Star product: Pageflex 8.0
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
For printers looking to break into or expand their high-margin web-to-print work, the latest version of this package has a lot to offer
What does Pageflex 8.0 do?
Pageflex 8.0 is a suite of online tools that enables printers, print managers and marketers to create and manage web-to-print and cross-media set-ups using data and templates to create mass and personalised communications.
Simon Ellington, commercial manager at Pageflex distributor ROI360, says: "Pageflex can be a low-cost entry into sophisticated marketing portals. It gives the customer the chance to offer innovative, high-margin campaigns via a self-service store, rather than being delivered one-to-one by the back office."
When was it launched and what market is it aimed at?
Pageflex 8.0 was officially launched in August, although it was demonstrated on the US-based developer’s stand at Drupa in May. It is aimed at printers in the marketing and graphic arts sectors.
Building on the previous iterations of the software, which were designed primarily for B2B applications, Version 8.0, with the inclusion of social media connectivity, is also intended to capitalise on the B2C market.
According to Ellington, marketers and printers wanting to create added-value projects for their customers would benefit most from the technology. "It’s designed for people wanting to create high-margin products," he says.
How does it differ from previous versions?
Version 8.0 has been revamped with the global marketplace in mind and can be operated in 10 different languages, including Chinese and Russian.
The company says a lot of development has gone into Pageflex’s Storefront aspect to move the product towards the B2C market and it now features search engine optimisation and social media capabilities.
Pageflex 8.0 is also now connected to a video-editing module whereby B2B users can add segments of video, logos and text to create advertising campaigns.
Ellington says: "It is moving outside of the constraints of a traditional web-to-print system. The end-user can control not only their print marketing, but brand consistency and online video advertising."
What modules does it come with?
Pageflex 8.0 can be configured in two ways: Software as a Service (SaaS), where users effectively ‘rent’ the system, or Enterprise, under which customers take ownership of the product and handle all the software independently.
SaaS comes with two modules: Form Fill and Data Merge. Form Fill enables users to customise individual elements of an order, while those wanting to produce a large-scale personalised mailing can do so using Data Merge by uploading a client list spreadsheet to the system.
The Enterprise version, meanwhile, comes with Free Edit and Cross Media modules as well as Form Fill and Data Merge.
Ellington likens Free Edit to a simplified version of a page layout package such as InDesign with which users can freely rework all aspects of the artwork. Cross Media, however, is the real money spinner, he says; it enables providers to work with users to create personalised marketing campaigns with linked web pages, emails and SMS as well as printed media.
Currently neither Cross Media nor Free Edit are compatible with the SaaS version of the package, but the developer says it plans to add Cross Media functionality for SaaS customers.
What training and support is on offer?
ROI360 runs a four-day training course for Pageflex. The first two days focus on building templates using all the tools available in the suite and is suitable for pre-press and design staff.
The second two days delve into the back end of the suite, demonstrating how to add users, manage accounts, set budgets and gives guidance on the approval process. Training for one person is included in the sign-up fee and additional members can join the course for £1,195.
Ellington says the course aims to train users "to a point where they can do 95% of everything they’re ever going to do on the system".
How much does it cost?
For the SaaS configuration, there is an initial sign-up fee of £8,000 and then a monthly charge of £495 thereafter. This covers usage, hosting, hardware, upgrades and access to new features. Ellington claims that paying a flat monthly fee, as opposed to a per-transaction charge as offered by most other vendors, makes better sense economically.
The Enterprise version is priced from £30,000 with an additional 20% yearly fee for support and upgrades.
Bolt-ons, such as integration with MIS and workflow systems, are available, some of which are free.
Price SaaS: from £8,000 plus £495 monthly fee; Enterprise: from £30,000 plus 20% annual fee
Contact ROI360 01354 659636 www.roi360.co.uk
Chili Publisher 3
Chili Publisher 3.0 is an online document-editing engine for print providers to enable users to view and edit orders on a web browser. It can be integrated into workflow and e-commerce systems and enables customers to view a virtual representation of the finished product.
Price £35,000 one-off cost plus 20% annual fee
Contact Workflowz 01276 685295 www.workflowz.com
Direct Smile CrossMedia v5
Like the Pageflex software, this is an integrated solution for the creation, personalisation, management and tracking of data-driven campaigns that combine digital, print and mobile media.
Price from €35,000 (£27,500)
Contact Transeo Media 0845 643 7490 www.transeomedia.com