…”Because of these networks, new ideas and products are generated.”
…”Media production today requires significantly more services than just classic prepress”…
We talk to Karl-Ulrich Hecker and Robert Schneider, senior managers at w&co Media Services in Munich, one of Germany’s leading media providers.
DALIM SOFTWARE: Web 2.0, Media 3.0, crossmedia and medianeutral. More and more buzzwords have entered today’s media world. Just how can media providers face up to these rapid changes?
Karl-Ulrich Hecker: Only if we put ourselves in the position of our customers. And here w&co has adopted a tailored approach to its customer target groups, such as publishers, distributors and corporate businesses. Take publishers for example: The web applications available today offer an almost unlimited amount of content and information and a variety of ways to access it. So publishers, need to radically rethink how they publish their content.
DS: Does this also apply to mail order and industrial companies?
Robert Schneider: Of course. The mail order business has undergone an huge dynamic development over the past few years. Within the sales channel, e-commerce has had a major impact, and it has also supplemented print in the corporate sector. Here, however, it is important to ensure and optimize central content management with open interfaces to/from the full publishing process for all participants including customers, media agencies and service providers.
DS: How far do these developments change your business?
RS: In addition to focusing on the different target groups we already differentiate our creative services, prepress, online and IT. All contribute to our business success and deliver good results. Of course, we always use the latest technologies.
DS: What in particular?
KH: For example DALIM SOFTWARE. Without the high-performance and fully automated workflow components, as we have with TWIST in consistent use, we couldn’t handle the enormous volume with this level of security and speed. The cost aspect is always an important factor. Data transformations and output processes are automated to the highest degree internally. This applies not only to the traditional print area, but streamlines the online applications that our customers support by publishing their content to optimize the communication processes. Our scrollable Flash OnlineKAT catalogues as well as the e-journals OnlineMAG cost effective to produce using DALIM SOFTWARE. This is what the market demands from us.RS: The market demands much, much more. It is always about optimum communication and presentation. Traditional production paths are not necessarily a step backwards but there must be alternatives to choose from, such as OnlinePROOF.
DS: How do you define OnlineProof and how do your customers use it?
RS: The issue of quality in our industry remains a very high priority. Not only in terms of content but also images. But do we always need an interim medium hardcopy proof? We don’t think so. With OnlinePROOF we finally reach a completely digital workflow. w&co relies consistently on DIALOGUE. The deciding factors for our customers are that they can see the accurate colour data and comment and approve – all online.
DS: What is your vision? What do you think will be the key business of a Media Provider in ten years?.
KH: Not what we are discussing today – and this is not a vision! The issues of the future are communication, networking and cooperation. The whole process will take place online using the latest technologies. Everything is based on web technologies and needs to be designed for this type of communication. On the one hand, we will see highly complex communication and publication processes and on the other hand, we will see a radical fragmentation of production, processing and distribution of content of any kind.
DS: You talk about networking and cooperation as two important issues for the future.
KH: Yes. Am I open enough and ready to share my knowledge, to achieve more together with others? It is not only a long-term partnership with suppliers, but also with providers of upstream and downstream services such as photographers. Because of these networks, new ideas and products are generated.
DS: Can you give us an idea of these cooperations?
RS: The cooperation with partner companies such as Meyle & Müller, the joint production plant in Bulgaria a growing range of activities, speak for itself. Plus, we have always had a good partnership with leading IT companies to develop the solutions that we need in the future including DALIM SOFTWARE.
KH: And of course cooperation with our customers. We don’t have a classic customer/supplier-relationship. We define ourselves not only as service providers, but also providing assistance and advice with passion and commitment. New services and the optimization of existing workflows support our customers in their growth. Future oriented services in the online- and IT-sector enable us to satisfy individual requirements. And last but not least, with w&co any time you can rely on a strong team.