Interviewer: Hi, Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Steve Bonoff who is Executive Vice President of Marketing for ID Alliance. Welcome.
Steve Bonoff: Thank you Cary, nice to see you again.
Cary Sherburne: Yes same here. Now, you know what it’s been six, eight months since ID Alliance and IPA.
Steve Bonoff: On the first of April.
Cary Sherburne: First of April; time flies. And first of all I want to congratulate you guys on doing that because you know there’s been a lot discussion in the industry that we have just too many organizations and the vendors just can’t support everything any more and so congratulations on the two of you bringing together your resources cause there was not a lot of overlap in what you did, right?
Steve Bonoff: Well the word really is about integration; that’s the key phrase that we’ve been preaching to our members that they needed to integrate the work flows to really be efficient, to achieve the kind of end result they needed for the clients and ID Alliance has been preaching the same thing. So with integration comes convergence of the supply chain and so representing the pre-press and the pre-media companies, as much as we try to break out of that, knowing full well we needed to reach every element of the supply chain, it was a difficult prospect. So ID Alliance already had that part of the supply chain that we didn’t which is primarily the agency, publishers. We had pre-process, we both had printers, so by coming together we now really do achieve the complete supply chain from the content creator and brand owners through the pre-media production process and a variety of distribution. Quite a bit of print but a lot of electronic media as well.
Cary Sherburne: That’s great. And so over the last six months as you’ve been working through this merger integration process, what are some, are there any new things that have come out have you found some areas that you say, oh, you know, neither of us are doing this, we can add this in or.
Steve Bonoff: Well there was actually, the overlap was in the type of model of how we were getting our education out to our members. So there was overlap in the sense of they were doing conferences; we were doing conferences. They were doing some electronic media; we were doing quite a bit of education online. They had certification programs, so did we. Tremendous confusion in the marketplace when both of us had education and resources but they weren’t aligned. So now we’ve actually brought them together. There has been some consolidation but we still now have we do have six conferences still that we’re promoting because there was a distinct need for each one. They each represent a different environment within the industry that people still needed information in those specific categories. But they still want to be part of an organization that has their eye on the complete workflow because everyone no matter where you fit along the supply chain, you’re still impacting ultimately a client’s ability to create content and distribute it globally. And so you need to have your eye on what everybody else is doing to make sure that you’re using the right standards, the right processes, and that your customer’s ultimate goal of achieving worldwide distribution of the highest quality content is actually being achieved. And so our resources, our conferences, online certification programs. We now run the gambit from color, JDF and the print certifications, of course with G7.
Cary Sherburne: Lee Manufacturing.
Steve Bonoff: Lee Manufacturing and now we have an E-Media Pro Certification program that ID Alliance had launched. So, you know, we have two feet very firmly planted in the world of print and pre-media production but with the E-Media Pro we also have a third leg that we have to have our eye on what’s the next generation workflows. Because as budgets start to shift from, you know, 20% digital, 80% print, that shift is pretty much going to be a tipping point in the not too distance future, that budgets for marketing communication are going to shift toward digital. You can’t be using a print-based workflow for that type of communication. We’re designing and looking at what are the workflows of the future so our E-Media Pro certification, those are the people who are engaged in building those workflows of the future.
Cary Sherburne: That’s great and so like the – what used to be the IPA Technical Conference, that’s one of the six that you’re going to continue?
Steve Bonoff: Absolutely. Right, so each one has its own distinctive need. The IP Technical Conference is really the deep dive in print and media production workflow. So those highly, you know, technical and proficient production professionals, this is where they’re networking, where they’re getting their information. We have an E-Media conference coming up next week in Philadelphia. We’re just the same highly technical, proficient except more on the E-Media side where they’re really bringing content to the web. And so that’s an important component. We have the G7 Summit Conference and we have leadership conferences for the CEOs across the supply chain as well.
Cary Sherburne: Yes, I was glad to see that the technical conference was still around because as you know I’ve gone to a number of them and it’s a very engaged, energetic, enthusiastic group of people that go to that. And you know there’s new people coming all the time but there’s like the core that’s been coming to that for years.
Steve Bonoff: The changes as a result of the industry from that event.
Cary Sherburne: Yeah, exactly.
Steve Bonoff: So absolutely, that we expect that to continue.
Cary Sherburne: Yeah, and so when’s the next one on that?
Steve Bonoff: That’s going to be in May 2011 in Rosemont.
Cary Sherburne: In Rosemont and are you going to do again like cause you have the color proofing.
Steve Bonoff: Right, we have in the special event each time that we hold the E Conference we’ve done, we were the launching of the proof roundups for years that really put proofing forward and created what we have today. Then we did the digital print forum and we’re moving, we’re shifting back last year we did the ink optimization roundup which I know.
Cary Sherburne: That had a little controversy
Steve Bonoff: Only because it was beneficial, worthwhile and not everybody, you know, fit. But it was actually really important and resulted in I know many companies selling a lot more ink optimization software because we did find that it worked and it worked quite well. We’re shifting our emphasis back to digital print for next year and because we have an important program launching within ID Alliance in January that you’ll be hearing more about, but you are going to see us really dive deeper into digital production and helping people achieve high end color results with digital print.
Cary Sherburne: And when you talk about that, you’re talking about both toner and Inkjet?
Steve Bonoff: Exactly. That’s the research we’re doing right now is how to put buckets together within digital print that people can identify with and achieve high end color production no matter what device they’re in. We want to quantify those results within the segments and so they’ll be very clear distinctions of what kind of digital print we’re talking about and this is the results if you properly color manage, the color results that are possible and we’ll be certifying those results as well in 2011.
Cary Sherburne: That’s great. Well, we’ll be looking forward to that and we’ll be looking forward to all kinds of great new things coming out of the combined organization.
Steve Bonoff: Thanks Cary.
Cary Sherburne: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us.
Steve Bonoff: Thank you.