ELO Digital Office Corporation, based in Boston, has been helping businesses organize documents since paper was the only form they came in. Way back in the late 19th century, the company played a pioneering role in developing the ring binder.
When documents went electronic 20 years ago, however, so did ELO. Today it markets software for managing and routing documents in 50 countries—including, since last year, the United States.
Now in its 10th generation, ELO’s flagship solution comes in three editions: ELOoffice, for companies with up to 10 users; ELOprofessional, for organizations with up to 250 users; and ELOenterprise, for larger businesses. All three versions offer functionality for document scanning, email archiving, full-text searching, and more.
“It’s a terrific product,” says Jacquelyn Thrasivoulos, vice president for corporate communications at Waltham, Mass.-based solution provider and ELO partner B4 Consulting Inc. “It’s more affordable than a SharePoint solution, more accessible, [and] easier to deploy.”
ELO is working hard to make the system more immediately useful for its customers as well by building ready-made business applications around it. “We are really concentrating on solutions,” says Szilvia Horvath, president and CEO of ELO’s U.S. operations.
At present, the company makes three such offerings. The contract management solution helps companies centralize their vendor agreements, track contract-related spending, and manage renewals. The invoice management solution automatically extracts names, amounts, and line items from bills and feeds them to ERP software from SAP and other vendors. The visitor management solution helps companies print temporary badges for guests and keep tabs on their arrivals and departures.
More solutions will arrive this year, says Horvath, who adds that channel pros can profit from those and other ELO offerings in multiple ways. For starters, the company collects one-time license fees and annual maintenance charges for its products; resellers receive 30 percent of both sums. Partners keep 100 percent of any money they make deploying and customizing the software as well.
Learning how to do that work takes time, of course, but making the effort will position you to meet an enduring customer need. Whether physical or digital, after all, documents won’t be going out of fashion any time soon.