Archive for the ‘Graphic Arts’ Category

Looking forward to 2014!

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Every year, I like to think of my trip to PRINT/Graph Expo as a preview of what the coming year will bring. This year, we asked Madison Advisors to jot down their notes about what PRINT indicates will be big in 2014. Here is what they offered:

According to Madison Advisors, expect to see growth in digital color continuing through 2014. The firm’s recent engagements have shown an increase in production color printers in both in-plants and service bureaus. Outsourced print providers without high volume color capabilities are reviewing the market for the best solution to meet the needs of existing and new client opportunities. Most understand the need to have the color devices in place when bidding on color jobs as the learning curve is too great to take an “if they come, we’ll build it” approach. Creative sales approaches are needed to get these placements so the service bureaus can control their capital expenses while building volume.

Madison Advisors is also forecasting growth for outsourced customer communications platforms. As the IT department at more than one large company has observed, it is increasingly difficult to hire, train, motivate, and retain skilled IT professionals in the area of document composition. When the guy next to you is working on a cool mobile application, it’s tough to get excited about putting dots on paper. As a result, we see an increasing number of companies outsourcing their document implementations and ongoing operation to external vendors.

Custom packaging and product labeling is a growth area for commercial printers and there were a number of products at PRINT 13 geared toward this, again, many inkjet-based. The opportunity here is two-fold. For the printer, digital packaging printing allows them to respond quickly to changes in labeling from their clients. Short runs can now be profitable as you can print fully customized single units. For the marketing manager, digital printing of packaging and product labeling allows them to customize the messaging on each product to a specific micro market or respond to an outside event with special packaging.

The message from PRINT 13 was that color digital print is the future and the industry is prepared to deliver solutions to streamline the production process. Printer vendors are investing in new print technology, software providers are taking what they have learned over the years and investing in new solutions that are more user-friendly and easier to support. 2014 will be an interesting year as these new print solutions get into the hands of users and we can see if they deliver on the hype.

10 Trends to Define Marketing for 2014 – 10 Experts Weigh in

Monday, November 4th, 2013

As we approach 2014, and all of the marketing challenges that come with it, SourceLink is rolling out our “Ten Trends to Define Marketing” series again, with a twist. This year, we sat down with ten industry experts and asked them what trends they anticipate in 2014 and the years to come. We will be rolling out these articles over the next six weeks – Here are the experts that we sat down with, and a brief synopsis of what they had to say:

1. Ginger Conlon, Editor-in-Chief, Direct Marketing News – “The Virtuous Cycle of Customer Centricity” – Oct 29

Into 2014, consumers will wield the power to dictate how they are marketing to, and marketers are tasked with creating content that is driven by consumer preference. Understanding customer behaviors and preferences will lead to sophisticated micro-marketing campaigns, and marketers will then be tasked with modeling content creation and communications strategies based on how content is being utilized.

2. Judith Hemmel, Vice President of Customer Intelligence, SourceLink –  “Moving From Creepy to Credible” – Oct 31

An overarching theme through several of the interviews is was the extreme importance of mobile marketing. Consumers now have the ultimate choice of whether to engage with a brand, cultivating an environment of permission. This phenomenon will further strengthen the move from push to pull marketing, and messaging must move from “Creepy to Credible.”

3. Skip Henk, President and CEO, Xplor International – “Sitting on the Sidelines or Taking the Leap of Faith” – Nov 5

Human behavior is the true game changer in 2014, and there is tremendous value in how customers allocate their time to take in new information.  Augmented Reality, a still-emerging technology, very well could lead to a print revival. Marketers will fall into two categories in embracing these new technologies, those taking the leap and those sitting on the sidelines waiting for more proof; which Skip sees as the “winners and the losers” in the fight for customer attention.

4. Bryan Yeager, Financial Services and Mobile Payments Analyst for eMarketer–“Social Media and Mobile Craft a Path to Purchase” – Nov 7

Mobile penetration reached a tipping point in 2013, and looking into 2014, past trends converge because of the smartphone and its ability to enhance the customer experience. Marketers using social media up until now have merely been laying the groundwork for the real opportunities for engagement and conversion. Wearable technologies bring flashy new avenues to truly connect with customers.

