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Heidelberg Announces New e-portal Solution, HeiPort to Improve Efficiency

Press release from the issuing company

HeiPort e-services to improve efficiency of print-buying process; enable remote proofing, electronic orders and more efficient job management April 23, 2002 -- Print businesses will be able to use the power of the Internet to improve service and strengthen relationships with customers, employing a new, state-of-the-arte-commerce solution announced today by Heidelberg. HeiPort, a new kind of e-portal, will allow print providers to communicate directly with print buyers through a designated Web site and will enable an array of e-services, from remote proofing and online requests for printing quotes and orders, to job management and secure file transfer. The HeiPort system also will be customizable to feature the branding of individual print businesses and will serve as an online gateway to Heidelberg’s emerging Prinect products. Available to U.S. print providers in August, the HeiPort e-portal is designed to save print providers time and effort by enhancing the print production workflow; providing quick response to customer needs; and seamlessly integrating with the equipment of Heidelberg and other manufacturers. It also is built to strengthen customer relationships, unlike printing auction sites that depersonalize the relationship and treat printing services as a commodity. “The Internet offers enormous potential for printers to serve their customers better, but so far it hasn’t been easy to do - and current e-portal auction sites have actually made it more difficult,” said Wolfgang Pfizenmaier, president of Heidelberg’s Digital Solution Center. “With the HeiPort e-portal, we’re giving print providers exactly what they’ve asked for - an Internet solution that boosts productivity, improves workflow and helps print businesses build stronger customer relationships.” Making e-services productive for printers Print providers are facing the challenge of meeting customer demand for faster turnaround times, greater productivity and more print solutions. Previous Internet technologies have fallen short because they haven’t linked to the printer’s entire workflow. HeiPort services will bridge that technology gap by enabling access to a full range of online tools that allow all parts of the print workflow to collaborate with one another. The fully job definition format (JDF)-compliant HeiPort system can be integrated with other JDF-based packages, including Heidelberg’s emerging portfolio of Prinect workflow products, as well PrintTalk-compliant products. Printers will be able to easily take advantage of HeiPort’s services, without a major investment in new equipment. All it takes is an URL and a password for customers to access HeiPort’s array of tools, including: Remote proofing Heidelberg’s Remote Proofing ASP enables WYSIWYG soft-copy proofing of jobs over the Internet. Printers and print buyers can use it to collaborate on brochures, sell sheets, manuals and other print jobs. They can then review and approve them in real time - and in full resolution - online. With the click of a mouse, customers can view and mark up print jobs on screen - just as they would mark changes on hard-copy proofs. Everyone involved in a particular job is notified immediately by e-mail whenever an edit is suggested and/or a change is made. Print customers benefit from the convenience of the Internet and from a service that provides shorter correction cycles and eliminates the cost of express-mail charges to submit desired changes. The Remote Proofing ASP was developed by Heidelberg collaboratively with RealTimeImage, Inc. It is available today as a stand-alone service to print providers, who can subscribe on a monthly basis with no initial sign-up fee. A customizable version of the ASP will be available as part of the overall HeiPort e-portal system in August. Custom branding The e-portal technology is Heidelberg’s, but the e-services remain the functions of individual print businesses. The services are accessible through a printer’s Web site, and it’s up to the printer how the e-services are offered to its customers, which e-services it offers and how the e-services are arranged on its Web site. Online print buying HeiPort provides an online shop that lets printers communicate easily with their customers for such activities as printing quotes, job orders, job tracking and electronic reorders of archived jobs. The system features a user-friendly request-for-quotes process for easy specification of basic jobs. Fast, secure file transfers The HeiPort e-solution offers advantages over existing Internet solutions, including e-mail or FTP sites, by allowing multiple files to be transported in a single session, providing interruption recovery and 128-bit encryption security - the same level of security as online banking. According to Pfizenmaier, the HeiPort e-portal is a modular system that will be expanded over time. “The array of online services we’re showing at ON DEMAND provide tremendous opportunities for printers and their customers, but they are only the beginning. In future versions, we’ll expand the system to offer more high-value services, from e-cataloging and template creation, to preflighting and personalized variable data printing.” Equipment and availability Print businesses can easily take advantage of HeiPort’s full range of services, without the need for additional equipment. They can get started with their current Web browser (it accepts Internet Explorer or Netscape) on a standard Windows or Macintosh personal computer. Larger files and more complex jobs, however, may require a higher-speed Internet connection. Printers in the U.S. can begin employing the HeiPort e-services system in August. For European Customers it'll probably available in spring 2003.