Reinventing the wheel is not a recognised element in successful product development. printIQ insists it is much more than just an MIS and backs this up with the range of best in class software it delivers to the market. Latest addition is the UK-based Infigo e-commerce software.
Printers rely on their software suppliers to provide a one-stop shop for all their requirements, but it doesn’t mean that the supplier has to create everything itself. As the leading print software system supplier in Australia and New Zealand, printIQ prides itself on the range of functions it automates within its system. However it doesn’t pretend to develop everything itself, especially when it has access to world-class products that can integrate into its offering.
A case in point is the company’s recent agency signing with Infigo. Mick Rowan, director of product development and marketing, recognised the need for a stand-alone e-commerce solution. Printers looking to address the internet, either in a B2B or B2C, or even a B2B2C want to be able to supply their customers with branded sites that allow buyers to anonymously interact with the company. These are ideal extra functionalities that printers can offer in addition to the utility of the core printIQ workflow system.
One of the reasons why the two brands came together is that Infigo software fits easily into the printIQ system with little overlap and lots of convenience. It allows printIQ to deliver modular e-commerce facility for printers who can decide how to brand the websites of their customers. Infigo operates across many different industries, not only in printing. It creates complete web-to-print and variable data systems for retail, corporate, and creative agency as well as printers. These can be easily rolled out by printIQ customers. According to Rowan, printIQ’s integration capabilities mean that Infigo can be brought seamlessly into the system.
“The integration factor is one of the greatest strengths of printIQ. We currently integrate with Chili, Enfocus, Esko, Fuji Xerox, HP, Imp, Ultimate, XMPie, and Zapier, just to name a few,” he says. “We’re also very open to talking to other platforms, and via our Integrate module we offer a series of fully documented and comprehensive APIs that expose many of the workflows in printIQ.
“Essentially we’re completely agnostic with who we work with.”
Rowan signed the agency agreement with Douglas Gibson, managing director, Infigo, at the recent Dscoop Edge show in Orlando. After being a reseller of Chili Software for the past five years the agreement gives printIQ the ability to support its customers with the latest in e-commerce web technology as a stand alone product. It will continue to support its Chili Software customers but from now on will deliver the Infigo e-commerce product as part of its overall offering.
Software Version 38 and counting
The arrival of Infigo coincides with the latest release of printIQ’s system, Version 38. While many software platforms launch a single definitive version of the software and leave it to slow cook for years in their customers’ business without change, printIQ is hyper active when it comes to development. With two or three full releases every year it’s most definitely ‘not in maintenance mode’.
The level of development is based on the understanding that businesses need to change over time. What was sufficient last year is old news now. A perfectly adequate software system can quickly fall short of a customer’s ambitions if it’s not continually upgraded and improved. New attributes, more capabilities, extra processing are part of the upgrade path of any software system that wants to remain at the leading edge.
The latest iteration of printIQ’s software, Version 38, began rolling out to customers last month. With the majority of its 45 staff engaged on product development and support, printIQ has the flexibility to respond to changing industry conditions and customer requests. It’s a development philosophy that Adrian Fleming, sales director, believes gives the company and its workflow system a marked differentiation from others. “We’re constantly developing and upgrading, listening to what our customers are asking for and introducing new modules, printIQ is definitely not in maintenance mode,” he says.
The latest version is again aimed at improving overall usability and keeping up with the ever-changing industry requirements. The changes span all the main areas of the core printIQ product, with new features and refinements to make it easier and simpler to setup. Many of the numerous user experience improvements and subtle changes are based on customer feedback and requests.
The new Version 38 ranges over the entire printIQ production system with additions and changes to quoting, production, capacity planning, inventory as well as accounting, freight, and reporting and invoice consolidation. For instance, in quoting, while it’s great to have machinery capable of doing inline finishing, when a press is running at a reduced speed due to complex processes it is essential this be reflected in quoted prices. The latest release has a new setting called ‘Inline with Press’. When this is used, customers select Inline or Offline accordingly. If Offline is selected, the quote will calculate it as always.
When set as Inline, the speed of the press is reduced to match the run time of the slowest finishing operation. Quoted press times for all operations will reflect the extended run time required. This functionality is perfect for allowing estimators to calculate whether to finish online or offline.
Think outside the box
In response to numerous customer requests printIQ can now accept print files other than PDFs. A new setting has been added to allow users to upload other file types via the document upload without triggering the validation rule. On the production side the job status will be ‘Awaiting Artwork’ and the customer will now get an updated message to reflect that not just PDFs can be uploaded.
The printIQ deployment team is currently contacting all customers to ensure they make the best use of the new developments and attributes in Version 38. It is all part of the company’s determination to ‘think outside the box’ and ensure that printIQ leads print into its automated future.