Commentary & Analysis
FREE Special: Rochester Software Associates: Improved Workflow and Printer Utilization Equals More Profit
By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: April 16, 2003
WhatTheyThink.com visited with Tim Kelly, Senior Vice President of Rochester Software Associates, Inc. to get his view of the interest his company is experiencing at this year’s AIIM/ON DEMAND show. RSA has a suite of productivity and workflow solutions designed to improve resource utilization by running marketing and transactional jobs on the same equipment. This has positive benefits for customer service and keeping business coming into corporate CRDs instead of losing printing jobs to outsourced third-party providers.
WTT: How would you describe the attendees coming to your booth?
TK: There’s an improvement in the quality of the attendees this year. Previous years we saw small copy shops; this year we are seeing enterprise decision makers. Many of them are in the purchase cycle.
WTT: What industry trends do you see as being especially important?
TK: We have been the glue in the whole concept of convergence between the data center and in-plant CRD. This started in the mid-90s when print engines began to have transactional speed capabilities. Then, there were separate data centers and publishing centers. With the speed of the Xerox 6135 and Heidelberg cut sheet PostScript devices, both transactional applications and publishing applications can be run on the same machines, resulting in one print center with all print coming to it.
M.I.S. Print, for example, automatically converts line printer, LCDS (DJDE, Metacode, XES/UDK) and AFP/ IPDS data streams, for printing on any network printer. This is the only integrated software solution that runs directly on the print controller of most production printers. In mixed environments, LCDS and AFP/IPDS data streams can be converted concurrently. By consolidating assets and running more shifts on the same equipment, these CRDs realize less cost and more productivity.
WTT: What kinds of applications are customers and prospects asking about most?
TK: How do you bring different types of print jobs into any PostScript printer. We have lots of people coming in looking for this solution. That’s what WebCRD is all about. Everyone does a good job of printing once the job gets to the printer, but how do I get it there? A lot of corporations are looking for start-to-finish workflow management, allowing print jobs to be sent from your desk or from your home.
WebCRD is a browser-based workflow solution for print submission and fulfillment, enabling users to submit, manage, reorder, and output digital printing jobs using the Internet/Intranet. Print fulfillment with WebCRD increases print center productivity and enhances end user satisfaction with corporate reproduction facilities, improving job turnarounds while lowering total document production costs. It’s ideal for facilities management sites and print centers within large corporations, colleges and universities, financial institutions, and government offices, and supports the entire digital print fulfillment process.
WTT: What type of problems are customers trying to solve?
TK: One of the problems is making a PDF of a PowerPoint presentation. This is the worst. If the printing center doesn’t have the same fonts or same version of PowerPoint as the creator, then there will be a problem matching fonts and layout at the print center. By creating the PDF and proofing it at the creator’s own desktop, the resulting file will exactly match the original document for reproduction.
Our software automatically produces a PDF for proofing and creates a job ticket for production and finishing, routing approvals, etc. The RSA software will then take the generic job ticket and produce a printer-specific job ticket for the equipment doing the job—all in the background without human intervention. The printer chosen, once the job ticket reaches the print center, can be an in-house, a third-party printer, or Kinkos— wherever it makes the most sense.
WTT: How important do you feel workflow is as part of the solutions you offer?
TK: Automated CRD workflow, fidelity of the document, two directional communications, job ticket creation, and improved customer services are all interrelated and very important. Making it easy for jobs to be submitted to the CRD from the customer’s own desktop helps to builds CRM and reduces the fear of outsourcing.
With the cost of departmental printers being so low, many document owners are printing everything themselves. Companies have to evaluate if this is the best use of a manager’s time—printing documents—or letting the CRD do the printing, and have the manager concentrate on core responsibilities. If it’s just as easy for a document owner to send the job to the CRD as the departmental printer, that’s probably where the job will be printed and finished—by people who understand the equipment and workflow.
WTT: What is generating the most interest in your booth?
TK : Better equipment usage by running data applications at night and doing marketing related jobs during the day when the office staff is there. This is all related to convergence, streamlining workflow and improving customer service.
WTT: Are sales up or down?
TK: Sales were up last year and steady this year. We have continued to add staff last year and we are still adding people—that’s positive!
WTT: Tim, thank you very much for your time and your candid answers.
For more information, please visit www.rocsoft.com