X-Rite Pantone SVP of Sales & Marketing Vic Stalam talks to Cary Sherburne about their experience at drupa 2012 and reviews their major announcements and plans going forward.
Cary Sherburne: Hi, I'm Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at What They Think and I'm here with Vic Stalam, who is Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at X-Rite Pantone. Welcome.
Vic Stalam: Thank you Cary.
Cary Sherburne: It's good to see you. So we've spent a few grueling weeks, it feels like, recently in Dusseldorf at drupa and it was quite a high energy show actually and just wondering if you could share with us a little bit about what X-Rite Pantone was talking about at the show and what is sort of the value proposition for the customers.
Vic Stalam: Just coming back from drupa, obviously it was a very exciting show and for us at X-Rite Pantone given the economy in Europe and all that it was just fantastic to see the enthusiasm of our customers from around the world. So first from a customer perspective we saw a lot of customers, especially from Latin America, from India, China—we had a big contingent from China and then even from Eastern Europe, so it was a good opportunity for us to listen to them, their challenges and how we can help them. So from a customer perspective it was just not customers from Western Europe and North America, but we had the chance to pretty much talk to customers from around the world.
Cary Sherburne: That's great.
Vic Stalam: In terms of the key messages or the key products we showed at drupa the first, probably the single biggest announcement that we made at drupa, which is primarily focused around the pressroom, this is for printers, whether they're packaging printers, commercial printers or digital printers is Exact technology and what Exact really brings is the next generation in terms of spectrometers and all our technology in terms of measuring color and we have not had an opportunity to refresh our platform for quite a few years, so Exact gets us to the most recent—the latest level of technology and-
Cary Sherburne: So Exact lets you get color exactly right.
Vic Stalam: You got it. You got it. And it comes in both in terms of scanning as well as in terms of handheld devices.
Cary Sherburne: And it has a touch screen as I recall.
Vic Stalam: Exactly, so that was received extremely well by our customers. The second big area was around a solution that we announced for the imaging market and the prepress market. This is an I1 pro 2 solution. As you are aware we're very strong in the photography market, in the prepress market to match us against spectra values and this is a very quick and very productive tool. The same thing, we have not had an opportunity to refresh the product for a while and now we've had an opportunity to upgrade that whole product line. So we're excited. So that is primarily for the photography and the prepress market.
The third big one in terms of an announcement is obviously for brand owners and since our March announcement at Pantone Live in London we've now had an opportunity to bring it back and show it to customers and give them an opportunity to play with it and that resonated extremely well not only for brand owners, but also the whole ecosystem that supports the brand owners. So it was very exciting for us.
Cary Sherburne: And we had an opportunity to speak with John Drennan from Chesapeake and he is telling us that more than 50% of his jobs or his volume is now going through Pantone Live, so that is pretty exciting.
Vic Stalam: John and his team have done a fantastic job. They immediately see the value. In almost every case they are getting the job right the first time and every time. So I think his team has really been able to see the value of Pantone Live.
Cary Sherburne: That's great. So all in all as you look back on drupa it was worthwhile going.
Vic Stalam: For us at X-Rite Pantone it was a fantastic opportunity to show off our products and now the hard work starts with our sales people to follow up and make sure that we obviously provide those benefits to our customers.
Cary Sherburne: That's great. Well thank you.
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