HP builds Oneflow tech into ambitious new PrintOS

Jo Francis
Friday, March 4, 2016

HP has set itself a bold goal of "reinventing print production" with PrintOS, a new cloud-based production environment that will be part of its Drupa showcase.

Simon Lewis, business director HP’s graphics solutions business, described PrintOS as “a print production operating system for print service providers” (PSPs) involving a suite of tools and a set of apps.

It runs apps developed by HP and by third parties, and can also run applications developed by customers. Lewis said that in mixed production environments it would also deliver jobs to non-HP digital devices and to analogue devices.

“We have invested immense thought, planning and architectural expertise over three years to build PrintOS and do it right from the ground up,” he said.

“HP PrintOS is going to reinvent print production and the way PSPs run their businesses and generate growth.”

The development of the system will also see HP become the exclusive channel for the software developed by Oneflow Systems in the UK, the company born out of workflow techniques developed by Precision Printing in Barking.

Precision Printing managing director Gary Peeling said: "HP has provided its customers with the leading print technology to industrialise digital printing over the last 20 years, that was the rocket, but it’s workflow automation, production optimisation and most importantly of all collaboration that will provide the fuel!

“It will be how we automate, connect and work together that will deliver tomorrow’s pages for tomorrow’s customers. PrintOS can help make print simple and future possibilities for originators and brands endless. HP’s extensive global installation community and the innovative nature of their print customers makes PrintOS the ideal channel for Oneflow Systems to exclusively offer our proven workflow technology through."

The first two apps for PrintOS are Oneflow products.

“We will simplify and automate production through a number of apps, and have partnered with Oneflow systems of the UK for PrintOS Box, a tool for onboarding jobs and getting them into production,” Lewis explained.

“This is where a disproportionate amount of effort is typically invested today. We can standardise that to three simple steps, reducing the overhead of each job.”

The second app is SiteFlow order submission with pre-press and shopfloor management capabilities.

The first third-party integration is with web-to-print developer Pageflex, with more expected to be announced between now and Drupa.

PrintOS will be available for Indigo and PageWide customers initially, with Latex and Scitex to follow. “Each business is rolling it out at its own pace,” Lewis said.

Users with a valid service contract can set up a PrintOS account for free, then after a three-month trial period “modest” monthly fees will apply.

“PrintOS Box is something that will be worth hundreds of thousands of euros per month for customers, and it’s available free of charge,” Lewis stated. 

PrintOS runs on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. Lewis said HP was studying the new ‘EU-US Privacy Shield’ data protection directive that has just been announced between the EU and the US to ensure PrintOS complied with it.

“Security is front and centre because it matters. How we relate to data in transit, at rest, how we relate to passwords,” he said.

Lewis said field testing started in August 2015 and HP now had more than 40 customers, running more than 100 Indigo presses, using the platform, including ProCo in the UK, which described it as “fantastic”.

HP has overtaken Heidelberg as Drupa’s largest-single exhibitor, and is taking the entire 6,200sqm of hall 17 at the upcoming show, where it will run more than 40 different printing systems.

“Drupa will be an amazing customer experience. They will see things they cannot imagine today,” said worldwide graphics business solutions marketing director Francois Martin.

HP’s Drupa call to action is ‘reinvent your possibilities’, and the overall business now has the brand message ‘keep reinventing’.

Further news on HP’s Drupa launches will be announced later this month. Martin said its upcoming hardware launches would herald “a new chapter in analogue to digital conversion”.


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