5. Roehl Sanchez, VP and Chief Creative Officer, BIMM Direct & Digital - “Data Drives The Creative Process, and the Modular Builder Emerges” – Nov 12

Data begins to drive creative decisions, and creative decisions facilitate the use of data. We are entering age of real time marketing, and the definition of marketing and advertising “Creative” is shifting, especially when it comes to mobile design. Marketers must familiarize themselves withmicrocampaigns and start thinking mobile first. The creative professional must start to be a “modular builder,” and embrace a shift toward strong creative rooted as much in functionality as in design.

6. Rich Brown, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, SourceLink –SOLOMO and the Evolution of Location Based Engagement” – Nov 14

Social plus location plus mobile (SOLOMO) will a gamechanger in 2014, as marketers truly perfect geofencing technologies and make actionable use out of location data using offer-based engines. Data use concerns and privacy legislation gain lots of attention in 2014, and marketing organizations rally to support the responsible use of data. Marketers start to effectively link return on investment between offline transactions and social engagement.

7. John Foley, CEO Grow Socially and CMO InterlinkOne– “The Amazing Powers of Personalization” – Nov 19

2014 will see BIG advancements in mobile technology, which will allow for in-store personalization and other amazing interactions. A surprising amount of companies are still behind the content and social engagement curve in 2013, and will evolve into more social businesses in 2014, with more content being distributed than ever. Personalization sees a surge in the depth and relevancy, paralleling advancements in marketing automation.

8. Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs – “Organizing your Company Around Content and the Emergence of Short-form Media” – Nov 21

Marketers have been making content creation a priority, but next year will see a need to allocate resources to dedicated personnel. Next year’s trend will be a wider adoption and need to understand short-form content. Social media engagement leads to emotional connection and a better brand experience. Print remains a crucial part of marketing spend, and continues to claim significant portion of marketing budget.

9. Cindy Randazzo, Vice President Strategy and Insight, SourceLink – “A World Where IT and Marketing make each other Stronger” and  “Multisource Attribution in an Omnichannel world” – Nov 26 and Dec 3

Cindy had so much to say that we will be covering her thoughts over two articles.  First, 2014 brings the realization that IT and Marketing cannot be siloed, as their strengths will make each other stronger and will account for the weaknesses in the other, as the “right and left brain” come together. Big Data becomes relevant for all industries, as it is mined for interests, and used for multiple forms of variable advertising. Consumers start to ask the question “How is it possible that you don’t know who I am?”

10. David Burstein, Fast Company contributor and author, “Fast Future: How Millennials are Shaping our World.” – “The Marketer’s Role to the Millennial” – Dec 5

Companies must make consistent strides towards social responsibility and innovation as core tenets to developing as an organization. “Millennials” (those born in the second baby boom years of 1980 to the early 2000s) have become the most messaged-to generation ever, and marketers embrace emerging technologies and develop new means to stand out. Deep customization stands as central to the communications experience between marketers and Millennials.

To read the entire series, keep checking back to the SourceLink blog here.

Crystal Ball, Anyone??

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

“It is not the strongest or most intelligent species that survive, but the ones who are most willing to adapt.”  ~Charles Darwin

I like this quote because it removes the idea that survival and success are based on natural selection, but are based on intelligence and strategy and looking at how to adapt for future circumstances – an idea that seems especially relevant for the print industry today. At one time in history, we could have said that “print changed the world” and most would agree. But recent technological innovations, shifts towards digital communications and away from paper communications, have many printers working to keep up with the rapidly transforming industry. I suspect this is where Darwin’s idea of adaptation comes into play. Printers need to anticipate the future and prepare themselves accordingly. The same way of doing business will not stand, but you don’t need me to tell you this.

Lucky for printers, they don’t have to anticipate the future on their own. A group of young, bright, and well-educated students from RIT have already done the heavy lifting. Together they researched, wrote, and published a book entitled “Print changed the world – now the world is changing print.” They imagine the print industry landscape all the way to 2022 and address a number of sectors including books, packaging, signage, technical documents, direct mail, and more.

Here are the cliff notes…

Good News for:

  • Mobile devices which enable digital distribution
  • Packaging
  • Industrial printing
  • Signage

Bad News for:

  • The Postal Service
  • Circulars and inserts
  • Periodicals

Aside from the above, there are a number of categories in which the future is mixed – certain aspects will decline while some will rise. For example, authors suspect that self-publishing and yearbook printing will be the primary mode of book printing while traditional novels and textbooks will decline. The Security sector is another mixed bag.

