Upgrading Print, Mail, Workflow, and CCM Software Sooner Versus Later for Enhanced Efficiency
Reviewing OutputLinks Communications Group Services
By Andy & Julie Plata
Co-CEOs, the OutputLlinks Communications Group
This second article in the series Expanded Services from the OutputLinks Communications Group introduces our Software Assistance division. This division is also known as COPI (Computer Output Print & Internet), another of our print-related companies. We have now merged Services from COPI and OutputLinks Communications Group to serve our clients better.
Our marketing and publishing clients are seeking more business and technical assistance. In response, we have launched two new divisions: C-Level Assistance and Software Assistance. Both divisions provide access to an impressive array of professionals well-known in print, mail, and customer communications management (CCM). You can read the first article of the series here, C-Level Assistance.
For over three decades, our Software Assistance team has helped companies around the world optimize their production print software. Software Assistance (aka COPI) clients include a wide array of organizations including print providers, banking, insurance, government, retail, packaging, marketing, and manufacturing.
Many bank statements, direct mail, stock trade confirmations, music royalties, and tax forms use our licensed logos, signatures, fonts, or bar codes. Therefore, your postal carrier probably provides you a consistent set of examples of the Software Assistance team's work.
The barcodes on your IRS tax forms are a COPI license.
Software Assistance's mission is twofold:
- Deliver ROI-positive solutions to organizations ranging from global enterprises to privately held companies;
- Provide access to highly regarded experts to serve our clients' specific technology needs.
Legacy software can often hamper a company's profit, efficiency, and security initiatives. Our Software Assistance team of print software technologists can help. We specialize in bringing efficiency to the print software upgrade process. The result is increased production and preparedness for the next wave in cross-media output technology.
Software Assistance provides the tools and expertise to enable a future-ready print infrastructure.
Future-Ready companies can thrive despite disruptions
The cost of delaying software upgrades is measurable by profit losses due to lower efficiency. Legacy software can also increase the risk of expensive data breaches. Hence, prioritizing sooner versus later upgrades is good for business. But the lack of available or capable personnel is often the problem.
Outsourcing all or parts of the upgrade process can help solve the problem. Then the question is how to choose the best outsource alternative.
The Standard Consultant Option
In our time in business, we found software consultants generally fall into one of two categories:
- One or two-person firms with expertise in one or two software products;
- Larger firms, with employees having expertise in a broader software range;
Although the above resources might often suffice, many companies seek a viable alternative.
Our experts specialize in challenges posed by obsolete print, mail, and CCM software.
The Software Assistance Alternative
Over the decades, we had established a global network of the best technologists in print, mail, and CCM. That network includes technologists previously trained and employed by the leading software providers.
A client is provided a Software Assistance Manager to help define and document the project objectives, timelines, and resources. All contracting and management of the project experts are handled by Software Assistance. Our Software Assistance manager serves as the client’s primary point of contact through the entire engagement.
Why use OutputLinks Communications Group Software Assistance versus other options?
- We are a privately-owned micro-enterprise with decades of experience serving the business and technology needs of many of the world's largest and smallest enterprises. The benefit is proven business processes for successfully working in organizations ranging from large corporate to owner operated.
- Rather than force-fitting a limited roster of on-the-bench employees into a client project, we provide the best expert for the project from our global network of independent software technologists. The benefit is clients have access to the absolute best experts for their project.
The bottom line: Software Assistance from the OutputLinks Group provides a differentiated resource for those seeking the best combination of proven business processes and software specific expertise.
Printer OEMs use Software Assistance for their customers’ specialized print software needs.
Alone or Collaborative Implementation
Print infrastructure projects require expertise because the cost of production interruption can be extreme. Some companies may have the required expertise in house, but most lack all the necessary talent for extensive software upgrades or replacements of print, mail, and CCM related software.
All or parts of software upgrades can be outsourced to Software Assistance.
An example is a current two-year project to replace CA-Spool with IBM's Infoprint Server for a global manufacturer. Ten Software Assistance technologists and five client personnel are working in close collaboration overhauling the print infrastructure without interruption to printed output in offices and manufacturing plants worldwide.
Fonts, digitized graphics, software upgrades, digital migrations, AFP resources, overlays, and InfoPrint Server assistance – all are available from Software Assistance.
Entangled Software Systems
Upgrading or replacing print-related software can be a difficult task due to the many changes, integrations, and customized modifications required to meet production objectives. Additional difficulties arise when the employees who, over the years, designed, created, or maintained the software infrastructure have left the company without adequate documentation. These obstacles can make software upgrades or replacements an intricate, delicate, and time-consuming process that many companies prefer to ignore as long as possible.
Outdated print infrastructure can increase security vulnerabilities.
Software Assistance's 4-Phase Process
- Diagnosis – Meetings with the client to fully understand the production environment and engagement objectives.
- Strategize - Develop a project roadmap detailing solution options with the required resources, timeframes, and milestones.
- Evaluate - Review recommended solution options with the client to determine the preferred option.
- Implementation – The client determines to implement the solution using only their employees or in collaboration with experts in their specific software platform(s) provided by our Software Assistance team.
Delightful Client Experiences
Satisfying clients is not enough to survive in business for over 30 years. Our Software Assistance team’s success is rooted in a deep commitment to providing Delightful Client Experiences. We succeed in Delighting clients by providing solutions that reduce costs, increase efficiency, and enhance productivity. But the biggest success factor is based on our team’s conduct, communication, and responsiveness throughout an engagement.
Our success measurement is the Delight scoring returned by clients at predefined project milestones.
Want to Talk?
We are happy to discuss how our Software Assistance team can be of service to your immediate or future software initiatives. To schedule a no-obligation call, Click Here>>>
We trust this introduction to our Software Assistance division provides new options to help safely accelerate your software upgrade or replacement objectives.
We trust our OutputLinks Communications Group’s expanding services can help futurize your organization for new profit-producing initiatives.
Empowering the print message for the digital age,
Andy & Julie Plata
Co-CEOs, the OutputLinks Communications Group
Thirty Years of Optimizing, Upgrading, and Replacing Legacy Software
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