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Sam Keller

Chatting with Keypoint Intelligence Experts: Lee Davis

A sneak preview of a recently published forecast and testing of FADGI compliance

May 12, 2023 8:16:20 AM


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Lee Davis is Senior Analyst in Keypoint Intelligence's Office Group. Since joining us in 2015, Lee has spent his time providing coverage of solutions from companies such as Canon, HP, Konica Minolta, and DocuWare—along with expertly evaluating and tracking the scanner market. Having recently published a market forecast for single function scanners, we sat down with Lee and poked his brain about his research process as well as insights on the evolving scanner market and a peak at our recent initiative of testing scanners for compliance with FADGI guidelines.



Sam Keller: You have an upcoming Scanner Market Forecast being published soon. Over the years researching and putting together these forecasts, what have you learned?


Lee Davis: One thing I have learned about forecasting scanner shipments and revenues is that forecasting anything is very difficult. There are so many variables and trends that you have to take into consideration, and you have to consider how those variables and trends are going to change over half a decade. And there are trends and variables that you cannot foresee—things like COVID, global conflict, acquisitions, the introduction of new technologies—that make this very difficult task seem impossible.


SK: Are there any new trends you noticed in the market while researching for the forecast you would like to share with readers today?


LD: Most of the demand for scanning is being handled by MFPs. And this makes sense when you consider that a good deal of folks who need to scan for one reason or another also have to print for one reason or another. Now, a few years ago, I would have told you that the MFP wouldn't be a good choice if you needed to scan—especially for automated processes. An SF scanner would give you better image quality and faster scan speeds at a fraction of the cost. But MFPs are catching up in these arenas, and automation is happening in software. If the MFP can pass the software an image that is clean enough to be OCR'ed (or to have a barcode/patch code read), then you can automate those data extraction and data entry tasks that humans are so bad at.


SK: In addition to the market forecast, you are involved with lab testing for scanners. In particular, we have been testing scanners for compliance of FADGI guidelines. Can you go a bit more into what these tests look for? 


LD: You know how people like to argue if Kobe is better than LeBron or if Jordan is better than Wilt? Well, we do the same thing here…except with scanners. Yes, we are very, very interesting and exciting people here at Keypoint.


Instead of looking at stat sheets and box scores from different eras—an apples to pears comparison—to say which player was the best, we use standardized tests to say that one scanner is better than another; it's all apples to apples. And we've been the gold standard for settling this argument for a decade and a half (and even longer when it comes to copiers and MFPs).


Recently, we launched our FADGI testing program. FADGI is fickle beast. Basically, the US government said they don't want to store paper anymore, so they are mandating that agencies digitize their documents. And being as stringent as the government is, these documents need not just be digital—they also need to meet a certain standard. Simply put, FADGI is a set of guidelines that dictate image quality for scanned documents. Currently, it's a four-star scale with three-star rated output deemed usable in virtually all cases. Our FADGI test program determines whether a scanner can reliably output FADGI three-star images. 


Read some of Lee’s blogs here. If you would like to access his in-depth research in the office document industry, please fill out this form, or if you are a subscriber, log in to the InfoCenter to view research on single function and multifunction scanners and more on our Office CompleteView Advisory Service.