EFI Digital StoreFront 2.5 Sets New Standard for Web-to-Print Solution
Press release from the issuing company
FOSTER CITY, Calif.--July 25, 2005-- EFI, the world leader in digital imaging and print management solutions for commercial and enterprise printing, is now shipping the latest version of Digital StoreFront(TM) with new Remote Print Center workflow integration, JDF-based job tickets and visual job ticket wizards, stronger VDP capabilities, and more robust PrintMessenger Drivers.
EFI Digital StoreFront provides a complete, streamlined workflow from the document creator, through the print production environment, to finishing and delivery. By providing a robust, personalized interactive intranet or Internet presence 24 hours a day, Digital StoreFront enhances customer relationships and improves profitability. With more than 400 systems sold worldwide, it is the industry's leading web-to-print solution and the recent recipient of BERTL's Best Innovation Award.
A simple interface allows print customers to submit digital files from their PC or Macintosh computers, view PDF proofs of their documents for immediate review and approval, and easily enter their own job specifications for production and finishing. Once that information is entered, Digital StoreFront creates a production job ticket and the file is automatically submitted into the print center's workflow, billing systems, print servers and output devices.
"With the introduction of Digital StoreFront 2.5, we're setting a new standard for web-to-print applications," said Chuck Gehman, EFI Director of Product Marketing. "This is the first solution that supports the varied business relationships and products that print service providers need to be successful doing business with their customers online. Whether a shop is an In-plant or CRD, commercial printer (retail or closed door, digital or offset), or a facilities management service provider, Digital StoreFront offers robust solutions. Document owners and purchasing staffers can easily submit, specify intent, approve and buy, for jobs ranging from direct mail VDP, business cards and stationery, binders with multiple sections and customized tabs, and even financial documents like pitch books or prospectus. Unlike 'point solutions' or custom-developed web sites, which are targeted at niche applications, Digital StoreFront 2.5 is the first generally available and easy-to-deploy application that has broad enough capabilities to answer these challenges."
Digital StoreFront provides a powerful integration with EFI's workflow and MIS solutions -- the system creates an "end-to-end" content and commerce workflow from the desktop of the printer's customer directly to EFI Fiery, Balance(TM) and Micropress solutions for digital printing and to EFI's Hagen(TM), Logic(TM) and PSI(TM) print management systems.
First time job submission is simplified for both the print service provider and the customer, with jobs submitted as settings-correct PDF files. The online catalog in Digital StoreFront makes frequently used documents easily accessible for ordering. Customers can see the status of their orders -- when placed, when in production and when shipped -- without playing telephone tag.
Digital StoreFront 2.5 has several new key features:
JDF-based Job Tickets
Digital StoreFront's revolutionary new JDF-based job ticketing and visual job ticket wizards allow customers to easily specify even very complex job intent, by walking them through the process in a user-friendly way. Pre-defined tickets can now be deployed as product choices, with graphics that help the user decide which ticket is most appropriate for the job they wish to produce. Tickets can also be pre-filled, with default choices, so customers can more quickly define the finished product they wish to have produced. Instructions for producing complex print products, including multiple job files, in multiple formats (such as PDF, native Microsoft Office document formats, and even desktop publishing application formats such as QuarkXpress or Adobe InDesign files), can be represented in the new tickets. The all-new ticketing architecture lays the groundwork for future innovations in JDF integration with EFI MIS, output and workflow applications, as well as with third-party applications.
New Catalog and VDP Capabilities
The Digital StoreFront 2.5 Catalog offers new support for non-print items, such as advertising specialties or corporate logo merchandise, in addition to PDF documents for print-on-demand applications.
An enhanced Template Driven VDP Documents Module provides a complete batch merge capability for more sophisticated 1:1 marketing products like direct mail pieces and newsletters, when combined with the optional new Workstation or Server Merge Modules. Customers can now upload their own database files to produce personalized documents. Upcoming versions of Digital StoreFront will also offer the ability for users to purchase databases from list providers, via an alliance with USADATA.
The new VDP features include advanced capabilities such as the ability to choose images, as well as to upload images on the fly at order-time, pre-fill templates from user profiles, and pre-fill templates from database files with the ability to preview results in a standard browser with no plug-ins or applets. Users can also preview selected records online, or step through the entire database previewing each record against the template document.
Updated PrintMessenger Drivers
The unlimited license EFI PrintMessenger PDF generating drivers included standard with Digital StoreFront have been one of its most popular features. The latest release of PrintMessenger has an enhanced interface that gives users more feedback during the PDF conversion and file upload process. And there is now the ability to send multiple files, from multiple desktop applications to the Digital StoreFront server in one easy workflow. There is no need to have the full Adobe Acrobat software installed on each user workstation, and there are none of the additional license fees that are typical of other vendor's PDF generation solutions.
Remote Print Center
The new Remote Print Center module provides direct integration at the printing site with workflow solutions, like Fiery, Balance and Micropress. Even if you choose to use Digital StoreFront as an ASP solution (hosted in EFI's data center), you can still take advantage of its powerful workflow integration via Remote Print Center. Files are available locally for output, and Remote Print Center even supports multiple printing sites, with the ability to "move" jobs from one to another, for load balancing or for redundancy in the event of equipment failure at one site.
Retail print operations with multiple store front sites, facilities management solution providers and corporate printing operations with multiple manned print rooms will welcome the new Location Manager feature which lets users choose where their job will be sent for production.
Flexible Deployment Options
Digital StoreFront can be deployed in four ways. It is available as a completely self-hosted system, delivered as software-only (for installation on customer-supplied hardware and operating system configurations); as a "turn key" integrated hardware and software solution; as a managed service, delivered as an ASP service residing in EFI's world-class data center; or as a combination or "hybrid" configuration, in which the Digital StoreFront database and customer-interaction components reside in the EFI data center, and job files and workflow integration are delivered by additional servers installed at the printing site(s). No other web-to-print solution offers support for such advanced and flexible deployment strategies.
New Enterprise Server Configuration
For high volume print operations, Digital StoreFront is now available in an integrated Enterprise hardware and software configuration. The new scalable server platform and operating system software is specifically designed for larger installations. The new configuration includes a rack-mountable dual-CPU Dell server, with a large RAID storage subsystem, plenty of RAM memory and multiple network adapters, pre-installed with a Microsoft server operating system for "plug-and-play" in your server environment.
Version 2.5 is available in the English language today. French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch and Norwegian languages are scheduled to ship in Q3. Digital StoreFront is available from EFI's partners Canon, Ikon, Konica-Minolta, Ricoh and Toshiba, as well as independent dealers, in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information please contact 1-800-875-7117.
WhatTheyThink is the global printing industry's leading independent media organization with both print and digital offerings, including WhatTheyThink.com, PrintingNews.com and WhatTheyThink magazine versioned with a Printing News and Wide-Format & Signage edition. Our mission is to provide cogent news and analysis about trends, technologies, operations, and events in all the markets that comprise today’s printing and sign industries including commercial, in-plant, mailing, finishing, sign, display, textile, industrial, finishing, labels, packaging, marketing technology, software and workflow.