Hiflex Launching MIS Cloud Computing at GRAPH EXPO
AACHEN, GERMANY—Sept. 7, 2011—There is no doubt that Cloud Computing has fundamentally changed IT like no other development in the last decade. It represents the new standard for all future technologies.
The idea is to avoid the costs of maintaining software and hardware on your own and instead rent it from “the Cloud.” An example of a huge success in Cloud Computing is Google Mail, where you no longer need your own mail server or software licenses, as required with a service like Microsoft Exchange Server. Google Mail offers mail services from the Cloud and is accessible from every computer on the internet.
Hiflex, the global developer of MIS and Web-to-print solutions, is the first to offer an MIS Cloud Computing solution for the graphic industry. The Hiflex Cloud Computing Enterprise Solution allows full access to its MIS via the Internet – from anywhere and at any time.
Provides the greatest possible freedom, allowing employees to access the system from anywhere and at any time.
By using the Enterprise Cloud Computing solution from Hiflex, companies lower their operational costs by eliminating investments in IT infrastructure. Users can concentrate on their core business, reduce the costs of IT administration and eliminate costs of obsolescence as hardware and software are outsourced.
Allows unlimited data storage and the Hiflex MIS system is as fast as required because Cloud Computing offers the most scalable processing speeds available.
Professional data centers offer the highest possible security with constantly updated system protection and redundant data storage in the Cloud.
Service quality is clearly improved, because Cloud Computing goes along with the ‘quality as a service’ concepts of Hiflex.
Private Cloud, Public Cloud or Hiflex Cloud – your choice
Even with Cloud Computing every Hiflex MIS system remains a separate installation and of course can absolutely still be adapted individually and to the requirements and needs of each customer. Significant to Hiflex’s Cloud Computing solution is the fact that the system does not have to be installed in an external data center. Users have their choice of a ‘Public Cloud’ a ‘Hiflex Cloud’ or installing it in-house and locally as a ‘Private Cloud.’ For small to mid-sized companies the choice of a professional data center is very attractive because users can benefit from an infrastructure that includes security and failover protection usually only affordable to larger companies.
Cloud computing lowers ‘Total Cost of Ownership’ or TCO
‘Total Cost of Ownership’ or ‘TCO’ represents the complete costs and operating expenses of a solution. Cloud Computing dramatically decreases the TCO. An external installation can be a very compelling choice from an economical point of view. There are no costs for the server hardware, no racks, no cost for backup solutions as well as the significantly diminished costs for expenditure for IT administration. There is also no need to build and maintain expensive climate controlled environments.
Three-year development plan and history for a completely new architecture
In 2008 Hiflex concluded that the Cloud Computing Model represented the future and that this architecture offered its users many new benefits. The strategy for Hiflex was to offer its highly automated and powerful Print MIS Workflow as a Cloud Model making it also the most cost efficient system in the world. After the commitment and investment of three full years of development, the results have really paid off and are astounding. Included in the Cloud Computing release is high-speed internet accessability, a change to OpenOffice.org and the elimination of MS Office for document generation and a browser-based configuration with a global system performance enhancement of over 25 percent.
Optimized system configuration for cheaper and faster implementation
With Hiflex MIS release 2012 a central, browser-based configuration interface is now available. As a part of the new release and to enhance setup times, Hiflex provides its new ‘MIS Resources’ functionality. Users now can access from a complete library of the most popular presses and finishing equipment and other set-up criteria to add or remove total machine characteristics via drag and drop. Based on the significant Hiflex ‘knowledge database’ a new customer installation can be configured in a fifth of the time of legacy MIS Systems.
Additionally, the creation and output of all documents was changed to OpenOffice.org and by switching to this royalty free and and open-source application, investments in Microsoft software are reduced or even eliminated.
Platform Autonomy, Independence and Open Source
The Hiflex Cloud Computing MIS system can be used on Windows, Macintosh or Linux computers making Hiflex platform independent. Expenses for both software and hardware are much lower and the higher system stability of open-source technologies is another major benefit. Design and adaptation of all documents is substantially simplified and accelerated by a WYSIWYG solution – reducing costs of the implementation even further.
Diminished expenditures – diminished costs – new customer potentials
These breakthrough innovations have lead to a significant reduction in the time involved and expenses for the implementation of an MIS system. Savings vary according to company size, complexity of production and range of products, but for smaller to mid-sized companies the savings are dramatic. For a printer with a gross sales revenue of $5 million dollars, the Hiflex MIS Cloud release 2012 can be achieved for less than $50,000 – and users can go live with estimating and order-book in less than 90 days.
Up to now many of the small to mid-sized printers judged Enterprise MIS systems as too expensive because of the initial investment and high cost of implementation. With the new release, HILFLEX MIS now becomes available to all small to mid-sized printers as well.
