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Diving Into Technologies at OEM Events

Highlights from Canon, EFI, HP and Nur.

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In recent months, four OEMs-Canon, EFI, HP, and NUR-held events that allowed end users as well as working journalists to take a sneak peek at newly introduced products and technologies, chat with company executives, and see how print providers are garnering profits in the marketplace. What follows are our recaps of, and highlights from, each event.

EFI Users Discover, Innovate, and Integrate in Las Vegas
The theme for the 2007 version of EFI Connect, EFI's annual end-user conference, held at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas in early June, was 'Discover, Innovate, Integrate,' and it's safe to say that the 1500 attendees did just that during the four-day event.

More than 150 educational sessions allowed participants to kick some tires and test drive EFI products. In addition, exhibits from Canon, Adobe, Konica Minolta, and others allowed attendees to check out wares from 19 companies offering complementary tools, supplies, and technologies.

EFI CEO Guy Gecht opened up the event on Sunday night by discussing how five primary factors-'the big five'-are influencing the current print market:

* Consolidation-the number of commercial printers is shrinking (such as Donnelley buying Banta, etc.);
* Power of information-how there is so much information available to us, but print providers now have to ensure that they make sense of the information they get in order to turn it into profits;
* Proliferation of digital printing-allowing for the integration of color and shorter runs;
* Industrial printing-printing beyond paper, such as rigid, packaging, textile, and specialty products; and
* Going green-how print providers are pursuing environmental repositioning.

The next morning, Mark Olin, senior VP/general manager, Professional Printing Applications, wrapped his comments around the theme of finding a 'roadmap to success'- applying that theme not only to print providers, but EFI itself. He indicated, for instance, that EFI is now organizing itself around three primary divisions: Fiery, Vutek, and Apps; the latter includes the company's print-management solutions, including MIS as well as Web-to-print, scheduling, and other add-ons, including proofing. (Jetrion, acquired from the Flint Group in 2006, does not fall into any of these three divisions, but will remain a self-standing unit within the company.)