By Kemal Carr
In today’s economic environment many organizations look for new revenue opportunities and operational cost savings. While enhancements to existing TransPromo applications and internal operations require an incremental investment, organizations shouldn’t be short-sighted in their strategic planning. It is prudent to rationalize all operational investments; but many firms recognize progressive revenue and reduced operational costs by leveraging the capabilities of TransPromo.
The key is taking a pragmatic approach in integrating TransPromo into enterprise document strategies. Successful firms plan strategically and implement tactically, with small, controlled segments to manage the many variables. Smaller deployments allow for better response rate tracking, performance reporting, and overall campaign management.
The goal is to coordinate all customer touch points. Achieving control over the autonomous—customized collateral, direct mail, and TransPromo—is critical to delivering relevant, timely, and concise messaging. Firms that effectively execute this strategy gain improved client retention, higher customer satisfaction, and increased revenues.
Begin by understanding what it really takes to enable TransPromo communication—from its current to future state. We offer a close look at the technologies behind an enterprise TransPromo document production strategy to help organizations understand what’s required when starting small. We also profile vendor offerings, as assessed in Madison Advisors’ recently published study, TransPromo Workflow Solutions: An Evolving Market Defined.
TransPromo LifecycleFor the purposes of this article, the phrase “TransPromo workflow solution” denotes the end-to-end workflow for TransPromo document production. We present an extensive collection of production technology research, including the assessment that many organizations currently possess a portion of this functionality in their current state environments.
Organizations should determine the functionality level that best fits when supplementing or re-engineering production workflow platforms for the implementation of TransPromo applications.
Document ProductionTo get started with TransPromo document production, organizations must assess the technology areas that already exist in-house to determine if significant portions of TransPromo enablement tools are already in place. The gaps that remain are the focus of future enhancements, and a parallel project should be implemented to identify the appropriate applications targeted for initial migration. A small start provides an opportunity to gain experience and success without significant risk.
Beginning with a specific invoicing or billing application, ingredients include data analytics, campaign generation in conjunction with document composition, and response management. In most cases, the current document formatting tools support this level of document enhancement, allowing resources to focus on data analytics in support of specific campaigns to a targeted audience.
Tracking response management allows for the modification and enhancement of the campaign to increase results. Once proven results are generated, scale up to a full-strength solution containing all components, and augment to support a broader customer segment. This will eventually expand to the entire client base across several applications.
Don’t Overlook WorkflowMany traditional production workflow solutions include TransPromo workflow capabilities. For example, some inserter management systems drive inkjet printing on the outside of the carrier envelope, in monochrome or color, with file-based control systems. This functionality enables TransPromo envelope messaging, producing standalone TransPromo messages or synchronized messages with a TransPromo document in an envelope. New high-speed color inkjet printing technology supports this capability on automated inserting platforms. It is important to include peripheral TransPromo workflow solution capabilities in any TransPromo solution.
Today’s TransPromo SolutionsThe following is a high-level overview of several solutions offered by vendors supporting TransPromo needs. Full assessments on hardware, software, and services are available in Madison Advisors’ TransPromo Workflow Solutions: An Evolving Market Defined.
BOWE Bell+Howell (BBH) offers BOWE One and JETVision to manage and enable document production, including TransPromo process workflow. The scalable and modular BOWE One suite allows configurations for any size solution and any set of capabilities. JETVision is a vendor-agnostic vision system that manages data and operates in multiple vendor production environments.
Users configure BOWE One tools to automatically receive and direct data through appropriate normalization processing and into a centralized repository. BOWE One Compose provides collaborative document design and management of data from multiple sources, provides robust document composition and personalization tools, and renders the appropriate PDL formats for production and delivery requirements.
BOWE One Production Management directs jobs through the production processes required for the production of TransPromo or other personalized document production. In addition, BOWE One Item Management tracks, in real time, each item/mail piece and its status as it flows through the workflow, providing integrity and audit trails to satisfy company and regulatory requirements.
Eastman Kodak Company’s Graphic Communications Group (GCG) features a portfolio of products and best-of–breed partner alliances that collectively offer a broad variety of solutions for enterprise management, document creation, data transformation, and production workflow. Kodak’s Professional Services and Support Group consults with customers to determine a complete workflow solution targeted specifically for the integration of Kodak printers.
As a solution provider in this demanding space, Kodak places an emphasis on the value of adding color and targeted content to improve the overall effectiveness of data-driven documents. Kodak works with customers to build workflow strategies that take advantage of current-state capabilities and investments, while moving them toward the desired-state architecture for TransPromo document production. Kodak designs color TransPromo solutions by utilizing its customers’ current resources, partner software, and Versamark products, as appropriate, to create integrated solutions.
GMC Software Technology offers two primary software solutions—PrintNet Designer and PrintNet Process Automation (PA) for the management of document production workflow. GMC also provides software solutions focused on document design, composition, transformation, and output management. By integrating with partner software products that provide postal preparation and automated inserter system communication, GMC PrintNet offers TransPromo workflow lifecycle solutions from data receipt to delivery.
GMC’s PrintNet suite of products and professional service offerings include TransPromo development consulting and support. PrintNet Designer accepts input data in many formats—Adobe InDesign, QuarkXpress, Word, RTF, PDF, PS, AFP, XSLFO, XML, and PrintNet native output (TNO). Users can automate data reception, identification, and process steps to accommodate processing and printer assignments.
