On the Road: EFI 'Connects' With Clients at Record-Turnout EventFebruary 2014 By Mark Michelson
LAS VEGAS—Sin City may take pride in its "What happens here, stays here" slogan, but the record 1,000 customers at the EFI Connect 2014 users conference went home to their plants ready to incorporate knowledge gleaned from 180 educational sessions, keynote and panel discussions, partner exhibits and peer-to-peer networking opportunities. Now in its 15th year, the Jan. 21-24 conference included 33 percent more registrations than the 2013 meeting.
Training sessions focused on MIS/ERP workflows, Web-to-print, e-commerce, digital front end (DFE) print management and wide-format inkjet printing. A business development track was also led by industry analyst firm InfoTrends.
The conference hit the ground running with the opening session hosted by EFI CEO Guy Gecht. During his announcement that Landa Corp. has selected EFI to develop a Fiery DFE that will be used exclusively on Landa Nanographic sheetfed and webfed digital printing presses, Landa Chairman and CEO Benny Landa surprised the audience by appearing unannounced on the stage with Gecht to discuss the strategic alliance. The new Landa DFE developed by EFI will enter beta testing as part of the beta installations of the B1-format (41˝) Landa S10 press slated for the fourth quarter of this year.
In addition, Marc Olin, newly named EFI COO, gave a keynote presentation on EFI's product development and M&A activities. He noted that EFI employs more than 300 people in R&D alone focused on EFI's MIS and Web-to-print software offerings. Olin also highlighted EFI's market leadership in UV LED-based wide-format inkjet printers.
On the M&A front, he pointed to EFI's January acquisition of SmartLinc, a shipping software developer, and the October purchase of smart imposition specialist Metrix. Product developments, among several others, in the pipeline include IQuote estimating (now being tested at Thomson-Shore), VWeb cross-media campaign management and SmartSign Analytics that actually tracks signage viewership. PI