HP and RRD: The Grand Alliance

by admin on September 15, 2009

So it looks like the big news coming out of Print '09 was that RR Donnelley and HP are going to jump in bed together. This is probably a good thing for the industry as a whole. HP is by far the biggest player in the industry when it comes to spending R & D dollars on printing, and RR Donnelley has a long track record in partnering with manufacturers and assisting them in delivering products that would be welcome in the marketplace.
For example, I doubt that Marketsplash would ever have being given life if RR Donnelley had been around to serve as a sounding board.
Naturally, the partnership between RRD and Creo in 1990s was mentioned as an example of a successful partnership, and if the RRD-HP collaboration comes even close to matching that, then well and good.
Of course, the focus of the two companies will be on inkjet press technology. RRD has had some success with 9 internal installs of inkjet presses, which sounds pretty impressive until you realize that the economic output of RRD is bigger than most African countries. Nine installs is nothing. Actually, considering the amount of R & D dollars that inkjet has consumed in the last decade, there is massive upside.
The write-up by printceo is pretty comprehensive but fuzzy on the details (of course) but being a software guy, I see a hole here. Unless something has changed in the last few years, RRD is mostly Prinergy through and through, and HP doesn't have any workflow software to replace Prinergy anytime soon. So they have a third silent partner there, whether they like it or not. I mean, the argument of inkjet press is that you can increase the velocity of printing, by which I mean you print more jobs (of shorter duration) in a lesser amount of time. So you need a more robust workflow. A workflow that actually has a database to keep track of all those jobs. It's still a great mystery to me why Prinergy is still the only prepress workflow out there to actually have a database.

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