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Canon Australia to offer leading management software from EFI

  • 21 January, 2005 10:59

<p>Intelligent software enables in-plants and commercial print-for-pay to take orders online</p>
<p>and then produce the output in the most time- and cost-effective manner possible</p>
<p>Sydney, 21 January 2005 -- Canon Australia has announced the availability of two new solutions connected to digital output management in the in-plant marketplace -- Digital StoreFront 2.1 and Balance 3.2 -- both from Electronics For Imaging (EFI).</p>
<p>"Canon has an exceptional relationship with EFI, and it's through this relationship that we are able to bring such first-rate pieces of management software to our customers," said Steven Brown, Market Segment Manager, Production and Graphic Arts. "Watch this space -- the in-plant and commercial print-for-pay market in Australia is growing fast, and Digital StoreFront and Balance will be at the heart of this boom in 2005."</p>
<p>According to a recent breakthrough whitepaper by independent researcher Richard Vines, sponsored by Canon Australia, the in-plants that are thriving are collaborative, customer-focused and innovative. They are using new software and structures to build deeper links with their key customer -- the host organisation. For example, when lecturers can order their business cards, stationery and teaching materials online through a Digital StoreFront customised specifically for the in-plant within a university, they are left in no doubt about the value of the solution implemented.</p>
<p>Digital StoreFront</p>
<p>Digital StoreFront 2.1 is a website and transaction server that provides a portal via the internet or an intranet between the customer and the print room. The solution is highly customisable and has two versions: Digital StoreFront and an entry level edition -- Digital StoreFront Express -- with the key difference being that the full version has advanced options for the in-plant and print-for-pay market, including automated quoting, credit card billing and online catalogues.</p>
<p>"Digital StoreFront is a potent software application enabling the customer to weave it into their own branded website and, with very little set-up, have a transaction server that manages all of their external print procurement," said Mr Brown. "The benefits of this are instantly recognisable -- from enabling ordering and payment on the customer side, through to the management benefits on the printers side -- and point to the way all in-plants can offer new customer interface models to compliment existing ones."</p>
<p>Balance 3.2, meanwhile, is an upgrade to Electronics For Imaging's (EFI's) solution for distributing and managing output across multiple printing devices and follows in the footsteps of the major upgrade of Balance 3.0, which Canon released in April 2004.</p>
<p>The Balance software can be used, for example, to send colour pages from a print job to every available colour printer, while black &amp; white pages from the same job are sent to black &amp; white devices. Conversely, it can split a large job across every available machine for faster printing. In an extreme display of printroom smarts, it can even automatically select the fastest available printer for priority jobs and the most cost-efficient printer available for others.</p>
<p>"With Balance 3.2, in-plants can maximise their print output by simply allowing the software to decide the most time- and cost-efficient ways to produce their output," said Mr Brown. "The result of which is that more often than not in-plants find they don't need to upgrade to bigger and more expensive print solutions, but instead are able to increase their output with exactly the same hardware they had prior to installing Balance."</p>
<p>While Canon is offering Digital StoreFront 2.1 and Balance 3.2 as standalone applications, they also have the ability to interact.* In this scenario, jobs can be entered via Digital StoreFront, then go into the production queue overseen by Balance. In this way, production reaches new heights of automation as the selection of material, payment and even the way in which the material will be printed -- promptly or cost-effectively -- is automatically put into practice via the software.</p>
<p>"Canon's offerings in our Production and Graphic Arts division are among the most powerful and compelling on the market," said Mr Brown. "Take anything from the division's line-up, hardware or software, and it simply reinforces our position as a credible solution provider in the digital production market."</p>
<p>Digital StoreFront 2.1, Digital StoreFront Express 2.1 and Balance 3.2 become available through Canon in February 2005.</p>
<p>* While Digital StoreFront 2.1 and Balance 3.2 can work together in the manner suggested, Digital StoreFront Express 2.1 cannot interact in the same way with Balance 3.2.</p>
<p>About Canon</p>
<p>Canon Australia ( was established in Australia in 1978 and is a subsidiary of the US$29.9 billion Canon Inc. group. The company is an industry leader in professional and consumer imaging solutions with a comprehensive product line that includes: printers, scanners, fax machines, video cameras, cameras and lenses, video conferencing, image filing systems, networked multifunction devices, digital and analogue copiers (colour and black &amp; white). Canon Australia also operates its own lease finance service, Canon Finance Australia, which facilitates "one stop" shopping for customers wanting to lease or finance their equipment solutions. Canon Inc. is a top patent-holder of imaging technologies with a local R&amp;D centre -- CISRA (Canon Information Systems Research Australia) -- based in Sydney.</p>
<p>Media contact:</p>
<p>Myrna Van Pelt</p>
<p>Director, Technology</p>
<p>Hill &amp; Knowlton</p>
<p>02 9268 1282</p>

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