The launch of a new 3D print management solution is just one of several new developments from YSoft
Print management has been good to YSoft Corporation. The privately owned company was founded in the Czech Republic in 2000 and introduced its SafeQ print management solution in 2003. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength, to the point where it now has annual revenues of $30 million (US), 370 employees in 16 offices around the world and 14,000 customers (700 in the UK).
Faced with the challenge of maintaining growth in a mature market with strong downward pressure on prices, YSoft recently announced two developments of great significance for the future of the company. One is the establishment of YSoft Ventures to mentor and support Central and Eastern European start-ups. The other is the latest version of its print management solution, SafeQ6.
In addition to two major enhancements to the core print management product (see box), SafeQ6 provides additional functionality that helps businesses address evolving document workflow challenges.
“With SafeQ6, we have produced a platform for the first time,” explained YSoft senior regional sales manager Nick Parkes. “There are three pillars to it: one is print management; the second is document workflow; and the third is 3D printing. We manufacture both 3D printers and develop software to support 3D printers, just as we have been doing all these years for the 2D market.”
In all, SafeQ has seven modules, available individually or collectively as a suite licence. Parkes says that giving businesses the option to adopt a broader range of fully integrated modular solutions makes things simpler and more cost-effective for the customer.
“Our platform gives end customers a genuine all-in-one solution,” he said. “A lot of customers will have a print management solution coupled with document workflow from a different supplier. Yes, they are integrated and have single sign-on. But they have two different sets of licence agreements and two different sets of terms and conditions; quite often you are paying for the same modules twice; and you have two different support paths. SafeQ6 is a genuine all-in-one solution.”
The SafeQ document workflow module is a logical extension of YSoft’s traditional business that ovetails nicely with customers’ evolving digitisation strategies, but 3D printing is a completely new proposition.
This July, YSoft is planning the soft launch of an end-to-end solution developed specifically for the education sector. This includes be3D printers, manufactured by YSoft itself following its acquisition of 3D printer company be3D in 2014; a SafeQ-based print management solution that allows schools to manage and control 3D printing for the first time; and be3D Academy coursework, developed by YSoft in conjunction with Telford-based Tablet Academy and educational organisations in the Czech Republic.
“Whilst schools are introducing 3D into their curriculum, many are not really pushing it as they have no control over costs, security and productivity,” explained Parkes.
“3D printing takes time and schools don’t want students to send a 3D model to print and then stand over the printer for three hours to make sure no one takes their model or stops the print job. With our solution, users send models to print through YSoft SafeQ 6, the world’s first 3D print management solution; walk up to the 3D printer and authenticate using a card, PIN or password; then walk away knowing no one can touch their model because the 3D printer is fully enclosed. All the doors are locked so no one can break into the 3D printer whilst it’s printing unless they are the owner of that job. And, because that job is going through SafeQ, we can measure its cost in time and materials.”
This capability has already proved successful for YSoft in the world of 2D printing. There is every reason to suppose that it will prove just as compelling in the emerging 3D sector as well.