Guy Gecht, EFI’s CEO, in addition to providing a keynote address, held his “fireside chats” – Q&A sessions with a diverse selection of printing industry leaders.
The theme of Gecht’s keynote was “GPS.” He said, “EFI would like to help you navigate where you want to take your company. We also want you to be our GPS,” Gecht said, referring to the notion of EFI and its customers having a symbiotic relationship toward business growth. He talked about the evolving digital business landscape, and pointed to an example most can relate to. “Look at Blockbuster,” he said. “In 2004, the company made $6 billion with 60,000 employees. Today, Netflix has roughly $6 billion in revenue, with just 2,000 employees.”
Speaking of billions, Gecht also discussed his goal for EFI, which is to see it become a $1 billion company.
Benny Landa made a rather humorous cameo during Gecht’s keynote, appearing via a live Skype feed from his home in Israel, flanked by what Landa said is his favorite printed image – a life-size poster cutout of Guy Gecht.
Chatting with RR Donnelley’s CEO
During his “fireside chat” with Gecht, RR Donnelley CEO Tom Quinlan opened up about his thoughts on the state of the printing industry and also strategies for success in a changing market.
"Our industry is doing better than most people think – printing's death has been greatly exaggerated," Quinlan told Gecht. "Print is going to be a core component to any communication plan – it’s tangible and shareable.”
Quinlan talked about RR Donnelley’s three Cs for success: “It's about putting the customer first, then capacity and cost,” he said. “Workflow is imperative to any organization and the differentiator – everyone being on the same page at the same time.”
Quinlan stressed the emergence of both digital printing and also the importance of having personalized relationships with customers. "I Ike to say we're the biggest, largest, smallest communications company out there,” he said of RR Donnelley. “Personalization is key. We try to synchronize our message, to help our customers’ customer have more of an interaction with them.”
On digital printing, Quinlan said, “You want to be able to bring your customers products to market sooner – this is critical to their success.”
EFI Productivity Suite
Gabriel Matsliach, EFI’s new general manager and senior vice president of the Productivity Software Group, introduced at Connect the new EFI Productivity Suite (EPS). According to Matsliach, the Productivity Suite expands on EFI's existing offerings with an even stronger focus on how customers can generate revenue and enhance efficiency and profitability using EFI’s comprehensive portfolio of print and packaging software.
Now available, the suite addresses customers' most pressing automation and efficiency needs by moving the workflow emphasis away from individual EFI software packages and modules to a complete offering that uses best-of-suite, end-to-end workflows, certified integrations and synchronized development. As a result, printing and packaging companies can further simplify the management and operations tasks they need to grow into new markets and strategically run their businesses.
With this new system, EFI’s MIS, web-to-print, and cross-media products will be sold and positioned as part of Productivity Suite. EFI will position the suite as an integrated solution tailored to an intended environment, such as Enterprises (large print companies), Mid-Range, Small, and Packaging.
Other new offerings showcased at Connect included:
• Unified workflow management capabilities for combined offset and digital production operations using a new Heidelberg Prinect/EFI Fiery digital front end integration. Now, printing companies can use their Prinect interface to quickly route work to offset or Fiery Driven digital presses while streamlining overall business processes using integrated links to EFI web-to-print and print MIS products.
• A module featuring EFI DirectSmile technology to enable automated, template-based and data-driven variable image and document rendering within the award-winning EFI Digital StoreFront web-to-print and eCommerce interface.
• An enhanced automation workflow, powered by AccuZIP, that uses Digital StoreFront’s web-to-print capabilities and its new variable-data printing module to automate direct mail production tasks from order entry through mail processing and check out.
A great year for Jetrion
During a press briefing at EFI Connect, Ken Hanulec, vice president, marketing, EFI Inkjet Solutions, said 2014 was the strongest year to date for EFI's Jetrion line of inkjet label presses. “We had a highly successful 2014 Labelexpo, which added to a great year overall for Jetrion,” he said.
Hanulec added that the Jetrion install base has grown from 250 in 2013 to almost 500 worldwide press installations today. He said one of the drivers behind the development of the Jetrion 4950 is the demand for a fully integrated digital label press with inline finishing and laser diecutting.
This year's conference featured more than 200 educational sessions on business management, sales, marketing and production technology. "The thing that works best about EFI Connect is the fact our customers are very engaged, and they foster collaboration with EFI employees and partners better than any other industry event I have attended," said Guy Gecht. "With over 200 classes and the line-up of keynote sessions, technology exhibits, and networking opportunities taking place, this event brings our customers and staff together for an important, face-to-face opportunity to learn, strategize and re-fuel to go after even greater business success in 2015."