Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: Victoria Livschitz, Lori MacVittie, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Larry Dragich

Blog Feed Post

The Football Pools makes safe bet on KODAK Scan Station network scanners to improve efficiency and reduce the cost of coupon processing

May 12, 2014 - Kodak Alaris announces today that The Football Pools has selected its KODAK Scan Station 520EX network scanners to implement a company-wide solution to digitise the thousands of paper football coupons customers complete each week. This has simplified all bet processing throughout the UK with the investment paying for itself within just six months as transport costs have been saved.

Founded in 1923, The Football Pools is the oldest football gaming company in the world and during the last 90 years has paid out over £3 billion in prize money to 60 million lucky winners.

In 2009, Littlewoods, Vernons and Zetters merged to form The Football Pools offering a variety of games such as Treble Chance, Home-Draw-Away, Premier 10 and Lotto. Today, the Football Pools is still a core part of football fans weekly experience with prizes of up to £3 million to be won.

To process coupons, The Football Pools has two established channels. Firstly, individual collectors pick up coupons door to door each week at people's homes and deliver them to a main collector who in turn takes them to one of 25 concession and satellite offices around the country. Secondly, other customers send their coupons directly by post to The Football Pools' Walton head office.

Collectors visit on a Thursday, coupons are collated at the concession offices on a Friday and have to be physically returned to Liverpool that night for processing on a Saturday.

Conleth Byrne, Managing Director of The Football Pools, says, "The logistics involved in the collector route are both expensive and hugely time critical given that we need to process coupons quickly, declare a dividend to customers and pay our winners."

To address this, The Football Pools has deployed desktop KODAK Scan Station 520EX network scanners in its concession offices to digitise this whole process. Operators load coupons in batches, input a collectors reference, the paperwork is scanned, quantity checked, and the images then transmitted over an ADSL network to a server located at head office. From start to finish, it now takes around 30 minutes to process each remote office site - vastly improving organisational efficiency and productivity, as well as saving money. Physical coupons no longer have to be collected and driven to Liverpool.

Images are stored locally on the Scan Station's 320 GB hard drive, but in addition, a copy is saved to a USB drive for redundancy and to ensure no single point of failure.

Peter Dent, The Football Pools' technical manager says, "Saving to USB adds a further level of security for the data. If the network were to ever go down, we could simply take the drive to another office or even courier it to Liverpool directly so that we can start processing the coupons."

Featuring a large 8 inch LCD touch screen, the duplex KODAK Scan Station network scanners are rated up to 3,000 pages per day and do not have to be connected to a host PC [they are both PC and scanner combined]. Further to an extensive evaluation, The Football Pools purchased 33 units from Kodak Alaris partner, ReadSoft, in what was an easy three-month implementation.

In addition to the built-in hard drive and ability to write automatically to a USB drive, the network scanners from Kodak Alaris were chosen as they are robust and simple to operate for nontechnical users. Furthermore, the business has used KODAK Scanners for over 12 years and has been pleased with the quality of the service and support provided.

Dent adds, "Reliability has been impressive and the Scan Station scanners are pretty much maintenance free with the feeder rollers easy to replace when required. Their lifespan is rated to about 120,000 A4 pages but given our coupons are smaller, we get more than this. I've stuck with Kodak Alaris as in my opinion its products are superior to competitors. They might cost more, but you get what you pay for and the service and support we've had has been excellent."

The Scan Station 520 EX is an open architecture model in the series which allows partners and customers to tailor the scanner to suit their particular needs. This is the case at The Football Pools. On each machine, a bespoke version of IDT Capture from BCT has been installed to allow operators to segment which folders coupons are then automatically scanned to - four buttons have been created relating to pools, other games, accounts and miscellaneous [a folder then requiring manual input].

Once images are checked and transmitted back, a heavily customised version of ReadSoft Forms applies various business rules to the data and ultimately sends an output file containing information such as selections, competition type, date of competition and cost to an in-house developed processing system which processes the entry and manages payments to customers.

For those customers who send their coupons by post, The Football Pools uses KODAK i780 production scanners located at its head office which are also integrated with ReadSoft Forms solution.

Neil Murphy, Kodak's UK sales manager says, "The project is a super example of how a distributed networked scanning solution can truly pay dividends for companies with multiple geographically split sites. Coupon processing used to be an intensive all day, ten-hour operation for staff on a Saturday. A huge amount of money and time is now being saved with The Football Pools able to bring forward other work that staff now focus on instead."

- ENDS -

Notes to editors

About Kodak Alaris
On September 3, 2013, the U.K. Kodak Pension Plan (KPP) completed its acquisition of the KODAK Document Imaging and Personalized Imaging businesses from Eastman Kodak Company and created a new company known as Kodak Alaris. The new company and its name preserve the heritage and legacy of the Kodak brand, while embodying the speed and agility to meet market needs and changes. Kodak Alaris, which is licensed to use the Kodak brand, will focus on strategic, ongoing investments for these businesses to ensure long-term growth and success. The Kodak trademark and trade dress are used under license from Eastman Kodak Company.

About Kodak Alaris' Document Imaging Division
Kodak Alaris' Document Imaging solutions enable customers to capture and consolidate data from digital and paper sources, understand and extract valuable insight from the contents, and deliver the right information to the right people at the right time. Our offerings include award-winning scanners, capture and information management software, an expanding range of professional services and industry leading service and support. With customers ranging from small offices to global operations, Kodak Alaris delivers superior systems and solutions to automate business processes, enhance customer interactions and enable better business decisions.

For more information, please visit kodakalaris.com/go/dinews. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/kodakdi and visit our blog at infooverdrive.com/

Media Contact
Tom Herbst
Kodak Alaris EAMER PR lead
+44 (0)7768 145571 or +44(0)207 274 9937
[email protected]

Source: RealWire

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By RealWire News Distribution

RealWire is a global news release distribution service specialising in the online media. The RealWire approach focuses on delivering relevant content to the receivers of our client's news releases. As we know that it is only through delivering relevance, that influence can ever be achieved.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have s...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.