Commentary & Analysis
Dianne Merzel, Sr. Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing at Elixir
Conducted by Molly Joss October 25,
By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: October 25, 2002
Conducted by Molly Joss October 25, 2002 -- Elixir Technologies Corporation creates and installs digital printing and publishing solutions that allow customers to personalize documents and re-use legacy data. We asked Dianne Merzel, the company’s Sr. Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing to tell us a little about what the company will be showing at XPLOR. WTT: Dianne, before we get started, please give us a brief description of your company. Dianne Merzel: Founded in 1985, Elixir Technologies Corporation is a leading developer of digital printing and publishing solutions for print, archival systems and the Internet. Elixir’s integrated software products have over 30,000 installations in 70 countries, predominantly in industries such as insurance, banking, billing, health care, education, government and manufacturing. Elixir’s expertise with document composition, print stream conversion, and resource management continues to drive advanced solutions for improving communications between businesses and their customers. WTT: Your company recently signed an agreement with IBM. Please give us some details of what the agreement entails. Dianne Merzel: Elixir and IBM signed a marketing agreement that enables IBM to sell Elixir products worldwide. Elixir software will provide IBM customers with fast and easy solutions when creating, managing, editing and converting document resources and applications. Customers will benefit from Elixir’s visual design environment that simplifies the task of creating AFP documents. WTT: What have your customers been saying to you about how the economy has affected them? Dianne Merzel: Customers are looking for a rapid ROI on any new IT solutions that are purchased. Elixir solutions increase productivity and provide a cost-effective strategy for customer communications. This has increased the demand especially for our legacy to Web solutions. Being able to preserve their investment in legacy systems while migrating to online viewing of documents is important to many of our customers. WTT: Your company focuses on helping customers make the most of the resources they have. What advice and/or aid are you giving your customers in light of these troubled times? Dianne Merzel: Increasing customer retention by improving communications with the customer base is an important strategy for boosting profits. All communications should be personalized and include targeted messages to introduce other services and products that will benefit the customer. In order to cut costs, customers are moving to online presentment of information using email, HTML and PDF documents. Not only does this reduce printing and mailing costs, but it also enables companies to benefit from an online relationship with their customers. WTT: Tell us about DesignPro Tools, VIPP Designer and other products you will show at Xplor 2002. Dianne Merzel: At Xplor Elixir is introducing two new software solutions for preparing resources for AFP, Metacode and VIPP printing. Fifteen years of experience with forms design has gone into the creation of Elixir’s next generation of software: DesignPro Tools, which provides sophisticated tools to help increase productivity and ensure quality output. Statements, letters, checks, policies, an many other kinds of business documents can easily be created, edited and saved to the appropriate format. For years, customers have used the Elixir Suites to create forms for Xerox laser printers and applications for AFP printing. Customers who are currently using the Elixir Suites will want to upgrade to DesignPro Tools and benefit from the new easy-to-use interface, native mode editing of resources (no conversions are required) and expanded color and resolution support. DesignPro Tools for AFP provides integrated OGL and PPFA design that makes it easy to create and edit the overlays, fonts, images and data layout needed for AFP printing. Developed according to the published IBM Advanced Function Presentation (AFP) standards, DesignPro Tools for AFP supports record format as well as traditional pagedefs. Vitesse takes full advantage of the Xerox standards for VIPP printing and makes it easy and cost-effective to design variable data documents. No coding is required to produce effective one-to-one communications that include dynamic business charts, barcodes and full color images for enterprise print solutions. All three VIPP modes are supported: native mode, line mode and database mode including XML. Users can insert targeted messages into documents and booklets by using conditional logic to include the appropriate information based on the customer’s profile. Users who want to review the source code will find that a code view is also provided. Any edits made in the code are immediately visible in the design. WTT: Will anyone from your company be speaking at XPLOR? Dianne Merzel: Tim Lynn, Director of Product Architecture and Design will be speaking Wed, Oct 30 from 9:30-10-30 in Room 210B. The title of his talk is Repurposing Legacy Data for the Web. Julie Wellings, Director of Marketing, will be participating in a panel discussion on Software Directions in the Financial and Insurance Industries on Wed, Oct 30 from 11-12 in Room 304D. Also, let me note that the Elixir User Group will meet at the Global Xplor on Tuesday, October 29 from 4:45-6:00 p.m. in Room 210B. In addition to our own booth, Elixir has a presence in the booths of several of our key partners. In the IBM booth, we have applications printing on the IP4100, a continuous feed printer, and on the IP70. Océ and Xerox are demonstrating other printing applications created using Elixir software. In addition, we are supporting Creo’s VPS format.