Print composition evolves in an omni-channel world

By Lois Ritarossi / Published:

With industry news continuing to focus on omni-channel, opti-channel and improving customer experience, the question remains: how does transactional print evolve in this digital-first world?

This article is the second in a series exploring how the leading composition software companies are investing in tools and platforms for clients that still need to create and manage printed documents and content for delivery across digital channels. In part one of this series, I shared perspectives from Quadient and Messagepoint.

Two leading global software firms, OpenText and ISIS Papyrus, shared their perspectives on client communications and their approach to R&D investments for their software tools.

I spoke with Annemarie Pucher, CEO of ISIS Papyrus, and Randy Sparks, Senior Director Product Management. and Heather Oliver, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, both from OpenText.

R&D Driven to the cloud

On the topic of R&D investments, Pucher shared they are making significant investments in expanding global cloud enablement and SaaS models for their tools. They have started two separate companies to further support these product offerings. One company is focused on delivering cloud services and the other is focused on mobile integration. While their tools are driving print communications, their clients are demanding expanded features for data mining to support digital channels.

OpenText recently held their global customer conference and received fresh perspectives from their clients about current and future needs. Many OpenText Exstream clients are focused on enabling end consumers to transition to digital communications. Yet the brands indicated the need to respect consumers’ preferences for printed communications. They expressed concerns about negatively impacting customer satisfaction with forced migration to digital bills and communications. Many consumers still want – and demand – printed communications.

Driven by client input, Exstream’s product team is focused on migrations to cloud applications. Their clients are looking for assistance in building operations and moving more content, data, security, and applications to the cloud. The product team recently delivered a cloud version of the software.

Exstream’s server version has long provided capabilities for mail sorting and bundling. This feature was not initially offered in the cloud version. Client demand drove the development team to add it to the cloud version. Exstream’s software offers duplex features which are attractive for digital versions. Yet, clients who migrated to the cloud version required product development to offer blank page suppression for print applications.

Compliance demands for print

For many Exstream clients the compliance needs for properly archived records demand identical electronic versions of printed documents. While compliance teams like printed documents, other lines of business focused on customer experience are challenged with consistency of content and presentment in digital channels. OpenText provides guidance to assist clients with the need to evolve from print-centric, page-bound mentalities to the flexibility provided in HTML and dynamic document views afforded in digital channels.

Papyrus clients’ demands for integration of inbound and outbound communications is driving their product development. The company provides tools for Adaptive Case Management (ACM). In the insurance sector, ACM supports handling complex customer and operational activities. Many of these customers demand a cohesive approach for combining collaboration, content, data, and processes. Papyrus allows customers to build a content library and repurpose content across various channels. They are developing enhancements for HTML composition with the increased customer need to support online and mobile customer experience.

Future Enhancements

Sparks shared that their largest clients are using more data analytics and intelligence to provide more relevant content. By using first party data, Exstream customers are delivering content and documents that resonate with younger audiences. Brands are focused on customer experience across the enterprise. And they need accessible data from recent transactions across multiple lines of business to create intelligent communications for sales and client service teams.

Exstream is starting to introduce analytics to support effective white space management on documents. Their platform also supports content libraries which allow content to be repurposed across templates and various delivery channels beyond print.

Sparks’ team has integrated many other OpenText products into the Exstream platform to support digital channels and archival. Their output manager controls the print, and the printed document is driving digital experiences – which are delivered across other OpenText platforms.

Papyrus is expanding their tools to allow for customer self-service in building applications across channels. Further reducing the need for technical and programming staff. Their clients want to improve user experience especially for mobile platforms.

Clients are separating documents from content. Papyrus is improving job management across all channels for print and digital delivery. They are assisting clients with migrations from PDF to web forms and HTML for display on mobile devices. Pucher said they are enhancing functionality for non-programmers and business users to set up applications and reuse content and templates. Papyrus is making additional investments in composition to support features for HTML and other formats for digital channels.

Print production evolves to the cloud

Exstream has a long history of supporting high-speed, high-volume print. They have replicated the features for print optimization from their server application to their cloud version. Clients can choose advanced resource management, optimization that preloads resources and reduces duplication, advanced image management, font subsetting, and many others natively in the cloud version.

Two-way communication

Papyrus sees changes across their customer base with the migration from printed documents to communications as a loop. They are assisting clients in connecting outbound mail and inbound transactions, allowing companies to be more strategic in managing content across the entire customer journey. As IT resources struggle to manage the multitude of applications, companies are looking for tools and platforms that streamline communications and content management across all channels with business users driving maintenance.

Customers with large volumes of printed communications are asking for features to support two-way communications from within a document or digital experience. Papyrus is building new ways to support two-way communication for consumers to get immediate reactions and feedback to the brand directly from both printed documents and digitally presented content.

Exstream is helping their clients leverage data for more personalized communications based on consumer preferences. They are supporting more mobile platforms for push communications.

Print is still the primary channel of communications in highly regulated industries.  Software companies are enhancing their products so content can be managed efficiently in the cloud to deliver personalized content across all channels, based on consumer preferences.

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About the Author

Lois Ritarossi

Lois Ritarossi, CMC®, is the President of High Rock Strategies, a consulting firm focused on sales and marketing strategies, and business growth for firms in the print, mail and communication sectors. Lois brings her clients a cross functional skill set and strategic thinking with disciplines in business strategy, sales process, sales training, marketing, software implementation, inkjet transformation and workflow optimization. You can reach Lois at HighRockStrategies.com

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