Art of Alliances
Gent, Belgium and Montreal, Canada – Enfocus and Ultimate TechnoGraphics will be showcasing their latest integrated solutions to automate workflow at PRINT18 starting September 30th. Eleven years ago, these two industry-leading companies decided to establish a partnership to combine their innovations that is considered today as pioneering and trendsetting in the integration of different prepress workflow software. Ultimate Impostrip® was in fact the first hot folder automated imposition solution that was integrated into Enfocus Switch. From that early day, users have benefitted from the optimization of all aspects of prepress imposition workflow with tools that are easy-to-use yet extremely versatile. Let’s go back a few years to recap how it all started.
A Combination of Workflow Software Solutions
Before 2007, Enfocus Switch and Ultimate Impostrip® were standalone solutions to eliminate bottlenecks in prepress. Enfocus Switch was famous for its ability to receive, sort and process files of any type, in a very smart way. Elaborate automation features provided hands-off processing; eliminating the touchpoints print service providers were typically confronted with when dealing with files that they received from their customers. Configurable Switch flows brought a high level of consistency, quality and flexibility to the prepress process, while Ultimate Impostrip®, designed with productivity in mind, optimized the imposition phase of the prepress workflow. Together, they brought workflow automation to a higher level. So it was completely natural for them to partner and share their unique expertise to improve the experience of their mutual customers. ‘’There’s a saying that goes like: Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. Deciding to partner with Enfocus back in 2007 was an easy decision. From the beginning, this collaboration has been beneficial to everyone, especially to the digital Print Service Providers.’’ shares Julie Watson, CEO of Ultimate TechnoGraphics.
For 11 years, this profitable partnership has optimized every aspect of imposition as an integrated part of customer’s prepress workflow with the flexibility and dynamic intelligence needed in automation to meet today’s demands for gang run efficiency, book signatures or on-demand booklets. Shorter runs, varying output sizes, multiple different orders each day and now finishing automation: Ultimate Impostrip® users gain an increased return on investment, while Switch customers receive new capabilities and benefits over increasingly complex printing projects that can be delivered on time and on budget.
Today, the integration of Ultimate Impostrip® and Enfocus Switch is used by customers all over the world as one simple solution to automate their prepress workflow:
“We automate our direct mail process with Ultimate Impostrip® and Enfocus Switch. After some implementation support, we had no problems with our set up. So far, we are not missing any features, and everything has been working very well! We had our experiences with other pre-press solutions in the market and we are very happy with the Ultimate Impostrip® solution. I would definitely recommend it to colleagues and friends…” says Christian Sigge from Vögeli, AG, a printing company based in Langnau, Switzerland
A Partnership Leaning Towards the Future
Both companies agree this partnership helped them adapt to today’s key trends and be prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. To simplify integrations and have customers take full advantage of the automation features within both companies’ products, Ultimate TechnoGraphics developed the Ultimate Impostrip® configurator for Switch. The configurator is now at version 11 and supports integration with Ultimate Impostrip® Automation and Ultimate Impostrip® Scalable for Windows v.8 and onwards, and Ultimate Impostrip® Solo for Mac v.9.4 and onwards. All capable of running on different computers with different operating systems, giving users ultimate flexibility in workflow options and automation. The Ultimate Impostrip® configurator comes standard with Switch and can also be downloaded from enfocus.com/partner-integrations.
In early 2018, Ultimate TechnoGraphics took it a step further by taking advantage of the Enfocus Appstore. Being part of Enfocus’ customer centric ecosystem, the Enfocus Appstore enables anyone with a creative mind to enrich Switch features through the development of apps. In close collaboration with Impressed, a Germany based distributor and integration partner for both Ultimate TechnoGraphics and Enfocus, the Ultimate Impostrip® UICL Integration app and the Ultimate Impostrip® Redirection Integration app were released, providing extra cost-savings and more efficiencies to imposition workflows. Before committing to a subscription or one-time license purchase the apps can be tried for free for 30-days, giving customers ample time to run tests with their own production files and experience the power of the solution”.
Being Prepared for Tomorrow’s Challenges
Print service providers need the flexibility to rapidly adapt their workflow when requirements change. The print market has profound changes over the past years: consolidation and competition in price, quality and services; just to name a few. To survive, printers had to move out of their comfort zone and many chose to diversify. Expanding in one or more directions brings new challenges that need to be overcome. For one, there’s no single vendor solution that will address all the different needs. Also, many customers don’t want to lock themselves in and be tied to one vendor. Instead, they look to invest in best-in-class solutions from different vendors. The challenge is making these dispersed multi-vendor solutions work cohesively and in a fully automated way. This is where partnerships come in whereby all vendors are committed to provide the best possible integrated experience and service to their shared customers.
“I’ve been saying this for some time now and it does sound harsh, but some print service providers need to diversify if they wish to survive, while others will need to automate their processes, since this is no longer a nice-to-have feature but a necessity.” says Wim Fransen, Managing Director at Enfocus. “It’s basically the last call to action. Our longstanding partnership with Ultimate TechnoGraphics helped many printers make the right choices in their quest to diversify and helped automate many of their workflow challenges. With our continuous investment in a customer centric eco-system, customers will continue to benefit from this strong partnership as they will see new automation possibilities being offered to them.”
Enfocus and Ultimate TechnoGraphics’ partnership made waves in the printing business during its inception, setting an example to other companies to do the same. It is still to this day the perfect example of combining two sets of strength and expertise, to build something greater.