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.”

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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