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Blanchard Systems Installs Dalim Mistral System To Assist Primedia In Remotely Managing Its Coast-To-Coast Platform

Press release from the issuing company

NEW ORLEANS, LA – September 27, 2006 – Blanchard Systems, an integration company providing sophisticated digital prepress solutions, announces it has deployed a DALiM MiSTRAL/DALiM TWiST/DALiM DiALOGUE-based production system throughout the States for Primedia's Enthusiast Media Group. Primedia Enthusiast Media, part of Primedia, the leading targeted media company in the United States, is the #1 special interest magazine publisher in the U.S. The group's intent is to run a virtual environment for editorial and ad pages among 150 art directors in over 30 editorial offices nationwide. Primedia made the decision to work with Blanchard Systems as a logical next step in its integration of the Dalim Software suite of solutions. Blanchard Systems architected, built, and managed a system that includes Primedia as well as customers Quebecor World and American Color. Currently, Primedia operates their own DALiM TWiST servers to internally handle incoming digital ad files with a standard process across its 80-title, nine office West Coast platform. For editorial pages, Quebecor World Premedia in Los Angeles administers the DALiM MiSTRAL/DALiM DiALOGUE systems. For Primedia's East Coast titles, American Color administers the same solution set for both ad processing and editorial page production across twelve additional offices. DALiM MiSTRAL has been in place for the past three and a half years on most of Primedia's East Coast titles. The DALiM MiSTRAL rollout on the West Coast, the final link in the system, is just about complete. In all, Primedia's system will incorporate about 100 titles. “We have administrative and editorial offices throughout the United States, in such places as Ann Arbor MI, Harrisburg PA, Stuart FL and Kirkland WA. When we originally investigated software, DALiM MiSTRAL was the only workflow/collaboration tool that met our business requirements,” notes Gregory Catsaros, vice president, manufacturing, Primedia Enthusiast Media. “There was no other competitive tool on the market.” Blanchard built and coordinated the process with both Primedia's internal resources as well as Quebecor World and American Color. “We engaged Blanchard through our premedia providers and implemented a powerful automated suite that allowed better management of the overall process. Before we installed DALiM MiSTRAL, our editorial to prepress process was very fragmented. We're now able to better manage our environment, and have been able to drive greater control within editorial and prepress operations in the field. Our system has brought together consistency through a consolidated workflow. It's a complete process, involving everyone from art director to printer,” adds Catsaros. “Regardless of who owns the tools—our vendors or our own systems situated in our data centers—the process is common across the platform. Our system allows us to remotely manage status (approvals, corrections, etc.) via a web browser, implement a remote proofing platform for both content and color, and provide a truly remote environment where all corrections, markups, proofing and approvals are handled through a single interface.” There are two workflows: editorial and advertising. Currently, advertising is processed inside the walls of the company via Primedia's DALiM TWiST servers. All management, proofing and approvals are handled via TWiST WEBLiNK in sixteen remote offices from Los Angeles to Tampa, FL. Primedia is also running DALiM SWiNG servers in some primary on-site facilities to normalize PDF/X-1a files. By processing files that integrate high-resolution images in the pages, files are reduced by 40% before they are broadcast to the data center facilities, reducing bandwidth requirements and cost. One of the advantages of DALiM MiSTRAL has been its flexibility, allowing Primedia to build automated workflow processes to fit the various existing models. Dalim Software also has the ability to run across all platforms. Primedia defines what they need in a workflow and, with a little bit of engineering, DALiM MiSTRAL and/or TWiST WEBLiNK can handle it. “Our prepress engineering team, overseen by Craig Harry, our Director of Prepress, has done a terrific job,' says Catsaros. The next DALiM MiSTRAL implementation phase will be to automate fractional page assembly by leveraging Primedia's existing issue layout tools. On the ad materials processing side, Primedia intends to extend their TWiST WEBLiNK portal, currently used internally by Primedia's Ad Operations group, directly to its advertisers, as part of single solution for managing electronic insertion orders and materials handling. “When you look at Primedia Enthusiast Media, it's basically a group managing a great number of separate organizations located throughout the States. For example, Surfer is in Dana Point, CA, Power and Motor Yacht is in New York City, Horse & Rider is in Lake Dallas, and Fly Fisherman is in Harrisburg, PA. Primedia recognized that they needed a tool to drive all their production from these remote locations to centralized corporate data centers,” comments Charles Blanchard, Blanchard Systems CEO. “We were happy to help them build a system to connect their remote offices, data centers, and outside print/prepress vendors. We applaud Primedia for the vision, discipline, and technical expertise to get it done.” “In addition to more effectively managing our remote offices and remote processes nationwide, Primedia has reduced operating costs and cycle. Both were achieved by recruiting Blanchard Systems as part of our engineering team to help leverage the power of the Dalim Software suite to drive efficiencies across the platform,” summarizes Catsaros. “Blanchard has provided significant support on the West Coast. They have been extremely responsive and their level of expertise has been terrific. We believe they provide the best support of Dalim Software solutions in the country.”

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