InfoPrint Solutions Company offers a family of software solutions for managing document production process workflow—InfoPrint Solutions Workflow Services, InfoPrint ProcessDirector (IPPD), and InfoPrint Manager (IPM). When integrated with partner software products providing document composition, postal preparation, and automated inserter system management, InfoPrint Solutions’ products provide TransPromo workflow lifecycle control from data receipt to delivery.
To support the TransPromo workflow lifecycle, InfoPrint provides the IPPD suite of products, integrated partner software, and professional service offerings that include TransPromo consulting and support. Additionally, InfoPrint offers print engine hardware including monochrome continuous and cut-sheet printers and drop-on-demand inkjet color continuous printers.
ISIS Papyrus Group (ISIS) offers the Papyrus Process and Communication Platform V7 (Papyrus Platform), which provides a process and communication platform for managing inbound, capture, and outbound DocEXEC content on any channel while enabling end users to control the processes through the Papyrus WebPortal.
The Papyrus Platform is architected around a metadata repository—WebRepository—that provides enterprises with a way to consolidate customer-centric processes such as BPM, CRM, EAI, or ECM. The Papyrus Platform runs on a variety of distributed and mainframe platforms, enabling users to work transparently across systems without conversions. The Papyrus Platform provides complete TransPromo workflow functionality with minimal need for partner integration.
Oceoffers the OceDocument Designer Advanced V5.1 and the OcePRISMA integrated family of workflow software to provide users with a solution set that nearly covers the end-to-end TransPromo workflow lifecycle. Oces products integrate with partner software to provide a complete TransPromo lifecycle solution.
Oceprovides extensive modular software suites and printer engine hardware including monochrome continuous and cut-sheet, highlight color, and full process color continuous inkjet printers.
The company provides a TransPromo workflow solution through the combination of Document Designer Advanced process automation on the front end; PRISMA production workflow modules for the production print workflow; and custom integration with postal preparation, automated mailing system software, and finishing systems at the delivery end.
Pitney Bowes integrates DFWorks, VIP and VDE, Doc 1 Series 5 with Content Author, Bluetree, and MapInfo to provide document production solutions including TransPromo workflow. The scalable and modular Pitney Bowes Mailstream Suite allows configurations for any size solution. Pitney Bowes combines the functionality of MapInfo SpatialWare, Envinsa, and PSYTE with Bluestream and the output management of VIP/VDE and ADF production functionality of DFWorks to create an end-to-end TransPromo workflow solution.
MapInfo and Bluetree integrated front end provides a predictive analytics platform that produces customer location-specific and demographic data that drives TransPromo messaging. Pitney Bowes provides TransPromo document design and composition processes with DOC1 Series 5, the DOC1 document composition engine. Next, Pitney Bowes VIP, an output management solution, provides production print management, electronic delivery, and real-time data stream transformation as well as centralized production control and job accounting. Pitney Bowes VDE provides post-composition capabilities including the addition, replacement, or deletion of barcodes; integration to production workflow systems; and merge, split, and sort capabilities.
Pitney Bowes DFWorks, a scalable ADF production database repository, provides a suite of modular software to manage and monitor document production activities. DFWorks includes production workflow, postage accounting, document lifecycle tracking, productivity reporting, and postal manifesting modules.
Sefas Innovation offers Open Print 6.0, a suite of software products designed to provide document production solutions from design and composition through production and delivery. Open Print 6.0 consists of MiddleOffice, a collaborative document design tool; FrontOffice, an interactive ad hoc document production tool; Remake, a print stream transform and enhancement tool; Delivery, a post-composition optimization tool; Projector, a document search and retrieval tool; and Producer, a workflow and automated production management system.
To support the TransPromo workflow lifecycle, Sefas Innovation offers the Open Print 6.0 suite of products and Sefas Professional Services with TransPromo consulting and support. The company provides a TransPromo workflow solution by combining the workflow control and automation capabilities of Producer with the design and composition capabilities of MiddleOffice; the print stream enhancement capabilities including color transformation of Remake; the merge, sort, and split capabilities, of Delivery; and the proofing and quality control capabilities of Projector. Sefas’ Open Print 6.0 is designed to integrate with partner products to provide print management capabilities and inserter management functions.
TransPromo in 2009Enterprises have a lot to consider as they embark on TransPromo initiatives. Today’s TransPromo workflow solutions are the beginning of a wave of opportunity. It is important to understand what it really takes to enable TransPromo communications from its current to future state. This article offers a look into the technologies driving enterprises. TransPromo document production strategy helps decipher the requirements for starting small and leveraging current capabilities.
Going forward, we forecast continued technology and process improvements that will help organizations acquire, manage, and utilize customer data to drive successful multi-channel TransPromo communications. In addition, response management solutions—common in direct mail environments—will begin to migrate into TransPromo applications, providing response metrics and close feedback loop solutions.
Further, we observe that the market demand for TransPromo-enabling automated document factory workflow solutions is growing, both domestically and internationally. Several markets, including Australia, Israel, and Western Europe established and acknowledge TransPromo applications and thereby lead large-scale TransPromo implementations. While publicly available return on investment data is elusive, current market deployment levels clearly indicate that we’re just experiencing the beginning of the new generation of TransPromo.
Kemal Carr is the president of Madison Advisors, an advisory firm that specializes in print and electronic communications. Carr also acts as a principal analyst for Madison Advisors, providing project-based advisory services designed to assist clients with business strategy and technology selection decisions. Reach Carr at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Madison Advisors, visit www.madisonadvisors.com.