Electronics For Imaging held its sold out 2016 EFI™ Connect event from 19-22 January at the Wynn, Las Vegas. The company debuted several new Productivity Suites, along with digital print and industrial inkjet products, including the recently acquired line of Reggiani textile printers.
The conference, which is one of the printing industry’s largest and longest-running users’ group events, featured a solutions centre and more than 200 technical, sales and business management sessions, including hands-on customer labs, interactive Voice of Customer sessions, user meetings for EFI Productivity Suite and MIS/ERP core platforms and a development track conducted by industry analyst group InfoTrends.
During his opening keynote for the conference, EFI CEO Guy Gecht stressed the need for customers to 'bet on changes in the market forces to accelerate'. Successful printing businesses, he added, need to move with the window of opportunity. 'You must be willing to take a risk. Doing nothing is a guarantee that you will be unsuccessful.'
Resort industry and Las Vegas business legend Steve Wynn, Chairman and CEO of Wynn Resorts, gave a special keynote presentation at Connect in honor of the conference’s 10th anniversary at Wynn, Las Vegas. Wynn provided a business lesson on his success, which, despite the luxury of his resorts, ultimately depends on creating a culture where employees gain a sense of pride and enhanced self-esteem through their work. 'Underneath every major business franchise is the question of ‘is it better? Is their price really justified?’' said Wynn. 'What we’ve learned here is that only people make people happy.'
Expansion of the Productivity Suite strategy
Customers at the conference learned how the EFI Productivity Suites, a comprehensive, best-of-portfolio workflow platform introduced at Connect 2015, improves users’ productivity, efficiency and profitability through 'Suite Certified' workflows for specific segments. EFI’s commitment to development and advancement for Enterprise and Midmarket Commercial and Packaging Suites were evident in sessions and the solutions centre. And, at this year’s conference EFI continued that strategy and commitment, doubling its Productivity Suite offerings with three new certified Suites for the quick printing, publication print and corrugated packaging segments.
Connect 2016 also featured advanced EFI Fiery® digital front end and software technologies for cut-sheet digital printing, including previews of Fiery Command WorkStation® 5.8 and the newest-version Fiery JobFlow™ digital print workflow automation software. JobFlow delivers even more powerful digital print workflow automation features for efficient multi-job submission, extended third-party job processing, workflow sharing and enhanced usability.
New inkjet opportunities in ‘The Imaging of Things’
In addition to highlighting advanced workflow technologies, Connect showcased how EFI customers across the globe create profitable opportunities with innovative, high-value and high-quality inkjet imaging applications. These customers are successful participants in the concept of 'The Imaging of Things', delivering greater product customisation and appeal in everything from signage and packaging to décor, apparel and industrial manufacturing.
During his keynote, Gecht unveiled the Imaging of Things exchange, an online customer applications gallery designed to help EFI customers and print buyers grow their network and business relationships.
The online exchange is free for EFI customers and provides a venue for them to post images and videos of their work in a forum targeted to print buyers looking for new, unique and innovative application ideas. The Imaging of Things exchange addresses the network effect online communities have in accelerating adoption of new technologies and applications. And, as a result, EFI customers can better promote their EFI print applications and generate new business leads.
Connect’s solutions centre featured top technologies in the EFI industrial inkjet portfolio, including best-selling, entry-level and new, high-end hybrid LED printers with advanced, variable-drop grayscale imaging and industry-leading white ink. The Connect 2016 exhibit floor also featured versatile, roll-to-roll LED printing technology from EFI’s recently acquired Matan product line.
Attendees saw a broader range of print application possibilities within the Imaging of Things with exhibits of jobs produced on EFI’s Cretaprint® ceramic tile printers, Jetrion® narrow-web label printers and the company’s recently acquired line of Reggiani textile printers. Michele Riva, sales and marketing director for EFI Reggiani, provided added insight into the significant opportunity in printing for fabric graphic display and industrial textile applications.
Connect 2016 also featured an industry update keynote from Epicomm Chief Economist Andy Paparozzi. Some of his keys for business success include:
– Leadership: identify new ways to create value for clients.
– Maximise adaptability – 'the industry isn't changing, it's being redefined'.
– Hire experts and diverse personnel.
– Ensure your current clients are completely satisfied.
Along with its lineup of technology and business presentations, training sessions and EFI product demonstrations, Connect 2016 featured numerous exhibits from partner companies, including platinum sponsors Canon U.S.A. and Xerox; gold sponsor Duplo; and bronze sponsors 3M Commercial Graphics; AccuZIP; BCC Software; BondCote/Heytex Corp.; Esko; Honle UV America; Kodak; Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. Inc.; Lintec Corp.; the Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation; Progress Software; and Ricoh Production Print.