No Single Solution Meets Every Web-to-Print Need

No two clients of hosted Web-to-print systems have precisely the same needs. Meeting those needs efficiently may require customization or using Web-to-print systems from different vendors — or both.
That point became clear in a panel presentation I led at the On Demand Conference and Exposition in Philadelphia last week: “How to Start Up and Rev Up Your Web-to-Print System.” Joining me on the panel were two members of the Xerox Premier Partners Global Network of leading print providers: Richard F. Rumpel, a former vice president of Digital Marketing, Sells Printing, who helped establish its first digital division, Traxion, and Scott Dubois, vice president, Cross-Media Services, Reynolds DeWalt.
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In developing the new digital infrastructure for Traxion two years ago, Richard sought to enable a comprehensive range of services, even though some more sophisticated functions might not be used right away. So they acquired the full XMPie PersonalEffect suite, including its uStore Web-to-print system. They’ve used it to develop more than a dozen customer-specific Web-to-Print solutions, many of which required significant customization through XMPie APIs. His advice: aggregate workflows where possible, and try to determine in advance if customization work will pay off with high-volume business.
Reynolds DeWalt has been developing Web-to-print systems for a decade and now uses three different systems. For non-branded sites, they turn to Print Science, an easy-to-use, templated, software-as a service that enables sites to be up and running quickly. For client-branded sites with more complex, user-generated documents and more in-depth services, they deploy Xerox FreeFlow Web Services. And for customizing sites, they use XMPie uStore. Scott noted that sometimes the simplest solution drives the greatest revenue.
Have you been able to use a single Web-to-print system to service all of your clients, or do you, too, deploy multiple, specialized solutions?

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3 Comments

  1. Norbert Kalinowski April 28, 2010 - Reply

    As it is one of our core businesse I surely agree that most of the time the simplest solution drives the greatest revenue. We too use different solution to fit all our customers need. And we like to keep it simple. Implementing a highly customized solution is time consuming and not payed well. If a customer really wants to pay for a more customized solution, we can make dreams come true.

    But usually we do it quick and simple.

    So the answer is, we need more than one tool to keep it low prised but efficient.
    Regards
    N.Kalinowski

  2. nyca April 29, 2010 - Reply

    The simpler the better!

  3. Gavin Jordan-Smith May 5, 2010 - Reply

    I often think about the web experience as a journey of discovery as it relates to identifying the right platform whether it is something you pull of the shelf or something you develop yourself. In either case the so called “easy button” needs to be their through the entire value chain of the solution being rolled out. And lets face it… the best result is to develop an experience that which the transaction is intuitive and easy to use.

    So whether you’re building it for yourself or for a customer, hosted or non-hosted, template or catalogue the cost of development and ownership can take many different flavors.

    Making dreams come true will set the stage to sell the solution at a price point acceptable to the value it drives for the customer. The value of which has many stake holders and by all means this is not an easy sell. Thankfully for the print service provider savvy enough to sell these solutions, you are not typically dealing with a print buyer.

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