Gimbel & Associates Releases Printer’s Guide to Better Business

GIMBEL & ASSOCIATES
400 Garden City Plaza Suite 405
Garden City, NY 11530-3362
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Garden City, NY June 1, 2020

Gimbel & Associates, the well-known printing industry management consulting firm, has published a compendium of articles designed to help their clients and other companies in the printing business develop strategies for protecting and growing their businesses. Roger P. Gimbel’s Guide to Better Business is full of helpful guidance, tips, and resources.

The downloadable eBook includes sections on Business Strategy, Marketing, Sales Acceleration, Production, and more. This 100-plus page comprehensive resource is available to print professionals at no charge.

“Companies in the printing business need new strategies, especially after COVID-19,” says company president and author Roger Gimbel, EDP, “This is the time for printing companies to assess their business models. The way they do business with customers is changing, and we decided it was the ideal time to create the guide.”

The Guide to Better Business is a collection of articles Gimbel & Associates has produced to help companies create successful businesses today and as business recovers from the pandemic shutdown. Printers will find the eBook contains valuable information they can put to use in their own organizations among titles such as “Data Security Challenges in Your Print Environment”, “Enhancing Your Communication Skills”, and “Making More Money with Mail”.

Print company managers tend to focus on delivering the projects of the day to their customers. They don’t spend enough time planning how to improve their businesses. When the economy picks up, print companies will be extra busy. Right now is a great time to browse through the guide and jot down strategic ideas relevant to your organization.

ABOUT GIMBEL & ASSOCIATES

Gimbel & Associates is an international management consulting firm working to ignite business growth through digital technologies. As an independent company, they offer clients customized consulting services to achieve their sales and marketing goals. With an extensive background in print services, print production, digital, marketing communications, database management, training, and direct marketing, Gimbel & Associates helps their clients accomplish their growth and efficiency goals.

An Interview with Harvey Gross on upcoming Customer Communications Virtual Summit

By: Skip Henk, President and CEO of Xplor International

Xplor Elite sponsor and longtime supporter Crawford Technologies is hosting a virtual customer communications summit on May 6th outlining strategies for staying in touch with your customers.

I had the opportunity to speak with Harvey Gross, Vice President of Products for Crawford to learn a bit more on their decision to put on the event and what people can expect.


Skip: Harvey, what is Crawford’s purpose in putting on the Customer Communications Virtual Summit?

Harvey: Well Skip, in a nutshell – we kind of missed getting together with our colleagues in the industry ad hearing about the new things that everyone has been working on.

Skip: This whole virtual world is coming to the forefront, on a lighter note, what should one wear to this event?

Harvey: This is a really important question given the current environment we are all living in right now. Let me share the good news – what you wear is totally up to you! Be as comfy as you want! You don’t have to wear a suit and tie, a name badge and what’s even more important – there’s no need to worry about social distancing, so you don’t have to wear a mask. That is unless you have a really cool mask that you like to wear around your home or office.

Skip: What is the Customer Communications Virtual Summit and why should you attend?

Harvey: Another good question. While many of the industry events you were planning to attend this spring and summer have either been cancelled or postponed, it doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on gaining the insights from recognized industry experts, customers and enterprise leaders about the technologies and best practices that can help organizations grow and thrive. And to be quite honest, we here at Crawford Technologies miss having the opportunity to share these experiences with you and we know our colleagues do as well. But we didn’t want this to be just be another invitation to a webinar.

We decided that the best way to get everyone together would be to host a full day, complimentary Customer Communications Virtual Summit where our industry experts can share their knowledge and experiences related to improving customer experience, understanding and achieving regulatory compliance and optimizing customer communications across 3 tracks – Output Management, eDelivery and Document Accessibility. With 30 sessions focused on thought leadership, case studies, user experiences and collaboration opportunities, the Virtual Summit is more than just another webinar – it is an ideal and timely opportunity to easily stay on top of the latest industry trends and topics.

Skip: Who will be speaking?

Harvey: We are thrilled to have an amazing lineup of the most respected customer communications industry experts and enterprise leaders for this event. Our Keynote speaker, Matt Swain, managing director and practice lead at Broadridge Communications and Customer Experience (CX) Consulting, will share his perspective on the future of communications relative to business priorities and customer preferences in the wake of COVID-19 and how some temporary measures are likely to morph into new norms for communications in the future. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from Kaspar

Roos, founder and CEO of Aspire Customer Communications Services; Gina Ferrara, senior analyst at Madison Advisors; Pat McGrew, managing director of The McGrew Group; Laney Feingold, lawyer and writer at the Law Offices of Lainey Feingold; and Pina D’Intino, founder of Aequum Global Access.

