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Consider Cloud Computing --Sherburne

May 2009
I WAS recently at the On Demand show in Philadelphia. For any of you who attended, I am sure you would agree that it was small, but vibrant. There is a growing emphasis by suppliers to the industry on the delivery of integrated—rather than point—solutions, which was very evident at this show. 

Consider Web-to-print as an example. There are many very functional Web-to-print solutions in the market that allow you to improve the customer experience and make it more convenient for clients to do business with you. But if Web-to-print orders must then be processed manually, you are simply moving the process bottleneck to another location in the workflow. There is huge value in being able to receive an order via the Web, have it automatically preflighted and imposed (if required), pass information to your print MIS, automatically create a job ticket and any required notifications, and even put the job right into the print queue with, in many cases, as few touches as possible. 

Soar Into the Clouds

So, while purchasing a Web-to-print solution is a must in today’s environment, it is also important to look beyond to how it fits within your organization’s overall business and production workflow. Many companies offer this type of end-to-end solution and, with the increasing prevalence of JDF and other standards-based implementations, the range of required solutions doesn’t necessarily even have to come from the same supplier.

In fact, there are more partnerships and alliances being announced lately than I can recall since the heydays of the 1990s dotcom boom. This is a sign that suppliers are working hard to ensure that their offerings deliver a value that is greater than the sum of the individual parts, by leveraging their own or partner solutions to achieve this end-to-end unity.

One of the high points for me at the show was the Google keynote. It was actually part of the AIIM conference that shared the convention center with On Demand. This is the second time I have listened to a Google executive speak at one of these events. Rishi Chandra, product manager for Google Enterprise, titled his presentation “Collaboration in the Cloud.”

You might be asking yourself, “What does this have to do with me or the printing industry, or On Demand and end-to-end solutions?” Actually, a great deal. Let me explain.



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