You use it everyday. It takes different forms and performs many functions. It is critical to the operation of your business. Whether it is e-mail, word processing, customer relationship management, accounting, or workflow, software is how your business gets done.
Just like your business, software has evolved over recent years. Most of the improvements including a focus on user interfaces, single-purpose apps, remote distribution, and software-as-a-service have meant more flexibility and lower overall cost of ownership for businesses. With more options, however, there comes a more difficult task for selecting the right product. The same business that finds Basecamp from 36Signals a perfect fit is not the same who uses Microsoft Project and vice versa. Salesforce versus SAP typically plays out the same way.
The same is true for the printing industry. A shop wanting to test the waters of e-commerce should probably opt for a SaaS model storefront over a dedicated solution like Pageflex or EFI’s Digital Storefront. Yet those same solutions might be ideal for a printer/msp who knows their audience, strategy, and online business plan. This printer can simply match feature sets to their needs.
Print workflow software shows the same pattern. There are solutions, especially with digital printing, that can be woven together. Enfocus Switch combined with a storefront and a digital printer’s front end (RIP) might suffice for some. Others will need the sophistication of a print workflow such as Heidelberg’s Prinect or Kodak’s Prinergy.
The importance is not within the individual, named software packages. The importance is in the scale and sophistication needed by your business and knowing the software that will get you there. The savvy printers match the software to their operation, not the reverse.