Heidelberg launches open and independent platform with Zaikio

Heidelberg thinks bigger – Zaikio needs you, you, and you!

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Zaikio is the new open and independent industry platform from and for the entire printing sector. Image Heidelberg
Zaikio is the new open and independent industry platform from and for the entire printing sector. Image Heidelberg

Print shops face the challenge of making ever shorter and more varied runs cost-effective. The increasingly complex relationships between these print shops, their customers, and various business partners also need to be managed efficiently. The solution is to establish fully automated, integrated processes across company boundaries that make workflows and transactions between printers, software providers, equipment manufacturers, and suppliers far, far simpler.

Around a year after the takeover of cloud software business Crispy Mountain by Heidelberg, the company is launching Zaikio – a new open and independent cloud-based collaboration platform for the printing industry – for this very purpose. “With the open industry platform Zaikio, Heidelberg is actively meeting the challenges faced by the printing sector in the digital era. This marks the next milestone in the industry’s digitization,” says Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer.

Universal platform links industry players

Zaikio unites all industry players on a single platform using three key elements. The free Zaikio Account enables each and every user to log into all connected software systems with a single login. The Zaikio Hub is used to administer personal and organization-based accounts, linking the services and software of the various providers – from existing software to apps developed specifically for Zaikio. Last but not least, Mission Control is the print shop’s digital control center. All data is received here in a standardized form and can be read, edited, and restored by other apps. The result is straightforward, standardized data exchange between software, hardware, and the partners involved, which creates the basis for end-to-end automated process chains.

Zaikio provides the platform that paves the way for seamless collaboration between software, hardware, and the various players involved. Image Heidelberg
Zaikio provides the platform that paves the way for seamless collaboration between software, hardware, and the various players involved. Image Heidelberg

“In addition to making complete processes and collaboration much simpler in the printing industry, Zaikio also has the potential to secure a profitable future for its users. As a founding partner and driving force of Zaikio, Heidelberg is open to working with other strategic partners and investors to grasp the opportunities digitization offers an entire industry,” continues Hundsdörfer.

Zaikio and its users need you, you, and you!

Successful platforms and their users thrive on participation, so anyone who wants to get involved can now create a free Zaikio Account at www.zaikio.com to help gradually shape, expand, and establish the platform. Zaikio interfaces and tools enable potential partners and investors to link their products with the platform and make them available to all users via the Zaikio Hub. Zaikio’s team of developers will provide the necessary support.

Many of the industry’s well-known software providers are on board from the outset, and preparations are being made for further cooperation agreements. This means Zaikio’s range of functions will keep on growing and, because it is a cloud application, new functions and inclusions will immediately be available to all users.

Standardized interfaces network existing software,
cloud apps, equipment, and suppliers

“Only a shared, open platform that unites as many industry players as possible can bring about the change and standardization so urgently required,” underlines Matthias Prinz, Managing Director of Zaikio. “Zaikio is just such a platform, combining the comprehensive Heidelberg know-how and network with Zaikio’s agile philosophy. Over the coming months, we’ll gradually be unveiling and establishing our platform,” he adds.

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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