When Samsung Printing Solutions and Nuance Communications announced the extension of their strategic partnership in September, the deal was about more than just providing printing solutions, says Chris Strammiello, VP of Global Alliances & Strategic Marketing at Nuance. It was a bet on both companies’ future growth.
“With the emergence of Samsung as a future industry leader in this market, and our strong position leading the software side of the MFP world, this was a relationship that really needed to be nurtured and formalized,” said Strammiello. “As we work together to provide our joint customers with solutions that enhance their security, drive productivity and enhance business efficiencies, we expect the portfolio to expand to meet customer demand.”
Security Solutions Let Users Gain Control
One of the most important areas in this growing relationship is security, a field that has recently leapt to prominence as organizations work to meet consumer, compliance and corporate demands to better safeguard information. Two of Nuance’s industry-leading print management software packages, SafeCom and Equitrac, both offer top-of-the-line security solutions from end to end. “We’ve got the entire mix, from authentication to access control to destination control to encryption to content filtering,” Strammiello said. “There’s no complete capture, route and print solution out there in the way that Nuance has brought those together. Further, when you’re talking about print management, you’re talking about a critical component of an organization’s infrastructure—printing can’t go down or productivity comes to a halt. All of Nuance’s solutions are enterprise-class with High Availability and are known in the industry for their incredible durability and reliability.”
As print management has moved from being primarily driven by cost containment to security, end-to-end security solutions have become must-haves for business. “The very essence of why these solutions are being adopted is changing,” Strammiello noted. “Saving on your printing costs is still important, but now we’re able to manage the gap in the security infrastructure that many organizations have to prevent potential data loss scenarios. That now becomes a leading narrative, and that’s a major change.”
AutoStore Leads the Way for Digitization and Mobile Capture
When it comes to mobile capture and workflow, Nuance’s AutoStore is the leading software in the market today, making it of particular interest to the new partnership. “As the market-leading product, it can help Samsung draw the greatest number of opportunities,” he said.
AutoStore can be added easily to Samsung’s Smart UX, appearing as a widget ready to launch. Once users authenticate their identity, AutoStore provides all the destinations available for the workflow. “It’s pretty plug-and-play,” Strammiello notes. “Where do I want to route this document? Do I want to fax it? Do I want to email it? Where do I want to take this piece of paper and send it?”
But as the relationship between Samsung and Nuance deepens, Strammiello believes tighter integration will naturally develop. “Ultimately, I think you’ll see convergence here,” he said. “I think you’ll see them harmonized on the inputs and simplified. And that’s something Samsung does particularly well—their interfaces and tablets are pretty slick.”
Getting Vertical with Printing Solutions
Vertical markets, like healthcare, governments and legal, represent some of the biggest and most important markets for both Nuance and Samsung Printing Solutions. These are fields that traditionally are very paper-intensive and have vital security concerns.
“First of all, the ability of a product like Equitrac or AutoStore to eliminate a lot of that printing has dramatic cost-saving benefits,” Strammiello said. “But, more importantly to many customers, is that they deal with a lot of really sensitive information. So they must have an audit trail. They have to ensure they’re not printing sensitive information, such as maliciously or inadvertently exposing social security numbers or other sensitive data.”
“When we consider these vertical solutions, we understand the conflicting nature of the rigorous security challenges they face and the pressures they are under to reduce budgets. It is important for us to demonstrate to these customers the strong value proposition and ROI our solutions provide,” he said. “The combination of more efficient and effective hardware devices with the security and cost reduction benefits from our software present a powerful ROI story. This story is driving Nuance’s growth engine and is available to Samsung to capitalize on as well.”
From the Past to the Future
With 16 years’ experience at Nuance, Strammiello has actively driven the transformation of the software side of the printing business and had a front row seat for the hardware changes. “Sixteen years is a lifetime in the software world,” he said. “But it’s never been the same for very long. Any time you’re in a position where you’re helping to drive a growing and evolving company, that’s a pretty exciting place to be.”
Over that time Nuance has completely changed, too, transforming from a small company selling desktop software, to the largest imaging software vendor in the document/MFP space, with more than 58 percent of the market (according to a 2015 report by IDC). “When you look at where we are today with Samsung and the type of partnership, it’s just such a distant place from where we began,” he said. “There’s a pride in what this team has attained so far. There is much work still to be done, but we know we’re building on an excellent track record and foundation, not to mention being in the fortunate position to have so many great partners like Samsung to work with.”
“Innovation is in Samsung’s DNA, enabling the company to quickly and consistently bring incredible products to market,” Strammiello said. “When Nuance’s looks at Samsung’s innovation and history of success, we see it as pretty natural to bet on Samsung as a future industry leader.”