Our customers will also be sharing their insights and strategies for optimizing customer communications including John Slaney from Content Critical Solutions, Kathy Lovell from Regions Bank, Birkir Gunnarssen from Truist and Ken Schmidt from Ameritas. And you will also hear from our partners – BlueCrest, Canon, BCC Software, Nuxeo, Delphax Solutions, enChoice, Microsoft, Pitney Bowes Software, Deque, AO Docs and Open Access Technologies.

Skip: Any closing remarks?

Harvey: Make sure to check out the agenda and register for this exciting industry event. And if you need another reason to attend? You definitely won’t have tired, aching, blistered feet at the end of the day.

Register today and I hope to “see” you at our first Customer Communications Virtual Summit on May 6th.


Until next interview! Take care.

skip_Henk_Photo_2011

 

Skip Henk, EDP
President/CEO
Xplor International

Dealing with the Pandemic and Making Today a More Productive Day

Antoine DuPont is a recognized expert and strategist in digital marketing. He’s an award-winning marketing agency owner and a speaker at national & international conferences including a keynote presentation at #XPLOR20 September 17-19 in St. Pete Beach Florida.

Recently, Antoine shared some thoughts on dealing with the pandemic and making today a more productive day (or at least he hopes).


From Antoine:

Some days are productive and some aren’t.

Yesterday wasn’t productive. I kept getting distracted by  Facebook or by the latest news article on the pandemic.

So I went in the kitchen looking for a snack. I kept telling myself “you’re not hungry, you’re just distracted & anxious”. I made myself a sandwich anyway. Just because.

Today will be a more productive day! I hope…

One of the simple ways I found to stay focused is to take one simple project at a time, like “create 2 short videos” or “redesign my landing page”, “write one blog”

Many of my friends lately have reached out to ask me about the tools I use to run my business. Below are ALL my favorite tools and what I use them for

So if you have good intentions on being productive today (or next week), here you go:
(not in any particular order of preference)

  • InVideo: to create a quick animation or video on the fly
  • RemoveBG : to remove the background on any picture
  • TubeBuddy : to get intelligence on how best to win with my YouTube videos
  • SEM Rush : to get intelligence on keywords and traffic on my website (and my competitors)
  • Custom Thumbnails : when I don’t have time to create my own thumbnails
  • Canva : when I need a graphic done quickly on a tight budget
  • AnswerThePublic: to know what question people ask on the internet with any keyword
  • Zoom : when I need to Zoom with people 😉
  • Basecamp : to manage all our projects
  • Moz Local : to win at the local SEO level
  • Buzz Sumo : to get intelligence on which content is going to perform best
  • Rev : to quickly get a video transcript
  • Videvo: for free stock video footage and clips
  • Death To Stock : for unique non-stock photos and images
  • GT Metrix: to check the load speed of any website
  • Splasheo : to customize a video for social media with captions

Have a happy productive day. Cheers!

Stay safe & be well. Hope to meet you in St. Pete Beach.

Antoine Dupont
Sales & Marketing Speaker + Consultant
W 561-272-8567

M 561-441-5478
antoine@katapult.biz
Speaking: www.antoinedupont.com
Join: www.facebook.com/groups/antoinedupont
Subscribe: www.youtube.com/antoinedupont

For more information on #XPLOR20 please visit: https://bit.ly/3eewLVH

An Interview with Kaspar Roos of Aspire CCS

By: Skip Henk, President/CEO of Xplor International

I have known Kaspar for almost a decade and he is the consummate professional. His enthusiasm and dedication to the industry have made him a recognized expert, consultant, and thought-leader in the Customer Communications Management (CCM) industry.

After leaving InfoTrends’, where he lead the global production workflow and customer communications advisory service, Kaspar founded Aspire, specializing in the CCM and Digital Customer Experience (DCX) industries.

Aspire is working on a new study that deals with “How to be successful with digital and omni-channel services at this time of deep disruption”, so I wanted to speak with him about the study and what to expect.