If you read my last blog post, you’ll see that some predictions and research contradict what is in this report. I suppose no one owns a crystal ball so predicting the future is never easy. But nonetheless, it’s best to be informed and anticipate how expected trends will impact your business. So check out the full booklet here! (Made available by Printing Impressions)

Insurance and Retail get Married

Monday, April 29th, 2013

About this time last year I posted a release about the new retail sales branch opened by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Horizon was one of the first health insurance companies to take a “retail” approach to selling individual insurance policies under the then newly approved Affordable Care Act.

In May of 212, Forbes reported on the partnership between Aetna and Costco to offer the Costco Personal Health Insurance medical and dental program.  Consumers who buy the Aetna coverage through Costco will get extra discounts when they buy prescriptions through Costco pharmacies. Costo had already developed banking partnerships to allow them to sell mortgages.

This year we are starting to see the life insurance industry, particularly products geared to lower and middle income consumers, pursue retail sales opportunities. MetLife, for example, has set up kiosks in hundreds of Walmart stores. Unlike the Horizon branch which has specially trained staff to answer questions, visitors to a MetLife kiosk pick up their “box of insurance” in the form of a prepaid card and take it to the checkout. They then have to call MetLife’s toll-free number to answer health questions posed by a life agent. If the customer qualifies for coverage, the policy is activated, otherwise the card can be returned for a full refund.

Two key things we can learn from this trend:

1. As more insurance companies start courting retail partners as distribution channels, or opening up direct branches, they will need a new “retail approach” to their communications as well. This opens up new opportunities for graphic arts services like signage, sell sheets, and packaging for direct branches. It should also increase potential for transaction printers to offer statement marketing to highlight approved retail partners. Design services are a potential “foot in the door” as so much new material will need to be developed for the retail audience.

2. Partnerships, particularly distribution partnerships, can be wonderful things. Printers and other business communications professionals may also find value in new distribution channels and regional partnerships. Insurers are able to reach a broader audience that will pay a premium for convenience through retail relationships. Perhaps there are similar opportunities out there for your business.

If retail and insurance are getting married, let’s crash the wedding or at least get some good dating advice.

Elizabeth GoodingElizabeth Gooding is the President of Gooding Communications Group and editor of the Insight Forums blog. She writes and speaks and provides training on trends and opportunities for business communications professionals within regulated vertical industries.


LIVE from Graph Expo 2012!

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

Graph Expo 2012 has officially begun. Months of preparation on the part of exhibitors has paid off to create a lively and stimulating environment. I’m always amazed at how exhibitors transform an enormous hall into a series of inviting showcases. As usual, exhibitors compete with each other to drive traffic to their booths.

Stages are big this year. I remember two years ago when Xerox had the biggest stage. But this year, Océ /Canon and HP clearly take the prize. HP has an impressive stage set up that delivers engaging sales pitches on steroids. But if you are looking for a more enlightening experience, be sure to stop by the Canon Live Theater where Canon and Océ partnered with WhatTheyThink to host informative sessions throughout the show. Topics will include: Affordable Sustainability, Supply Chain Optimization, the Changing Face of Publishing, and What to look for in a business partner. I caught today’s first session on Digital Packaging Trends which featured a real customer speaking about his operations and how digital printing and print-on-demand allowed him to keep up with industry change and manage his printed inventories better. The list of live sessions can be found here including a link to watch everything streaming live. Xerox does have a new idea this year – improv session. I’ll have to check one out Monday. As I walked around the show floor more, I noticed numerous other presentations and mini-stages set up… so it certainly is a popular way to reach show attendees!

Like every other year, posters are also quite popular this year, as evidenced by the crowds of people walking around with poster bags. The leading poster providers seem to be Komori, KBA, and Scodix. Gunther smartly realized that so many people walk around carrying their loot and decided to brand wheeling storage units that people can cart with them. Free stuff galore!

