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EFI Announces Web-Enabled VDP Initiative

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Press release from the issuing company

FOSTER CITY, Calif.--Oct. 12, 2004-- EFI, the world leader in digital imaging and print management solutions for commercial and enterprise printing, today announced a strategic initiative to bring web-enabled variable data printing (VDP) solutions to ad agencies, designers, graphic arts professionals and commercial printers. VDP capabilities will be integrated across EFI's family of web-enabled digital printing products enabling complete Web-to-Print systems that streamline workflow and help printers provide value added services to their customers. EFI web-based submission and workflow automation solutions will integrate robust, template-based versioning and VDP capabilities as well as support VDP applications and database systems from leading vendors. EFI's platform strategy gives users a choice of authoring tools, databases and output devices and allows their solution to scale as their personalized marketing business grows. Commercial printers and graphic arts operations can easily extend existing workflows to customers by setting up an Internet or Intranet storefront for web submission, such as EFI Digital StoreFront(TM) and EFI PrinterSite Exchange(TM). The end-to-end workflow that results provides feature-rich, integrated content and commerce capabilities in which users can select customized VDP-driven print products and purchase them online. Beginning with affordable, entry-level VDP applications all the way up to more sophisticated personalization solutions, the same established EFI web storefront will be capable of receiving and managing all incoming jobs. EFI's first implementation of this strategy is the Template-Driven Variable Documents module in EFI Digital StoreFront and EFI PrinterSite Exchange. These applications, which are available today, let customers quickly and easily typeset, proof, approve and procure their own business cards, stationery, letterhead and other more sophisticated print products, before submitting them into the print center workflow. VDP on the web can only be successful when a system combines access to template-driven documents with the implementation of business rules for the creation, procurement and production of the resulting VDP jobs. The tight integration between Digital StoreFront's Advanced Automated Pricing Engine, third-party VDP template capabilities and database-driven logic to enforce business rules and document standards, takes VDP on the web into a new realm where it is both accessible to users and makes business sense. "EFI's ongoing commitment to interoperability and productivity-enhancing solutions is reflected in this strategic initiative to bring Web-enabled VDP opportunities to our customers. The adoption of Web-to-Print solutions is rising as print providers continue to find new ways to diversify their business services. We see web-enabled VDP as the next step in maintaining that competitive edge. Using the web as an entry point to the entire print workflow helps streamline operations, keep costs down and creates new revenue streams that will continue to drive growth in the printing industry," said Ghilad Dziesietnik, VP of Professional Print Workflow & Technology at EFI. EFI plans to integrate similar capabilities and more advanced VDP tools in its entire portfolio of web products. The first shipping products under the initiative will include powerful VDP applications from Datalogics, Inc. EFI has partnered with several leading third-party VDP developers and, over the next year, will offer customers multiple web-enabled VDP technology choices based on their business and technical requirements. These systems will enjoy similar tight integration with EFI's web technologies and workflow and output solutions. This strategy also builds on EFI's success in providing open VDP solutions for Fiery-based workflows. A standard feature of Digital StoreFront is integration with the Fiery, enabling VDP jobs to flow seamlessly from web submission to Fiery output. "Our advanced composition engine allows users to easily merge variable content with custom designed templates to quickly produce effective one-to-one marketing materials. We are pleased to work with EFI as they launch this exciting initiative to bring innovative Web-enabled VDP opportunities to the market," said Kevin McNeill, Vice President of Sales, Datalogics, Inc. In addition to Digital StoreFront and PrinterSite Exchange, template-driven VDP capabilities are currently integrated with EFI PrinterSite Fulfillment(TM), a web-based tool to streamline inventory management and ordering services, and EFI PrintSmith(TM) print shop management software. These solutions can be seen this week in EFI's booth (#4613) at Graph Expo, running October 10-13 at Chicago's McCormick Place.




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