Cover story: IQ’s home grown focus

Cover story: IQ’s home grown focus
IQ creates a stir with the latest release of the printIQ MIS.

Local MIS provider, IQ, says that the latest release of the printIQ MIS, launched at PrinteEx15, will forever change the way printers think about management information systems.

Mick Rowan, IQ director and product development manager, says: “We knew from the feedback, heading into the show, that we were hitting the mark with our new modules and enhanced functionality. But the response from those that visited the IQ stand was incredible. We were literally inundated with positive feedback, which we have now been able to convert to sales.”

IQ signed up five new customers during the show, as well as having three customers purchase new modules to add to their existing printIQ installation. In the weeks following the show IQ has added a further six customers to their impressive client list, with almost the same number poised to sign in the upcoming period.

This is testament to the rapid growth that the company has experienced which as director and CEO, Anthony Lew, adds, “The growth that we are experiencing is simply a result of how good the product has become”.

By using a cloud-based solution, or SaaS (Software as a Service) model, printIQ offers shorter implementation times, lower up-front costs, and subscription-based payments. If you combine this with shorter, less costly development cycles and simplified functionality updates, it is not surprising that printIQ is growing a loyal fan-base.

One of the main aims of the show, for the IQ team, was to boost brand recognition amongst Aussie and Kiwi printers. They set out with the aim of lifting their profile as the only print workflow developer in the region.

Rowan continues, “People are realising the benefits of using a local company, after all, why go offshore when you have the future of print right here on your doorstop? Most of the players in the local market are simply distributors for foreign companies whereas we have a local development team, so that we can adapt our solution to fit the specific requirements of our customers.”

It’s very clear from talking to the men behind the printIQ MIS what their aim is.

Lew explains, “Our goal is for printIQ to be the number one choice for print MIS in both Australia and New Zealand. And we can do it because of our competitive advantage. We differ from our competitors in that our people have a range of skills from custom software development through to print industry expertise.”

The team is also fiercely proud of their inclusion in the Australian Made campaign.

Rowan explains, “We’re proud to be a part of the Australian Made campaign with its iconic green and gold logo. This helps promote the fact that printIQ is researched, developed and supported right here in Australia. This is an important part of our philosophy of creating local economic development, jobs, and a better future for all Australians.

IQ continues to expand and develop its ground breaking MIS to ensure that printIQ is far more than just a quoting and production tool. At PrintEx it released a range of new modules, to enhance the core offering.

One of the new modules that was released at the show was IQconnect – Link. This module allows printIQ customers to collaborate with each other and seamlessly offer products from each other’s factory to their end users. Lew explains, “The Link module allows printers to sell products from other printIQ installations, through their printIQ web-to-print portals as if  they were their own products. This allows a printer to strategically outsource rather than investing in more equipment – making outsourcing and collaboration exponentially easier.”

Another of the new modules includes the option of the best-in-class document editing software from Chili Publish.

Rowan explains, “The IQconnect – Chili Publish module combines the smarts of the printIQ pricing engine and web-to-print workflow with the best-in-class Chili Publish document editor. This groundbreaking module changes forever the way that advanced marketing services can be tailored to the needs of end customers.”

Rowan continues, “With the head start of already being a web-based MIS, IQ has extended the offering by tightly integrating Chili Publish APIs to deliver template information, Meta data, annotations and artwork files from within printIQ. IQconnect – Chili Publish provides a comprehensive online ordering process that can easily keep pace with the spiralling demands of today’s print customer.”

Lew adds, “The IQconnect – Chili Publish module also offers a seamlessly integrated, automated approval process that takes care of both financial and content approvals.

“Significantly, the module is offered in a SaaS model, removing the key financial barrier to using this ground-breaking software.”

Rowan concludes, “If you are looking to provide advanced marketing services to your end customers such as online document editing; document and asset management; and data connectivity: then look no further.”

The team from Sydney print business Carbon8 were at the show to sign off on the IQconnect – Chili Publish module. This is the third implementation of the module, which is impressive considering it was only launched at printex. Theo Pettaras, of Digitalpress fame, was also an earlier adopter of the module, as was Kristin O’Brien of Cassette, the creative communications agency based in Melbourne, Sydney and Hong Kong.

Another module from the updated IQconnect range is the Enfocus Switch module. This comes on the back of the technology partnership deal that IQ and Enfocus and have now sealed.

Lew explains, “By integrating an Enfocus software bundle within the printIQ MIS we can deliver the artwork and job metadata to Enfocus Switch, which in turn triggers the pre-flight, proofing, rip and email workflows. The Enfocus Switch module then seamlessly updates the printIQ production boards at every step of the way to keep the operators updated and in control.

Lew continues, “If you are looking to automate your pre-flighting of artwork and the delivery of proofs to and from customers or directing jobs and artwork to dedicated queues based on job type, automatically imposing artwork as print-ready files and sending directly to the DFE (digital front end), then this is the perfect solution.”

A point of difference for the IQ team is its ability to work with its customers to provide a custom solution along with its out-of-the-box offering. It has done this with various customers across the entire printing spectrum.

Rowan continues, “At IQ we do not shoehorn customers into a model that does not fit their business, quite the opposite in fact. With printIQ you get functionality specific to your industry segment. Whether you are looking to solve your estimating turnaround problem, take your commercial print business online or take the leap into being an efficient and modern print company, then printIQ certainly has the answer.”

So if you’re looking for a leaner and more dynamic approach to managing print, you might find that printIQ is a refreshing change. With dedicated workflows and streamlined job management tools, printIQ definitely appears to be easing the transition into a new way of operating.

Rowan explains, “In a time when print management software desperately needs to keep up with the changing market, very few providers have an active R&D programme in place, most of the solutions available here are offshore products, being offered by local distributors.”

In contrast, IQ is focused on the future of print, and it backs this up with a local development team that are not only accessible but are focused on delivering customisations to the core product.

“In fact, we are increasingly the only company in Australia and New Zealand that is in a position to deliver custom requirements to the printing industries. When you combine a comprehensive off the shelf MIS with custom software development skills, and print industry experts, our dedicated solutions can only deliver exceptional results.”

“This distinct competitive advantage has certainly helped us to convert a veritable who’s who of local printers to printIQ users,” Lew adds.

Rowan finishes, “We are a local company and we understand how the industry operates both here in Australia and in New Zealand, and it is different to the US and Europe.

“Instilling that knowledge and experience into our Australian and Kiwi in-house development team has meant that we have produced a home-grown MIS that works perfectly in our market.”


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