Plymouth, MA, (May 30, 2002) PRISM USA held its first-ever user conference earlier this month and attracted an impressive caliber of delegates from across the US printing industry. Many of those who attended the three-day event were business owners and senior mangers from medium to large-sized organizations proof that information technology now has top-level awareness within the industry.
As well as being the first Prism USA User Conference, the occasion marked the one-year anniversary of Prism’s acquisition of MicroInk that began the US leg of Prism’s global journey. The ‘Prism Journey’, as Group CEO Chris Johnson called it in his opening speech to delegates, is more than a quest to grow the company which began in Auckland, New Zealand 12 years ago, into a major player in the global printing market.
"Our aim is to give customers a Prism Journey of their own," says Johnson. "Customers want to optimize their investment in our technology, so we are taking a two-pronged approach to our delivery. Through new products like our GEM and e-Service Desk systems, we are providing a growth path for their businesses by broadening the communication they can achieve with the information they capture. Secondly, we are building strategic relationships based on complementary technologies to give our users greater efficiency and control of their businesses."
One of Prism’s first strategic relationships revealed during the conference is with Washington-based ScenicSoft. Through a joint collaboration ,they have delivered one of the industry’s first integrations based on the Job Definition Format (JDF) data transmission standard, enabling Prism Enterprise to integrate with ScenicSoft’s UpFront print production planning system.
"In this business, we have to anticipate what our customers will want to do with technology, before they know themselves," says Carol Andersen, CEO of Prism USA. "Building relationships with companies like ScenicSoft means we will already have a solution in place when customers want to adopt a new technology like JDF."
Keeping pace with change was the theme of keynote speaker, Donald Goldman’s presentation ‘The Challenge of Change’. Goldman, director of ConsultWare, used the commercial environment faced by the industry during 2001 to illustrate the future role technology will play in successful printing companies. While fellow speaker Christopher Johnson of Global Print Management addressed the constant challenge of scheduling changes in his ‘Scheduling, Workflow and Other Nightmares’ presentation.
The conference program also included product-specific workshops ,where user discussions focused on sharing experiences with the architects of Prism’s product suite, which today includes Prism Enterprise, Enterprise 2000, Prism WIN and QTMS. Feedback since the conference indicates that this face-to-face forum was one of the most valuable for delegates.
"People valued being able to speak to technical specialists," continues Carol Andersen. "It is vital for our developers to receive users’ feedback because this information is taken into account during product development. Equally important is for our customers to be heard, and we encouraged them to be as open as possible."
Customer feedback is behind the development of a new online User Message Board for Prism USA users unveiled during the conference. Already launched, the Message Board will allow users to make support queries in an interactive chat room-type environment, as well as to view a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers.
Another facility soon to be made available to US customers is refresher training using Webex the Internet-based online meeting system. These one-hour sessions to be held weekly will be based on specific products and offer training for new staff as well as those who want to brush up their existing skills.
At the close of the conference Carol Andersen confirmed next year’s Prism User Conference will take place at the Coonamessett Inn, Falmouth, MA. from May 14th through May 16thm 2003.
For more information about Prism-USA or the Prism products: tel 800-842-5667, or visit our web site at www.prism-world.com.
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.