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Find Web-to-Print Software Providers around the World with the Free W2P Finder (Commentary by Cary Sherburne)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Press release from the issuing company

Web2Print Experts, Inc. launches free tool to help printers make better web-to-print software investments.  

San Francisco, CA U.S.A – Web2Print Experts, Inc., announces a free tool for the printing industry. The W2P Finder is designed to help printers find web-to-print software providers. According to Global Industry Analysts (GIA), the global market for web-to-print software is projected to reach $869 million by the year 2017. The goal of Web2Print Experts is to influence printers to think through their online strategy before they invest in technology, and to provide them with a free tool that makes that process easier. 

The W2P Finder has a simple objective: create one place where printers from around the globe can search for web-to-print software solutions. “Too many printers have invested in web-to-print software that doesn’t match their fundamental needs for doing business online,” says Jennifer Matt, Web2Print Experts Founder and President. “We can’t work with every printer individually, so we wanted to provide a tool that prevents the most egregious investment mistakes.”

The W2P Finder is free to both printers and to web-to-print software providers; unrestricted access will enable maximum benefit to the industry. Web2Print Experts has collected information about vendors from around the world and categorized them according to the most critical factors for consideration when investing in web-to-print software. Who are you targeting online? What do you want to sell them? Where do you intend to conduct business (geography)? A simple wizard guides printers to the set of web-to-print software providers who best fit their requirements. The vendors have an opportunity to display their user interfaces, answer a few key questions, and provide validated answers to the key decision-making criteria for web-to-print software decisions.

“We purposefully stayed above the feature-level comparison because features are constantly changing,” says Web2Print Experts Product Manager, Heath Cajandig. “From the hundreds of web-to-print projects we’ve been involved with, we never saw failure at the feature level. Failed purchasing decisions are always at the more strategic level of the wrong tool for the target market, wrong product workflow support, or a solution that is not properly localized for the target region.” 

Web2Print Experts contacted web-to-print software providers all over the world to collect the data necessary for the launch of the W2P Finder. “We know there are a lot more regional web-to-print software providers out there, especially here in Europe where each country has regional players,” Sven Miller, Web2Print Experts Europe, reports. “We fully expect to and have planned for the addition of solution providers as well as keeping the W2P Finder up to date.”

About Web2Print Experts, Inc.

Web2Print Experts is a technology-independent web and print consulting company that helps companies build successful online businesses. Web2Print Experts helps companies develop their online strategies, optimize their print software investments, plan and execute implementation services, and provide the technical resources to achieve the end-to-end integration necessary for true automation. By offering technology-independent advice and technical resources; Web2Print Experts enables customers to move online with a clear strategy, sound technical investments, and the trusted resources to help them navigate the change. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA with resources on three continents, Web2Print Experts can be found at www.web2printexperts.com and the W2P Finder, a free tool for finding web-to-print software providers is available at www.web2printexperts.com/W2PFinder.

Special Commentary from Cary Sherburne

What a great service this is for both service providers and web-to-print software vendors!  Thanks, Jennifer, for making this free W2P Finder available to the industry. Most of you probably know that Jennifer is WhatTheyThink’s web-to-print go-to person and that she also manages a very large LinkedIn Group on the topic (more than 8,000 members). This takes her industry contributions to the next level.

I found it interesting that over the years, she has been able to distill the basic qualification process down to three questions.  Not that the questions are necessarily easy to answer—they require the business owner to do some soul searching and make some strategic decisions. But hopefully it will achieve her stated goal, which is to help prevent service providers from making the costly mistake of selecting the wrong web-to-print tools.

Not that this is a referral service—it’s not.  But it does narrow down the choices from a multitude to a few, based on the way the key questions are answered. Jennifer’s company, Web2Print Experts, is technology agnostic; they neither create nor sell technology. 

Part of what prompted this is the fact that Jennifer is getting three or more calls each week from around the globe, asking for recommendations.  She says, “The first question is always what to buy, and I never like to answer that question without knowing more about the business. Web2Print Finder gives the service provider a self-serve opportunity to get the initial answers themselves.”

She also points out that strangely, many web-to-print solution providers have not done a good job of SEO optimization of their web presence and they can be hard to find.  This means that a service provider may find a set of web-to-print offerings that are totally irrelevant to their business simply because the most relevant ones don’t turn up on a search. Web2Print Finder helps solve this problem for the service providers, but should be a cautionary tale for solution providers—get with the SEO program!

Another goal of Web2Print Finder is to standardize the language around web-to-print. In addition, users of the service do not need to identify themselves, removing that impediment from service use. Sometimes service providers are leery of using a service like this because they don’t want to be inundated by calls from sales people.

Whether or not you are in the market for a web-to-print solution or need to upgrade an existing one, you should check this out!


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