InfoTrends, a research and consulting firm based in Weymouth, MA, USA, has announced the completion of a new multi-client study addressing critical issues surrounding digital front-ends (DFEs) – an important component of a digital print workflow. Digital Front-Ends: Understanding Customer Requirements and Market Dynamics is designed to help DFE vendors, RIP technology providers, digital print manufacturers, workflow management vendors, or other companies that have an interest in DFEs to navigate this market and develop products and solutions that make their customers operate more effectively and efficiently.
Based on an extensive analysis of web surveys for 585 US-based print service providers and a dozen interviews with members of the vendor and provider community, InfoTrends covers the following aspects of the DFE market: buying preferences and satisfaction levels by environment, company size, and application range; DFE market shares for color products by type (server versus embedded) and vendor (OEM, EFI, Creo) across duty cycle and speed range; software ownership and investment outlook; adoption of Page Description Languages; importance and uptake of integration of DFE with other workflow solutions; DFE brand preferences; fleet consistency, switching and migration; RIP technology, native PDF rendering adoption, and usage; importance of having multiple DFE choices and the importance of DFEs in the overall purchasing decision process; the role of DFE in the wider print production workflow; expected shifts in the next two years; statements on hybrid and automated workflows; future DFE requirements; and DFE Market Share by Vendor Installed Base.
“It does not come as a surprise that EFI is the leading provider of DFEs for the printing industry, considering its product portfolio and its many partnerships,” comments Kaspar Roos, associate director for InfoTrends’ Production Workflow & Customized Communications Solutions Services. “However, this research showed that vendor OEM solutions, most notably Xerox and HP, have gained ground and are serious contenders for EFI. Kodak’s CREO DFE also showed strength in commercial print markets.”
Digital Front-Ends: Understanding Customer Requirements and Market Dynamics aims to provide insights in the DFE market by providing market share by duty cycle, speed breakdown, vendor and environments. Understanding customer requirements, combined with actual share data is an important mechanism to identify and justify future product investment decisions.