For fifteen days at the end of 2015, Alex Besson, the globetrotter who manages the Asian territories for i2S, had a memorable experience in China in Kunming, Yunnan Province and Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. The goal was to sell book scanners and software solutions. This trip was planned with WeChat , the application that every self-respecting Chinese « geek » uses all the time. It allowed him to talk with his clients on the other side of the the « Great Wall of China. » For our globetrotter, this has a considerable advantage: « you can send photos and videos practically in real time and receive a message in in Chinese that you translate into English.« . Nevertheless, as with any professional relationship, mutual confidence is established by spending time in the field with the clients. During those 15 days, our experienced traveler spread his wings and created conditions that fostered mutual trust. It’s true that building bridges between these two cultures constantly every day from 8 am to midnight isn’t easy, but by opening up to each other and learning about each other’s cultures in all forms, the relationship becomes easier.
LIMB GALLERY at the Yunnan Province’s library.
During his first week, Alex began his travels with a visit to the Library of the province of Yunnan, one of our prestigious clients in that area, one that has invested in our LIMB Gallery™ digital library solution. During this journey, Alex accompanied the client for the launch of this software solution accompanied by the software development team recruited locally by SWOLF, our local Chinese partner.
The digital library was online very quickly, ready to make digitized images available almost instantly with their Copibook scanners. Rare and magnificent Chinese manuscripts are now online and accessible thanks to our solutions and the hard work and professional of two members of i2S’s software support team – Jean-Baptiste Schrantz and Anthony Rolland working in Agile (Scrum).
After the training and launch that took place in a warm and professional atmosphere, the day ended at a restaurant in the company of the Director of the famous institution. Since he is a lover of Asian cultures and Chinese cuisine, that tickled Alex’s taste buds: « We had some great times at meals. The lunches and dinners are much friendlier than in France. You have to fight to invite them several times; they are incredibly nice. That said, when they come to France I’ll be using restaurants. Another thing, you can’t drink Chinese wine without clinking glasses with your neighbor or the guests around the table several times during the meal. At the smallest sip, you drink a toast.« . At least, it’s enjoyable and fun to share the habits of different cultures.
The next day Alex met the head of the Yunnan Social Society, whose mission is to collect Chinese funds sent from outside of China, especially from Southeast Asia (Burma, Thailand and Cambodia), where, due to their history, there is a large Chinese population in those countries. The organization’s second mission consists of digitizing these funds and distributing them via an inflexible solution whose design and ergonomics are completely obsolete. So, when Alex and his Chinese distributor presented them with the LIMB Gallery™ and the Yunnan library’s site, they were very « impressed » by the quality of i2S’s solution and the new services and uses for our platform for publishing digital works.
On Friday, still at the « Yunnan Library, » Alex and our partner took questions, always relevant, from the « soft » team at the library. Constantly bursting with curiosity and knowledge, « The Chinese are have keen interest in technologies and despite their supposed delay, they are now equal with the West. » During the trip, the skill level of the people he met impressed Alex, who explained it this way: « they used to study in Europe or in the U.S, but now a lot of them stay at home and considering the academic rankings of universities worldwide, they are right to do so. » In this country, the scale of the investment is disproportionate to European countries. On the other hand, in terms of protectionism, they are ruthless, especially in the « Uberization » of society.
The « Chinese Library Association Exhibition »
i2S is exhibiting at an important event dedicated to cultural heritage, the « Chinese Library Association Exhibition. » The first day is dedicated to setting up the stand and demonstrating i2S’s book scanners, Quartz A0 HD, Copibook HD and eScan Open System with a motorized book cradle. In terms of business relationships, compared to the Americans, the Chinese like to see, touch and test the products to understand how they are used and therefore better evaluate consumer interest. Our stand, besides being the most elegant of 2015 in terms of presentation, has creative and effective scenography since it responds to the needs of the public.
During this event, Alex is welcoming some opinion leaders in the digitization field such as:
« the Director of China’s national library, who stayed at our stand for thirty minutes, and the Director of the Shanghai library, and the library of Tibet, who brought engraved wood tablets depicting the Buddha, which we scanned using the Supra Scan Quartz A0. The results left them speechless. »
After an excellent 2015 for i2S in Asia, our distributor really believes in our LIMB Gallery™ software, this product allows us to gain a larger customer portfolio. especially for institutions that have already digitized part of their collections. According to him, « today, i2s was ahead of the market in providing a comprehensive package that integrates book scanners and software solutions, so they offer a complete scanner package + Limb Processing + Limb Gallery which is for you, as it is for me, a very important asset for attracting new clients. »
At i2S, we are always observing the markets and anticipating the needs of our clients. We are happy when the technical restraints lead to innovation and new uses with a comprehensive offer. Whether they are Asian, European, African or American, institutions demonstrate their loyalty and the sturdiness of our scanners and their image quality.
On that topic, our Chinese partner immediately recognized the competitive advantage of our line of book scanners, eScan, equipped with 71 MP sensors. By analyzing our eScan Open System offer, the top digitization solution on the market that is fully configurable, our local reseller has recognized this faculty for creative innovation that we use for developing every day at i2S. Imagining a groundbreaking « win/win » partnership between Swolf and i2S is completely possible.
Creativity and profitability is not an oxymoron in the country of i2S’s old Schumpeterians, where, from now on, the agility is in the development process of software solutions such as in the manufacture of our book scanners in « lean durable. »