Esko, Packaging & Commercial Print

WebCenter 10

EskoArtwork has released WebCenter 10, a new version of its online collaboration and approval tool for the packaging and print supply chain.

"Initial feedback and reactions from beta customers indicate that WebCenter 10 will add to the application's reputation as the most effective online approval tool for the packaging and print market," said Jijo Dominic, EskoArtwork Product Manager WebCenter. "From the early stages of software development, we worked with our customers to ensure that the new release meets their expectations."

WebCenter has hundreds of installations and many thousands of users worldwide. WebCenter serves a wide range of industry players such as packaging converters, commercial printers, pre-press service bureaus, global consumer product companies and highly regulated pharmaceutical companies.

With the packaging & print supply chain always under pressure to develop new value-add services, WebCenter 10 now addresses additional market needs. The straightforward user interface, the powerful staged approval support, the project management tools and the tighter integration with the Automation Engine all make WebCenter the logical choice for online collaboration and approval in the packaging and printing industry.

WebCenter helps securely manage and automate approval cycles. It comes with a fast and accurate online viewing tool with unique viewing and compare features focused on the needs of the packaging and print industry. WebCenter users report lead-time reduction by up to 25 percent, simply by replacing the majority of hard copy proof iterations by online reviewing and approval cycles. Less hardcopy proofs shipped to various stakeholders equally has an important positive effect on the environmental footprint of the packaging development process.

The collaboration tools, the briefing module and task management in WebCenter 10 make it a powerful life cycle management tool. WebCenter is the linchpin that connects, controls and streamlines the complexities of the packaging development lifecycle. WebCenter centralizes all project related data optimizes communication between all packaging and print buyers, designers and printer/converters.

Its document management capabilities turn WebCenter into a centralized and secure web-based warehouse for all project related digital assets, including technical drawings, artwork, text, logos, images and other packaging elements. WebCenter keeps track of versions of every one of these documents in a logical and structured way.

The powerful metadata-based search tools in WebCenter make it easy to find projects and documents. Whether you want to find a label with a specific barcode, a package design using a specific ink, a structural design for a specific kind of board, a design brief from a certain customer... WebCenter will find it for you.

The user interface of WebCenter 10 has been redesigned to be more appealing and above all easier to learn and use. This includes an easy to configure user interface, user-specific work spaces and viewer preferences. The interface redesign of the WebCenter Viewer focuses on faster deployment of the approval tool, supported by a range of additional annotation tools.

The new approval module allows customers to design and automate multilevel approval cycles with support for both parallel and sequential parts in one approval cycle. WebCenter 10 gets users the best trade-off between speed and staged control.

WebCenter 10 has a stronger, bi-directional connection with the Automation Engine to extend workflow automation outside the walls of the printshop. In fact, Automation Engine can simultaneously execute a job, while building a project in WebCenter, using the new 'Create WebCenter Project' task. In the other direction, when WebCenter is used as the online briefing tool, it can create a job folder in Automation Engine. Sales account managers, customer service representatives or even customers can now place requests directly to the design or prepress department using the WebCenter interface. The connections facilitate sharing of data, transferring files and exchanging status information between two systems.

Based in Cheshire, DCP UK is a creative packaging design agency specializing in developing unique designs, from creation to final print, for an array of customers including Harrods, Tesco, Asda, Kelloggs, Rowntrees, Del Monte and Dreamworks Animation. As a regular user of WebCenter, Dave Hicks, owner of DPC UK, was a perfect beta tester for the version 10 release. He explained: "We took on WebCenter a couple of years ago and we have used it intensively ever since. Our clients use it too, and rely on it day-to-day."

After providing feedback and a wish list of options he is delighted with the enhancements: "The main benefits now are integration with the other software EskoArtwork provides, the ability to simplify and customize a page, as clients can see as little or as much as they want to, and the general increase in clarity. We also like the look and feel of the software."

As a result, Hicks has high expectations of the potential economies as well as of improvements in customer accessibility: "Ultimately there should be time savings in terms of the interaction with the automation software from EskoArtwork and the customization of customer projects which, to a large degree, is taking some of the onus off us."

Hicks also pointed out greater visibility in the software allows clients to see at what stage the projects are at and who else is involved in the approval process. As for being a beta tester he added: "Evaluating software and reporting feedback is time consuming but the benefits far outweigh that. We get the software sooner than the others and we are able to provide our personal input and our customers' input. That gives us a little bit of control over how the final software will meet our needs more specifically. We end up with a solution more tailored to our requirements."

"Globalization and regulatory compliance remain manifest and persistent trends in the fast moving consumable (FMCG) business. As a consequence, the packaging industry is in need of innovative solutions to streamline the packaging supply chain," said Bernard Zwaenepoel, Senior Vice President Software Business at EskoArtwork. "We identify and confirm this end-user requirement and will—today and in the future—maintain an intense focus on developing packaging-intelligent online collaboration solutions. WebCenter 10 is a milestone in our roadmap for the future and positions our customers as value-added service innovators in a globalized economy," concluded Zwaenepoel.

WebCenter 10 is available immediately throughout EskoArtwork's distribution channels.

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