Skip: Kaspar, thank you for taking the time to speak with me. I am intrigued by your new study. Tell me a little about it and what can recipients expect to learn from it?

Kaspar: Obviously, the industry has been on a track toward digitization for two decades now. We’ve seen postal volumes plunge precipitously in Europe and North America since the turn of the last century.

Alongside the march toward digital, the other obvious trend is the shift in the balance of power in the B2C communications market in favor of the consumer. Customer experience has become such an important metric that improving it and perfecting omni-channel messaging have become the top communications priorities for businesses worldwide.

So, with that in mind, when we conceived this research study very early in the year, we were committed to surveying consumers and businesses in the US and Canada to find out what “next gen” use cases and applications were gaining traction in the real world so that service providers could invest accordingly. Of course, in the weeks since its inception, the multi-client has taken on even more pressing relevance than we could have predicted.

Skip: I assume you are speaking about COVID-19?

Kaspar: Yes, North America has only been in COVID-19 “lockdown” for three or four weeks — Europe for a bit longer — but the digital reality has arrived. Changes that seemed unthinkable have found fast roots. Schools and universities have closed and set up for remote learning. Doctors are conducting tele-appointments. WebEx stocks are soaring as businesses use them for virtual meetings and grandparents in quarantine use them to connect with grandchildren they can’t visit. Anyone would have thought those kind of changes would have taken months, if not years, to set up, but the threat of a global pandemic pushed up the timetable to just a few days. What we’ve witnessed is a significant acceleration of the digital evolution.

It reminds me of the Canadian postal strike that sped up digital adoption and dealt postal volumes a blow from which they’ve never recovered. This event is magnitudes larger and more impactful. Whether social distancing measures last for three months or eighteen, these new ways of interacting are changing the model and altering the ecosystem. This research will help us quantify those changes so we can help providers understand what that means for their business and operating models.

Skip: What’s your timeline for this research? Will it be affected by any economic downturn?

Kaspar: We’re planning to field throughout most of the month of May, so we’re asking for early bird subscriptions before Friday, April 24. Participants signing up before that date will have the opportunity to review a draft of the survey questionnaire and offer feedback before it goes live. After the results have been analyzed, we will deliver a written report of the findings in June and schedule remote briefings with every subscriber thereafter.

We know that the economic uncertainty has people scrambling, but surveys take time to develop and field, and these questions need to be asked, now more than ever. No matter what the economic outlook, communications will continue — they will just be communications in a new reality and on a different mix of channels and through emerging applications and use cases. Business users will need to own communications and manage them from wherever they’re working. Providers will also be facing new competition. Traditional players will need to evolve because digital agencies, business consultancies, solutions integrators and software vendors will all be pursuing the omnichannel opportunity.

What will they all need to do to be successful in the new paradigm? It’s an important question. It’s THE question. That’s why we’re moving now. We have to capture this data while it is most relevant.

Skip: So, what will this study entail?

Kaspar: We’re taking a two-step approach to help service providers transform for digital success. First, will gather the latest market intelligence by surveying 2,000 consumers and 300 businesses in the US and Canada. We want to know what experiences consumers value and what challenges businesses are facing in delivering them. What are these businesses’ investment plans and what do they need from providers? Second, based on these findings and how they rate on the scale of digital maturity, we’ll help subscribers navigate their way to success in this new paradigm by providing input on business planning and strategy so they can align people, process, and technology to create competitive value and differentiate themselves in the market.

Skip: Kaspar, thank you for your time an insight. I look forward to seeing the finished product. Any closing thoughts?

Kaspar: Thank you for the opportunity. If people are interested in subscribing, have questions, or would like additional information please reach out to Paul Abdool (paul.abdool@aspireccs.com) or Will Morgan (will.morgan@aspireccs.com).

Aspire Customer Communications Services
The Junction
Station Road
Watford
WD17 1ET
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1923 605 526
Email: info@aspireccs.com


About Kaspar Roos: Kaspar is a leading expert, consultant, and recognized thought-leader in the Customer Communications Management (CCM) industry. He is the CEO and founder of Aspire, a boutique consulting firm specializing in the CCM and Digital Customer Experience (DCX) industries. Kaspar has more than 15 years of experience in the CCM space and is a regular speaker at industry conferences and events. He has worked with every leading CCM technology vendor and many leading service providers to help them with strategy and business development.

