EFI prepares its customers for faster recovery

Rapid expansion of Fiery online education & virtual technology

EFI prepares its customers for a faster recovery

EFI and its channel partners have responded quickly to these unprecedented times with extensive education programs leveraging Fiery on-demand learning curriculum, Fiery Professional Certification, and virtual technology for print businesses, ensuring users of EFI Fiery digital front end (DFE) solutions are ready to re-engage with customers during the business recovery phase.

The magnitude of customer participation – which reached extraordinary levels – reflects the urgency of these programs. The high level of participation was made possible by the fact that EFI and its channel partners have more training resources in the field than any other provider of digital front ends.

An important, outsized effort to prepare customers for the new normal

“Even in difficult times, companies continue to invest in Fiery,” said John Henze, vice president of sales and marketing, EFI Fiery. “Because of the extensive resources we have in the field and the breadth of our online eLearning programs, we have been able to accommodate the increased demand for these services as customers prepare to get back to work with even more productivity and cost efficiencies. It is one of the reasons hundreds of thousands of users around the globe have chosen EFI Fiery as their best DFE option.

“Even during the pandemic, our customers need a way to progress their business goals, and our sales support teams responded overnight to make resources available that could be accessed in spite of pandemic restrictions. This was a rapid response that few other companies could achieve. Our customers will be much better prepared to respond as restrictions are lifted and the economy embarks on a new normal.”

EFI saw a fourfold increase in the number of new daily enrollments in Fiery e-learning courses through its Learning@EFI online training platform. Working at their own pace and schedule, customers have a choice of 274 interactive learning materials designed to help users drive greater efficiency, quality, and accuracy in production digital printing. In addition, more than 8,500 users enrolled in the prestigious Fiery Professional Certification program, further expanding their practical knowledge of Fiery applications and tools.

One EFI Fiery partner participating in Fiery Professional Certification through the Learning@EFI platform, Tobias Flesch, Analyst and Consultant from one of the largest print production resellers in Germany, X-NRW, remarked, “This training initiative from EFI came just at the right time. I refreshed my Fiery Pro Certification and also completed the Fiery Expert Certification. Even though I thought that I knew the Fiery very well – I learned a lot about new software and options, which is really useful for customer demos and support. I have six other colleagues who are taking the Fiery Pro and Expert Certification.”

EFI also offered a series of three webinars in May focused on helping Fiery users jump-start their businesses. Access to webinar recordings is available at www.efi.com/wof.

Customized demonstrations drive new capability options

Print professionals can see Fiery DFEs and workflow software in action at a time when attending tradeshows or travel to demo centers has become difficult or impossible. To help offset the travel constraints hindering printing companies’ ability to get first-hand knowledge on printer and software investments, the EFI Fiery team leveraged the company’s Virtual Fiery cloud infrastructure to give customers hands-on experience with the Fiery DFE. Following a demonstration, customers can access a cloud-based Fiery at their convenience to test workflows and gain practical knowledge before they purchase.

Customized sessions delivered by EFI digital specialists, tuned to the unique challenges of each individual company in a one-on-one environment, give Fiery experts a way to answer customer questions in real-time. And, with the Virtual Fiery interface, customers can also have the same experience as if they were standing in front of a printer or a Fiery server. This makes it easy for customers to learn how to take full advantage of their Fiery investment – or make the right decisions about new investments – to increase their productivity without any travel or safety risk.

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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