CeBIT 2001: Looking Forward with Heidelberg
Saturday, March 31, 2001
3/01 - CeBIT 2001 - No one thinks about it when they encounter a large Heidelberg booth at the big print shows, but here at CeBIT they are turning heads with an expanded presence that is attracting the attention of an expanding set of customers. Holger Reichardt, Director of Sales and Marketing for Heidelberg, sees CeBIT as the place to attract the early adopters and the place to announce their new digital initiatives. Heidelberg has been growing their market share in the digital press area since the introduction of the Digimaster 9110, but now they want to invade the IT print world with the addition of software from CRP in Germany to take in IPDS and Xerox print files and print them in PCL or PDF on the 9110. Reichardt says it is a fast transform and can support files that come from mainframes or networks. He sees it as a key component to expanding Heidelberg’s reach beyond the graphics industry, their traditional stronghold, and grow it to include any products to support printing from any department in the enterprise. The one-two punch provided by the Digimaster and the Heidelberg NexPress systems give Heidelberg the ability to pickup replacement sales of Xerox DocuTechs and DocuPrints, and move into replacing the high-speed printers in the IBM, Oce, and Xerox lines as well. With all of this expansion into digital POD systems, Heidelberg has not lost sight of their core customer, what Reichardt calls the Print for Pay market. He noted that it is the Heidelberg understanding of color and their ability to create software and peripheral products that support true color that gives them their competitive advantage. Microsoft and Adobe recognize their expertise and partner with them to provide color matching support across the software and hardware lines. Even today, on the actual release of the MAC OS X operating system, Heidelberg had their Colorpen 4.0 software working under OS X in the booth. A look around their booth made their commitment to the graphics market very clear. We asked Reichardt how Heidelberg customers viewed their move into the digital world. He says that the early adopters appreciate the time and effort that Heidelberg puts into their research and rigorous testing before they release a product into the market. That means that when Heidelberg released the Digimaster 9110 their customers were anxious to bring it in and try it. In the short time since its original introduction Heidelberg has installed more than 2000 9110’s to both old and new customers. Bluetooth is one of the hot topics at CeBIT this year, so we asked Reichardt if Heidelberg has any plans to get on to the Bluetooth bandwagon. At this time, he says, there isn’t sufficient reason for Heidelberg to move in that direction. The technology is not yet completely realized. However, as Bluetooth management tools begin to come to the market Heidelberg will clearly be looking at how they integrate into their job management and workflow products so that they can provide their customers with the most accurate on-going job and workflow information possible. Don’t be surprised when Heidelberg announces that your Bluetooth PDA can now be aware of the toner levels in your printers and the location of your print jobs. And don’t be surprised when Heidelberg customers are the first in line to sign up to take advantage of the technology.