In June 2018 Kaspar spearheaded the launch of The Aspire Leaderboard, the industry’s first interactive CCM vendor positioning portal. Designed to take the complexity out of CCM decision-making, the Leaderboard features independent vendor evaluations, supported by dynamic filtering capabilities, alongside the latest CCM news, insight and events.

Prior to establishing Aspire, Kaspar was responsible for running InfoTrends’ global production workflow and customer communications advisory service. Here he provided market research, insights and strategic consulting services that helped leading technology vendors and service providers understand the shifts in the customer communications and workflow markets.

Kaspar received a Masters of Science (MSC) degree in Industrial Engineering and Management from the University of Twente (Netherlands), with specializations in information systems and business-to-business marketing.

How can my company leverage industry certification?

Scott Draeger, Vice President of Customer Transformation at Quadient has been a huge proponent of industry certification, he himself a designated Master Electronic Document Professional (M-EDP). Over the last several years, Quadient has invested both time and financial resources promoting industry certification within the company.

I wanted to circle back with Scott to get his thoughts on the impact within his organization and whether he feels the investment has paid dividends.

Skip: Scott, thank you for taking the time to speak about industry certification

Scott: I can always find time to speak about industry certification, because it is most important when an industry is changing. Our industry is changing rapidly, so industry certification helps companies like Quadient prove to the market that we are up to date in our knowledge.

Skip: Quadient places a great deal of value on industry certification. Quadient now has 188 designated or certified professionals. What percentage of total employees is that? Why is industry certification important to you and Quadient?

Scott: Over 20% of Quadient’s staff has an official Designation from Xplor. I believe that makes us the most certified software vendor in the industry in both volume and percentage. But, the location of the certifications also matters. Our services team in the Americas is 100% certified, which means they bring context, knowledge and passion to all of their projects.

Skip: Can you tell me a little bit about the EDP certification program?

Scott: The EDP program is about your passion and reflecting on your place within the customer communication and document industry. This is a differentiated industry certification, because it takes review of your work by your peers to earn the EDP or M-EDP designation. It is harder to earn than a purely test-based certificate, because it requires written samples that show the application of practical knowledge to real-world document projects.

Skip: What value does it present to your customers and prospects?

Scott: When we discuss implementations with our customers and prospects, we proudly feature our team’s participation in the EDP program to show that we understand context. The EDP matrix considers “Document Production Journey” and “Document Application Development Lifecycle” and values diversity of experience with technology and business needs. This means that our customers and prospects are assured that we understand the tools, technology and context of their communication projects.

Some people may not know just how much effort Xplor puts into keeping the EDP certification relevant. The matrix has been updated by a very active committee to add mobile and web channels, as well as analytics. There are more opportunities to reward skills in business acumen and knowledge sharing. The certification committee makes sure this is a current reflection on the skills and technologies needed, and the reviewers are open to learning about new technology in the submissions.

Skip: You include certification statistics in your proposals. What impact does it have? How does it differentiate Quadient from your competitors?

Scott: This is an interesting question. One of the common responses is, “what is an EDP?” We love that one, because it lets us talk about how the EDP program is a way for us to ensure development of our people. It differentiates us from competitors because it shows that we have awareness of how we can best use new approaches to solve business problems of communication. We list this in our RFP responses and proudly present this to any customers and prospects.

Skip: What has been the reaction/feedback from your employees?

Scott: My coworkers at Quadient seem to value the program. I have personally been the mentor for about eight of them in the past four years. Every year, we have a kickoff presentation to explain the program, and we usually get 50-100 people on that first call. Of course, it’s been running for four years, so we are getting the new people into the EDA program as soon as possible. The first crop of EDAs are starting to consider their EDP next year.

Skip: In closing, what message do you have for individuals and company’s regarding industry certification?

Scott: At the rate business and technology change, it is important to pursue certification for a few reasons. First, earning a certification shows your peers and managers that you are serious about the industry. Second, the process of pursuing a certification reminds you that you don’t, in fact know everything. This does wonderful things to expand your thinking, at a minor cost to your pride. Lastly, earning a certification is a potential differentiator in a job market that is rapidly changing in terms of both business models and technology. I recently earned a CCXP (Certified Customer Experience Professional) certificate from CXPA (Customer Experience Professionals Association) to augment my M-EDP to show that I have made progress in studying the CX literature.

