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IBM Printing Systems Inks Multi-Million Dollar Deal with Direct Group

Press release from the issuing company

BOULDER, CO - Aug. 2, 2004 - Direct Group (DG), a leading company in the premium high-volume, time sensitive segment of the direct mail industry, announced it has upgraded its direct mail facility with 16 IBM Infoprint 4100 Advanced Function Printing high-speed, high-volume continuous forms printers.  DG now offer its clients enhanced check printing with improved image and magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) capability, quality, and throughput.  IBM’s Infoprint 4100 uses an enhanced 600 dot-per-inch (dpi) print head, outline fonts and IBM’s exclusive Edge Smoothing Algorithm to intelligently form very accurate MICR characters that have crisper characters, cleaner spacing between characters and smoother, finer lines.  With 600 dpi resolution on all of its production lasers, Direct Group can now offer high-quality, high-resolution type and graphics to all customers on all jobs with visibly better typography.  The increased resolution of 600 dpi is especially important in the reproduction of MICR encoding characters, the magnetic line across the bottom of checks that enables the documents to clear the U.S. banking system. "600 dpi means best quality; we can’t afford to provide our customers with anything less,” said Ron Snyder, chief technology officer of DG. “Our former laser workstations were tethered by a short leash to their production units. All the Infoprint 4100s are networked and can be fully accessed and controlled locally or remotely via secured TCP/IP, allowing us the efficiency to instantly print jobs here, at another of our New Jersey facilities, or across the country." The new high-speed MICR and text printing capabilities can allow duplex jobs to be printed at up to 1,220 letter-size impressions-per-minute (ipm), to provide increased productivity with a throughput improvement of up to 22% when compared with the previous Infoprint 4100 offering.  Recently announced in April, this updated MICR feature is the latest in IBM’s premier solutions offering.  “We’re delighted to provide Direct Group with the flexibility and control to satisfy its stringent customer requirements,” said David Myers, director worldwide production solutions, IBM Printing Systems. “IBM's cost-effective digital-printing solution combined with our services approach and worldwide support ensures our customers have the leadership print quality essential to remain competitive in today’s direct mail industry.” IBM, in conjunction with IBM Business Partner Sirius Computer Solutions, converted DG with the installation of high-speed, high-resolution Infoprint 4100 HD3/HD4 systems at DG’s direct mail facility in Swedesboro, NJ.   “Direct Group is very pleased with IBM’s and Sirius’ ability to fulfill their commitments on service delivery, product performance and creative financing options,” said Jesse Beasley, vice president of sales, Sirius Computer Solutions. “This is a key strategic relationship for all parties involved, and we anticipate additional growth in the near future.” The IBM Infoprint 4100 series can help commercial printers, direct mailers, service bureaus and enterprise data centers to increase printing speed and reduce operational costs while achieving superior print quality, through advanced features designed to save time and minimize operator intervention. All Infoprint 4100 printers include operator-switchable resolution for producing 480 dpi or 600 dpi output from 240/300/600 dpi input; switchable speed for printing on challenging media or with MICR; high-speed FICON optical-fiber and Gigabit Ethernet attachments for maximum productivity; integrated pinless and tractor-feed paper path; and an enhanced operator console with graphical user interface.