WhatTheyThink spoke with Marc Olin, EFI’s Senior Vice President and General Manager, Advanced Professional Print Software, about EFI's acquisition of PrintStream provider Streamline Development. PrintStream is a provider of management information systems.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed and EFI did not provide specific numbers on Streamline's install base indicating it was in the low hundreds.

With the acquisition of ePACE in 2008, EFI restructured its MIS portfolio to serve three relatively targeted segments: Monarch (formerly Hagen) on the high-end firms with $25+ million in revenues, PACE targeted at the mid-market, and PrintSmith focused on sub-$2 million companies. EFI acquired Radius in April 2010 to serve the packaging and label market.

Why Streamline? According to Olin, last Fall EFI launched a strategy to consolidate the MIS and Web-to-Print markets. He noted that many areas of the industry have seen consolidation but there had not yet been much consolidation in MIS and Web-to-print products and services. EFI believes this consolidation will enable the company to grow a larger install base which in turn will generate more capital for product development and innovation that can be difficult to accomplish in a fragmented market.

With this acquisition, EFI is gaining access to Streamline's PrintStream technology and customer base. EFI will continue to support PrintStream for existing customers, but the primary focus will be integrating select modules of PrintStream into EFI's Monarch and PACE products. Olin cited PrintStream's warehouse management functionality as one of those select areas. EFI has no plan to require current PrintStream users to switch to existing EFI products, but will incent them to do so via aggressive pricing structures and transition assistance should they choose to convert to Monarch or PACE. EFI will also ensure that there are adequate development resources in place to provide ongoing software maintenance to PrintStream users.

Laurence Snyder from Streamline will join EFI to oversee ongoing support of PrintStream and future product integration. Streamline employees will be incorporated into EFI in order to support PrintStream development, integration and support.

Olin reports that EFI will announce a clear set of options for PrintStream customers at its upcoming Connect user conference, scheduled for April 26-29, 2011, at the Wynn in Las Vegas. During Connect EFI will also unveil an integration roadmap for PrintStream modules with Monarch and PACE. Look for this integration to be primarily focused on the warehouse management and fulfillment modules.

Olin says that EFI is eyeing additional global MIS vendors for acquisition in 2011 to continue its consolidation strategy. He concluded conversation by saying, “EFI is eager to start a dialog with current PrintStream users to ensure continued support and to discuss the product roadmap.”