By DPS Staff
From January 20 to 23, 2015, EFI hosted graphic arts technology users for its sold-out EFI Connect users’ conference. Held at the Wynn Las Vegas in Las Vegas, NV, the event provided leadership sessions, technical education, and business management workshops.
The company reported 1,017 customers in attendance at Connect, from 32 different countries. The event’s overall attendance reached more than 1,500 including EFI employees, journalists, and partners/exhibitors.
The conference boasted over 200 educational sessions on business management, sales, marketing, and production technology.
Guy Gecht, CEO, EFI, kicked off the event with opening remarks, in which he discussed the company’s commitment to its—and its customers’—future. “We want to be your GPS,” he announced, meaning they power “smart” technologies that guide a path to success.
He also stressed the importance of the success of its customers, pointing out that 90 percent of its customers are family-owned businesses.
In a Fireside Chat later in the event, Gecht and Thomas Quinlan, CEO, RR Donnelley & Sons, discussed the future of print. Quinlan says his 150-year-old company continues to thrive by serving the customer and helping them communicate effectively. “It is critical to synchronize messaging,” he stated.
Connect is one way EFI communicates with its customers, spreading the message of its future goals. At his keynote, Gecht announced his mission for EFI to reach $1 billion in revenue by the end of 2016, and to keep moving and reinvesting. He noted several milestones, including that it’s been ten years since EFI acquired VUTEk, and 20 years since he first joined the company, and he’s still excited for the future of EFI after all of these years.
Additional presentations included keynote included Avi Reichental, CEO, 3D Systems; and Andrew Paparozzi, chief economist, print industry association Epicomm.
The event also served as the launch for a new evolution in the company’s workflow software strategy. The EFI Productivity Suite is the next step in the company’s production software portfolio evolution. It is designed to expand on the company’s existing offerings with a stronger focus on how customers can generate revenue and enhance efficiency and profitability with its portfolio of print and packaging software.
EFI says its suite, which is available this quarter, addresses its customers’ automation and efficiency needs by transitioning the workflow emphasis away from individual packages and modules to a complete offering that uses best-of-suite end-to-end workflows, certified integrations, and synchronized development.
In addition to the two previously mentioned primary announcements, additional product announcements and demonstrations were also part of the event.
The company introduced unified workflow management capabilities for combined offset and digital production operations using a new Heidelberg Prinect/EFI Fiery digital front-end integration. Now, print providers can use the Prinect interface to route work to offset or Fiery-driven digital presses while streamlining overall business processes using integrated links to EFI Web to print (W2P) and print management information system products.
Additionally, the company introduced a module featuring EFI DirectSmile technology to enable automated, template-based, and data-driven variable image and document rendering within the EFI Digital StoreFront W2P and ecommerce interfaces.
Also shown, an enhanced automation workflow, powered by AccuZIP, that uses Digital StoreFront’s W2P capabilities and its new variable data printing module to automate direct mail production tasks from order entry through mail processing and check out.
Within EFI Connect’s solutions center, attendees could view the complete portfolio of EFI workflow and digital print production software. An exhibit of EFI LED inkjet technology with 3.2-meter roll-to-roll and two-meter, seven-picoliter UltraDrop hybrid roll/flatbed EFI VUTEk printers; along with an entry-level, 1.6-meter EFI Wide Format production printer, were also displayed.
Numerous partner companies also exhibited, including 3M, AccuZIP, BCC Software, Canon, Esko, ESP/SurgeX, Honle UV America, Heytex Corp., Kodak, Konica Minolta, MBM Corp., Ricoh Production Print, Xerox, and Zünd.
Connect and Network
EFI Connect provides its users with the opportunity to network, learn, and preview the latest solutions the company has to offer. We look forward to more news and implementations of EFI GPS and its next-generation production software suite, as well as continued innovations on all software and hardware fronts. dps
NOTE: This is an extended version of the EFI Connect recap that appears in the March print issue of Digital Publishing Solutions.