Enfocus VP Fabian Prudhomme talks to Cary Sherburne about their Switch solution and gives examples of workflow tasks that can be automated using the tool.
Cary Sherbrune: Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink and I’m here with Fabian Prudhomme who is the Vice President at Enfocus. Welcome.
Fabian Prudhomme: Hi, Cary. Thank you.
Cary Sherbrune: So Enfocus obviously is very well known for its PitStop family of products. You’re kind of the default de facto standard in preflighting and so – but as you know, I’ve also been very interested in your Switch product for quite a long time. First of all, why don’t you just share with some of our viewers basically on a high level what Switch is all about.
Fabian Prudhomme: Well, Cary, quite simply put Switch at a basic level is an automation solution or an automation tool. It takes manual tasks which are typically done repetitively within commercial printers and publishers and we automate those tasks. We speed up time to market for our customers. We take error out of the process and we really try to address the major pain points that our commercial printers are experiencing today.
Cary Sherbrune: So can you give me an example of a repetitive task that you might – that, you know, your users might be automating doing this using Switch.
Fabian Prudhomme: Well, for instance what Switch can do – Switch will scan email accounts, ftp servers, hot folders and look for pdf files. Whenever a pdf file is dropped in there by a customer Switch will take it, will put it through a workflow, will preflight it and will send it on to another ftp server - a proofing device, a printer and along the way doing a number of operations with that file that are typically done manually. Well, Switch can automate all those tasks.
Cary Sherbrune: So a high priced prepress person might have been doing that just going out and looking or getting an email notification, downloading the pdf, running it through PitStop, doing whatever else needs to be – renaming the file, putting it here, putting it there.
Fabian Prudhomme: Right.
Cary Sherbrune: So now you’ve eliminated the need for that person to be…
Fabian Prudhomme: And what’s more important, every time a human touches something you have the risk that something goes wrong or that an error slips into the process. With Switch you eliminate that.
Cary Sherbrune: Now recently you’ve completely repackaged the product line and recently at Drupa in Dusseldorf was when you really probably brought it to the public for the first time. What was the reaction – tell us about the repackaging first and then what was the reaction that you got from customers to that repackaging.
Fabian Prudhomme: Well, as you know in the past we had three flavors of Switch. We had Light, Full and Power Switch. And we’ve decided to offer a modular solution to our customers. And the modular solution consists of a Core Switch Engine with up to eight modules around it.
Cary Sherbrune: Okay.
Fabian Prudhomme: So it’s really a la carte solution that we can sell to our customers. Our idea is that our customers should be able to buy exactly what they need – not too much…
Cary Sherbrune: Not too little.
Fabian Prudhomme: Not too little. And their reaction has been great. So what we see is that our customers are really looking at all the modules, “What do I need today?” Knowing that they can always scale up later and buy additional modules down the road.
Cary Sherbrune: So if they have Power or Full Switch today does that translate to some new thing or does it stay the same?
Fabian Prudhomme: Power Switch would be the Switch Core Engine and a number of modules.
Cary Sherbrune: Okay.
Fabian Prudhomme: Because like every software solution, you buy it and you only typically use a certain percentage of the capacities of that software.
Cary Sherbrune: Okay, so there’s some sort of clear migration path for your existing customers.
Fabian Prudhomme: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Cary Sherbrune: And the last question would be around the pricing strategy. It’s not an expensive product.
Fabian Prudhomme: No.
Cary Sherbrune: Do you get pushback from people. “Well, if I’m only paying this much it must not be very robust.”
Fabian Prudhomme: No, not at all because we have some bigger companies using Switch – comparing Switch to much more expensive systems out there and pricing has not really ever been an issue when selling Switch.
Cary Sherbrune: That’s good.
Fabian Prudhomme: Not on the lower end and not on the higher end.
Cary Sherbrune: It’s funny to talk about it being priced too low. And you’re also not only working within the printing industry but also within enterprise. There’s enterprise applications for this.
Fabian Prudhomme: Correct. We’re looking at other vertical segments where Switch could be pushed and will be pushed as an automation solution. Absolutely.
Cary Sherbrune: That’s great. It’s, you know, I’m glad to see that you’re getting a lot of attention and hopefully we’ll see more people using it in the future.
Fabian Prudhomme: I hope so too.