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Look Out, New ASP Launch from IKON Ready to Shake the Print Industry

Press release from the issuing company

5/29/01(WhatTheyThink.com) Ikon's Digital Express 2000 has been around for 3 years with many customers already on board. However, the company has delayed a full promotion of the ASP solution while adjusting key features and watching adoption rates. The delay related to making sure there was a complete solution working in real, diverse environments for an extended period of time. Sources say Ikon's complete ASP will go right up against printCafe, Noosh and others in the e-procurement print space. Ikon has set aside over $40 million this year to Digital Express and "will do whatever it takes to win in this space." The new product is in beta and will launch "in a big way this summer." Sources say the company has kept a low profile because of market conditions. Their development plans have always been in the 3-5 year timeframe. Said one source familiar with Digital Express' development, "It looks like Ikon predicted the fall out and stayed under the radar. Actually, they've been very methodical watching others go down and waiting to pounce." Ikon's new Business Development Manager for Digital Express, Robin Michalisko says the complete ASP venture will target printers, in-plants, creative agencies and publishers.  "Basically, we are selling a very robust eProcurement solution with digital asset management abilities to the industry. It solves many problems that face our competitors and opens the door to adoption." Barb Pellow, Ikon's Senior Vice President of Marketing has kept the vocal presence of Ikon's e-solution in the media. She made a very important presentation about Digital Express and the future of e-print at the OnDemand Show in February. "While some difficulties have been experienced of late by providers of print e-procurement services, this does not change the fact that buyers of printing services are moving quickly to a Web workstyle. IKON's offering places print e-procurement services within easy reach of print service providers, enabling them to meet these customer needs while still maintaining control of the customer relationship." Ikon's Digital Express will deliver applications - deploy, host and manage a complete software solution. Michalisko says the hosted applications will be delivered via the Internet or a company's WAN on a subscription basis. "There are several pricing options, but basically the customer is charged either per user - seat - or enterprise wide. In some cases, the price is 5% of what other providers charge."   There is no capital investment required by clients of Ikon. Software revisions and upgrades will be included and the system is customizable and carries customer branding. Michalisko says their system enables commercial printers to compete with the dot coms that are earning revenues off their customers. "The software offers tracking and reporting mechanisms, such as shipping verification, proof of delivery and order history. It reduces and streamlines inventory storage and file management costs by automatically archiving documents and images not in use." Michalisko said the system would convert application files to industry standard PDF or HTML without imposing proprietary formats.   Print customers can use Ikon locations as needed under the program. "Digital Express expands the printer's capacity by leveraging the web as a way of selling and marketing as well as a distribute and print workflow.  All customers on Digital Express can easily outsource print projects to any of our print facilities across North America and Europe." The services are delivered to multiple parties and securely housed in a central managed facility, instead of a customer's location. "It provides the lowest-risk, most cost-effective, scaleable, eProcurement solution possible," says Michalisko.

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