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Esko-Graphics BackStage and Collaborative Studio intraFLEX ERP integrate via JDF and XMP

Press release from the issuing company

CMM INTERNATIONAL: Chicago, IL (April 18, 2005) - Collaborative Studio, Inc. and Esko-Graphics today announce the availability of a Job Definition Format (JDF) based workflow solution between Esko-Graphics’ industry-recognized Scope BackStage workflow automation server and intraFLEX, the industry’s first “on-demand” ERP system. Responding to industry demand to standardize end-to-end job ticket specifications, the integration fills the need to streamline the print production process. The jointly developed Esko-Graphics and Collaborative Studio solution incorporates JDF technologies and recommendations set forth by the CIP4 Consortium (www.cip4.org). It will also utilize Esko-Graphics’ XMP plug-in to view and incorporate job information such as barcode settings, layers, inks and ink coverage, structural information, and other keywords that are added by Esko-Graphics. This information can be viewed from within intraFLEX by using the plug-in created by Esko-Graphics. “Esko-Graphics and Collaborative Studio have not only overcome the significant challenges associated with connecting technologies of these types, but have designed a digital workflow integration standard that is unmatched,” remarks Troy Walker, Chief Technology Officer at Collaborative Studio. With this new integration, an order entered in intraFLEX can create a pre-production Job Ticket (JDF) within BackStage without costly reentering, faxing or redundant data entry. The pre-production department using BackStage will automatically receive critical job specifications approved by the intraFLEX ERP user, providing tremendous cost savings and increased efficiency. Furthermore, information can be passed between both systems while work on the job is in progress. intraFLEX can track and store deliverables produced by BackStage for the job, improving communication and resulting in cost savings. Digital approvals and status updates can occur in both systems where appropriate, and these approvals and job status updates can pass back and forth between both systems as needed. The integration option will be an integral part of the intraFLEX Digital Workflow offering. It will also be part of Esko-Graphics’ continued commitment to delivering packaging pre-production solutions. The implementation is XML-based and encompasses all parameters of the file from creation to press. The power of BackStage and intraFLEX combine to bring a new dimension in streamlining the information exchange between different applications and systems. “This is another fine example of how the use of standard technologies like JDF and XMP can lead to relatively quick ‘interoperability’. This kind of joint solution is very much a frequently asked question in the packaging industry. All our customers ask us advice on which MIS or ERP system to use in their facilities. We can now direct our customers to intraFLEX as a focused solution. This collaboration helps us both, because it makes business sense in a greater context: the optimization of the packaging supply chain,” comments Wim Delagrange, product manager of Esko-Graphics’ workflow server ‘BackStage’.