On the drupa Stage
InfoTrends associate director Kaspar Roos predicted that drupa 2012 would be a “cloud-heavy” show. Indeed, digital workflow developments in the cloud were prominent in Dusseldorf last month (see adjacent box and sidebar). EFI launched off-site data protection services employing its own data center in North America and additional sites in Europe. The new online back-up, storage, and data-recovery options are for its Print MIS and web-to-print customers who wish to host their own solutions to ensure protection, redundancy, and speedy recovery in case of disaster.
But the cloud really is nothing new for EFI, which marks its twelfth year of delivering cloud-based solutions. More than 2,500 customers now use its on-demand managed services. Present cloud-based Software as a Service offerings include Pace and PrintSmith Vision management systems, the Digital StoreFront web-to-print platform, and the new Fiery Dashboard business information service. EFI applications were designed from the ground up to run in a browser (not as client-server products), so their performance and reliability have been fine-tuned over the years to work optimally in a cloud-based deployment, the firm said.
“EFI has been a pioneer in cloud-based services with active customers since 2000,” said Ghilad Dziesietnik, the company’s chief technology officer. “We are the largest managed services provider for print providers, with thousands of locations and millions of users accessing the cloud. Software in the cloud offers numerous benefits, most notably reduced maintenance costs for users, 24/7 care, and management by a team of experts, anywhere access to information, redundancy, back-up, and highly secure data. Our new remote data protection services provide many of these advantages for clients that wish to host their own applications.”
Commercial printer Freeport Press is an EFI MIS client that hosts its own solution and was an early adopter of disaster-recovery services. “We had a fire in our facility, and EFI was able to recover our back-up data and have us up and running from their cloud as soon as our replacement hardware was available,” explained David Pilcher, CEO of the Freeport, OH firm. “Without EFI’s help and quick response, and their expertise in delivering cloud-based solutions, we would have lost countless hours of business from not having our systems available.”
Greg Carter, director of EFI cloud services, added, “The cloud is not only ideal for hosting services, but also for providing other critical capabilities such as disaster recovery. With their data safely stored off-site with EFI, customers are more prepared than they could be on their own. Our capacity and expertise ensure a timely recovery at a moment that is trying and critical for any organization.”
Customer data are transferred automatically every day using secure protocols to allow a full recovery into EFI’s cloud, which uses the latest border security, access control techniques, active virus filtering, and centralized monitoring. EFI provides MIS and Internet know-how combined with 24x7, real-time situation handling to deliver reliable services from the cloud as well as superior recovery into the cloud.
Managing Color in the Cloud
Printing firms, prepress service providers, designers, agencies, brand manufacturers, and publishers expect consistent results throughout the process chain. That’s why GMG introduced its CoZone, a comprehensive web strategy and an answer to soft proofing, at drupa.
With CoZone, all essential requirements for professional media and color management are deployed in the cloud. It is modular in approach, building into a central solution for all essential process steps: color management, proofing, communication, and approval processes between different supply-chain partners and for different output formats. The web-based platform requires no investment in locally installed software or expensive high-end hardware. GMG guarantees permanent accessibility and also provides the highest security standards to maintain privacy.