We cover a lot of ground in this issue. From the fist Windows 10 smart glasses, perfect for enterprises running Windows IT infrastructures (page 11), to the importance of the cloud in helping SMEs tackle today’s business challenges (page 16), to the failings of VPN technology (page 26) and the value of robotic process automation in freeing staff from timeconsuming administrative tasks (page 28). All a far cry from our original remit to cover developments in print technology. While PrintIT never focused solely on print and always had a keen interest in document management and information workflw, the convergence of different technologies, the protean nature of information as it moves back and forth between digital, printed, visual and spoken forms (and now between human and robotic intermediaries) and the expansion of the Internet of Things, which is bringing intelligence and automation to all aspects of daily life, have inevitably broadened our remit.
We are not alone in this. Companies we have always written about are making the same adjustments. Like Neopost (see cover story), which is expanding its portfolio to offer unifid, multi-channel solutions. And Sharp, which has announced its intention to buy Toshiba’s computer business, partly to strengthen its capabilities in the growing areas of AI and IoT. And Ricoh, which now gets 40% of its revenue from IT services, process outsourcing , application development and workplace services. The list goes on.
In this context, I should mention our interview with AIIM on page 21. In it, AIIM President Peggy Winton justifis the recent change of name from the Association for Information and Image Management to the Association for Intelligent Information Management on the basis that everything today is about trying to achieve digital transformation and that that journey begins with intelligent information management. Changes in AIIM’s membership support this argument, notably the big increase in members with ‘line of business’ responsibility. As Peggy said: “Today, all of us are information brokers.”
In that role, many marketers are rediscovering the value of print as an engaging, motivating medium for direct marketing and customer communications. The latest digital printers and presses enable businesses to create eye-catching, personalised communications that not only have a higher opening and response rate than digital communications, but also live longer in the memory. New printers/presses from OKI , Xerox and Ricoh (pages 30-33) build on these benefis by offering an expanded colour palette including metallic, neon, clear and white toners that can be used to add impact and even texture to printed output.
James Goulding, Editor