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Agfa Graphic Systems Eyes Reorganization

December 1999
RIDGEFIELD PARK, NJ—As the competitive graphic arts manufacturing marketplace of the year 2000 presents itself, Agfa Graphic Systems, too, is planning a presentation of its own. A reorganization is under way, dividing the graphic arts technology supplier into five distinct sales and marketing units, each with a mission to maximize the success of both Agfa customers and, of course, Agfa itself.

According to Agfa officials, for the past 18 months, Agfa Graphic Systems has been evaluating how it can better position itself for the future. An independent study was commissioned that interviewed more than 500 customers and showed Agfa executives that, clearly, in order to remain a strong, focused and competitive graphic arts supplier, Agfa needed to restructure the way it approached the market and organized its resources.

The five newly formed business units of Agfa Graphic Systems include: Industrial Imaging Systems, Newspaper Systems, Graphic Systems Products Group and the GS Systems Group. Alexander van Meeuwen will head the Graphic Systems Product Group, in addition to his responsibilities as president of the Business Group. The GS Systems Group, headed by Buzz Apostol, will focus on marketing all integrated prepress and digital printing solutions.

The fifth newly formed unit, the Customer Technical Support organization, is headed by Stan Zientarski and will accommodate the end-user defined requirements and new sales and marketing initiatives of the Agfa product family. Dedicated service operations for Agfa's technologies in the digital printing and digital prepress markets are being formed to maximize customer satisfaction, productivity and profitability.

"Change always is challenging to any organization, but necessary to serve the best interests of customers, employees and shareholders," Agfa's van Meeuwen reports. "We know that these changes will make Agfa Graphic Systems a more formidable market leader and a stronger, more customer-focused company for the future."

Recently, Agfa hosted an impressive international press event at the company's headquarters in Mortsel, Belgium. The chief purpose: Emphasize a select portion of Agfa Graphic Systems' product initiatives, which include the following digital prepress moves. Also in the Agfa news recently, enhancements to Personalizer-X:

* Agfa recently launched Apogee Series2, a newly enhanced version of its Apogee PDF-based production system. Apogee Series2 includes new versions of the original Apogee Pilot, PDF RIP and Apogee PrintDrive system components, and adds a fourth component—Apogee Create, that makes reliable PDF digital masters, enabling content creators to collaborate more efficiently with production shops. The new system introduces a page-based workflow specially designed for the needs of magazine and catalog production and uses the latest Extreme technology from Adobe.

* Agfa's new polyester plate—Setprint Plus, a positive working plate designed for exposure in 633nm to 670nm imagesetting devices.

* On the Chromapress side of Agfa, the company has announced the pending release of Version 2.1 of Personalizer-X QuarkXTension software for variable data printing. Personalizer-X 2.1 has been written as a native QuarkXPress 4.0 XTension for full compatibility and efficiency. Its new features include on-line charting with full support for placing variable content in Microsoft Excel charts, conditional input with utilization of 'if-then-else' statements, scriptable automation for greater productivity and real-time previewing of variable documents before printing.

By Marie Ranoia Alonso
 

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