the major MFP brands to enable office workers to scan documents directly into business software applications, such as Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange, EMC Documentum, and Autonomy iManage WorkSite.”
eCopy ShareScan Suite is a complete solution that includes the eCopy ShareScan client (software that enables ShareScan to be accessed from the touch screen control panel of select MFPs from Canon, Ricoh and Xerox with embedded application platforms) plus eCopy Connectors for scanning directly to 11 leading enterprise applications such as Captaris RightFax, Lotus Notes, and others. Connectors developed by third parties for other applications—more than 100 currently—are available as options. The suite also includes eCopy Desktop, the company‘s desktop software that lets end users combine, edit and secure scanned documents. For organizations that don‘t foresee a need for multiple connectors, the eCopy ShareScan Essentials bundle includes the embedded MFP client software, eCopy Desktop software, plus the most common connectors, including those for scanning to Exchange and Notes. eCopy also offers the ScanStation, an external hardware terminal for use with MFPs and scanners that don‘t support the eCopy embedded client.
Both ShareScan Suite and ShareScan Essentials earned the highest overall rating of 5 stars in BLI‘s evaluation. Particular strengths pointed out by BLI technicians include the platform‘s ease of use and administration, excellent security attributes and impressive support among leading line-of-business applications. The solutions are available from the direct and dealer channels of most MFP manufacturers, as well as hundreds of independent system integrators and resellers.
Equitrac Office and Express Help Customers Track and Recoup Costs
A robust accounting/cost recovery solution can help businesses trim their print and copy costs, as well as accurately track and bill hard-copy expenses to projects or clients where appropriate. Equitrac Office and Equitrac Express, both evaluated in version 4.1, meet these mandates while delivering superior ease of use, integration and value.
“These class-leading products have myriad strengths and are highly customizable,” reported BLI Associate Editor Carl Schell. “They offer top-notch ease of use, are compatible with virtually all MFP and printer brands, and have flexible deployment options. Because of the bevy of new features, including additional rules-based routing and reporting capabilities, it‘s clear that the company strives to continually make its solutions that much more robust.”
“Closely managing and recovering costs are imperative for survival in today‘s challenging economy,” commented Michael Rich, president and CEO of Equitrac. “Equitrac Office and Equitrac Express deliver powerful print management solutions that improve print network performance, reduce print waste and cut operational costs. BLI‘s Spring ‘Pick‘ is an honor for Equitrac and is further endorsement of the value our software solutions and support are delivering to enterprise and academic organizations.”
Equitrac Office is the company‘s print management and cost recovery solution for the commercial and general office market. It can be used to track every print, copy and scan job that occurs on any device in an organization‘s document-output network, allowing for accurate cost allocation and accounting. The solution can also be used to manage workflow more efficiently and cost-effectively by automatically routing documents from high-cost-per-page devices to more affordable devices on the network. Equitrac Express, meanwhile, is tailored to the needs of colleges, universities and K-12 school systems. It helps an organization control the costs of document output and pass those costs on to students, faculty and departmental budgets. Both solutions earned an overall rating of 5 stars, as well as high ratings in all sub-categories BLI evaluated, including ease of use, data analysis and reporting, compatibility, integration and security.
Sharp PAU 5 Offers Unique Network Device Management Features
Keeping MFPs and printers operational is critical to worker productivity, but monitoring and managing a fleet of devices can be time consuming. Network device management utilities such as Sharp‘s Printer Administration Utility 5 (PAU5) ease the burden, letting IT managers and help-desk personnel remotely monitor device status, receive automatic e-mail alerts when a problem arises, change device settings via the utility and more.
“Sharp‘s Printer Administration Utility has always been an asset, making Sharp MFPs among the easiest to administer,” said Pete Emory, manager of laboratory testing at BLI. “The enhancements in PAU5 further strengthen the solution, giving it some unique abilities compared to other management solutions.”
For example, PAU5 gives an administrator remote access to service logs for Sharp devices. This lets help-desk or service personnel remotely diagnose a range of problems without physically being present at the device. Another rare feature is PAU5‘s Remote Operation functionality, which enables the PAU5 user to remotely view and control the device‘s control panel.
“Sharp‘s Printer Administration Utility 5 is a truly unique device management tool that dramatically reduces unit downtime and service expenses,” said Ron Nevo, senior product manager at Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America. “We are very gratified that BLI has recognized the powerful device management capabilities of this product by awarding it a Spring 2009 ‘Pick‘.”
In addition to its remote-access and remote-diagnostic capabilities, PAU5 features powerful “cloning” features for setting up a fleet of Sharp MFPs, as well as granular meter-data collection for Sharp devices. A handy Storage Backup feature lets an administrator automatically back up device-resident data to a network server, and PAU5 supports remote firmware upgrades and printer driver distribution. The solution demonstrated particular strength in the areas of device monitoring, device management and integration. PAU5 is available as a free download from Sharp‘s Web site.
Stay tuned for upcoming Buyers Lab “Pick” award announcements in the following categories:
June 1: Scanners and Wide Format Printers
June 3: Monochrome Copier-based MFPs
June 5: Color Copier-based MFPs
June 8: Monochrome Printers
June 10: Color Printers
June 12: Special Awards
About Buyers Laboratory
Since 1961, Buyers Lab has been the leading independent office-equipment testing lab and business consumer advocate. In addition to publishing the industry's most comprehensive and accurate test reports on office document imaging devices, each representing months of exhaustive hands-on testing in BLI's US and UK laboratories, the company has been the leading source for extensive databases of specifications and pricing on copiers, printers, fax machines and multifunctional products. The company's databases cover over 10,000 products and have a long-standing reputation for being the industry's most trustworthy and complete source for global competitive intelligence. They are available to BLI subscribers online via the company's bliQ competitive information service. This encyclopedic resource also provides quick and easy access to BLI's First Look Reports, Field Test Reports, Lab Test Reports, Solutions Reports, and BLI-produced articles.
In addition to the testing of office equipment for its subscribers, Buyers Lab provides consulting services to buyers and a vast array of confidential for-hire private testing services that include document imaging device beta and pre-launch testing, performance certification testing, consumables testing (such as toner, ink and photoconductors), software and solutions and print media testing (including virgin and recycled papers).
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