Interview by Tiago Keese, Journalist, São Paulo, Brazil
Andreas Weber, Head of Value, talks about his POV and his keynote presentation at The Congresso Internacional de Tecnologia Gráfica hosted by ABTG on 24 August 2017 in São Paulo, Brazil.
At a glance
- Nevertheless, even today printing technology is driving the transformation of our lives, our business world, our society.
- Print technology is a main driver of innovation and transformation.
- The Internet/Social Media and print are best friends. And Internet technologies profited from printing technology inventions
- Some of my favorite print application innovations got developed by Internet and Social Media savvys.
- In the digital age you have to re-position yourself, your business idea and your production capabilities in the right way to be a valuable transformation partner.
- From a holistic point of view printers could become transformers if they are able to convert the outcome and benefit of new technologies into valuable customer solutions to fulfill needs.
- Innovative printing companies need to transform their production business into a sustainable and future oriented marketing solution provider business to hit market and customer needs.
- What is the importance of a meeting to discuss technology and innovation such as the International Congress of Graphic Technology?
Andreas Weber: The Congress Internacional de Tecnologia Gráfica hosted by ABTG will have a great impact on the whole industry and its customers. It is important to bundle different visions, opinions and talents to master the change and to get ready for transformation. To meet in person enables to reach the best network effects you can get. I am proud to be part of a best-in-class speaker team! It will be my pleasure and honor to blog about it to share all those upcoming news from Brazil with my global network.
- Is it possible to affirm that the graphic arts industry has been evolving technologically, being attentive to the great technological innovations of society?
Andreas Weber: Since Gutenberg’s invention and that means since more than 600 years graphic arts is always right at the cutting edge of technology innovation to support our society, economy and culture. And even today printing technology is nevertheless driving the transformation of our lives, our business world, our society. All the leading innovators from Silicon Valley admire the spirit of Gutenberg. Even a current book is dedicated to „Gutenberg the Geek“ to showcase his spirit to innovate our communication technologies and to transform the world. (See my research results and comment: „Print is dead? Long live print!“).
- Is the internet an ally of printing?
Andreas Weber: The Internet and print are best friends. And Internet technologies profited from printing technology inventions. Because printing technology development since the 1980s took the lead to make all those huge amounts of data available and distributable. Think about TCP/IP protocol, desktop publishing, Postscript/PDF and so on. Today, the internet usage is key to run a print service business. Specially the Online Print sector as a fast growing market shows how useful it could be to combine internet and print knowledge. By the way: some of my favorite print application innovations got developed by Internet and Social Media savvys. Think about apps to print your Instagram and Facebook content. Just with one click. Those inventors like PastBook’s Founder & CEO Stefano Cutello know exactly that print helps to convert the virtual into reality. His motto sounds great: “Relive Your Memories. Automagically Created for You!” He worked for ebay before he founded PastBook as an international App-to-print start-up only a couple of years ago. (See my report and interview).
- How can printers use the innovations and marketing trends in their favor?
Andreas Weber: Current marketing trends are based on innovation and driven by technology. And as I mentioned print technology is a main driver of innovation and transformation. So from a holistic point of view printers could become transformers if they are able to convert the outcome and benefit of new technologies into valuable customer solutions to fulfill current and future needs.
- How important is it for the printer to fully understand all the features available on the device (printer, software, etc.) that he has at his/her disposal?
Andreas Weber: Crucial is to make the right choice: which technologies and what kind of new features fits to my purpose and strategic goal? In the past, almost any decision was made to invest in equipment and production tools to optimize what you already did before. In the digital age you have to re-position yourself, your business idea and your production capabilities in the right way to be a valuable transformation partner. Therefor you have to gain knowledge, you have to streamline your processes and you have to be able to enhance your creativity to get the ‚digital‘ link to your customer properly in a sustainable way. Last but not least, to reach that point a printer has to identify the right technology partner on the vendor side to get the best support and realtime services. So its not only about hard- and software anymore. I. E. it will be more important to find a way to print HTML data than to learn how InDesign or PhotoShop works.
- How important is the exchange of information and practices between European and Latin American markets?
Andreas Weber: 15 years ago I had the honor to make a business trip to Brazil to get great insights in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. I learned a lot to admire the culture and power of Brazil as an emerging, very smart and creative country inspiring other Latin American countries. It was right at that moment when ad agencies from Brazil started to become champions in the worldwide creative community. And I recognized that the printing community in Brazil and other countries in Latin America made profit out of those creative ideas. We discussed at that time the disruptiv impact of the Internet and Online Communication on the newspaper and media business. I figured out that what they did in Brazil was right at the cutting edge! And that seems to be so different compared to Europe and specially Germany with mature markets anyway where people are more or less in a defensive position to keep them self on a high level. That means the exchange of information, practices and experiences is very, very important. BTW: I am glad to have Hamilton Terni Costa as a good old friend and colleague. Since more than 10 years we meet all over the world. We discuss our observations and exchange our view on the latest technologies. At drupa we always met and Hamilton introduced me to his contacts from Latin America joining him. So, on August 24th, 2017 I will be proud to meet all those experts and attendees of the ABTG Congresso to extent my network.
- What are the main topics of your speech?
Andreas Weber: My key message is quite simple but tough at the same time! — ”If you want to benefit from innovation to strengthen your marketing success you have to be able to understand and to handle transformation in the digital age properly.“ — That means: Innovative printing companies need to transform their production business into a sustainable and future oriented marketing solution provider business to hit market and customer needs. And they have to understand how to support their customers to transform their marketing as well in a sustainable, profitable way.
In my Keynote the attendees will learn:
- Secrets of Transformation
- Impact on Print / Graphic Communications
- Learn from the best (selected cases)
- Guidelines to create a win-win-win momentum
OBRIGADO! — TX for the great conversation. See you in São Paulo.
NOTE: See as well our exclusive interview with Dr. Ulrich Hermann, Chief Digital Officer at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG: “Transformation hits Print Technology + Innovation”. Dedicated to the ABTG Congress attendees on 24 August 2017.