Just last week I attended EFI’s Connect conference. It’s their annual conference where EFI customers can come and learn how to better utilize their existing EFI products and find out what’s new for 2017. A record crowd of roughly 1000 customers was on hand.
With revenues of $1 billion EFI is a great success story. Known for their leading DFE’s (Fiery) they branched out and corralled nearly all the key software players in the MIS space and then added in critical workflow elements such as web to print and cross media. Then they decided go “all-in” on inkjet; which has led to a string of acquisitions of inkjet manufacturers for wide format and several industrial printing markets including textiles, ceramics, and labels. The most recent inkjet press (Nozomi) is for the corrugated market and was developed internally. The end result is an industry powerhouse with lots of momentum.
One of the things EFI has done that has caught my attention is how they are tying all their software products into what they call Productivity Suites. There are now six productivity suites for various commercial and packaging printing market segments and each has certified end to end workflows from order to cash.
At the core of each productivity suites is an MIS product that is designed for that segment. Then EFI has integrated key software products under four main functions
- New Revenue Generation
- Efficiency and Profitability
EFI software such as web to print, cross media, fulfillment and business intelligence is integrated with Fiery DFE’s and MIS into a certified workflow. It’s one thing to have a best in-class component, which EFI generally does have, but when you integrate them all together the offering becomes even more compelling. And in the label and corrugated markets EFI can supply the press as well.
EFI’s ability to manage every aspect of a job from order to cash is a differentiator and can add real value for their customers. EFI VP of Marketing, John Henze has told me that while making great workflow software can be difficult the real challenge is integrating it all together so it works smoothly for the customer. With these productivity suites it looks like EFI has made real progress on this front and expect more in 2017 giving users lots to talk about at next year’s Connect.