Star product: RedTie Template 4.1
Friday, September 27, 2013
Web-to-print stalwart upgraded to boost features and speed.
What does it do?
RedTie Template (RTT) is a long-established hosted web-to-print system. Printers can set up multiple branded websites and job templates from a mix of uploaded graphics or PDFs and allow on-screen modification of layouts with features such as customer-editable text fields. Sites can be set up with pricing and ordering facilities. The template system makes it easier to ‘lock in’ what changes are permitted, and to set price lists, as variables are known in advance.
When was it launched and who is it aimed at?
RTT 4.1 was released in September. Users include printers, print management companies and, to some extent, marketing companies.
How does it differ from previous versions?
RTT is under continuous development, says RedTie managing director Jamie Thomson: "We issue three or four major releases every year. It’s all about flexibility in the templates. We’ve rewritten the template builder to be faster and the products can be more advanced. For instance there are now rotating text boxes and you can flow text between boxes, so it’s easier for newsletters and similar.
"Next year we’ll concentrate on the user side and how they can take advantage of the new features in the design process."
How does it work?
RTT is hosted on offsite servers by RedTie as a software-as-a-service (SAAS) operation. Printers access everything via web browsers. They do not need to install hardware or other infrastructure. RedTie has always avoided using Adobe Flash, so its sites can be accessed from iPads.
Is there a choice of modules?
Not really, but RedTie does have a range of optional apps that can perform specialist functions. It will also develop features to special order. "We do offer various levels, but 95% of customers use the standard RTT," says Thomson. For more complex online orders there is RedTie Quotations (RTQ), which is not tied into the Template system, although the two can be used together. RTQ is aimed at digital printers who don’t need the full complexity of an estimating system but wish to offer online quotes on work that is not covered by pre-set templates.
What’s the USP?
"Really it’s the ease of use and the value for money," claims Thomson. "We have videos on our website that show the set-up of new customer sites in 10 minutes. You can get going immediately and while there are advanced features, you don’t need them right away. You can grow into them."
What training and support is on offer?
RedTie offers two days’ training as standard for new customers at its Northampton HQ. Ongoing training is also offered. "We also have an online academy that people can use freely. This is updated constantly with the latest features," says Thomson.
Thanks to offices in the UK, US and Australia, RedTie can offer 24-hour telephone support. Every customer is allocated an account manager who provides marketing advice, and assists on client pitches.
How much does it cost?
RTT is charged on a flat monthly fee for 12-month renewable contracts. The basic fee is £385 per month. There is also a small variable charge per job, based on complexity, ie the number of artwork attachments. The charge is between 20p and £1 for the majority of jobs, with a few reaching £1.50. "Typically it’s 40p for basic text or XML data," says Thompson. For the first six months there are no file charges, so users can test and learn the system without worrying about costs.
Platform Software-as-a-service. Can be fully integrated into existing MIS
Template management Create unlimited bespoke B2B or B2C sites
Included Online App Space marketplace
Price £385 per month plus file charges after six months
Contact RedTie 01604 702075 www.red-tie.com
"RedTie helps a lot and it has actually changed our business. Template building is brilliant for the clients. Also you get a dedicated account manager. That has been a big help when going in to demonstrate a product to clients" 5/5
Marco Poli, managing director, Premier Communications, Peterborough
EFI Digital Storefront
A long-established web-to-print solution, Digital Storefront is available in several configurations, from the entry-level DSF Essential, which is SAAS-only and aimed at commercial printers, to more elaborate locally hosted systems. Simple templates can be created via Design Studio from within the DSF manager, or for complex variable data jobs EFI recommends either Fusion Pro (via Acrobat plug-in) or XMPie (via InDesign plug-in).
Platform SAAS or local Windows SQL servers
Template creation Integrated, Fusion Pro or XMPie
Price From £8,000
Contact EFI UK 01246 298000 w3.efi.com
Infigo Software Catfish
Catfish is a hosted system with a choice of monthly scales. Templates are created offline on layout programs and converted to PDFs. An Acrobat plug-in is used to format them as templates. Operations are web-based and the use of HTML5 rather than Flash means that iPad and even iPhone users can join in the fun. The shopfront is scalable and one of the largest users is Tesco Cards.
Template creation Acrobat plug-in
Price £8,000-£16,000 plus £300 to £500 monthly support fee. Transactions cost from 30p to 50p.
Contact Infigo Software 0845 658 6469 www.infigosoftware.com
The Coreprint web-to-print system is a cloud-based system available on a pay-as-you-go basis with no contractual tie-in. In the standard form, VPress helps to set up templates and manage the system. CoreprintPro, launched a year go, enables printers to create their own templates. A new in-house developed PDF engine will be launched later this year. Since May, Konica Minolta has offered Coreprint as part of its software suite.
Template creation By VPress or integrated
Price From £750
Contact VPress 01242 246970 www.vpress.co.uk