Digital DigestMay 2012
LAS VEGAS—Featuring a full itinerary of user group meetings, speakers, more than 150 educational sessions and an exhibition area, EFI once again showed it had the winning hand by drawing 1,100+ participants to its 13th annual Connect users’ conference held at the Wynn Las Vegas last month. With it increasingly harder to get printers to attend industry conferences and trade shows, Connect is one of a small handful of annual events bucking that overall trend.
This year’s Connect also enabled attendees to preview the new technologies EFI brought to drupa earlier this month. These innovations range from the new cloud-based Fiery Dashboard to the VUTEk HS100, a new, 3.2 meter-wide digital press targeted to displace work traditionally output on super-wide, analog screen printing devices.
Attendees also learned about EFI’s new inkjet printer operating system, named “Orion,” and viewed the new EFI T1000 wide-format printer.
A highlight of the Connect solutions area again this year was the Digital Workflow Experience. Live demonstrations followed a job from submission using EFI Digital StoreFront to both EFI Pace and EFI Monarch MIS systems, to EFI PrintFlow dynamic scheduling, to a Fiery production RIP server, and then to a VUTEk GS3250LX or the new, 3.2 meter-wide EFI R3225 printer. Similar integrated workflows were demonstrated, including output to a Fiery-driven Ricoh Pro C901, as well as compatibility with a Kodak Prinergy workflow.
The new, browser-based EFI PrintSmith Vision was also on display, as was the newest release of EFI Pace featuring more robust scheduling and a new digital order entry tool. In addition, a preview of the forthcoming edition of EFI Monarch was highlighted, which incorporates new PrintFlow and Auto-Count features; wide- and super-wide-format workflow and planner capabilities; and an improved digital page workflow.
In what has become a Connect tradition, EFI CEO Guy Gecht also conducted “fireside chats” with Jeff Housenbold, CEO of Shutterfly; and Robert Schlacter, VP of copy and print services at Staples.
In addition, EFI announced its latest acquisition: Sao Paulo, Brazil-based print ERP/MIS software provider Metrics Sistemas. According to Marc Olin, senior vice president of EFI Business Software, the move will accelerate the adoption and sales of EFI MIS systems and other EFI products to commercial and package printers throughout Latin America. PI