Another successful PRINT conference has passed and I think we can all agree that we are happy to be back in Chicago! That excitement aside, this year’s show did provide us with some interesting insight to how our industry is evolving. That being said, there are three key observations that stood out:
- Workflow is Finally Becoming a Rising Star: The analysts have said it for years. Automated workflows drive hardware sales. However, the concept has only stuck with some, with favor going to the thrill of heavy metal. This PRINT seemed to present a breath of fresh air for software companies, highlighting the value of production transparency and automation of processes as a key business objective for many.
Which is why we were pleased to feature PRO Conductor, powered by Alchem-e, at PRINT17 as our vendor-agnostic, workflow solution that doubles as an ADF. While our traditional customer base lies within the transactional communications space, many of our customers are expanding their businesses to manage other communication needs for their customers; requiring new technology and processes that are not typically managed by transactional solutions. PRO Conductor, powered by Alchem-e, is different in that it can address the command and control needs of any environment while also bringing an interactive and engaging, business-user friendly interface as well as the transparency needs that other workflow solutions have left to be desired.
- QA is next for Automation: In conjunction with workflow, monitoring quality assurance and customer SLAs has always been a requirement. However, manual review and tracking is time consuming and therefore costly while more vulnerable to human error. Having a good quality assurance is a selling point for many service providers as enterprises are looking for partners to help them catch errors and solve problems in real time; not when it’s too late.
This is an area that CrawfordTech has spent a lot of time on, both within our own development group for regression testing as well as creating a solution for our customers to automate their own QA processes. Our QA solutions are business-user friendly, so IT personnel can pass the control onto the stakeholders responsible for final approval.
- Security is a Real Concern: We knew the Equifax breach would garner a bit of discussion at this show, but we didn’t realize just how much of a concern it was for some of our current customers and prospects at PRINT17. The reality of data breaches continues to remind us that you can never take too much precaution at protecting both your own and your customer’s (or your customer’s customers’) information.
Unfortunately, there are not too many solutions that we saw in Chicago that are making an effort to address this. We launched our own product, PRO Lockdown, at PRINT17 which did generate a lot of interest for those looking to keep data and documents encrypted and secured within their own production environments or when being transmitted to a service provider. What is unique about our solution is that it can be used in any workflow solution or system, making it a versatile option for meeting regulatory requirements such as HIPAA, PHI, and GDPR, and ensuring sensitive data does not get into the wrong hands.
Overall, PRINT17 was a great show for us, as well as our partners and peers. If you didn’t get a chance to see us in Chicago, please don’t hesitate to reach out and see what is new!