DIGITAL digest

EFI Connects With Record Number of Users

LAS VEGAS—Reaffirming its status as one of the largest graphic arts users groups, the Eighth Annual EFI Connect Conference recently drew nearly 1,500 attendees to the Wynn Hotel & Resort. That made it the biggest turnout ever for the conference, and is still impressive even given that the total registration included 250 EFI employees, a number of sponsor partners and a smattering of journalists.

Connect is well-designed to deliver an effective mix of stimulating and informative keynotes, an extensive array of educational sessions and networking activities. Topics of the 160 sessions ran the gamut from EFI’s MIS systems and Web-to-print offerings, to Fiery, VUTEk superwide format and Jetrion ink-jet printing.

In his opening keynote, CEO Guy Gecht identified the “Big Five” trends he believes will shape the printing industry and define its future success.

• Consolidation—fewer players providing more services.

• The power of information and the Internet—companies need to have access to the right information at the right time to make the right business decisions; they need to automate; and they need to connect bidirectionally with customers. They can also take advantage of the Internet to expand geographic reach.

• Digital printing—allowing service providers to leverage demand for shorter runs, faster turn times and one-to-one communications.

• Industrial printing—taking digital printing to the next level to produce out-of-home advertising, packaging, labels and tags, and textiles.

• Going “green”—not an option anymore, but a necessity.

Zipping through more than 100 slides in an hour, Mark Olin, senior vice president and general manager, EFI Professional Printing Applications, provided a marathon product update. Olin reported that EFI’s development efforts are focused on delivering solutions and capabilities that streamline estimating/order entry, manage transaction volume, integrate management and content workflow, enhance user interfaces and infrastructure, and implement market-driven workflows.

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