By Cary Sherburne October 28, 2003 -- WhatTheyThink contributing columnist Cary Sherburne spoke with Dianne Merzel, Elixir’s Sr. Vice President of Sales & Marketing, and Julie Wells, Director of Marketing, as they were preparing their Xplor show booth. Elixir is showing two new products at Xplor this year, Vitesse and Design Pro Tools. Added to its existing Opus Enterprise solution for creating high volume personalized business communications, the company now offers a series of solutions targeted to meet the needs of any size company, and is promoting its solutions as a way to establish more effective organizational workflows. Opus Enterprise is featured in the Xerox booth. Since its founding sixteen years ago, Elixir Technologies Corporation has pioneered advanced document production technologies specializing in solutions for improving communications between businesses and their customers, predominantly in industries such as insurance, banking, billing, health care, education, government and manufacturing. Long recognized as a market leader in the development of tools for creating and managing forms, fonts and images in the transactional printing space, Elixir headquarters are in Ventura, California and the company has customers in more than 70 countries. According to Merzel, Vitesse is a VIPP composition tool designed primarily for producing variable data applications using Xerox print engines and VIPP, and is part of the Xerox FreeFlow architecture. Vitesse can produce both color and black & white variable data applications such as booklets, forms and materials for loyalty programs. With an initial license of $8,900, Elixir is targeting service bureaus serving the financial services and insurance industries, mail fulfillment houses and the office segment. Elixir also offers training and a designer workshop to get an initial application set up and running. Design Pro Tools, a successor product to Elixir Application Suite, features a brand-new user interface and can be configured to support Xerox print streams, or AFP. There are some 3,000 Elixir Application Suite customers in the Xerox customer base that are candidates for the Design Pro Tools upgrade, and the company will be working with IBM to acquire new customers in the AFP environment. [Randy, IBM is scheduled to do a press release Monday morning; place link here] A professional version of Design Pro Tools supports both Xerox and AFP within the same package. Design Pro Tools and Design Pro Tools AFP are an automated set of tools that eliminate much of the manual programming previously required in the development of forms and other materials and resources in the high-speed transactional printing space, meaning that skilled programmers can be assigned to other, more productive tasks, and delivering a clear ROI for product implementation, based on reduced cycle time and reduction in the amount of technical resources required for these operations. Design Pro Tools list pricing ranges from $16,000 to $29,000. In addition to these new products, Elixir has refocused its efforts on the small- to mid-sized business and has established three labs with more than 120 developers. “This will allow us to ramp up the level of customer support we provide,” said Merzel, “particularly for smaller organizations, including fulfillment houses and service bureaus, and to provide plenty of resource for the development of customized solutions.” In another move designed to extend its reach, Elixir is a Creo variable information partner, and is in discussions with EFI to expand its relationship there, resulting in the ability to support additional print streams. Elixir brings to these relationships its expertise in solutions serving the financial services and insurance segments, where the company has traditionally had a strong presence, as well as state & local government, which is a newer market for Elixir. Wellings adds, “We have also been experiencing tremendous success in working with associations and organizations, particularly in the production of personalized newsletters and other one-to-one communications with their memberships, as well as loyalty programs outside of the association space.” Attendees at Xplor can visit Elixir at Booth 1027, where Merzel and Wellings will be joined by Frank McGee, Sr. Vice President of Professional Services and other members of the Elixir staff.