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Dscoop is Dlovely

Aug 1, 2006 12:00 AM

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The Digital Solutions Cooperative (Dscoop), an HP Indigo users group, recently held its inaugural meeting in Ft. Myers, FL. More than 330 attendees were there, including both current and prospective Indigo customers, 70 Hewlett-Packard executives and technical experts, and representatives from 34 HP vendor partners. HP experts also addressed digital wide-format opportunities for commercial and digital printers.

Four days of presentations
The four-day program included presentations from HP executives Stephen Nigro, senior vice president and GM of the HP Graphics and Imaging Business; Alon Bar-Shany, vice president and GM of HP's Indigo Digital Press Division; and Rich Raimondi, vice president and GM of U.S. commercial sales.

Bar-Shany discussed the total cost of Indigo press ownership, emphasizing the need for one press that can cost-effectively do both monochrome and color work. He cited the HP 5000 Plus, which produces monochrome and color pages at $0.04 per page and prints monochrome at 272 ppm. The HP exec noted that printers must be careful when looking at cost per page. “There are hidden costs that go beyond hardware, service and supplies,” he states. “Users must [consider] soft dollars being lost in workflow, substrates and finishing operations.”

New software innovations
On Saturday morning, Pinni Perlmutter, director of Indigo technology, announced HP Indigo Yours Truly Designer (YTD), a variable-data software plug-in, will support the Adobe InDesign CS2 platform.

The new plug-in will offer variable-data document creation and imposition capabilities similar to those found in YTD for QuarkXPress.

One of the most popular breakout sessions covered sales strategies. The team of David Rosenthal of MindFire, Inc., Joe Manos of Printable Technologies, and Ralph Williams of Accudata explained how Indigo users could use Web-to-print and database capabilities to develop integrated technology solutions for their corporate customers. Obviously there is great interest in Web-to-print, personalized URLs and more sophisticated use of databases in developing corporate campaigns.

Where do we go from here?
With a strong program business and technical Webinars, as well as label and packaging Webinars slated for the months ahead, Dscoop got off to a great start. Dscoop Web site developments, such as training videos, direct mail templates and case studies, also sound promising.

But some long-term Indigo users did wonder why HP felt it necessary to work with a group of users to develop Dscoop when another user organization already existed. No cogent explanation has yet emerged.

Other attendees criticized the decision to include Indigo prospects in the sessions, believing users should have exclusive access to the information. I would have liked to hear from more Indigo users in relaxed presentations that shared information. The few sessions involving printers generally were highly scripted and not as informative as they could have been. Conversely, there was lots to be learned at the first annual Dscoop conference. In time, some of these early concerns surely will be resolved.

Jill Roth is special projects editor for AMERICAN PRINTER. Contact her at