Looking at the Cloud from Both Sides
One of the biggest trends in software has been a migration to cloud-based software, aka “cloud computing.” That can range from simply storing files on a remote server, to running software that is installed remotely rather than on a local computer, often called “software as a service (SaaS).” If you have ever used any of Adobe’s Creative Cloud applications, or even Microsoft Office 365, you have used software as a service.
It is even possible—and increasingly desirable—to run one’s entire print production workflow over the internet using cloud services. Virtually any aspect of a print business today can be migrated to the cloud.
Research has found that cloud migration has been slow to come to the printing industry, despite the benefits it offers. The advantages, applications, and the cloud migration process is detailed in a new book called “Cloud Production: A New Path To Profitability” by Slava Apel; Joseph W. Webb, Ph.D.; Roger McClure; and Scott Prince. The book is being published at PRINT 17, and will be printed on the show floor by Konica Minolta (Booth 2031).
Apel, CEO of Amazing Print Tech (Booth 667), has been a pioneer in the field of cloud production and web-to-print solutions, founding Amazing Print Tech in 1997. In addition to getting a signed copy of the book, attendees can learn more about the cloud, web-to-print, as well as Amazing Print Tech’s new web-to-print tools at the company’s booth.
“More printers are looking to provide self-service design and online estimating to ease internal workflows, and to automate order processing,” says Apel. These are functions that cloud-based solutions easily facilitate.
At PRINT 17, Amazing Print Tech is releasing Version 5.2 of the eCardBuilder web-to-print design engine. Some of the enhancements include new products and templates; new template creation functionality; language support for multilingual websites; image editing, cropping, and resizing improvements; an improved mobile-optimized interface that allows design and ordering on any smartphone or tablet; faster speed and improved aesthetics for desktop users; and a new version of APIs that allow deeper connectivity to shopping carts and websites. The upgrade is free to current users.
Web-to-print is a vital element of today’s print business, especially as more commerce transitions to ecommerce, including mobile-based ecommerce. According to eMarketer, from 2012 to 2016, the percentage of internet users who purchase products using a mobile device went from 25% to 64%. There is no reason to think print is immune to these trends.
The cloud represents the future, especially with regard to the impending “Internet of Things.” It pays to get a print business on board ASAP.