Skip: Scott, once again, thank you for taking the time and congratulations on your success. Anyone interested in obtaining additional information about the EDP certification program can visit www.xplor.org/edp or call Xplor International at 813-949-6170.

Scott: Anytime, Skip! I recommend the program to anyone in the document and customer communication industry, because it will change your perspective. The EDP program is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on your abilities and experiences. I believe this frame of mind is essential for long term career success, because it gives you a chance to see what areas you can grow into as you steer your career. Also, it can get you a chance to shake Skip’s hand on stage at Xplor 2020!

Until next time! Take care.

skip_Henk_Photo_2011

 

Skip Henk, EDP
President/CEO
Xplor International

Exploring XPLOR19 with Skip Henk, EDP

Submitted by: Skip Henk, EDP

I had the opportunity to spend time with one of my favorite people, Deborah Corn, the Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse at Print Media Centr.

We had a great discussion about this year’s XPLOR19 event, our partnerships with both the ISA International Sign Expo as well as the APTech LeadingPRINT Forum, and what it all means to attendees and the industry in general.

If you had any questions about what the event is and why our three organizations have come together, this short podcast should shed some light. Enjoy!



Skip Henk, EDP
President/CEO
Xplor International

Speed of Change 3 – A Whole New Pandora’s Box

Submitted by Harry Stephens, President/CEO of DATAMATX
April 26, 2018

It’s been over a decade since I wrote a column titled “The Speed of Change.” In it, I discussed how technology was completely changing our relationship with time, which in turn, was changing our business processes dramatically.  In 2007, the technologies we were figuring out how to integrate were the Internet, PDAs and the new iPhone. Fast forward four years to 2011, when I wrote a column called The Speed of Change 2.  In 2011, it was a whole new set of tools, like mobile applications and media tablets, social networking and cloud services, that were demanding our attention.  Within a short time, these tools, and more, were all part of our daily lives, setting a completely new standard.

Of course, since 2011, the speed of change hasn’t stopped. In fact, it’s accelerated. And while things have become easier in many ways because of these advances, things have also become scarier. In fact, what I am calling The Speed of Change 3 has opened a whole new Pandora’s box.  While technological advances have provided our businesses with the potential to create more efficient systems, they have also opened new avenues for data protection threats.

We all read about these data breaches daily. Recently, I just read that the average data security breach takes less time to pull off than it does to prepare a cup of coffee, with 93 percent occurring in less than one minute. Conversely, it can take a business a very long time to recover from one. In the business we are in, where sensitive data is part of our daily work, a data breach would spell disaster. Therefore, every company, no matter what size, needs to have a security program in place. While there is no one security product or control that can prevent data breaches, it is critical that in our type of business we do what it takes to maintain the highest level of security possible with processes and procedures that eliminate vulnerabilities in a timely manner.

At DATAMATX, we have always dedicated extensive resources and implemented additional processes to ensure our clients continue to have the highest level of confidence in the managing and processing of their data. This has included successfully meeting rigorous compliance requirements year after year with third-party audits to continue to achieve FISMA, PCI DSS 3.2 and SOC 2 + HITRUST CSF certifications as well as investing heavily in cyber liability insurance.

It also includes making continued extensive upgrades to our comprehensive information security policies and procedures, establishing a continuous monitoring program and developing a risk based approach to protect the data and physical security of our three facilities. Additionally, for many years now, we have had a disaster recovery plan in place, with three comprehensive, fully redundant facilities and now have a more defined business continuity plan to ensure we meet the ever increasing client SLAs and audit requirements. To be sure, all of this took an investment on our part in time, effort and money.  But what is the potential cost of a data breach in terms of time, effort and money—and a company’s reputation? I shudder to think. In a recent meeting at our facility, a cyber insurance expert we invited to speak presented a data breach case study of 50,000 PII records being exposed with a final cost of $29 million dollars with crisis management, customer notification, lawsuits and regulatory fines being paid.

Technology is constantly changing and with those changes come security and privacy threats every organization faces. At DATAMATX, we focus a great deal of our attention on ensuring data security compliance standards. And, yes, it requires an investment from a business standpoint that affects the bottom line.

However, if you want to play the game today in the service provider industry—and not be viewed as simply the low-cost provider—you must think about whether your company is doing enough to protect your clients’ data. Because it is their expectations that security is an integral part of your business model that has set the bar. So, let me leave you with this thought:  If you want to be successful in the transactional and direct mail business, then it is important to understand that security and compliance are now in the driver’s seat—and the real bottom line.

