Graph Expo 2000--Vendor Coalitions Offer Real Promise
These specifications are available for download free of any license fees or royalties from the PrintTalk Website at www.printtalk.org. Additional releases meeting the other dozen objectives are planned for later this year.
printCafe softened its earlier rejection of JDF as an acceptable guideline by offering to securely pass data in compliance with CIP4 and GCA standards. One of the cornerstones of CIP4 is JDF. Additionally, printCafe plans to become active in contributing to the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) effort.
Introduced just recently by Ariba, Commerce One, Microsoft and IBM, along with others, UDDI will develop a standard intended to create a platform-independent, open framework for integrating business services using the Internet.
According to printCafe's co-CEO Mark Olin, the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has been chosen by printCafe to be the independent certification agent for printCafe PCX transactions. In other words, RIT will be mediating software disputes between print buyers and printCafe customers on ineffective or inefficient interoperability concerns. Fees will be set by RIT and its Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies, where the service will be staffed.
The printing industry as a whole has been hesitant to buy into the e-commerce models. printCafe, as one example, has responded by offering its printing clients a more flexible pricing approach. Its Internet software services are available at either of two levels of subscription: $25,000 introductory or a ramp-up version for unlimited e-commerce.
The new e-commerce startup Digeno, funded by R.R. Donnelley & Sons (RRD), has a series of different business assumptions from its competition. Among its nearly 20 employees, there are no programmers. All programming is done by third-party contractors.
Secondly, Kevin Hess, Digeno's CTO, feels that the firm has leap-frogged its older e-commerce competitors by incorporating software by BroadVision, Adexa, Click2Learn and Exodus—many of which are used by firms like Yahoo. Also, RRD, being a totally web printer, thinks its pricing model will be attractive to non-competing sheetfed printers in the $3 million to $30 million annual sales range. The buyer pays $9.95 per RFQ; the printer pays $19.95 per sold job up to $10,000 in value and $15/month per password.