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The Prinect User Days at the Print Media Academy of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) once again demonstrated their credentials as a communication platform organized by users for users. Some 300 Prinect workflow users attended the event over a total of four days, taking the opportunity to discuss the latest software trends in the industry with experts and each other. The presentations and subsequent discussions focused on new digital business models such as subscription contracts and the possibilities of cost-efficient print shop industrialization as digitization continues apace. It became clear that the philosophy of the Smart Print Shop for navigated and even autonomous printing, as showcased by Heidelberg at the last drupa, offers many print shops a solution to the wide-ranging industry challenges they face. That makes “Prinect. Driving the Smart Print Shop.” a highly appropriate slogan for the event, highlighting that the software supports the necessary Smart Print Shop processes.
The “Subscription models for printing machines and software” agenda item met with an enthusiastic response from participants. Models of this kind – under which customers only pay for actual product usage – are already established in many industries and are often the norm. Heidelberg unveiled this new offering for productive industrial performance to the graphic arts industry last year. The company has already sold 17 subscription contracts under which it supplies an all-in package comprising press, consumables, Prinect software, and services and the customer only pays for the number of sheets produced. Related discussions with many interested participants during the event and detailed inquiries made it clear that this solution could develop into an industry megatrend. Prinect Production Manager – a software-as-a-service model under which customers pay for the volume of data generated rather than individual licenses – is another popular Heidelberg software solution. Over 150 users have already opted for this model.
A number of brief demonstrations at the Prinect marketplace – an established part of the event – provided an overview of the key innovations of Prinect 2019. One particular highlight was the presentation of Prinect Smart BI. This cloud-based service enables print shops to use standard Microsoft Office tools to help analyze their business and production data. It makes light work of tasks such as preparing specific reports about market trends, product development, customer requirements, machine performance, and material movements based on the data analyzed, and identifying key factors for more profitable production and sales.
Heidelberg is planning to gradually further extend its portfolio of cloud-based solutions. The vision is a cloud-based ecosystem that enables customers to combine modules according to their needs. The software and the IT infrastructure are provided according to the software-as-a-service principle. Some 25,000 Prinect modules are already linked to the Heidelberg cloud. The resulting wealth of data is used to develop software solutions for further boosting productivity. “A print shop’s business success is increasingly determined by how efficiently it handles data. By creating the ideal conditions for this, the Prinect workflow forms the backbone of the Smart Print Shop showcased by Heidelberg at the last drupa,” explains Jürgen Grimm, Head of Software Solutions at Heidelberg.
Figure: The Prinect User Days 2018 at the Print Media Academy of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG once again demonstrated their credentials as a communication platform organized by users for users. Around 300 participants from 15 countries use the forum to share information about the latest software trends.