IBM strikes deal to cut print costs

The document arm of IBM's printing systems has made a pact with business communication software company StreamServe to help...

The document arm of IBM's printing systems has made a pact with business communication software company StreamServe to help customers control the cost of business communications.

The companies announced a joint resale and consulting agreement that will merge IBM's Infoprint Manager and Infoprint Workflow technology with StreamServe's Business Communication Platform and Profile Manager, according to Walt Noffsinger, the software business line manager for IBM PSD.

By creating a single platform for the IBM and StreamServe technologies, customers can couple their ERP applications, such as SAP, with their communication network of e-mail clients, printers, faxes, and other output devices.

"StreamServe's role is providing the communication platform, getting information to media and from media," Noffsinger explained.

"StreamServe has eliminated the scripting you have to do with the SAP product, and we've surrounded that with the output management system which is connectivity to the printer and faxes, and the ability to do accounting and job submission."

The combined IBM/StreamServe technology will also exploit existing IBM output management functions, such as the ability to assign content delivery hierarchies to different company departments or individuals.

In practice, this type of functionality can help businesses save money by eliminating the cost and waste of a fax or print document campaign by pre-assigning paper output to only certain departments, while the balance of the communication would be delivered by e-mail.

Noffsinger said that the alliance between the two companies will also foster technology and consulting that helps customers face future communication cost issues.

The deal with StreamServe helps IBM, a leader in the ultra high-end IT printing market, to better integrate its printing systems into enterprise communication networks.

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