Commentary & Analysis
FREE Special: Common Themes: Convergence And Workflow
Those attending Monday&
By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: April 9, 2003
Those attending Monday’s keynote addresses may have noticed a common theme shared by all three speakers— convergence. Charlie Pesko, of CAP Ventures highlighted the fact that in the 80’s print and documents were separate, but today both elements constitute the “integrated document.” Certainly the AIIM orientation in the 80’s was imaging and reduction of hard copy storage into smaller film based or TIFF picture files. Both documents and printing thus being islands of technology with documents being the finished product. Today, there’s a document continuum where the document can be in a state of flux, taking on various shapes, according to the parameters established in a company’s XML schema. In this age of integrated media, documents can take the printed form, or can respectfully reside in a digital state to be queried and pulled up as part of an Internet search and brought to your screen, combined with other information, and be printed from multiple desktop devices as a hybrid document.
The goal of the New York Times (NYT) is to “Enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high quality information, ” according to Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. Sulzberger talked about NYT branding, “Pursuing a global knowledge audience” and making all forms of media available to seekers of the brand, no matter where they lived on the planet. Likewise, Robert Tapella of the Government Printing Office (GPO) stated the GPO charter of preserving and distributing information which the government has collected. Dating back to the days of our founding fathers, the documents and information from then and the growing wealth of documents and new media needs to be available to tax payers. Tapella talked about the requirement of metadata search as the only efficient method for finding and serving-up information contained in billions of archived government documents. Despite “Printing” being part of GPO’s name, and the NYT being a “printed” newspaper, both NYT and GPO are clearly facing convergence head-on.
The case for convergence was well represented by all three speakers from different perspectives. Sulzberger’s theme was all about branding and pursuing all forms of customers. Tapella’s requirement was duty bound to find ways to make ever-increasing, mountains of information available to those who paid for it— taxpayers. Pesko’s message was for printers to find a way to be part of this communication phenomenon, vis-a-vis offering non print related services, or perish.
Non print-related services and workflow are elements all publishers and printers need to address. Being more efficient and “being all that you can be” to your customer and investors allows companies to survive and reinvent themselves in response to changing times and technologies. One such company doing its part to improve workflow is Enfocus. Despite a change in leadership since St. Patrick’s Day, new Enfocus CEO David van Driessche’s theme is continuity— both in terms of products and customers. David takes over Enfocus, at a time of strength and continued growth, from his former mentor who is moving on to pursue personal, as well as, future entrepreneurial plans. Although new to the top position, he is not new to Enfocus. David has been there for 7 years, knows the product and markets very well and has helped grow the company to its present level of 37 employees.
The target group for Enfocus’ Acrobat PDF plug-in products is customers who have a lot of PDF documents and have a need for fast and accurate pre-flighting. Their three levels of product are geared for various sized organizations, and are server or individual workstation-based. Enfocus products create PDF files and remember the specs as well as know if it has been preflighted or not. Processed files are referred to as “Certified PDF”. Once preflighted, documents can be sent to anyone without the need to re-process the file. All changes, status and edits are “remembered”, so there’s no second guessing or wondering about a document’s status. It’s Internet based capability allows an operator to get the latest document specification so a document can instantly comply with the latest requirements.
An active PDF/x developer, Enfocus is a member of the Ghent PDF Workgroup (www.pdfworkgroup.org). This is a group of worldwide trade organizations that develop and set standards, ad guidelines and specs for delivering files. Most of the current members are European countries, with Enfocus taking over most of the standards work. David says “It’s very exciting to see all of these people working together without borders.” IPA has recently asked to become a member. In addition to advertising specifications, the Ghent PDF Workgroup is also working on specifications for color management, publishing and packaging workflow. All specifications are published and openly available to anyone who is interested. There’s much more to talk about at Enfocus, but that will have to wait until the actual Enfocus announcements in a few weeks.
Enfocus is a company that’s helping solve production problems with real-time workflow solutions. PDF is a major enhancement for any document owner who needs to impart a particular look and feel to a published document. PDF solves a major problem for companies like the NYT and GPO because it gives them a viable archive, output and display technology while preserving a desired quality. Products from Enfocus help create these documents by transforming them into an efficient and cost-effective workflow.