Heidelberg acquires start-up Crispy Mountain

Heidelberg adds Keyline MIS software

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5 June 2019 – As part of its digital transformation, Heidelberg is systematically expanding its digital business models and especially to cloud based solutions. It has just acquired software start-up Crispy Mountain of Mainz, Germany, which offers Keyline, a cloud-based management platform for print businesses. The aim is to work with Crispy Mountain to expand the Heidelberg ‘HEI.OS’ platform as a new industry platform for the printing industry. Apparently, printing companies will be able to obtain a large number of applications from an App Store using this platform. By connecting the existing Heidelberg software solutions around Prinect, the Heidelberg ID and the Heidelberg Assistant, the number of customers is set to grow rapidly.

Open to all manufacturers

The platform is to be open to all manufacturers in the printing industry. This is intended to give print shops easier access to comprehensive services at the lowest possible administrative burden. Third-party suppliers will be able to create tailor-made offers for printing companies via the platform.

“For Heidelberg, the acquisition of Crispy Mountain is a further step in the rapid expansion of cloud based digital applications that are billed on a usage basis,” said Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hermann, Member of the Management Board of Lifecycle Solutions and Chief Digital Officer at Heidelberg. “With Crispy Mountain’s qualified team and innovative solutions, we are accelerating our developments around our new industry platform HEI.OS.”

Keyline has already been launched on the market as a future-oriented management information system (MIS) for the printing industry, designed exclusively for operation in the cloud and for further development towards ecosystems. Using web-based and mobile technologies, the application depicts all stages of the value chain of digital and offset print businesses. This enables printing companies to calculate and produce significantly faster and more reliably, while reducing costs and minimizing errors. The application is now to be expanded with all necessary functions for the three market segments Commercial, Label and Packaging.

Migrating software licensing to cloud-based SAS

Heidelberg is already gradually converting the sale of individual software licenses to a usage-oriented subscription offering. The company is thus realigning its traditional software business to cloud technology and its usage-oriented value creation. Jürgen Grimm, Head of Global Software Business at Heidelberg: “This is the first time that Heidelberg has offered its customers all Prinect modules on a subscription basis as Software-as-a-Service since their market launch a year ago and with great success. Crispy Mountain strengthens our team with key competencies in cloud technology and development processes, enabling us not only to deliver an innovative cloud-based and proven MIS application, but also to secure our ambitious business plan on the road to the digital industry platform.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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