Until next time – Harry

Harry Stephens


Harry Stephens is President/CEO, and founder of DATAMATX, one of the nation’s largest privately held, full-service providers of printed and electronic billing solutions. As an advocate for business mailers across the country, Stephens is actively involved in several postal trade associations.  He serves on the Executive Board of the Greater Atlanta Postal Customer Council, Board Member of the National Postal Policy Council (NPPC), Member of Major Mailers Association(MMA), and member of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service.  He is also immediate past president of the Imaging Network Group (INg), an association for Print/Mail Service Bureaus.  As an expert on high-volume print and mail, he has frequently been asked to speak to various USPS groups, including the Board of Governors, about postal reform and other issues affecting business mailers.  Find more information about DATAMATX at www.datamatx.com

The Datalogics Motto – Where Experience Delivers

Xplor President/CEO Skip Henk Interviews Matt Kuznicki, CTO of Datalogics

Datalogics is relatively new to the Xplor world, exhibiting for the first time at Xploration 17 earlier this year. That said, I reached out to Datalogics’ Chief Technology Officer, Matt Kuznicki, and asked him to introduce himself and Datalogics to the Xplor community.

Based in Chicago, Illinois, Datalogics considers themselves the premier source for PDF and eBook technologies in the industry. I won’t go into more detail than that as Matt gives us a great overview below. However, I do want to introduce you and tell you a little about Matt himself.

Matt Kuznicki is responsible for product development and engineering. He serves as a recognized expert in document applications, eBooks, electronic documents and the PDF file format. Matt is also a member of the board and Chairman of the PDF Association, as well as the US Technical Advisory Group on document management applications (ISO/TC 171 SC 2), and active in the PDF standards and technical communities.


Skip: Tell us a little bit about the company itself and a bit about its history?

Matt:  Datalogics, Inc. is based in the great city of Chicago, and we are proud to be able to say that we have recently celebrated our 50th year in business. We consider ourselves the premier source for PDF and eBook technologies. We were founded in 1967 and started as a small independent software firm, in the era of reel tapes and punch cards. We’ve come a long way from those days, and now leverage tools like Agile and GitHub to keep up-to-date with new ideas in the IT community. Our primary goal when we first started, which still rings true today, has been to surpass our customer expectations by providing them with innovative features and new product updates to meet their needs.

Datalogics offers solutions that include a wide range of powerful PDF and eBook technologies for .NET, Java, and C/C++ developers. We are a partner member of the PDF Association and I have the honor of being chairman of the PDF Association. Datalogics is also a member of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Readium Foundation.

Skip: Give us some history and context about why PDF has been and continues to be so widely accepted and used as a standard document format?

Matt: PDF has continued to be an ISO standard-driven document format; the PDF format provides consistent interoperability for users, facilitating the creation of portable documents and ensuring reliable interchange. Furthermore, regulated industries continue to require and utilize specialized versions of PDF such as PDF/A (archive) or PDF/X (graphics/print).

As further validation that PDFs continue to be a widely-used document format, based on a PDF Association Technical Conference presentation as of October 2015, there were about 1.6 billion PDF documents on the web, 60% of non-image attachments in Outlook Exchange Enterprise were PDF documents, and conservatively there might be 2.5 trillion or higher PDF documents created each year.

Skip: Where is PDF headed next, and how will it continue to be relevant?

Matt: Since one of PDF’s strengths is its focus on longevity – the ability to use PDF files far out into the future – I believe it’s a good thing that PDF doesn’t undergo drastic change very often. While it’s tempting to focus on new technologies, often times users and adopters of unproven document technologies can find themselves stranded when the hype cycle dies down and they are left with large investments in formats that fail to gain traction. With PDF, there is a broad ecosystem of tools and workflows that ensures the vitality of PDF for the decades to come.

PDF 2.0 is an exciting development that represents an evolution of PDF, one that preserves compatibility with earlier versions of PDF as much as possible. We anticipate that PDF 2.0 will be used first in closed-loop workflows, as end users gradually adopt PDF 2.0-compatible viewers. While many of today’s PDF viewers can view most PDF 2.0 files, new features of PDF 2.0 will take some time to be adopted. We expect that there will be a transition over the next several years, if not longer, as document creators gradually add support for PDF 2.0 creation to their software.

