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Exploring the Digital World

August 1998

During "Where On-demand and Variable Printing Fit in a Commercial Business," Brian P. Lawler, a graphic arts industry consultant, discussed ways to bring variable printing into an existing print business.

He noted that most printers don't want "to be seen as being in the copy business, but Kinko's is getting into the printing business." Lawler added that many corporations that didn't buy commercial printing because of the cost are now using digital on-demand printing.

In his session, "Internet Enabled Printing," Dr. Ted Prince, chairman and CEO of INSCI, noted that the Internet and printing are converging, resulting in a number of hybrid products with value-added services.

Prince quoted an Xplor survey that showed online commerce was the top future investment of 58 percent of responding companies. The same survey showed that approximately half of respondents were integrating printing and document management, and 25 percent are using e-mail as an alternative to high-volume printing. He stressed that successful companies of the future will need to redefine their markets, products and competitors.

Consultants and leading executives weren't the only people sharing their vision of the future during DocuWorld. At the start of the conference, Xerox launched its DocuWorld Authors program, a writing competition for high school students throughout the United States.

The judges, who include San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and author Armistead Maupin, will select 10 entrants who write the most compelling vision of what life will be like in the 21st century. The winning essays will be published on Xerox digital printers.

The next large DocuWorld event is scheduled to run concurrently with IPEX '98 in Birmingham, England, Sept. 22 to 30. In addition, many smaller regional and local conferences are scheduled, including events in emerging markets such as Moscow and Hong Kong.

By Carol A. Katarsky

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