Ricoh has announced a raft of updates to its software portfolio, including four updates to its TotalFlow workflow and a new cloud-based marketing services suite, MarcomCentral.
New to the TotalFlow range is TotalFlow Production Manager, an entry-level workflow management tool for the cut sheet printing environment, designed for managing up to 10 different printers, easy transformation of PostScript and PCL to PDF, and featuring a drag-and-drop user interface.
Also new is the TotalFlow Path, which connects different processes and products from a variety of different vendors. Preconfigured connections so far include to EFI Fiery, PTI MarcomCentral, PTI FusionPro and Objectif Lune PlanetPress.
Ricoh has also announced enhanced versions of its existing TotalFlow MR, succeeded by document imposition, composition, editing and ticketing tool TotalFlow prep. Meanwhile TotalFlow PM has been replaced by TotalFlow Print Manager, which now offers enhanced scheduling, error recovery and reporting, a new web submission tool and support for up to five printers.
Benoît Chatelard, Ricoh’s general manager solutions, production printing group EMEA, explained that the rationale behind the releases was to allow printers to use single components or the full TotalFlow package to automate workflow in a highly sophisticated way but at low cost.
Though Ricoh declined to comment on specific pricing, Chatelard commented: "We saw a need to bring down the price of software for the mass and entry-level markets."
He added: "We are not at this stage going to extend TotalFlow into the wide format market but moving forward we are aware of the need to cater for more mixed environments."
Ricoh has also announced a new cloud-based SAAS (software as a service) marketing platform. MarcomCentral allows either corporate clients or printers managing marketing on behalf of customers to deploy a full web-to-print service and create and run multi-channel marketing campaigns.
It uses FusionPro VDP suite to enable cloud-based variable data processing, advanced image personalisation, personalised URL and microsite creation and campaign tracking.
Chatelard said that outlay for the package would again be "very minimal." He added that the package would allow printers without extensive IT capabilities to add value to their offering: "It is almost a question of survival for many of our customers in the commercial printing world. In light of this, this really is a killer app."
Both the TotalFlow updates and MarcomCentral software will, said Ricoh, be commercially available in June.Tweet