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Understanding Data Rich Applications and Variable Data Printing

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Rob Malkin, Business Development Executive — Inkjet Technologies, Ricoh

Rob Malkin, Business Development Executive — Inkjet Technologies, Ricoh

The phrase data rich applications is something one might hear in passing during discussions of a publishing print portfolio or a publisher’s book printing goal for the next five years. But many may not even know what we really mean when we talk about data rich applications, nor understand why they are so significant in a publishing organizations growth planning.

So let’s break it down. Data rich applications (or variable data printing – as the industry usually refers to this topic) open up the potential for companies to go beyond books only and significantly expand revenue potential. These applications can include versioned content for books, course packs and custom manuals, as well as personalized marketing collateral, direct mail and regulated corporate communications that require tracking and accountability.

booksWhat this means to organizations focused on the publishing industry is that by having variable data printing capabilities, they can broaden their portfolio of offerings, going beyond simply book printing and providing custom printing options at affordable cost breakdowns. For example, a printer could offer an academic institution or commercial association that publishes book length journals, a two-color version journal with geographic-specific advertising. This would offer these organizations a method of printing that provides new, ongoing revenue.

At Ricoh, we understand that having solutions that allow for variable data printing is crucial to the future of the publishing industry and as such have designed hardware and software technologies that allow companies to accept, transform, organize, manipulate and repurpose data that comes from multiple sources in multiple formats – all crucial steps in the variable data process.  A good example of how this all fits together can be seen in our work with Frederic Printing in Denver. works within several different sectors of the community, including education, government and marketing segments, all expecting to produce high volumes of content on a quick turnaround.  Back in 2010, after looking at many solutions to meet their demanding customer needs, Frederic determined to go with Ricoh’s InfoPrint 5000 due to its versatility and support of sustainable and cost-effective print practices through a system that offers a compact size, operational efficiency, low power consumption (one of the lowest in the industry) and use of water-based inks.  Over the next few years, Frederic installed additional InfoPrint 5000 machines, seeing an opportunity to not just meet their current customer needs, but use the flexibility of Ricoh’s solutions to grow their business into new markets and revenue opportunities.  By strengthening their ability to provide clients with high volumes and quick turnarounds, Frederic has been able to meet and exceed the growing and ever-changing needs of the markets they serve.

Our work with Frederic Printing is just one example of Ricoh’s commitment to providing what companies need to address the growing rich data requirements of their customers. For more information on variable data printing and data rich application trends go to //