Beyond CMYK: The Digital Print Enhancement Opportunity

Jim Hamilton
 May 30, 2017

I love print. I particularly love it when it knocks my socks off. I’m a fool for gloss varnishes, metallic foils, velvet finishes, neon colors, and lenticular images. You get the picture. I’m also a huge digital print advocate. Yet much of production color digital print is process color only. Cyan, magenta, yellow, and black are great, and they are perfect for a lot of work, but sometimes I yearn for more. Maybe it’s that I’ve been spoiled by all the fantastic capabilities of offset print.

CMYKplus collage

InfoTrends estimates that 30% of offset printed color pages have some type of enhancement beyond the four process colors. I often refer to this as “CMYK+.” CMYK+ may be a spot or flood coat, a Pantone color, a metallic gold or silver ink, opaque white, or a range of other value-add special effects. Sometimes print will even use a combination of two or more special effects. All in all, this amounts to more than a trillion color offset pages that have some type of an enhancement beyond process color in promotional document applications. How many digital pages have such special effects? Read more »

Why Was ESKOWorld 2017 Worth My Time?

Pat McGrew
 May 25, 2017

Pat McGrew
Director, Production Workflow Services
Keypoint Intelligence

Most vendors have learned the value of user group meetings. They bring together their customers and their product teams, open the door to learn more about customer requirements, and build a sense of community that leads to customer loyalty. The team behind ESKOWorld, the North American user conference for users of ESKO (www.esko.com) packaging, printing and finishing solutions, accepted their mission and, with the help of their customer advisory council, created a well thought out agenda that addressed the needs of over 500 users and 100 brand owners and agencies.

One of the harder things to do at these conferences is to provide guidance on the product roadmaps. A company like Esko is managing more than a dozen products, each with enthusiastic customers looking for guidance, and a passionate product team wanting to share. At ESKOWorld the solution to sharing the roadmaps for the large product set came in two shots: an innovative set of short presentations by the product managers during the opening and dedicated roadmap sessions. For customers not familiar with the range of offerings, that overview from the product managers was an excellent way to bring everyone up to speed. Whether it was a 20year-old product like ArtiosCAD or a newer set of products like Studio or Keyshot, everyone gave you a reason to want to learn more. How can you resist wanting to know more about Studio, a product that allows you to see things that do not currently exist and to create variations before deciding on the final execution? Even the Automation Engine has had a makeover with a new browser-based user interface.

Another hard thing to program is the keynote, but this was not an issue. Dr. Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics brought one of the best overviews of the economics of the market we live in, with a good dose of which things to pay attention to and why. One of his more interesting points was that organizations must drive efficiencies to grow –a key element of the workflow story – but also that marketing is an essential element due to the competition.

Read more »

PROKOM in Vienna: The First Konica Minolta User Community Meeting

Jim Hamilton
 May 22, 2017

On Thursday May 11th, around 150 Konica Minolta production print users gathered in Vienna for a day of presentations at the inaugural meeting of PROKOM, the Konica Minolta user community. Targeted at production users, PROKOM is part of a Konica Minolta customer-centric strategy intended to drive the move from analog to digital print processes. With the focus, at least at first, on users of cut-sheet light to mid-production color and black & white digital print, the opportunity for PROKOM is unlike many other user groups, which tend to focus on higher levels of production.

PROKOM logo

The journey toward PROKOM began over a decade ago when Konica Minolta began actively targeting users in production environments. A key date for this was drupa in 2004, Read more »

Google Photos Gets More Intelligent

Alan Bullock
 May 19, 2017

Google Photos IconOver the last few years, Google has launched a number of mobile products and services that included various degrees of intelligence. At the Google I/O tech-fest, which kicked off on May 17 in Mountain View, CA, the company signaled a significant shift toward intelligent products and services, many of which happen to be mobile. Included in the many announcements were three new features for Google Photos, the company’s photo storage and organization service that was launched two years ago. Read more »

Nuance Announces eCopy ShareScan 6.0

Rebecca Schiffenhaus
 May 18, 2017

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On May 17th, Nuance announced eCopy ShareScan 6.0, an update to their popular capture and workflow solution. eCopy ShareScan offers sophisticated tools while retaining simplicity for any customer. Nuance has added new features for productivity and security, designed with the prevalence of ad hoc capture, mobile workers, and the need for custom workflows in mind. To serve those looking to automate, Nuance eCopy 6.0 features innovations in the mobile space, “learning worker” level workflows, easy deployment and maintenance with added security features, and extensive integration with Microsoft Office 365.

