New year’s predictions: EFI’s Marc Olin

What do you think will be the greatest opportunity for, and threat to, the print industry next year?

The greatest opportunity for print is the continuing transition to digital print, and automation of manufacturing processes in order to provide the flexibility and productivity that is needed for print to remain a viable competitor to other media. The greatest threat in the coming year lies with printers who have not invested in this new reality and continue to compete on price alone to struggle to remain in business.

What do you believe is the most under-recognised aspect in printing that is likely to gain more prominence in 2012?
I believe that the continued, rising importance of digital shortrun, personalized printing as a growth area for print production will continue to gain prominence in 2012.

What do you hope to get out of Drupa 2012?
Establish EFI’s position as the printing industry’s pre-eminent technology and innovation supplier to Europe.

What new technology do you expect to see at Drupa 2012 in your sector?
Cloud-based MIS and web-to-print – I believe a number of other companies will be adding similar offerings to those we already have, which allow access to MIS and web-to-print in the cloud. I also expect a step up in the speed, quality and variety of substrate in digital presses, which will further close the gap with the analogue world.

What new technology do you expect to see at Drupa 2012 in other sectors?
New digital printing technology – how fast will the toner-based digital print engines get, and what type of competition will they face from inkjet-based competitors? 

What do you think the main trends will be at Drupa 2012 in your sector?
Other consolidations will occur within the print MIS world and it will be interesting to see how other providers will compete with our cloud-based MIS and web-to-print solutions. In general I think that as a result of consolidations with technology providers, we will see fewer technology players, with the existing ones having much broader offerings.

What trends do you think will emerge at Drupa 2012 in any other sectors?
There is no question that customers are going to be very focused on investment that provides a great return on investment in the next five-plus years, and as a result we will see acceleration of digital printing adoption and increased focus on improved efficiencies via business process automation.

What can the industry do to increase its profile next year?
Increase the profile of areas where print is an excellent medium for marketing and communication, as well as better communicate the message that print can be a “green” medium that is sustainable and cost-effective as a means of reaching end customers.

What will you do differently next year?
A big part of our plan for 2012 is increasing our focus and investment in Europe and Asia-Pacific across EFI, especially for our MIS and web-to-print businesses, since we are now the largest provider of MIS in both of those regions.

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