Judging from Day 1, there are a few hot topics this year that numerous exhibitors are demonstrating their capabilities in. Inkjet Printing is big this year and is being covered by live sessions on both the Océ/Canon stage and on the HP stage. Automation and software seem to also be a popular topics as print providers today are striving for more streamlined end-to-end solutions. We’re talking automation at the beginning (with feeders) and automation at the end (like envelope inserting). Print-on-demand is yet another key topic. In-RoomPlus described today in the Digital Packaging Trends session at Canon Live Theater how they are able to quickly reprint catalogs as their prices change and how they can print small batches of product mock-ups to use as aids with customers during the sales process. Print-on-demand is so big now in the publishing world that Océ will help launch Daydream Alchemy Press – a publisher inspired by bringing projects to life using today’s print technologies – during Graph Expo.

All in all, there is a lot to see and do at Graph Expo 2012. It will surely be a busy, yet exciting, few days!

Paper + Finishing = Profit

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Since being launched in 1995, digital production presses have continued to evolve with improved speed, image quality, and lower cost of operation. Digital printing has become integrated into commercial print shops and in-plant environments for small runs and on-demand printing. In addition, Web-enabled printing and new finishing capabilities have created a number of new business opportunities directly linked to substrates. These emerging and profitable applications include labels and packaging, photo books, personal publishing, point-of-purchase signage, and an array of creative direct mail pieces.

The range of substrates that can run through the digital press needs to be a key consideration in making the digital decision. Marketers view the paper as one opportunity for their target audience to hold the firm’s identity in their hands. This rare and intimate occasion can vastly influence the recipient’s perception of the organization – is the firm a “discount” provider with basic materials or a “high quality” marketer with rich paper stocks and vivid colors?

The Canon imagePRESS Series is about versatility with paper selection. The Canon imagePRESS Series lets commercial and in-plant printers offer customers the right stock for the job. The system can print on lightweight, coated, uncoated, and specialty media with weights from 60 to 325 gsm and sizes from 13″ x 19.2″. Automatic duplexing is supported on all stocks. Users can produce full-bleed booklets, thicker business cards and postcards, and forms or inlays on thinner lighter stock.

The Canon imagePRESS Series also comes with a wide range of finishing options so that the commercial printer or in-plant can take on more jobs. Documents can be stacked for flat or offline finishing. In addition, there are in-line options that include the ability to print and create perfect-bound books with up to 200 sheets. The press can create tabbed, hole-punched training materials and catalogs. The use of an integrated saddle stitcher can produce full-bleed, three-side trimmed booklets of up to 100 pages that lay perfectly flat. Print facilities can also saddle-stitch jobs printed on custom-size paper and mixed media.

The range of paper stocks and finishing capabilities can make a big difference in the bottom line, optimizing the return on investment for the commercial or in-plant printer. The Canon imagePRESS Series has the ability to drive high-value and more complex applications that clients request, including brochures, books, magazines, photo specialty products, promotional fliers, and personalized direct mail. With this new system, print providers can enter the lucrative digital color print market or expand their existing capabilities.

Visit to view the Canon imagePRESS Series demo video!

FoldWOW! Another 60 Second Super Cool Fold of the Week

Monday, September 26th, 2011

This week’s 60 Second Super Cool Fold of the Week was designed for The Clarrett Group and printed by Cedar Graphics inRonkonkoma,NY. From the outside, it looks like a briefcase with a handle but when you use that handle to open piece… it reveals a large format poster detailing the Clarett Group’s ambitious plans. The gate into closed-gate fold first revels a quad-fold, then a tri-fold until the poster is fully unraveled. Watch the video below to find out more about the Brooklyner Briefcase Brochure!

Looking for more innovative ideas like this? Look no further! Check out OceWOW for more tips for digital print providers.

RT Associates: Differentiation with a Cross-Media Focus

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Established in 1982 as a typesetting firm, RT Associates, Inc. has evolved into a marketing logistics provider in step with the ever-changing marketing needs of its customers. With RT Associates, the entire campaign management process is handled under one roof. The firm helps clients execute all aspects of their marketing campaigns, whether they are print, web, or mobile. RT serves as a strategic partner to its customers, opening unique channels of communication and elevating messaging to a new level of impact. Consistent messaging across multiple channels increases the likelihood of a positive response. RT’s one-stop execution makes integrated marketing fast, easy, and effective.

RT was an early innovator with digital print. In 1995, RT Associates invested in its first Agfa Chromapress (serial number 13). While some early investors of digital color struggled with market development, RT Associates was profitable within 6 months of the installation. A year later, the company purchased a second unit.

