Archive for October, 2009

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Xerox Color Cube fails the scratch test!

October 16, 2009

Xerox has been talking about their NEW Color Cube as if it was the second coming. There has also been a lot of negative feedback on the web about this product (some of it untrue – for instance I had heard early on that the Xerox Color Cube could NOT do PC faxing, but we had a customer tell us that this is no longer true, even though BLI said it was).

I have been dying to get my hands on some Color Cube sample output so I could see for myself what the hub-bub is all about. And today one of my sales guys came back with a full color sample. Honestly, I was not impressed by the quality. The Canon ImagePRESS series blow this output away. it is not even close.

This is my first hand account of what I see when I look at and handle a Color sample off of the Xerox Color Cube. First of all it feels cheap, waxy. I am the son of a butcher, so I know what wax paper feels like. It has a crayola crayon feel to it. When I LIGHTLY scratched it the colored wax came off with little effort. Can you imagine printing up a million dollar proposal and then putting it your bag to fly to another city only to find the not to gentle baggage handler on the airline damaged your delicate wax based proposal? I will stick to color prints that are a little more durable thank you very much!

After the Xerox Color Cube failed the scratch test, I figured I would fold it and see how it held up. One fold and the Wax based toner cracked. I now have a nice white line running through my full color print. We were also told (though I have not yet personally confirmed this) that you can not laminate these prints because the heat of the laminater will melt the wax based toner. That makes sense, but you should ask your Xerox rep if you can laminate the output form the Xerox Color Cube. And lastly I have been told that the Wax based toner does not like coated paper. The person I spoke to said the Wax does not stick well to coated paper. You should test this for yourself before you buy one.

So to recap the Xerox Color Cube is great (not), just so long as your don’t:

1) Scratch it

2) fold it

3) Laminate it

4) or try to put it on coated paper stock

Other than that the color is “just OK”. Truthfully, I think Xerox is trying to pull a fast one on all of us. This sure looks to me like the output of their old Phaser (wax based) Technology. I guess because Xerox owns this technology (and no one else seems interested in using it) that they feel it gives them something to talk about. Around here the Xerox sales force has clearly “drunk the kool aid” and our hyping this up as must have technology. Now that we are actually kicking the tires it seems like there is a lot more bad than good. but don’t take my word for it put it through the scratch test for yourself! Just make sure that you have something with you to clean the wax out from under your finger nails.

That’s my $0.02
Vince McHugh
vince.mchugh@yahoo.com

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Nuance aquires eCopy

October 6, 2009

Here is the link so you can read it for yourself. Congratulations Ed & Crew!

The first thing that came to my mind is finally eCopy will get a better OCR engine. It’s no secret that I have NOT been a fan of the ReadIRIS OCR capabilities. And the “answer” has always been that you can use OmniPage if you want, the problem has always been the cost to upgrade. Now that Nuance owns both OmniPage & eCopy I am hoping that the default OCR engine will be greatly improved. I am not sure that they will have a choice, because from what I am hearing ReadIRIS dropped eCopy (like Canon droped Ikon) once their chief rival bought them. Go figure?

There has been increasing pressure on eCopy to separate their offerings from what the MFD Manufacturers now include in their own embedded scanning solutions. There have also been a lot of other companies nipping at eCopy’s heals with similar Scan stations (like EFI’s SendMe).

eCopy’s strengths are their extensive connector catalog for their SSOPĀ  product (over 250) and now an emerging connector catalog for their Desktop\PaperWorks product. Their other strength is a unified End User Scanning interface across platforms. For dual line dealers (for instance we sell & support Canon & Konica Minolta) this can be a powerful arguement to lead with an embedded eCopy solution. Now with Nuamce strengthening their OCR engine, as well as possibly other Nuance technology making its way into the eCopy product line this could help them stay relevant even as the manufactures close the gap on their own scanning solutions.

One thing that I would like to see added to both eCopy’s SSOP and their Paperworks product is Nuance’s Dragon Naturallyspeaking voice recognition capabilities for Indexing!!! If it worked as advertised that could revolutionize indexing documents before committing them to a document Management system. Indexing, adding the meta data to the scanned image, is the key to making a Document Management System work. But everyone is always trying to make indexing easier (read less typing). Voice recognition (if it works well) could be a quantum leap in document indexing, both in speed and ease of use.

I really love it when two solid technologies come together in a previously unconsidered use to solve a real business problem. Sir Isaac Newton said “If I have seen father than other men, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.” Nuance & eCopy, You have a real opportunity here, I hope that you have the vision to make it work. Good luck!

That’s my $0.02
Vince McHugh
vince.mchugh@yahoo.com

PS: The only sad note, for me personally, is since I turned down that job offer from eCopy a few years back, I won’t be cashing in on any stock options, I hear that there are some happy folks over at eCopy tonight. Good for you!