Strong Workflow, PDF, Printing and e-Delivery Trends. Pat and Drew Discuss!

It’s a New Year and that begs the question: What’s new in the world of Workflow Software? As we see it here at Solimar Systems, workflow never stands still. It is always evolving. And it is this evolution powering the Return on Investment (ROI) that makes implementing workflow software solutions crucial for those print and digital delivery environments. Especially those that are looking to stay ahead of the competition.

Drew Sprague, President of Solimar Systems and Pat McGrew, Managing Director of McGrewGroup, chat about the future of workflow software and the print and digital delivery industries in this SolimarSecrets ROI Boost video. Join Pat and Drew as they talk about current print trends, the impacts on the industry, and how the convergence of different forces is creating needs that can be solved by workflow software. Some of these trends include the ability to track and report each piece in small-run print jobs. And to have that right at your fingertips whether looking at a widescreen on the shop floor, on your work computer or using a tablet or mobile device while on the go.

Additionally, Pat and Drew will discuss PDF and how it has continued to change the print and electronic or e-delivery industry. Pat has been particularly interested in the customer use cases where the Solimar PDF Optimization engine, ReadyPDF® Prepress Server™, has been used to achieve impressive ROI for digital or electronic communications like e-presentment and for storage in an archive. That interest leads to a discussion about what people should know about Solimar and PDF as they look ahead to the future.

After watching this video, join Drew and Pat for the rest of this ROI-boosting video series! Our other conversation videos in the series tackle Piece Level Tracking (PLT), online digital proof/approval/suppression of jobs, JDF job ticketing and assembly considerations in file preparation and production, PDF optimization, control and visibility of work flowing through your production environment, and more. Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us.

So, I have a question I don’t think I’ve ever asked you and I don’t mean it to be a gotcha question, but I’m really, I’m curious, about how you see the future in our world of print. There are so many things the Chemistry Platform lets, you know, enables and it keeps on growing to meet the needs of people who have growing needs. What’s the big thing that you think is going to happen over the next five years that that we’re all going to be dealing with in terms of getting files out into different communication channels?

Hmm. There are a lot of trends converging all at once that are making a lot of tough decisions necessary for a lot of organizations. You can see that a lot of enterprises are trying to push consumers to electronic delivery. So obviously, there’s going to be a lot more electronic delivery. The implication is there’s going to be less content getting posted. The derivative of that is postage prices are going to be higher because there’s less volume and there’s going to be less volume to print for anyone, I’ll call it line of business, for any service provider or in-plant. So, they’re going to have to diversify their businesses. And we’re seeing that already where people are trying to fill in the gaps in their production capacity to bring on complementary workflows or lines of business. There’s going to be electronic delivery. There’s going to be more need for tracking the content all the way to the consumer. Including did the consumer actually look at the PDF file if it’s served electronically? Good point. Yeah, a lot more suppression when people can or, you know, dual mail and electronic delivery, that kind of thing. And there’s certainly going to be a lot more PDF content.

I think that the PDF will continue to grow in terms of the standard itself. We know that there’s a new version of I think there’s a PDF/VT standard that’s going to be coming shortly. And we know that CIP4 in their adventure, which JDF. Do you think that those are the two standards that are going to wind up on top of everything?

Well, you know, it’s nice to see the tweaking that’s going on with the PDF spec because these are really on the perimeter of PDF largely. You can do a lot of things just if you go way back to the old PDF 1.1 spec, a lot of content could be produced within that framework. Certainly, a lot of transactional content can, but there’s been a lot that’s been layered into PDF since then and it’s largely very useful, but I don’t see there being a wholesale makeover of PDF.

There are important gaps. It’ll continue to need to be filled. For example, dealing with better encryption and so forth and rolling those out actually takes a bit of time because users don’t just immediately switch from what they’re doing now to you know, what the latest PDF capability is because they have all kinds of other workflows that can be impacted because along with updating PDF standards often comes deprecation of older features. So you have to be careful.

So, what the good news, I think I’m hearing from you is that PDF has built such a strong infrastructure that it is the right format, whether I’m trying to print it or I’m trying to send it over a network to someone, whether it’s to their phone or to a laptop or a tablet. And because we know it’s a strong infrastructure, we can just keep making it better.

Well, I think that’s certainly true for page-oriented content. You know, HTML is great for a whole other class of applications that target the mobile environment. But PDF for those of us that like to read pages of things, it is the way to go.

Great. What’s the one thing that you would like every person who’s listening to us know about the intersection of the Solimar solution set and PDF?

Well, Solimar Systems we leverage PDF, but it’s not the whole of what we do. And anyone looking to solve problems in the high-volume, transactional variable data workspace and a lot of spaces that border those are going to have workflow issues that involve tracking their work and making sure that what they put into the system comes out of the system on the equipment that they have today and tomorrow. And so, we can help them put together solutions that are adaptive and flexible. And that’s what I would say our strength is with respect to potential or existing users and our leverage of PDF is that we can help you get to a platform that’s flexible and adaptive.