In fact, Datalogics is happy to announce our donation of an initial set of example PDF 2.0 files to the PDF Association. We are proud to help the PDF Association in their mission of providing technical resources and education to PDF practitioners. These PDFs are specially constructed to be readable even to those who aren’t yet PDF experts, and are based in part on PDFs Datalogics has built for our own in-house educational programs.

Skip: What are some key things you should consider when choosing/evaluating a partner/vendor for PDF technology solutions?

Matt: A PDF solutions provider/vendor should be active in the PDF community and be advocates for their users in the broader community by helping to move PDF forward. This ensures that PDF continues to address and solve new business problems while making sure that the needs of current users are also not ignored. PDF vendors should also enable users to solve their problems effectively by providing intuitive, simple and implementable solutions for both common and complex problems, while still adhering to the PDF standards specification.

All these points mentioned above are hallmarks of Datalogics’ strengths. We provide PDF technologies and document solutions to a wide range of industries and businesses and offer unparalleled support and expertise. We have dedicated Technical Support Engineers who are available to our customers and prospects during the evaluation process. We also offer many other resources such as our knowledgebase, customer portal, blog, technical service bulletins, and our development site which include documentation, code samples and release notes. We are also active participants in the various developer communities including Stack Overflow where we have the “Adobe-PDF-Library” and “PDF-Java-Toolkit” tags to help facilitate knowledge sharing.

Skip: Matt, I thank you for taking the time to share with our readers more about Datalogics and your thoughts on PDF. Any closing thoughts?

Matt: Just want to thank everyone for taking the time and be sure to check out our website at www.datalogics.com. Perhaps we can do business together in the future with some of you!

Skip: Once again, thank you for your time and for your ongoing support of Xplor International.


I want to go ahead and plug Datalogics as well as our upcoming show by saying I hope all our readers will check out the Datalogics booth at Xploration 18! The show will take place April 17-19, 2018 in Orlando at the Rosen Plaza. Datalogics will be in booth 9. Stop by and say hello, their team will take great care of you!

Until next time! Take care.

skip_Henk_Photo_2011

 

Skip Henk, EDP
President/CEO
Xplor International

How the EDP Certification (and the M-EDP Designation) can Help you Personally and Professionally

An Interview with Paul Abdool, M-EDP, Student Advocate and Student for Life
By: Skip Henk, EDP – CEO of Xplor International

I had a conversation with Paul recently who shared an interesting story regarding his EDP designation that I asked if he would share with everyone. A story that shows professional certification not only benefits companies and your resume, but can help you even on a personal level.

Paul is currently Vice President of Sales at Doxim and has been a part of the Xplor community for many years. Based out of Toronto, Paul began his participation as a local Canadian region board member and joined the Xplor International board a short time later. Eventually, Paul became the Chairman of the Board for a couple of terms and now once again sits on the Canadian region board.

He was the driving force behind Ryerson University becoming Xplor’s first Student Chapter. Paul has been to numerous Xplor events, both in Canada and the U.S., attained his EDP in 2004, and topped it all off with his Master EDP (M-EDP) in 2014.

Skip: Paul, thank you for taking the time today. Paul, I know you are very passionate about the EDP Program and are very proud of your M-EDP designation.

Paul: I certainly am as I can always be seen at industry events wearing my EDP pin!

Skip: When did you get your EDP and what drove you to strive for it?

Paul: I received my EDP in 2004 and my M-EDP in 2014.  I was encouraged by a few Xplorers that I really respected.  For the fun of it, I had a side bet with someone in 2003 that I would finish it by 2004.  I won!  In many ways!

Skip: What does it mean to you personally to be an EDP?

Paul: As a young Xplorer at the time, it elevated my credibility prior to getting grey hair.  Those who knew about the EDP Certification instantly had positive thoughts about my knowledge.  When I explained it to others and they saw my EDP pin, they understood that my knowledge about our industry was well-rounded.

Skip: Has the certification helped you professionally throughout your career?

Paul: Yes, but it is hard to separate the EDP certification from Xplor.  The association’s educational forums that comes prior to earning an EDP probably outweighs the EDP certification, however, the process of acquiring the EDP and the possession of it, has been very positive for my career as well.

Skip: Share the story that you mentioned in our previous conversation?

