Recent news announcing the approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York of the Kodak Comprehensive Settlement with U.K. Pension Plan is good news for the document management business.
Kodak Document Imaging has long been a stalwart player in the document imaging or document management business. For me, I first started to deal with them 16 years ago and the players we have worked with from Kodak over those years have been excellent. The hardware and software platforms that they have brought to market have provided many clients with superb performance and reliable delivery of document images to a whole host of solutions. Some of the people I first worked with those many years ago are still involved with Kodak and with products we first learned through Kodak. They are true professionals in the industry and seeing their future looking brighter with an acquisition that will continue to understand the value they bring to the market is really great.
When I look at the line up of Kodak Scanners available today and the software that has been brought to the market the value for users is fantastic and to have seen this capability lost in the dismanting or spin offs from Kodak would have been a big negative for the whole document management field.
The arrangement with the U. K. Pension Plan (KPP) involves other parts of the Kodak businesses including some that are much more consumer focused than the Document Imaging Business. Details of the individual businesses affected by this agreement are available as part of the recent announcement.
Here's what it says about the Kodak Document Imaging Business:
"About Kodak's Document Imaging Business
Kodak's Document Imaging business enables customers to capture and manage valuable information from electronic and paper documents. Our solutions include award-winning scanners and capture software, information workflow software, an expanding range of professional services, and industry-leading service and support. From small offices
to global operations, Kodak has the solutions to automate your business processes and intelligently deliver the information your enterprise needs."
Kodak is not our only experience in dealing with the production and personal scanning market but they have been an important part of crafting solid solutions for many clients. I know that those clients are going to be happy to know that the great equipment, top notch service and solid software is going to continue to be available and to be supported. For us we can breath a little easier knowing that our affected clients should not see the product grouping in the hands of an organization that does not understand the industry.
Is the solution perfect? I would think not as to provide a good return for the Pension Plan which now owns the capabilities, the Kodak divisions being acquired will need to throw off some of the gargantuan structures that a monster company like Kodak put in place. Learning to be lighter on their feet as a company will be a challenge for the players in these organizations and I am sure there will be growing pains.
Unfortunately, as Kodak has migrated through the many shifts and turns it has undergone in trying to survive some talented and knowledgeable people have been lost as well along the way. They will not be easily replaced if the new Document Imaging Business needs their skills again.
No matter what happens from here, having a predictable, more stable ownership and an ability to focus on the market rather than the troubles of the parent organization has to be positive in the long run.
My personal congratulations to the survivors in the Kodak Document Imaging Business and best wishes to continuing to meet client needs in the future.
My thanks to Cranel Imaging for continuing to keep us up to date on the moves in this confusing chess game that many of us watched but could not participate in.
If you want more details of other parts of the Kodak transformation you can find it at the Kodak Transforms Site.