Since then RT expanded its digital printing capabilities by moving to HP Indigo technology, and adding offset capabilities as well as some large format capabilities. Most recently, RT Associates invested in a Canon imagePRESS® series 7010. Bob Radzis, owner of RT Associates, explains, “We have a number of clients where we provide web-to-print services for their distribution networks. This means small order quantities over the web. The unique ‘saddle press’ inline booklet-making technology on the Canon imagePRESS 7010 series streamlines our operations.”

Differentiation Through an Integrated Campaign Approach
As an early adopter of digital print, RT Associates is also a market leader in cross-media services. Radzis attributes his company’s success to its Integrated Campaign Management service offering. He notes, “RT’s Integrated Campaign Approach (ICA) uses our tools, technologies, and experiences to help companies develop marketing campaigns that will perform at their best in all critical areas. While the market has heard about a number of B2C cross-media campaigns, the majority of our customers are B2B. Our ICA approach is focused on helping clients understand how to build and cultivate their B2B clientele.”

The ICA process starts with insightful customer analysis of data and enables the client to develop accurately targeted message strategies, choose the right channels of delivery, and implement successful trigger-based campaigns. The ResponseTrack online toolbox allows B2B marketers to collect valuable, real-time data about prospects to see who is responding and when.

Radzis states, “We quickly learned that in the B2B space, analyzing data to drive the initial campaign and then leveraging our findings to drive follow-on interactions is critical. We partner with a data analytics firm and bring that firm into the process. Data analytics has become a key differentiator for RT Associates. The objective is to help the B2B customer identify the most likely prospects, develop a cross-channel strategy, and ensure that they are being reached via their preferred channel of communication. The end result for our clients is more customers and enhanced loyalty among existing customers.”

Cross-Media Success
According to Radzis, “I believe that our key to success is directly linked to our data-driven focus. We have learned how to leverage the customer’s information, continuously optimize it, and provide iterative improvement. This is the deployment of a test-and-learn, test-and-learn, test-and-learn philosophy. Today’s companies are wallowing in data, but to be successful, service providers need to learn how to combine data with digital color technology to drive action.”

Looking for more ideas? Visit OceWowFactor to watch videos highlighting i3logix, Ideal Printers, Yurchak Printing, and more!

Graphic Arts Printing – What’s Workflow got to do with it?

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

In my last post I talked about the impact of workflow on in-plants and how it can help them stay relevant to the organizations they support. Now, as we shift our focus to the commercial print environment, there’s a temptation to focus on the similarities. Both serve customers, both aim to grow volumes and both are under pressure to offer more services, improve efficiency and compete more effectively. That’s where the similarities end.

While in-plants are under the gun to justify their value-add to the enterprise and prevent defection to external providers – those same external providers are wrestling with their own set of challenges.  Not the least of which is relentless pressure to deliver a profit month after month. In addition they must combat print suppression efforts,  satisfy the diverse requirements of more knowledgeable and demanding customers and make the transition from purveyor of ink to integrated service provider. All this at a time when core commercial print applications are under siege by alternate communication channels, the commercial print market is consolidating, volumes are declining and business in general remains stuck in an aimless recessionary grind.

Amidst this potent brew of challenges, digital print is increasingly seen as a requirement for survival, one that opens up new applications, opportunities and sources of revenue. Despite overall decline, the total print opportunity for 2011 is estimated to be an astounding 10 trillion pages. Of that number 2.1% or 216 billion pages are digital printa number that’s expected to nearly double to 3.9% by 2014.

So if you’re a commercial printer looking to get your share of the growing digital opportunity, what’s workflow got to do with it? A lot, as it turns out. In fact, workflow can mean the difference between a print operation that’s rooted in the dark ages and one equipped to satisfy the expectations of 21st century customers. Can streamlined digital workflow help commercial printers survive – or better yet, thrive – in the second decade of the new millennium? Yes -and here’s how:

