By Carro Ford What is IPPD? IPPD is a management process that integrates all activities from product concept through production/field support, using a multi-functional team, to simultaneously optimize the product and its manufacturing and sustainment processes to meet cost and performance objectives. February 21, 2007 -- The market is still buzzing about Ricoh's acquisition of IBM Printing Systems and how it will change the way these companies approach the market. To get some additional insights into what we have to look forward to, OnDemandJournal.com spoke with IBM's David Williams, vice president, worldwide sales, hardware and professional services. ODJ: How do you define the production market that you are targeting? DW: We define the production market as high volume continuous-form printing and high end cut-sheet. We have ongoing developments in black and white, and we will have black and white and color announcements in the coming quarter. ODJ: You said you would significantly expand sales and support in the first three years. Describe where you see these areas right now and where do you want to take them? DW: They are good now, but we have not been able to cover all areas we would like to with a level of granularity. We have looked at each market across the world and done granular analysis of channels, installed base, and high end production. If we could position sales people in different areas, we would grow share. This Joint Venture will allow us to make these investments more than we could until now. We will expand in these areas: geographic, business partners, telephone marketing, and growth markets in areas like Asia and Eastern Europe. ODJ: Will you pursue any relationships with VDP software providers? DW: There are a couple of options, and we will be looking at some people. Integrated Product and Process Development (IPPD) will let us plug in their document composition solution. We will expand in these areas: geographic, business partners, telephone marketing, and growth markets in areas like Asia and Eastern Europe. ODJ: When do you expect to make major progress toward your goal of capturing “a sizeable share of the market”? DW: We expect to see payback within the three-year period of the Joint Venture. The Joint Venture is in place to make that seamless. We have a lot of data to target mature markets. ODJ: Where is your workflow software offering headed? DW: Now we have it in very large corporate customers and will be moving it into becoming more manageable tool with IPPD compatibility. We will make it more available and affordable for a broader range of customers in more heterogeneous environments, like those with document composition tools. Customers can have this for their backbone piece and with the involvement of Ricoh, we will be able to look at how it could evolve into the general office. The cost of distributed printing is expensive, so there is opportunity in the market. ODJ: Does this leave IBM with any printing offerings? DW: IBM will keep mainframe printing software, which InfoPrint will develop for them. It’s “printer software” in that it is at the very beginning of the print data stream. It has no manipulation capabilities. It manages printing that comes out of the mainframe, and then other printing process software takes it from there. IBM will keep mainframe printing software, which InfoPrint will develop for them. ODJ: End-to-end workflow software is part of the new Joint Venture portfolio. How much of this do you have now? And could you define end to end--where do you see the end points? DW: We’re talking about workflow software for production print shops today that is unique by customer. We’re bringing that with us. InfoPrint Workflow Solutions Software and IPPD are opening a new market for a range of customers who want a little more. We’re talking about to the mail on one end, such as sorting so you can deliver to distribute sorting centers. Process software goes all the way out to the mail piece and associated records, and in metering to help customers, and do things like “householding”. On other end, it starts at the mainframe. We take the data coming down, and can sort data from the mainframe any way you want. It’s about the marriage of data streams and control of all elements of data. In this, we have a unique perspective that no other printer company has.