Ricoh invests in web-to-print software firm PTI

David Ward, San Diego
Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ricoh has made a significant investment in San Diego-based PTI Marketing Technologies, a leading provider of web-to-print and marketing personalisation software.

In a press release announcing the investment and increased partnership, both companies said the money will be used to further the development of new marketing collateral management tools to help enterprises and commercial printers boost both their efficiency and growth.

"We see the need in the market to help commercial printers move to a marketing service provider type of approach — because they need to provide more value to their customers," Theresa Lang, vice president for Solutions & Services at Ricoh, told PrintWeek.

"There are quite a few printers that have web-to-print, but you’d be surprised how many either don’t have it or maybe have an older version that doesn’t really provide any additional value. Our goal - with this investment and partnership with PTI — is to provide printers with feature such as templates they can use with customers that are vertical and industry specific."

Coleman Kane, PTI president and CEO, added: "Commercial printers are looking for ways to work closer with the customers — because most print as you know is not under contract, it’s a one off and you’re done."

Coleman explained that by being able to provide not just print, but also email services, PURL technology and personalization, commercial printers will be able develop a lasting business relationship with their customers that extends well beyond their most recent print job.

"That way, they’ll end up getting more print work and Ricoh will have more work for their printers," he added

PTI - best known for its SaaS (software as a service) solution MarcomCentral and FusionPro software - had already been working with Ricoh. In 2011, the companies announced that Ricoh would offer a cloud-based software solution that supported a multitude of output delivery formats for print and other media, including PDF and HTML email, based on PTI’s MarcomCentral.

But with this enhanced partnership and investment, Kane told PrintWeek that PTI will now be able to accelerate its international expansion.

"We had plans to enter Europe at the beginning of next year but we’re a small software company," he said. "Now with Ricoh naming us their platform of record, we’re going to start going into Europe hand and hand with them at the end of this year, beginning of next year - and Asia/Pacific hopefully by the end of next year. Eventually we’ll have Ricoh sales people carry PTI in their bags as they go around the world."

For Ricoh, the partnership reinforces the company’s position that it is not just about equipment, it is a providing complete, end-to-end production print solutions for customers, ensuring that they are equipped with all of the necessary resources to become marketing service providers, including marketing automation and brand management.

And Lang pointed out it means Ricoh has software to sell to both customers in need of new hardware and those who may have recently upgraded their presses. "The goal would be also to sell PTI to customers that already have our printers and are looking for more value to provide their customers," she said.

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