Paul: To earn my M-EDP, I contributed 2 chapters to the Electronic Document Body of Knowledge (EDBOK) and was on the committee to finish the book and get it out.  I was very proud of that work and the best part was being a published author.  This was key to getting a work visa in the USA when I switched jobs to a company that did not have employees in Canada.  One of the criteria that they look for is being published which my M-EDP fulfilled.

Skip: Who do you think should attain their certification?

Paul: I believe that young people in our association and people looking to advance their careers should get it.  The EDA which is the stepping stone to the EDP is great but all of those EDA holders should finish the journey and get that EDP.

Skip: Thank you very much Paul for taking the time. I look forward to seeing you at Print 17 in Chicago at the keynote breakfast panel!

If anyone has any additional questions regarding the EDP Certification program, please visit www.xplor.org/edp and take a look around.

Until next time! Take care.

skip_Henk_Photo_2011

 

Skip Henk, EDP
President/CEO
Xplor International

Harry’s Corner – Here We Go Again – “6-2-5” is Back

Submitted by Harry Stephens, President/CEO of DATAMATX
June 19, 2017

In my experience, few things are more true than the fact that knowing you need to do something—and then actually doing it—are two very different things. There is perhaps no better example of this than the longstanding (and ongoing) conversation about the financial difficulties of the U.S. Postal Service and what to do about them.

I read two articles on the subject in the Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal this past month, reporting that the latest entrant into this often controversial conversation is President Trump, by way of his 2018 budget plan. The plan leaves the door open for reducing the current six-day mail delivery “where there is a business case for doing so.”  You can expect that if this proposal materializes it will be met with upset, just as it did when then Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe attempted to unilaterally end Saturday mail delivery in 2013. That attempt stirred up strong resistance from members of Congress and the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, among others, and ultimately failed. Since then, proposals to address the Postal Service’s financial woes have not included reducing delivery.

Back in 2008, I floated the idea in this column of eliminating Wednesday delivery, recognizing that direct mailers prize Saturday delivery, when most of us are at home and have more time to look at our mail. Then in 2009, I wrote another column urging the need to take a hard look at eliminating Saturday delivery, and to step forward and propose other cost-cutting ideas if you have them.  Mail is important to all of us for many different reasons, so I am sure reducing mail delivery is still a difficult pill for many to swallow. However, I continue to maintain it may be a necessary step to help end the financial struggles of the USPS, which have been a problem for more than a decade now. We need to accept that we are going to have to reach a compromise somewhere. Corporate enterprises as well as postal customers, especially rural America, may have to give up something to keep postage rates affordable.

We all know that having a difficult problem to solve can be overwhelming and even paralyzing. But even taking small steps can make a difference. It reminds me of a story I like about a little boy on a beach littered with washed-up starfish. As the boy was throwing them back in the water one by one, a man came up to him and said, “Son, what are you doing? There are thousands of starfish on this beach. You can’t possibly make a difference.” The boy picked up a starfish and threw it in the water and replied, “It made a difference to that one!”

Of course, eliminating one day of mail delivery—whether that day is Wednesday or Saturday or another option—won’t solve all the financial concerns of the USPS. But when you consider that it will take carriers off the road for one day a week, and the savings that will be realized in terms of labor costs, gas and truck maintenance, it will certainly make a difference. And for that reason alone, I think it is worth talking about again.

My fundamental point has been and still is this: The financial viability of the USPS isn’t just the USPS’ issue to solve. It is an issue for everyone who relies on the mail, whether for business or personally. It is our issue, and I think the one thing we can agree on is that something needs to be done to address it. The problem is that actually doing something, as we all know, is a very different thing.

Until next time – Harry

Harry Stephens


Harry Stephens is President/CEO, and founder of DATAMATX, one of the nation’s largest privately held, full-service providers of printed and electronic billing solutions. As an advocate for business mailers across the country, Stephens is actively involved in several postal trade associations.  He serves on the Executive Board of the Greater Atlanta Postal Customer Council, Board Member of the National Postal Policy Council (NPPC), Member of Major Mailers Association(MMA), and member of the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service.  He is also immediate past president of the Imaging Network Group (INg), an association for Print/Mail Service Bureaus.  As an expert on high-volume print and mail, he has frequently been asked to speak to various USPS groups, including the Board of Governors, about postal reform and other issues affecting business mailers.  Find more information about DATAMATX at www.datamatx.com