Conducted by Molly Joss October 28, 2002 -- Scitex Digital Printing is one of the industry’s most innovative companies. With a solid track record of success, the company holds more than 300 patents and continues to work on creating a variety of high speed, full color digital printing solutions. We asked Homi Shamir, CEO of Scitex Digital Printing, to talk with us about the company and about how the company will be participating at XPLOR. WTT: Homi, recently your company announced a strategic agreement with Electronics for Imaging (EFI). Please give us a top-level overview of what the agreement entails and how it will benefit your customers. Shamir: During the second half of 2003, Scitex Digital Printing will introduce to the data center market a next generation business color technology. An integral part of this solution will be a next generation Fiery graphic data controller from EFI. Both technologies will be blended and focused to deliver what customers want in this marketplace. Furthermore, Scitex Digital Printing, EFI, and important customers within the data center and graphic art marketplaces will work together to share their knowledge and develop ways to leverage these new technologies. WTT: At Graph Expo, Scitex Digital Printing demonstrated some new inkjet print heads. Will those inkjets be shown at XPLOR? Could you tell us something about them? When will they be available and is there an upgrade plan? Shamir: I think you are referring to the Next Generation Color Technology that Scitex Digital Printing demonstrated at Graph Expo. These new print heads will offer higher resolution, thus higher image quality, and may be available late in 2003. This development fits our goal of eventually offering an offset alternative. However, SDP chose to demonstrate the technology at Graph Expo, rather than Xplor, because we feel the impact of higher quality will be felt most strongly in the commercial printing marketplace as opposed to transactional documents. Why? The feedback we have from customers is that our current image quality is more than acceptable for most transactional documents, while the commercial market, where our installed base is huge, demands a higher level of quality. Current transports are upgradeable to these new print heads, but no pricing has been established. WTT: With a tough economic year behind us and an uncertain one in front of us, what are your customers telling you about how the economy has affected the need for your products and services? Shamir: Customers are telling Scitex Digital Printing the current environment is forcing them to control costs and find new ways to respond to their customers. These demands fit SDP solutions perfectly. From the elimination of preprint and reduced mail costs from electronic, as opposed to mechanical, sortation, customers are embracing the dynamic color capability of the VersaMark. In my JTC speech at Xplor, I’ll highlight a few customers who are actually using the VersaMark’s full potential for one-to-one marketing on bills and statements. These customers are seeing tremendous success. I will share part of their success stories during my speech. WTT: What advice and/or aid are you giving your customers in light of these difficult times? Shamir: We’re telling them that tough times call for serious decisions. It is not surprising to see a number of data centers fully embracing a new way of producing transactional documents, a decision that is not easy but necessary in this challenging environment. WTT: What focus are you going to have at XPLOR in your booth and in presentations made by company employees? Shamir: The Scitex Digital Printing story at Xplor is really about customers. Two years ago we talked about a high volume, low production cost solution that was available here, now. Last year we introduced the concept of Business Color: the right quality and the right volume at the right cost. We enter Xplor 2002 ready to tell the world about the success stories. These are companies that believed in the technology two years ago and are now reaping the rewards. And for those printers who have asked for an entry-level VersaMark, we responded this year with the VersaMark Vantage, a machine we’ll have on the show floor. Now anyone can produce millions of full color documents per month on a single machine with an attractive entry price. WTT: Tell us about your presentation and about others that company employees will make. Shamir: As I mentioned, I’ll be giving a speech on Sunday at 5:30 as a Joint Technology Council member. On Monday, Steve Coburn from Scitex Digital Printing and Kim Herren from DST Output are giving a joint presentation on the future of color in transactional documents. Tony Rattigan and Chris Martin from Edotech will also be speaking on Monday about their experience with VersaMark Two other customers will speak in another forum on Tuesday about their experiences with ink jet technology: Jeffrey Reeves of SouthTrust and Mary Shilling of Inland Paperboard and Packaging.