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NGP Partners Unveil More than 80 Integration Pairs of JDF Solutions at drupa

Press release from the issuing company

May 6, 2004 – Networked Graphic Production Partners are pleased to announce the successful achievement of the goals established eight months ago at Graph Expo 2003. At drupa 2004, NGP Partners are presenting over 80 pairs of NGP Partner solutions that use the JDF (CIP4) specification. These solutions create a network of integrated solutions that provide a seamless flow of job and production data across the entire production process. NGP solutions enable printers’ existing hardware and software to join a seamless flow of production data that will help them achieve better visibility and control over their entire business. “On behalf of the NGP Partners, I can say that we are all very pleased to announce that we have had resounding success in accomplishing the goals,” explained Jacki Hudmon, General Manager, Komori. “Our joint development efforts using the JDF standard have resulted in great success — in both development and working installations at customer sites.” “The NGP Partners’ development goals are summarized by the integration matrix that shows over 80 partner pair integrations that are either installed, in testing or in development,” stated Henny van Esch, Managing Director, Optichrome Computer Systems Limited. “As you can imagine, it is not easy to get this many vendors aligned and moving in the same direction — but as you can see, the NGP Partners have had early success and we are looking forward to even greater accomplishments into the future!” JDF-enabled solutions are being demonstrated at the NGP Pavilion at drupa, Hall 4, Stand B22, and at several NGP Partner booths at drupa. The matrix showing the status of more than 80 partner pairs is available at the NGP Pavilion and online at www.ngppartners.org. An NGP drupa map that identifies the location of all NGP Partner booths is available at the NGP Pavilion. NGP Value Reaches Printers With 43 NGP Partners, printers now have a growing selection of integrated JDF solutions to choose from, including software, systems and equipment. Printers are installing NGP Partner solutions and reaping the benefits of integration through automated production processes, reductions in operating costs, and by gaining unprecedented levels of visibility and control over their entire print facility. “For every new system we consider, we don’t ask the supplier just if it’s JDF compatible, because they all are. We ask if they have gone down the NGP route,” said Jack Bissett, technical director, Polestar Group, UK. “It seems to be the only game in town where people are getting together and doing real-world integration work.” “We look at NGP as getting all the suppliers reading from the same book,” said Kirk Lawrence, director of technical services, Motheral Printing Company, Fort Worth, Texas. “Just saying they do JDF is like saying they all speak the same language, but it doesn’t mean they’re reading from the same book. “We will definitely not buy any equipment from anyone unless they are an NGP partner in future. Printers who don’t get the point of integration will be the ones that do not survive. For the first time I remember, printing has not followed the economic curve — the economy has gone up but printing has not. We need to get the performance we can from our systems — anyone who doesn’t will just be a statistic.” NGP Establishes Targets for Future The NGP Partners are focusing on three areas moving forward: The NGP Partnership supports the efforts of CIP4 by actively participating in the definition of the JDF standard and the evolution of the JDF subset known as the ICS (interoperability conformance specification). In order to ensure convergence of the NGP experience and the CIP4 membership efforts, NGP will actively pursue the goal of having a single industry ICS and will bring recommendations to the CIP4 working groups to ensure the highest ROI value to printers. NGP Partners will also focus on the cross-vendor implementation and best practices for cross-vendor JDF installations at customer sites. NGP Partners will address this essential area by providing a forum to discuss and refine the implementation practices that will ultimately deliver printers the assurance that NGP Partners not only have the JDF technology to deliver success, but also have shared expertise from over 40 vendors to ensure a quick and efficient installation process. This will be very important as every printer’s environment is unique and will require expertise from both technology and business aspects. NGP will document the findings related to: - Implementation issues - Best implementation practices - On-site testing procedures - Issue escalation procedures -Cross-supplier project management practices The NGP Partners will also work on delivering measurements that explain how these integrated solutions helped printers save money, increase revenue or become more efficient. These ROI examples will be achieved by capturing and documenting the savings of NGP implementations in the customer sites. These actions will accelerate the adoption of JDF in the field by increasing the chances of success and finding ways to identify the value of JDF, based on the collective experience of 43 NGP Partners. With a diverse range of knowledge, NGP Partners will share experiences to help define the quickest, most efficient way to bring cross-vendor solutions into customer sites. New NGP Customer Advisory Board NGP Partners have created a Customer Advisory Board as a way of receiving feedback from customers on the development and implementation of the NGP solutions. By consulting with these printers, NGP Partners will also hear directly about the return on investment printers are receiving from these integrations. NGP has helped to bring JDF to the forefront of industry issues and helped printers understand why JDF is valuable. JDF has been the subject of extensive discussion throughout the industry, in conferences, the trade press, and between printers. NGP Partners have also contributed to the activities of CIP4, which defined the JDF specification, as each NGP Partner belongs to CIP4. Seven New Partners Join NGP Forty-three companies have now partnered under the NGP banner to develop JDF-enabled solutions. NGP welcomes: Akiyama International, press manufacturer QuadTech, Inc., automated printing control systems and material handling equipment for newspaper, commercial, gravure publications and packaging markets Sakurai, press manufacturer Mitsubishi Paper Mills Limited, inkjet paper, graphic arts systems and consumables OneVision Software AG, software solutions to optimize print and media production workflow Pragma, MIS/ERP software Horizon International, Inc., finishing solutions NGP Daily Magazine – Produced Live at drupa! NGP Partners are publishing the NGP Daily magazine during drupa using several integrated solutions. The publication describes new products using JDF and printers who have automated their plants using NGP solutions. The eight-page magazine is available at the NGP Pavilion and at NGP Partner stands throughout drupa. To see NGP solutions in action, please visit the NGP Pavilion (Hall 4, Stand B22) where demonstrations of several JDF-integrated solutions are underway. Pick up an NGP drupa map for the location of all NGP Partner booths.