Jan 22, 2015
EFI Connect, EFI’s annual user conference is currently underway in Las Vegas. Over the years it has grown in size and importance, but has never been as big as this year. An estimated 1,500 attendees have taken three days out of their work schedule to meet and discuss trends in the industry and be educated on EFI and partner offerings. The conference has also attracted a record number of media and analysts; over 70 representatives from 17 countries came to Las Vegas; about 20 of them from Europe. This blog provides an update on some of the interesting happenings and identifies what InfoTrends sees as the biggest news at EFI Connect: the announcement of EFI’s Productivity Suite.
EFI CEO Guy Gecht talking to RR Donnelley CEO Thomas Quinlan III
EFI CEO Guy Gecht’s keynote is always an anticipated event Read more »
Mar 28, 2014
Much has already been written about the show and its history, see Frank Romano’s blog yesterday for a good recap. Ralf Schlozer also wrote about IPEX earlier in the week.
While it’s still too early to tell if IPEX 2014 is going to be a success for the exhibitors and visitors, I’d like to present my observations and a couple of thoughts on what may happen next.
Read more »
May 22, 2013
By any standard, the Chinese workflow market is years behind the Western industry. Adoption of Computer-to-Plate (CtP) has just started in China, and there is strong reliance on manual labour and processes.
However, unlike Western markets that took twenty years to migrate from CtP to digital, the transition in China might go much quicker as labour wages are spiralling. Whereas western markets experienced relatively stable labour cost when they transitioned from analogue to digital, it is estimated that print-industry related labour cost will rise with about 20% annually. Especially in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guanzhou (the so-called Tier 1 cities) it is difficult for print service providers to attract and retain (unskilled) staff due to high demand for workers. This year, it’s estimated that Chinese labour rates have overtaken those in Mexico.
Source: Bank of America, 2013
Read more »
May 9, 2013
Today, EFI announced its acquisition of printLEADER, a print MIS solution geared towards print management for in-plant and commercial print service providers located in North America. Since the onset of the recession, the print MIS market has regained interest from print service providers looking for ways to optimize their production facilities by having a centralized tool connected to every software and hardware system throughout their workflow. This interest has also stemmed from the need to manage the increasing demand for online ordering, and the integration and automation required to cost effectively manage this print volume while remaining competitively priced.Â Â Read more »
Apr 13, 2012
This week, EFI hosted its 13th-annual Connect users’ conference. About 850 end-users, 250 EFI staff, and a small group of journalists & analysts gathered at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas to hear the latest on EFI’s strategy and software products. The event was also attended by a number of key business partners, including Ricoh, Canon, Kodak, xpedx, and some smaller software vendors such as workflow integration and management provider Hybrid Software and imposition provider Metrix.
On Tuesday, EFI CEO Guy Gecht opened the day with a keynote on the necessity of business transformation, alluding to the concept of “the window of opportunity” and how emerging technology can radically change the way companies do business. By highlighting dramatic changes and missed windows of opportunities in the music, Internet, and mobile phone industries, Gecht contended that there is enough growth potential in the printing industry as long as companies are willing to adapt. Gecht also said that the next window of opportunity for EFI is in inkjet printing (including wide format, labels, and industrial applications) and achieving business transformation through the use of software and integration.
At the event, EFI made a number of new announcements as a precursor to what we expect to see at drupa this year: Read more »
Feb 10, 2012
InfoTrends has just published a new research on the state of the European printing industry entitled European Software Investment Outlook 2012. Conducted in cooperation with the Eurographic Press — a group of leading graphic arts trade magazines in Europe — InfoTrends has polled 241 European respondents to get an update on adoption and usage of hardware, software, and services. We also asked about investment plans and business strategy decisions.
Read more »
Dec 20, 2011
On December 6, HP announced its acquisition of Aachen, Germany-based Hiflex Software, a provider of print Management Information System (MIS) and Web-to-print software. Unlike EFI, which scooped up German MIS provider Alphagraph on exactly the same day for the purpose of expanding its customer base and sales capabilities internationally, HP’s prime motivation was to acquire technology to power its enterprise cloud-based printing initiatives.
Since the printing industry is in decline and printed pages are under pressure from electronic communications, growth in digital page volume for digital print manufacturers needs to come either from offset migration or by switching over pages produced on competing devices. For HP, developing cloud-based technology that capitalizes on its IT strength with the intent to capture enterprise print directly is a practical (albeit risky) strategy to route more volume to its Indigo customers. Read more »
May 3, 2011
During EFI’s 12th Annual Connect conference, held last week in Las Vegas, NV, I brought back three major takeaways:
- EFI is poised for additional MIS acquisitions, specifically seeking three to four opportunities this year.
- While Vegas is certainly an attraction, it did not deter from the value of time with product experts. Even during breaks, lines could be seen by attendees waiting to ask questions and experience the solutions.
- User conferences such as Connect provide product users and prospectsÂ a unique opportunity to network with peers and hear the pros and cons of the various solutions directly from other customers. Read more »
Nov 7, 2008
While I may not have seen everything I wanted to while on the show floor at Graph Expo this year, there is one reccurring theme that I heard about from print service providers and saw from vendors: the need for automation. This theme is emerging at a very crucial time in our industry, especially considering the current economic climate and the increasing need for printers to reduce costs, increase turnaround time, and still add value to the print-related services and other services that they are offering.
Read more »