Mobility

Nuance eCopy can now be integrated with Nuance Business Connect, the mobile application for iOS and Android. Subsequently, users can capture a document with a mobile camera and access workflows via mobile devices with support for form data entry and document signatures. These documents can then be processed via Nuance eCopy to content management systems, email services, collaboration tools, and more. This allows remote workers to work as effectively as those in the office.

Workflows

The Visual Workflow Editor and Personalized Workflow combine to make workflow design simple and easy for every worker. At the administrator level, the Visual Workflow Editor offers a guided building experience, drag and drop functionality, intuitive possible steps, and a built-in test simulator. The Personalized Workflow allows any user to configure connectors via an easy to use wizard for custom “send to folder” workflows. RapID remembers user’s preferred or recent settings, simplifying repetitive document tasks.

Deployment and Security

To ensure eCopy serves each aspect of an organization, Nuance has considered concerns like support and security. To keep servers from being overwhelmed, eCopy enables industry hardware load balancers like Citrix Netscaler. Nuance has also added several security features. Content-based security warnings monitor scanned documents and flag predetermined classified information via an email. Enterprise-grade security standards, TLS 1.2 and SNMP v3, are now supported as well. The integration with Windows Active Directory also furthers security, ensuring only authorized users have access via secure session log-on. For those already using eCopy, upgrades are as simple as installing eCopy 6.0 over eCopy 5.0, keeping all saved workflow settings.

The trend toward business process automation is highlighted in the InfoTrends Future of Office Print study, which suggested that more organizations are discovering the benefits of document software solutions. Nearly two thirds of respondents indicated that their companies have taken steps to remove, simplify, or automate document-related business processes. Nuance answers that growing demand with this new version of eCopy, a scalable solution to simplify document workflows in and out of the office. Nuance eCopy ShareScan 6.0 will be available to partners in June, and satisfies the needs customers looking to gain control of document processes, empower mobile workers, and manage costs without sacrificing security.

HP Advances Office of the Future with Next Generation LaserJet Portfolio

Barbara Richards
 May 17, 2017

On May 16th HP announced their next generation LaserJet Enterprise 600 Series with an emphasis on security and enhanced productivity. The new 600 series consists of 17 new multifunction models ranging from speeds of 50ppm to 75ppm letter size in color and B/W and are ideally suited for workgroups with 10-30 users. HP’s JetIntelligence cartridge technology is now available across the entire portfolio offering improvements in toner chemistry for added print quality protection. In addition, the new models will include the same user interface as their recently launched A3 LaserJets.  http://client.keypointintelligence.com/bliQ/InfoCenter/Document/Item/b275b875-af12-461a-b78b-adeb4737eac6

The new FutureSmart UI includes improved preview, customization, message center and new apps designed to streamline business processes while offering their customers a common UI across the entire fleet. The new models also offer their customers increased value over the previous generation with faster first page out and sleep time to larger toner capacity. In addition, HP announced these are the first A4 devices optimized on a contractual cost per page contract under limited distribution.

New HP Enterprise 600 Series  HPEnterpriseforBlog

According to HP, business transformation is aggressively changing the landscape for office workers. In fact, in a recent  study HP conducted they found 40% of companies are converting more than 1 process to paper-free each year and that 88% of companies are moving to the cloud to improve responsiveness to business needs. Business workers needs are shifting. They want to be able to access data from wherever they are, share real-time across many locations and be part of a collaborative experience.  All of  these create new security concerns for IT managers.

HP’s LaserJet Enterprise 600 series are embedded with the most advanced security features available in the marketplace. They offer three key technologies to thwart security attacks and self-heal:

  •  HP Sure Start Technology works behind the scene to help safeguard printing.
  • Whitelisting helps ensure only authentic, HP code is loaded into memory and if an anomaly is detected, the device reboots to a secure offline state sending a note to IT to reload the firmware.
  • Run-time intrusion detection helps protects devices they are operational and connected to the network.

The new 600 series is shipping now globally and available through both HP direct and qualified channel partners.

 InfoTrends Opinion

The new product launch continues HP’s commitment to security, a strategy they first announced with their Enterprise 500 series but have considerably improved on. While HP is the market leader in the laser printer space the company does not take this position for granted continuing to reinvest in the technology with increased value generation over generation.

According to a recent InfoTrends Multi-Client Security study, we found organizations impose strict security policies on the rest of their IT infrastructure, but often less than half enforce the same security policies on printer and MFP devices creating a vulnerable threat to cybercrime. Thankfully, this trend is changing in fact; the same study found security a top buying factor when procuring new devices.    HP continues to be at the forefront with regard to security with embedded features and add-on solutions to protect both their devices and the network further differentiating them in the marketplace.

