Cloud-Based Print Solutions by Kodak and Ricoh

Kodak and Ricoh are diving deeper into the field of cloud-based print solutions, each in their own way. While Kodak is implementing solutions in cooperation with the company’s long-term partner Modern Litho, Ricoh are offering two new subscription based services in their Managed Print solution portfolio.

The successful long-term partnership between Kodak and the U.S. based commercial printer Modern Litho is taken to a new level by Kodak’s announcement to implement the innovative KODAK PRINERGY On Demand Business Solutions at Modern Litho. This takes Kodak another step forward towards the goal of developing comprehensive AI based software solutions that aid printers in becoming more efficient, profitable and automated.

Ricoh Canada Inc. on the other hand is offering two new subscription-based services within its Managed Print Services portfolio. Both offerings are supposed to eliminate the burden on IT teams, reduce operating costs and accelerate digital transformation for both large enterprise organizations and mid-sized companies.

Modern Litho Printing Specialist

Modern Litho manages and operates five production facilities in Missouri and is ranked in the top 1% of printers in North America. Direct mail, catalogs, magazines and commercial printing build their largest service sector. Furthermore, the company’s portfolio entails digital publications, web-to-print, and signage and display graphics services. They are a G7 Master Certified printer and focus on high-quality sheetfed offset. However, they also provide digital services, leveraging KODAK SONORA Process Free Plates as well as Kodak’s CTP and digital printing technology. For several years the production at all sites has been managed and controlled utilizing KODAK PRINERGY Workflow.

Modern Litho’s goal was end-to-end integration and connectivity for a unified business and production workflow using digital storefront software and third party ERP. Thus, they moved to the cloud-based KODAK PRINERGY On Demand platform hosted on Microsoft Azure. PRINERGY On Demand Business Solutions made their goal possible. 

“We weren’t getting the support we needed from our legacy provider to integrate email, CRM and MIS functionality with PRINERGY. In addition, they have been slow to adapt software to keep pace with changing financial, tax and logistics regulations,” said Jim Tomblinson, VP of Operations at Modern Litho.

“By contrast, KODAK and Microsoft will contribute key Office and Business functionality to PRINERGY On Demand Business Solutions. Microsoft is responsive and drives continuous investments to accelerate connectivity. In view of the challenges confronting us, that’s an enormous advantage and one we’re excited to leverage.”

PRINERGY On Demand Business Solutions by Kodak

With the help of PRINERGY On Demand Business Solutions, Modern Litho will obtain automated, scalable, end-to-end solutions. They went from multi-vendor to full-featured, single-vendor software. This invention from Kodak puts together many different aspects and integrates them into each other. ERP, MIS functionality with collaboration tools, web-to-print, Microsoft Office and CRM with PRINERGY On Demand production workflow in a fully united, cloud-based platform. Kodak has improved the software with AI capabilities and print-specific analytics and offers wide-ranging solution support with real-time Managed Services.

“In the past, we’ve always had to contend with various software providers to meet our integration and connectivity requirements. That cost us a great deal of time, effort and money – often without delivering the desired results,” Tomblinson continued.

 “Aligning our pre-production workflow to match the industry-leading production and manufacturing workflows Modern Litho is known for is a key component of our strategic plan going forward. We believe this innovative product from Kodak and its partners is the solution that will achieve this for Modern Litho. Kodak’s PRINERGY On Demand Business Solutions will now finally give us what we’ve been looking for: a complete, single-vendor solution that lives up to our integration and connectivity expectations in every respect.”

 “Modern Litho shares our vision of a fully connected system that drives automation, AI and actionable analytics. All of these are hallmarks of PRINERGY On Demand Business Solutions which deliver significant efficiency, productivity and profitability benefits for our customers,” commented Todd Bigger, Vice President, Print, Kodak. 

Cloud-Based Print Solutions by Ricoh

Ricoh’s Managed Print solution allows companies to produce the ideal production atmosphere, make use of valuable IT resources and reduce output costs. Organizations now have access to greater insights from new analytics capabilities, which enables them to make faster, more knowledgeable business choices connected to their print ecosystem. The process automation abilities also support businesses to swiftly digitize essential workflows to connect with partners, customers and remote workers in new ways. Businesses are also able to quickly scale up or down based on-demand and thus do not have to overpay for services, thanks to the full range of both digital and physical print service options offered by Ricoh.

The first new service is called “Ricoh Managed Print Application Services” (MPAS). It gives businesses the possibility to customize a mixture of application-related services that include cloud IT infrastructure hosting, software implementation and end-user technical support services.

On the other hand, Ricoh Managed Print as a Service (MPaaS) delivers on-demand access to physical services, including device deployment, supplies management and physical device management.

Thanks to this new portfolio, businesses can now move their whole IT infrastructure supporting their print ecosystem into the cloud and leave management to Ricoh’s Managed Print experts. Smaller organizations aiming for more cost-effective administration of their print ecosystem now have the possibility to implement the precise combination of software tools to efficiently check and control their devices’ output.

“Shifting your print ecosystem to a cloud-based model delivers exceptional support for business continuity,” says Eric Fletcher, Vice President, Marketing, Ricoh Canada. “By protecting core workflows against unexpected disruptions, Ricoh can help your business ensure that employees have continuous, anytime-anywhere access to information and content needed to keep your business moving forward.”

Do you think cloud-based solutions such as the ones offered by companies like Kodak or Ricoh will develop even further, eventually digitizing all print ecosystems or will they soon be forgotten with the ecosystems staying physical? Tell us your opinion in the comments!

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