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IBM Solutions Help Printers Reduce Costs and Increase Productivity

Press release from the issuing company

DUSSELDORF, GERMANY--May 6, 2004 -- DRUPA 2004 -- Continuing its technology leadership in the commercial printing market, IBM today announced increased support for open standards and pointed to forthcoming enhancements to its Infoprint 4100 solutions, all aimed at helping commercial print companies transform to on demand businesses. New features in Infoprint Manager, IBM's print management and integration software solution, are being built on open standards like JDF, PPML and Linux, allowing customers to manage multiple data streams and dynamically match print job requirements to real-time print capacity -- all through one job ticket. In addition, IBM intends to provide a new release of Infoprint Manager for Microsoft Windows-based platforms, one that offers commercial printers a cost-effective, entry-level solution. With Infoprint Manager for Windows, commercial-print customers stand to gain a more consistent print management solution for every phase of business growth -- from entry-level systems on Windows to high-performance systems that leverage the AIX platform. "IBM is committed to driving the print industry to open standards, just as we're committed to helping our customers become on demand businesses," said Bruce Otte, worldwide production segment manager of IBM Printing Systems. "No matter what types of IBM solutions customers use -- whether it be IBM hardware, software, services, or any combination of these -- we are uniquely positioned to help customers respond to dynamic, unpredictable changes in demand, supply and pricing with the help of open standards." Infoprint Manager Solutions: Ideal for On Demand Environments IBM plans to provide many of the same capabilities that currently exist on Infoprint Manager for AIX in this Infoprint Manager for Windows solution. New features include job submission clients for Windows and Macintosh, rip and store capabilities for improved performance on complex jobs, finishing support to simplify complex finishing jobs such as booklet production, and the ability to customize halftone settings through calibration graphical user interface (GUI). Entry-level commercial printers can expect to increase turnaround time to customers, since complex PostScript print jobs can run at up to rated speed on IBM printers, similar to AFP jobs. The updated Infoprint Manager solution is being configured to include new color mapping tables, which feature images and halftones, and can print in an unprecedented 256 shades of gray without change to the color application. IBM Leads the Industry Drive to Open Standards IBM intends to provide enhanced PPML to AFP datastream transforms for both Infoprint Manager for Windows and Infoprint Manager for AIX. This is designed to allow jobs created in PPML to enjoy the advantages of IBM's open AFP architecture, including IBM's technology for optimizing full-color printing performance and rendering monochrome printing in color-equivalent levels of gray. Now, customers can combine full-color and black-and-white PostScript, PDF or JPG objects in a single print job. The Infoprint solution is expected to also support a Linux-based transform manager, to enhance the transform performance. Linux is portable to any platform and interfaces with most operating systems, so printers can integrate seamlessly with customers and suppliers. New Web-based job submission capabilities supporting common JDF job tickets are expected to allow administrators, users or print purchasers to submit print jobs remotely or over the Internet from a Web browser. Since administrators should only need to install the solution once on the Web server, it is easier and less costly to manage and support. With one central installation, users can submit all job tickets to a single server, including job tickets for both continuous and cut-sheet printers. IBM intends to deliver these new features for Infoprint Manager for Windows by the end of next year. For more information, visit www.ibm.com/printers.