A Few Takeaways From ITEX 2017

Christine Dunne Dunne
 May 12, 2017

ITEX 2017 may be over and done, but I wanted to provide a few key takeaways from the event. These points are part of a larger analysis we have published for our office clients.

Conference at a glance

  1. It’s great to still have an event where dealers and other industry players can come together, regardless of the brands they carry, and learn growth strategies.

  2. Some dealerships are really running with new technologies and offerings, such as ImageNet Consulting (business inkjet), Documation (managed IT), and Business World (cloud solutions).

  3. Other dealerships are craving more support from their technology partners (OEMs, ISVs, etc.), particularly when it comes to training and sales.

  4. Security and document management are two areas cited by dealers as viable solution selling opportunities.

  5. While new product categories may be one way to achieve revenue growth, the biggest drivers of increased revenue appear to be better internal business systems, increased services, and added sales staff.

What were your main findings from the event? I’d love to hear. Feel free to shoot me an email at christine.dunne@keypointintelligence.com.

Thoma Bravo buys Lexmark Enterprise Software

Steve Pearl
 May 11, 2017

Logos

“So…what do you think about Hyland’s purchase of Kofax”?  That’s how conversations in the past few days usually start out. Which then lead to explanations of who Thoma Bravo is.  Some background and perspective is clearly in order…

The Facts

Hyland Software’s majority owner, Thoma Bravo, one of the largest private equity firms in the SW industry, announced a definitive agreement on May 3rd to buy Lexmark Enterprise Software (LES), consisting of Kofax, ReadSoft and Perceptive Software, for a reported amount of $1.5 billion. Read more »

Kodak Alaris Announces IN2 Ecosystem

Anne Valaitis
 

KAOn April 25th, Kodak Alaris introduced IN2 Ecosystem, a combination of scanners, software, and services along with partnerships intended to tackle the issues surrounding information content and “data chaos”. Kodak Alaris has a long history with capture technology spanning many years and includes hardware and software products that handle a variety of applications from compact distributed devices to high-volume sophisticated production engines and solutions.

This announcement is built of key pillars vital for the imaging provider; Right Fit, Right Experience and Right Results. Right Fit looks to make the best integration into the business environment, Right Experience builds on this with simple yet powerful features and processing and the Right Results look to deliver the deserved business outcomes. The pillars are then woven together through a partner and developer community that can ensure delivery and support.

As information and content, often in the form of paper, ebb and flow within a business environment, it becomes increasingly challenging to manage. In fact, the myth of the paperless office seems to be just that…a myth. In a recent Primary Research study conducted by Keypoint Intelligence InfoTrends, we found that only 15% of respondents felt that the paperless office “Was Realistic”, in addition when asked what percentage of business content still remains on paper, the result was more than 50% of company’s data is still paper-based. Information and data chaos is apparent as businesses look to automate processes to control regulations, compliance, and security and efficiency demands.

Kodak Alaris IN2 is a packaged answer to the demands of information and content. Working with their heritage and history of image capture, and further placing a greater emphasis on an ecosystem that will include strong partnerships, Kodak Alaris’s goal with the IN2 solution is to focus in key areas that can benefit most from a combination of capture hardware, software and services delivered by strategic partners. To support the partners, Alaris will provide materials and tools to provision and educate partners in an effort to simplify and reduce complications that could arise while penetrating new solutions markets whether horizontal or vertical.

Keypoint Intelligence feels that a balanced approach when addressing information and content mismanagement is best and Kodak Alaris with the announcement of it’s IN2 Ecosystem directly reflects the real need to create linkages and integrations for a solid information solution.

Solution Focus: RSA’s Vendor Neutral Options

Pat McGrew
 May 9, 2017

Getting to an automated workflow requires the right tools and workplan. In some organizations the solution is to rely on the hardware vendor who brought the hardware in to recommend the most efficient workflow tools. In other organizations the policy is to do an independent search to find the tools that will work best. In either case, the burden is on the workflow team to understand what is available in the market and how it might improve their overall efficiency.

One approach is to look for vendor-neutral workflow options that support the major hardware vendors and open interfaces to share data and reporting. The same criteria will always apply: great user interface, easy-to-use tools to automate, and an organization that will back up the tools with great training and support.

Rochester Software Associates (RSA) meets the brief with products that provide the workflow infrastructure that an organization needs. And, while best known for supporting the in-plant and corporate print environments, digital print-for-pay companies will find that the combination of ReadyPrintTM for makeready and job submission and QDirectTM for output management provides an excellent infrastructure.

Read more »

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