Thursday, August 24, 2006

Visioneer

So, we're assuming most of you have heard the news out of Pleasanton, that there has been a major personnel shakeup at Visioneer. Yes, Don McMahan, who was hired last year to lead Visioneer's transition into the document-centric, business scanning market is out. McMahan, who helped architect a successful VAR program at Fujitsu Computer Products of America (FCPA) in the late 1990s and early 2000s, joined Visioneer shortly after leaving FCPA early last year. It seemed like a solid fit, as Visioneer was targeting the fast-growing workgroup scanning segment, where FCPA had traditionally dominated. McMahan and right-hand man Rusty James, who also came to Visioneer from FCPA, worked quickly, boasting of several hundred VAR signees in their first year on board. Visioneer also watched its market share numbers rise solidly in 2005-presumably with help from its recently fortified channel, as VARs have historically been the key to selling lower-priced document scanners. However, last Friday, we learned that McMahan and James had both resigned from Visioneer and that possibly five other employees left with them. As recently as May's AIIM show, McMahan seemed strongly entrenched, as he accepted the appointment as Chairman of AIIM's board - a position which we presume he is retaining.

McMahan's departure from Visioneer caught many people off guard, as did his departure from FCPA 18 months previous. We never have received a definitive story as to why he departed FCPA. Visioneer CEO Murray Dennis has promised to talk to us next week, when he names McMahan's replacement. Of course, this is assuming the company hasn't been sold to OEM partner Xerox, and McMahan's and his marketing staff were deemed extraneous to the Xerox business model. As always, we'll keep you posted.

Ralph

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ralph, why would Xerox purchase Visioneer when all of the scanners being marketed as Xerox Documate are designed and manufactured by Avision of Taiwan? These are the same scanners being purchased by Kodak from Avision (i30 and i40). Xerox would be better off contracting Avision directly.

DIReditor said...

Unless Xerox thought it could leverage the VAR channel that Visioneer has built up, but that would probably be counterintuitive to them based on their already established direct dealer force.

Anonymous said...

The fact that a new VP of Sales has already been hired at Visioneer would suggest that the recent events are not takeover related. There is an Infotrends webcast today to review the most recent market share trends. That should give you a better indication as to the state of industry.

DIReditor said...

No hire, just a promotion, so there was definitely some cost cutting going on. That's not to say Mr. Kouzi isn't qualified to act as VP of sales, as I believe he held a similar position at LaserFiche before joining Visioneer. Nonetheless, Visioneer may have significantly reduced it's costs, which would put it in better position to be bought, if they choose to go that route. On a somewhat related note, check out today's post, which links to a story about a bit imaging contract won by Xerox Global Services.

Ralph