Print shops are faced with the challenge of making ever shorter and more varied runs cost effective. The increasingly complex relationships between these print shops, their customers, and various business partners also need to be managed efficiently. The solution is to establish fully automated, integrated processes across company boundaries that make workflows and transactions between printers, software providers, equipment manufacturers, and suppliers far, far simpler. Around a year after the takeover of cloud software business Crispy Mountain by Heidelberg, the company is launching Zaikio – a new open and independent cloud based collaboration platform for the printing industry – for this very purpose.
‘With the open industry platform Zaikio, Heidelberg is actively meeting the challenges faced by the printing sector in the digital era. This marks the next milestone in the industry’s digitisation,’ said Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer.
Zaikio unites all industry players on a single platform using three key elements. The free Zaikio Account enables each and every user to log into all connected software systems with a single login. The Zaikio Hub is used to administer personal and organisation based accounts, linking the services and software of the various providers – from existing software to apps developed specifically for this new solution. Last but not least, Mission Control is the print shop’s digital control centre. All data is received here in a standardised form and can be read, edited, and restored by other apps. The result is straightforward, standardised data exchange between software, hardware, and the partners involved, which creates the basis for end to end automated process chains.
‘In addition to making complete processes and collaboration much simpler in the printing industry, Zaikio also has the potential to secure a profitable future for its users. As a founding partner and driving force of Zaikio, Heidelberg is open to working with other strategic partners and investors to grasp the opportunities digitisation offers an entire industry,’ continued Rainer Hundsdörfer.
Successful platforms and their users thrive on participation, so anyone who wants to get involved can now create a free account at www.zaikio.com to help gradually shape, expand, and establish the platform. Zaikio interfaces and tools enable potential partners and investors to link their products with the platform and make them available to all users via the Zaikio Hub. A team of developers will provide the necessary support.
A large number of the industry’s well known software providers are on board from the outset, and preparations are being made for further cooperation agreements. This means he range of functions will keep on growing and, because it is a cloud application, new functions and inclusions will immediately be available to all users.
‘Only a shared, open platform that unites as many industry players as possible can bring about the change and standardisation so urgently required,’ underlines Matthias Prinz, managing director of Zaikio GmbH. ‘Zaikio is just such a platform, combining the comprehensive Heidelberg know how and network with Zaikio’s agile philosophy. Over the coming months, we will gradually be unveiling and establishing our platform.’