  1. As commercial print shops invest in digital print production, through workflow, they can expand their product offerings and expand into new markets that were originally out of market, becoming a true marketing services provider.
  2. Software opens up the potential for commercial printers to handle multiple file formats and sizes, which allows for greater flexibility in the number of applications supported.
  3. With a digital workflow, commercial print shops can store jobs electronically and print them digitally on demand. This, in turn, eliminates the need for longer runs and warehousing printed inventory.
  4. With the ability to store files electronically, commercial print shops can turn jobs around quickly with minimal labor and processing, enabling a just-in-time production process.
  5. As access to information increases and marketing messages become more targeted, a digital workflow that supports variable data and marketing messages enables commercial print shops to produce targeted, relevant communications that generate a better return on investment.
  6. To meet demand for faster turnaround, shorter runs and variable data requirements, commercial print shops can implement web-to-print solutions that will offer the benefits of an online ordering system.
  7. With digital workflow products that enable variable data document composition or streamlined make-ready, commercial print shops can diversify their product portfolios with value-added products and services.
  8. With web-to-print and variable data solutions and increased application flexibility, commercial print shops can further strengthen customer relationships.
  9. Overall, with digital workflow solutions that seamlessly route applications to digital print engines, commercial print shops can reduce production costs and improve efficiency.

In summary, an efficient digital workflow can facilitate the transition to integrated services provider, improve productivity and efficiency, enhance customer relationships and position commercial print shops to capture new opportunities. Want to weigh in? I’m interested to hear your take on the impact of a digital workflow on commercial print shops.

Software Investment Trends for 2011

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

In case you hadn’t figured it out, I’m a software guy. Don’t get me wrong; I like checking out the latest and greatest digital printers and I’ve had the privilege to run various types of presses to give me a true perspective on end-to-end print workflow. Nonetheless, these days you really can’t afford to have one without the other, as software is a key enabler across all print operation types. Whether you’re trying to integrate and automate disparate components of your workflow or making a foray into marketing services, software is critical to accomplishing a wide variety of tasks.

In late 2009, our software group and InfoTrends started an annual research initiative that looks at software investment trends in the printing industry. It was probably a bad year to start, considering how rough 2009 turned out to be. Still, it set a baseline for us to see what types of investments print service providers are making in software. The research helps vendors with their software development road maps, and gives printers a sense of where the industry is headed with the software they are leveraging.

In November 2010, we launched our new survey, and we are just wrapping up compiling the results. I wanted to share a few highlights from these results as we get ready to publish the study to our clients (if you are interested in buying the full report, please drop me an e-mail).

We attempt to survey around 200 printers each year with similar distributions in company size and operation type year-over-year (in 2010, we ended up with 196 qualified respondents). I should note that we focus on the Graphic Arts market with this research, so these results will be most relevant to that constituency.

  • General Revenue Outlook: Revenue affects a business’ ability to not only invest in new software, but to maintain existing solutions through upgrades and support. 2010 shaped up to be a much better year than 2009 for print businesses. 54% of respondents indicated an increase in revenue for 2010, versus only 18% in 2009. Growth was modest, with most respondents indicating single-digit increases.
  • Service Mix: The types of services print businesses currently offer and plan to offer in the future can help point to where software will be needed to support those endeavors. Interest in offering both B2B and B2C online storefronts for print ordering continues to grow. Additionally, the transition from print service provider to “marketing service provider” is truly afoot. There was an overall increase in printers offering print and non-print marketing services from 2009 to 2010. Printers plan to continue diversify the mix of services they offer to clients.
  • Software Ownership: From 2009 to 2010, the software segments that showed significant increases in ownership include variable data publishing, Web-to-Print, Digital Asset Management, and multi-channel/cross-media marketing. This increase parallels areas of growth in our production software forecast, and also strengthens the point about service diversification. In addition, there was a significant increase in future investment consideration for print-centric Management Information Systems (MIS), which may signal an increased focus by printers on operational efficiency and effectiveness going into 2011.
  • Software-as-a-Service: There has been a lot of hype in the software world at large about the cloud and subscribing to software via a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. Has this hype actually materialized into adoption? According to our survey results, it has. 31% of respondents indicated that they currently use software through a SaaS model, and another 25% are considering utilizing SaaS in the next 12 months. That is significant adoption, which we expect to grow as printers attempt to quicken their time-to-market and scale instantaneously as their needs change.

All-in-all, printers expect to have modest increases in their software investment spend as they shift from survival mode to growth mode. This growth will largely be driven by expansion of core services, as well as the need to streamline production processes to remain competitive.

Obviously, choosing a specific software product and making the investment is only the beginning. Implementation, training, and a whole host of other activities are required to successfully leverage software and ultimately get a return on your investment. What type of software investment is your company looking at for 2011, and how will you utilize that software to meet your goals?