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DIGITAL digest

March 2008
AppForum Covers Digital Print Spread

LAS VEGAS—“We now have members on every continent except Antarctica,” boasted Rab Govil, president of PODi, the Digital Printing Initiative, during his keynote address at the association’s seventh annual AppForum. “Perhaps we should recruit penguins,” he mused. While the desert chill might have been suitable for the birds, the nearly 450 human attendees were kept busy indoors with the event’s ample agenda of sessions and networking opportunities.

Topics of the presentations spanned the technology, business strategies and applications crucial to running a digital printing business, under the banner “A Celebration of Digital Print.” Attendees also were given an opportunity for personalized learning via the vendor fair that featured 30 hardware and software solutions sponsors.

Before launching into his keynote look at how best practices for efficient production can also be adapted by a solutions provider, Govil announced the release of a second PPML Interoperability Report. The Personalized Print Markup Language (PPML) data format facilitates device-independent production of personalized/variable data printing campaigns. This latest report details the results of interoperability testing across digital printing systems from 10 leading vendors. The report is available at http://ppml.podi.org, under the “PPML/Specifications” submenu.

Govil also announced a PPML certification program for variable data software providers and recognized Pageflex as the first vendor offering Certified PPML.

In the session that followed, winners of the fifth annual PODi Best Practices Awards were presented with their plaques by Kathy Wilson, PODi’s Marketing Working Group chair and EFI’s director of server product marketing and strategy. Winning projects must demonstrate both predefined and measured business objectives and a clear value proposition. (See page 54 for highlights of the “Best Practices” winners in the three categories.)

PODi Case Studies

Each winning company discussed its program during individual breakout sessions that followed the awards ceremony. Submissions also become part of the PODi case study collection, which now numbers 360 projects covering 12 vertical markets. Details are available at www.podi.org.

New at this year’s forum was use of an interactive audience response system. Attendees were given electronic keypads to select their answers to multiple choice questions projected on-screen. Most of the time, graphs of the results were then displayed.

In his keynote, for example, Govil asked the audience to select the revenue growth range that best matched the results at each person’s company. Among the 185 printers represented in the response, 36 percent reported growth of greater than 25 percent, and 29 percent grew their sales by 11 percent to 25 percent.
 

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