Pressing On: Good Riddance, Polar Vortex!

Like many of you in the Northeast and Midwest, I finally can feel my toes and fingertips again. I live in Chicago, where the city and suburbs plowed, blowed, and shoveled through nearly three feet of snow (officially 33.5 inches) in January alone. Fellow Windy City resident Sal Sheikh, VP of large-format systems at Canon Solutions America, told analysts and media members that citizens of “Chiberia” had shivered through more than 20 days of below-zero, minus temperatures, marking the coldest winter in three decades. Sheikh smilingly reported this negative weather fact on Florida’s balmy Atlantic Coast, near the former headquarters of Océ North America.

But extreme snowfalls, bone-chilling cold, and devastating ice storms in the South could not slow down our nation’s hearty print firm workers from doing their jobs for very long. They bundled up and pressed on, as always. What can cripple printers, however, are cyber attacks that lock up network files. Read “Digital Original” (page 20) regarding how to combat malware and other tips.

Last month, I was fortunate enough to pack my bags for some business travel away from the bitter cold—first, to the arid heat of the Las Vegas dessert for the annual EFI user group meeting. There wasn’t much time to soak up sunshine because news was being made. Some 1,500 people saw CEO Guy Gecht welcome Indigo press inventor Benny Landa to announce that EFI will develop a digital front end, based on its Fiery technology, for Landa’s new nanographic digital presses. Word of the alliance went viral online, generating nearly 1 million tweets and retweets over a one-day period on Twitter. (See “News” for more.)

More Warm Sun

My next snowbird flight carried me to Delray Beach, FL, where 70- and 80-degree temperatures felt really good, despite the humidity, amid the one-year anniversary celebration of Canon’s $1-billion acquisition of Océ. Transactional print customer RevSpring revealed that, in Q4, its Phoenix facility will be among the first installation sites for the B3 format inkjet device code named “Niagara.” (Read more about transpromo print beginning on page 12.) From there, it was on to Nashville for the annual conference of Alliance Franchise Brands, the parent company of the Allegra Network and Sign & Graphics Operations for instant and small commercial printers, where I had the pleasure of handing out a top-performance award.

This month (March 6-8), the annual Dscoop Digital Solutions Cooperative conference brings together HP users in Orlando. Check our recently relaunched website for details of that event as well as other news posted daily. The graphic-intensive site has been re-engineered with a responsive web design that scrolls content, much like Facebook and Mashable, and has rendered the “back button” virtually obsolete. It is completely customized for your computer, tablet, and mobile phone, so navigate through the different print channels, surf around a bit, and let us know what you think.

In the near term, however, the college basketball world is gearing up for its national championship tournament. So let the March Madness begin and bring on spring! Is it 60 degrees out yet?