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May 1, 2011 12:00 AM


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It's back to the Big Apple in 2012

The OnDemand Expo and Conference was held March 22-24, 2011 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. As in prior years, the show was colocated with the AIIM show, which has been renamed info360.

OnDemand also marked the debut of the Publishing Xchange Conference. Experts from the printing, publishing and marketing industries addressed the new rules and new tools of the changing landscape in publishing, marketing and print services, throughout six educational tracks and more than 30 expert speeakers.

Hewlett-Packard, Kodak , Xerox and a number of other key printing system vendors did not exhibit.

Generally speaking, the show was fairly light in terms of hardware, but we do have some highlights to share.

Konica teams with Screen to market Truepress Jet520

Konica Minolta

(www.kmbs.konicaminolta.us) announced a partnership with Screen USA (www.screensusa.com) to directly market the Screen Truepress Jet520 series of high-speed inkjet presses in the U.S. Konica Minolta also demonstrated PageScope Mobile, an application for the iPhone, iTouch, and iPad that connects these devices to bizhub MFP's. The application enables users to browse, read, and print documents and images as well as load scanned data from a bizhub MFP directly to the iPhone, iPod iTouch or iPad. These files can then be printed, e-mailed or stored on the iPad or iPhone.

Encouraging attendance at Digital Book Forum

Interquest reports a 10% growth in traffic for last month's Digital Book Printing Forum vs. the 2010 event. Keynoter Bob Young, CEO of Lulu, examined the interplay of innovation and competition in the business world. Lulu is a $40 million dollar business that publishes 20,000 new titles each month. The company has published more than one million titles since its founding about five years ago. Prior to founding Lulu, Young created Red Hat, an open source software company.

According to Young, businesses should invent their future rather than trying to predict it because experience has taught leaders of successful companies such as Bill Gates of Microsoft to fear “the kid inventing something in his garage” more than direct competitors.

The Lulu exec predicted that despite the growth in e-books, printed books will always play an important role because humans are tactile and crave the immediacy and longevity of printed works. A physical book is simply a reading device — it provides the same function that an iPad or Kindle does. The consumer is really trying to get to the book content. Unlike electronic formats, however, the content in books will be accessible as long as the book persists. How many of the files that you created in the 1980s or even the 1990s can you still read today?

Forum sponsors included Blurb, Bridgeport National Bindery, Gasch Printing, Glatfelter, Hewlett-Packard, InfoPrint Solutions, Kodak, Lulu, Océ, Standard Finishing, Webcom and Xerox. The event was supported by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) and the Small Publishers Association of North America (SPAN). See www.inter-quest.com.

An inspired approach to customer communications management

GMC Software Technology unveiled Inspire (www.gmcinspire.net), a comprehensive overhaul of the company's PrintNet Communications Suite. This customer communications management platform lets companies engage customers and markets across digital as well as print channels. According to GMC's CEO, Dr. René Müller, “Today, the most effective way to engage your customers is to deliver relevant, multichannel communications that are in context with the customers' individual situation and expectations. Addressing these needs, GMC Inspire enables businesses to increase engagement everytime they interact with their customers across any channel, building lifetime, profitable customer relationships.” Some Inspire modules will be offered as cloud-based services.

Back to the Javits Center in June 2012

OnDemand returns to New York in 2012. It will be held June 12-14 at the Javits Center. See www.ondemandexpo.com.

First fruits of Canon & Oce collaboration

Canon (www.usa.canon.com) entered the production photo printing market with the launch of the DreamLabo 5000 inkjet printer. The device targets retail photo and high-end POD applications such photo albums, calendars and collages. The 7-color, dye-based inking system can produce up to 40 4 × 6-inch photos in one minute, or a 20-page A4 photo album in 70 seconds.

Canon also launched the first solution developed jointly by Canon and Océ (www.oce.com), the Canon imagePress C7010VPS series. The system is based on the C7010VP and features an integrated Océ PRISMAsync front-end controller. Canon also demonstrated the new Cloud Portal for imageRunner Advance application which enables imageRunner Advance MFPs to access Google Docs and Microsoft SharePoint Online cloud-based services directly from the MFP panel.

Océ unveils upgraded production software

Océ announced a new release (version 4.04) of its PRISMA production software. New functions, which are available as options to the suite, include: AFP to PDF conversion, pre-printed forms replacement, which enable forms to be stored electronically and dynamically populated with data prior to printing; an Executive Workflow Module for integrating and automating transactional printing operations; a Professional Book Solution for automating book production; and enhanced JDF/JMF functionality. The company also released version 5.2 of PRISMA prepare software. Among other enhancements, the new version enables the Océ PRISMAsync controller to drive a Canon imagePRESS C7010 VPS system.

Cloud-based print workflow solution

Ricoh/InfoPrint Solutions (www.ricoh-usa.com) (www.infoprint.com) announced Managed Automated Document Factory (ADF) Services, a cloud-based production print workflow solution built on InfoPrint ProcessDirector. The offering targets “mid-market” companies producing one to 10 million transactional documents per month. The company also exhibited the InfoPrint 5000MP inkjet press, the InfoPrint Pro C900AFP color printer and the InfoPrint Pro 907.

Lulu

Lulu products include hardcover and paperback books, eBooks, mini books, photo books, calendars, cookbooks, travel books, CDs and DVDs. Approximately 20,000 titles are published per month. Photo courtesy of Lulu.com.

David Davis is a director at Interquest (www.inter-quest.com). Contact him at ddavis@inter-quest.com.