Gearing Up for Print ’13: Production Software Trends

Each year in preparation for Graph Expo or PRINT(depending on the year), InfoTrends analysts scan various industry news feeds for the latest press releases and announcements distributed by vendors to spark interests and inform the media on the new and upcoming announcements that they will be demonstrating on the show floor, in Chicago. In this blog we will be discussing the recent announcements that vendors have been distributing to the media that relate to introductions and advancements being made in the production workflow software space, gearing up for PRINT 13.

As software continues to play a pivotal role for print businesses to improve workflow inefficiencies and enable more services within with their production operations, tradeshows, like Graph Expo and PRINT, are a great resource for industry affiliates to come and learn about the latest advancements in the market today, that contribute to the growth of print businesses. The PRINT 13 theme, “Innovate. Integrate. Communicate.” reiterates the importance of investing in production software to improve workflows and enabling more services; by innovating processes in place, integrating with other systems, and improving communication across devices as well as with customers. The software trends provided below are segmented based on recent news announcements that we feel you should watch for during PRINT 13.

Three key software trends we are watching at PRINT 13 include:

  • Personalized Maps
  • Software Movement to the Cloud
  • Advancements in Workflow Management

I’ve highlighted a few supporting examples below that you can expect to see at PRINT 13.

Personalized Maps

Advancements in the realm of personalization are focusing on the creation of personalized maps that can be incorporated in cross-media marketing campaigns. locr GMBH (booth #4673) has been making headways into the United States market since early 2012 since their partnership with XMPie (Xerox booth #1202) to support the XMPie Mapping Service. Since then, locr maps has developed strategic partnerships with GMC and Pageflex, as well as formerly announced their plans to expand their presence in the United States.

The company has also announced that they have added VIDEOmaps to their portfolio of solutions to create static maps. The VIDEOmaps can be created in several ways, which include VIDEOmap with dynamic zoom, VIDEOmap with routing, and VIDEOmap with multiple animations. Additionally, locr has also strengthened their ongoing relationship with XMPie in their recent announcement join forces and enable animated personalized maps to the XMPie Mapping Service.

Movement to the Cloud

Another major industry trend in the production software space is the movement towards enabling products and services to be accessed in the cloud. Cloud-enabled workflows started gaining a lot of attention and momentum in 2012. At PRINT 13 we expect this trend to continue as we have seen recent announcements from a handful of vendors about new and existing solutions being offered in the cloud.

Hybrid Software (booth #5145) recently announced the newest solution to their Order Lifecycle Management (OLM) suite of tools, CloudFlow. CloudFlow is a private cloud-based production workflow management solution intended for label and packaging, wide format, and commercial printing environments. Avanti has also made some exciting moves to the cloud with their latest Avanti Slingshot print MIS solution. Avanti Slingshot is open to multiple delivery models (public, private, hybrid cloud, as well as vendor hosted), but by default will primarily be offered as public cloud-based solution for commercial, in-plant, and franchise print production environments. In addition, GMG has also been making movements to the cloud with, CoZone, which was introduced at Graph Expo last year. GMG CoZone now incorporates the cloud with the new Collaborate module for managing, reviewing, proofing, and approving graphic arts content.

Advancements in Workflow Management

In the months prior to PRINT 13, there have been a number of new product announcements and advancements being made to production workflow management solutions. Kodak introduced Prinergy 6, which includes the introduction of the latest PREPS Imposition Software version 7, COLORFLOW version 2, and INSITE prepress portal version 6.6, as well as their new productivity-focused interface, Workspace. While Kodak will not have a booth at PRINT 2013 this year, they will be demonstrating the latest advancements to Prinergy 6 at Konica Minolta’s booth #518. Ricoh Americas (booth #1931) will also be demonstrating the latest developments to their production workflow management solution, TotalFlow 2.0. Included in the latest release of TotalFlow 2.0 are TotalFlow Prep, TotalFlow Print Manager version 2, and TotalFlow Production Manager.

Wrap Up

Tradeshows like PRINT 2013 provide ample opportunities for print service providers, software vendors, and analyst organizations to gain insights in market trends, stay informed on what the different vendors have to offer to production workflows, and be at the cusp of new technological innovations being introduced to the market today. While this blog only encompasses the latest announcements leading up to the show, we expect to see more exciting news hitting news feeds as we near closer to the event and while the show takes place.

Enjoy the show!

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