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Print e-Business Services Expanding beyond Web-to-Print

While Web-to-print applications are a critical cornerstone of e-enablement, other aspects of e-enablement are rapidly becoming mainstream. InfoTrends research demonstrates that beyond Web-to-print, support for multi-channel communications and data management services is crucial to business success. In addition, buyers and sellers of print are using these systems to increase automation, improve operational efficiency, decrease costs, and enhance the quality and currency of printed materials. Therefore, print e-business services have expanded beyond Web-to-print to a broader multi-channel Web services paradigm, and they are being leveraged by enterprises using internal and external service providers.

Print e-Business Solutions Defined

Print e-business solutions provide a Web-enabled interface between buyers, sellers, and other members of the print value chain for various purposes, including commerce, collaboration, customer service, and campaign management. Print e-business solutions automate a critical set of core business processes and they are most powerful when core buyer functions are directly connected to core seller functions. The automation then becomes inter-organizational, and not just intra-organizational, and drives super-efficiency into both sides of the equation. The Figure below maps key e-business functions undertaken by enterprises as well as internal and external print service providers. Inter-organizational automation cells are shown in blue. The scope of inter-organizational automation across multiple cells and functions makes for a more robust overall e-business solution. Multi-channel Web services are emerging as an important part of the infrastructure for these super-efficient building blocks, taking the functionality beyond the buying and selling of print to the broader market of multi-channel communications, which includes e-mail, customized Web microsites, Web banners, and increasingly SMS messaging to cell phones and PDAs.

To remain competitive in today’s fast-paced environment, graphic communications service providers must enhance their offerings with e-enabled value-added services. Doing this will improve operational efficiencies and create deeper customer relationships that keep the competition out.

The preceding is an excerpt from a report entitled e-Enablement of the Printing Process: Why Graphic Communications Service Providers Should Take Note. To learn more about this report, visit our online store or contact Jennifer Skerrett at ext. 111 or via e-mail at .


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