These printers too can now benefit from the most advanced technology in the industry and do so without any reductions in functionality or performance. The small to medium market of printers represents a huge global market which Hiflex is poised to penetrate aggressively with its new Cloud based system.
Improved flexibility, lower maintenance costs and faster processing times are only three of the qualities of the Hiflex Cloud Computing release. The system setup and go-live times are significantly faster and result with immediate system payback and ROI.
Pause and resume functionality
When a workstation is to be powered down it is no longer necessary to close all windows and log out. With the pressing of a button, the work-session can simply be paused causing all currently open windows to disappear. When the work is to be continued the session can simply be resumed exactly where it was stopped regardless of your location. You can easily pause and resume at your own workplace, inside the company, from your laptop remotely or at another computer, e.g., at home or from on the road quickly and with ease.
Fulfilment and Campaign Management: single jobs can be linked to a major project All relating products, jobs and calculations are linked to a logical and superior or ‘Parent Project’ for a customer campaign. Control of the entire project occurs on a real-time basis and can be followed and tracked at any time and with extreme visibility of all components and manufacturing steps.
Entry validation and system-wide change log Entry validation rules can be defined at the field level. If an entry exceeds the defined range or is incorrect, the user is not able to save it. So, for example, authorizations for discounts can be handled error free. Additionally, changes that are made to i.e., cost calculations, jobs and the client database are logged automatically and throughout the entire system.
Multi-Site Intelligence Application
The Hiflex ‘Multi-Site Intelligence Application provides a powerful solution to configure several company sites or profit centers in one single system environment and to view them as single units or as a consolidated whole. If an order is produced at several sites, the Hiflex Multi-Site Intelligence Application allows cross-site production with one order number. The internal service charges between sites is automated and provides easy cost reporting and visibility.
Cloud Computing Overview
Cloud Computing’ is currently the most popular and advanced industry innovation and is sought after by most IT experts as a prerequisite functionality for the purchasing any new system investments. Cloud Computing has been decisively endorsed by the world’s most advanced internet companies such as Amazon, Google and Yahoo and many thousands more throughout the globe and also counts as a mega trend and paradigm shift in computing.
With Cloud Computing users perform work via the internet. A key technical facet to Cloud Computing is the use of ‘virtualization’. Instead of running on a dedicated server, applications now run on ‘virtual machines’ (VM). Several VMs can share the same hardware, can be implemented in seconds and, if no longer needed, can disappear as fast as they appear.
When outsourcing applications to data centers, users still usually know where and on which computer their software is running. With Cloud Computing this track disappears in ‘the Cloud’. But it is also possible to work within a ‘Private Cloud’. This approach offers access to abstracted IT infrastructures within the users own organization, so the data still remains in house and on their own internal systems.
The reason for the general enthusiasm of Cloud Computing is the significantly reduced investment and expense for service of their computer hardware. By using a Cloud Computing solution, available computing capabilities rise far beyond what companies are accustomed to with in-house solutions. In example, professional data centers guarantee continuous availability of systems at above 99 percent efficiency. Systems are also monitored and supervised 24/7 and provide redundant hardware provides failover security. Different studies prove that especially small to mid-sized companies benefit from this.
• Servers and software are installed at external service providers
• Communication with the server always occurs via the internet – employees can access the system from everywhere, at any time
• Servers are virtualized making them bullet proof
• Processing power and data storage can be distributed over several servers
• Performance and storage are arbitrarily and quickly scalable
• External data centers offer optimized infrastructure and protection for software and data that are matched to the user’s needs and budget
• No initial investment or expense in hardware procurement
Hiflex is an international software provider developing sophisticated solutions for commercial and technical process automation in the print and media industry: Hiflex MIS (Management Information System) is a fully JDF-compliant solution which models and supports all business processes in printing houses and media companies. It is subdivided into the business areas Office and Factory. Hiflex Print Support is a highperformance web-based procurement system providing print and media purchasers with a highly developed tool to organize their familiar procurement processes more efficiently.
Hiflex Webshop is a unique, open Web2Print solution with integrated product configuration and online quotation generation for custom formats. Hiflex Webshop is based on the Drupal Open Source Content Management System.
Hiflex is known worldwide as the technology leader in JDF integration. Close cooperation is maintained with all recognized press and system suppliers in the print and media industry.
The company is a partner member of the CIP4 organization, has won 17 of the global CIP4 Innovation (CIPPI) Awards and also received the PIA/GATF InterTech Technology Award in 2008 and 2010. Internationally, Hiflex is the most successful software provider for the print and media industry and Hiflex MIS is JDFcertified by both the CIP4 Organization and PIA.
Hiflex software is installed in 45 countries and is available in 28 languages. About 30 percent of revenue is re-invested annually for research and development.