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Internet watch 1-01

January 2001
DAX: Connection People

Over the past six years, Digital Art Exchange (DAX) has built a reputation in the industry as being a company that knows all about connectivity. DAX has helped commercial printers navigate the uncharted waters of building a network infrastructure and choosing the most productive online applications to help them take advantage of digital workflow technologies.

Martijn van Steeg, COO of DAX, recently sat down with Printing Impressions' Caroline Miller to talk about the hurdles that printers must still clear before they can implement a totally digital workflow, as well as the benefits of going digital.

PI: What is the largest obstacle the graphic arts community has yet to clear with regard to adopting a digital workflow?

van Steeg: The largest hurdle is the current confusion in the marketplace. Everyone has been bombarded by different solutions, and it's hard to decide what you should pick and choose.

People in the printing industry look at the bottom line. Printers move toward a new technology when they think that it makes sense from a return-on-investment standpoint. When there is confusion around a technology, you don't make that investment because you first want to know what you really need and with whom who you should work.

A TrendWatch study from a year ago reported that just over 10 percent of printers use their Internet connection for anything more than brochureware or e-mail. Many printers still don't have the infrastructure to take advantage of solutions such as soft proofing, digital asset management and file transfers. So, it's obviously an untapped market.

PI: How is DAX helping printers sort out the confusion surrounding all of the different solutions available in the marketplace?

van Steeg: To help alleviate some of that confusion, we started PrintPlanet.com, which is an e-community of discussion forums. The forums are purely educational and are free to all qualified members within the industry. Launching PrintPlanet was a very successful move for us; we currently have over 25,000 subscribers. For those subscribers who are looking at implementing these technologies, PrintPlanet is a great resource of information in terms of following the discussion or even participating by posting a question.

The forums also allow end users—who are actually using these technologies—to discuss the problems that they have with all these different kinds of technologies, as well as to share strategies and solutions. They are basically educating themselves. We found that this is actually one of the most effective ways to approach the market.
 

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