CATEGORY: Enterprise Portal

REVIEWER: Jeanne Dorcich, vice president of Visioneer.

BACKGROUND: Headquartered in Fremont, California, Visioneer and its 53 employees develop and market imaging products. Founded in 1994, Visioneer is one of the top scanner brands in the United States, and its customers include the top 20 largest computer-reseller chains such as Best Buy, Office Depot, Circuit City and Sam's Club. To accomplish its goal of becoming the top scanner brand in the country and in an effort to address customer-service needs more efficiently and effectively than its competitors, Visioneer implemented InfoImage freedom in mid-1999. Since implementation, Visioneer's marketshare has increased 22 percent. PC Data, a PC software and hardware sales information provider, recognized Visioneer as the No. 1 scanner brand in the United States 11 out of the past 12 months.

PLATFORMS: Visioneer uses Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 on dual-processor Compaq 3000 servers, utilizing Microsoft SQL 7.0 for the InfoImage database in support of the Lotus Notes front end. Visioneer uses SAP as its enterprise resource planning solution and cc:Mail as its mail server.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Visioneer was overcome with time-consuming customer requests for tracking orders and used a manually intensive system to answer order status questions across its value chain. InfoImage simplified the process by providing Visioneer with a personalized version of freedom, myVisioneer, which enables employees to assist customers, distributors, and suppliers with real-time order status and tracking through extranets. Customer-support time decreased an average of 60 percent; an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. manually intensive information system turned into a 24x7 accessible information system; and sales administration/customer support staff decreased from six people to three people. Real-time access to tracking information enabled Visioneer to achieve greater efficiency, productivity and overall customer satisfaction by allotting employees more time to concentrate on business strategies such as new product introductions, sales promotions and customer service.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: InfoImage freedom streamlines and automates Visioneer's entire decision-making process, from identification of information to collaboration to action. Specifically, freedom enables Visioneer customers to access purchase order status and track shipments automatically through extranets. Visioneer employees can access information regarding supply and demand, forecasting, quotas vs. actual shipments, and point- of-sale information.

STRENGTHS: InfoImage freedom gives Visioneer a competitive advantage by enabling employees to easily find the information they need to make better, faster business decisions. InfoImage freedom offers the most scalable, flexible and deployable corporate portal solution on the market. It also offers comprehensive personalization features so Visioneer users can configure the content and the layouts of their desktops, and complete collaboration features that enable users to share content with, and solicit ideas from, other users.

WEAKNESSES: Like all Web-based portal vendors, InfoImage needs to maintain a broad application service provider (ASP) knowledge base and form partnerships with key ASPs to ensure that freedom is flexible to grow with the demands of the expanding market. By combining its resources and technology with an ASP, InfoImage can put itself on the cutting-edge of today's technology.

SELECTION CRITERIA: It was essential to Visioneer that an individual's job functions be simplified and automated, and that Visioneer employees spend less time answering customer calls. InfoImage offered a proven, creative, cost-effective and price- sensitive solution that enabled users to view and manipulate corporate and external information from their personal Web browsers.

DELIVERABLES: InfoImage freedom provides access to real-time tracking information at the click of a mouse and enables users to manipulate data, create reports, spreadsheets and graphics in order to quickly analyze data and make better, faster business decisions.

VENDOR SUPPORT: InfoImage has a unique perspective on how important high-end technical training is to the knowledge management and collaboration space. Unlike typical IT training companies, InfoImage uses practicing engineers in the classroom.

DOCUMENTATION: The freedom documentation was very detailed and thorough. It included adequate instructions for installation and understanding of basic procedures.

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