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Seybold.com

March 2000
The sea of e-commerce companies is expanding; Seybold Boston was wired, so to speak, to the Internet. printCafe, a new Internet endeavor, captured the most attention at the Boston show last month, but so did new digital workflows, color management tools and Adobe's latest—a bridge for PDF.


BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO


Walking into Seybold Boston last month it seemed almost unbelievable that the words Internet and startup are still synonymous. Everywhere you looked, it was dotcom this, dotcom that—if you stood still too long, you were at serious risk of finding a dotcom appearing after your last name on your Seybold badge.

Then again, that might not be such a horrible discovery. Dotcom companies have targeted commercial printing. They are investing millions upon millions to bring print procurement via the Internet to the printer/print buyer relationship, to attract commercial printers to the Internet for supply purchasing, and to push job tracking and other administrative tasks onto the World Wide Web. It might not be such a bad idea to be a part of an endeavor this energized.

Perhaps the biggest announcement at Seybold Boston, or for certain the announcement most promoted with banners and posters, was a new (you guessed it) e-commerce solution for the printing and publishing industry. But this one is coming from a familiar name in CTP—Creo—linking with familiar names in the computerized management system arena: AHP, Prograph, Programmed Solutions, Logic, Hagen and, to be announced in more detail, Banta Integrated Media. The creation is printCafe, an Internet-based, business-to-business communication solution tailored specifically for the graphic arts industry.

The new company will capitalize on the strong synergies that exist between Creo and Prograph, each of which brings significant technology and product developments to the table, according to company officials. printCafe's goal is to offer an end-to-end, Web-based, digital infrastructure for the entire publishing and printing cycle.

By capitalizing on e-commerce and software technologies, printCafe plans to serve up an integrated communication and job management system that brings highly automated efficiency to the entire supply chain. printCafe will be geared towards enhancing existing print relationships, improving communications and adding maximum value at all points in the production process. Advanced Web-based and software solutions will enable printers, trade shops and print buyers to specify virtually any type of print project, obtain estimates, manage business-to-business transactions, monitor ERP information, plan all stages of the production process, track the status of a project in real-time, manage invoicing and payments, and generate a broad range of performance reports.
 

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