Please welcome Fabian Prudhomme from Enfocus. Enfocus is a software developer that has specialized in workflow and automation and is well known for software like PitStop and Switch. As part of the X-treme Switchover project that INKISH.TV is covering we went to Belgium to visit Enfocus.

We will soon publish more episodes about Switch and from the winner of the X-treme Switchover competition Sign-Age.

0:19    Enfocus develops workflow and productivity software for the printing industry.

0:25    INKISH.TV went to Belgium to find out more about the company.

0:27    Enfocus started in 1991. So, a long time before my time basically. And, throughout the years, we’ve always focused on the graphic arts, we’ve always focused on commercial printers and publishers, on the problems that they were facing. And, if you look back twenty years ago and now, many of the problems that they were experiencing then are still the problems that they are experiencing today, which is basically why we are still alive, as well.

0:57    We’re a technology supplier right, so we develop software, we bring software to the market. For us, it’s about working smarter not working harder. So, we tell the customers that of course through automation, through the use of our software solutions, you can reduce cost but you can also increase productivity, and you can increase the quality, and hence a differentiating component that you have versus the competition.

1:22    We spoke to Tim Bernaerdt, International Sales Account Manager about his work at Enfocus.

1:27    I’m responsible for different regions. Yes. I’m responsible for Benelux-France and the Nordics regions. And, well I’m commercially responsible, meaning that my goal is to make sure that Enfocus business is going well in this region. It goes pretty well. That’s the good thing. And, thatís mainly because we have a good channel and good products. So, we have a perfect match for the market we’re serving, and we have very knowledgeable channel partners.

1:54    Market vs. customer driven development?

1:58    We drive the market ourselves as well, right? We’re in close collaboration with the Ghent PDF Workgroup. So, we always keep our finger to the pulse there, as well. So, I would say it’s a mix of industry trends, it’s a mix of talking to industry specialists, itís a mix of talking to customers. Our channel partners as well, have a very important voice because they’re in touch with the customers on a daily basis, and obviously we have a lot of PDF related and automation related expertise in-house. And so, those people constantly think about new ways to help our customers as well.

2:30    What do customers want at the moment?

2:33    What they want now is more automation. That’s still a very hot topic. It’s still at the top of their mind. They also want open products, because they typically don’t want to reinvest in things they’ve invested in before. So, we don’t want them to move away from their MIS system or from their rep or whatever. We just want to leave everything at place, and then we just connect it with our software. Thatís the way we go about it. Openness is really important to us. It’s not only on the products, but also in the company. It’s something we value a lot.

3:09    How do you make Enfocus an attractive workplace?

3:13    Obviously, people who enjoy technology like to be at the forefront of technical evolutions. De facto, they would like to work here because we always try to be one step ahead, and basically not develop something that customers want at six months ago, but something that customers may want six months from now. And, that makes it interesting to work here. We have people who come, if I think of our engineers, we have engineers that come from the gaming industry, we have engineers who come from graphic arts, engineers who have no affinity whatsoever with the graphic arts. So, it’s a nice mix of skills, but the common denominator is the interest towards technology and interest of providing high-quality work, basically.

3:57    It seems that Enfocus has a very fun and relaxed workplace.

4:01    It’s great to work here.

4:05    Yes. We try to have a lot of fun.

4:016    Yes, we try. We try to have fun while working since, you know, all of us, we spend quite a lot of hours here, so why not try to make it pleasant as well.

4:16    We’re not a huge company. Weíre 50 people, but still serving over a hundred thousand customers. And, the thing with working in small companies is it’s also a young company. It’s very dynamic to work here. So, yes. A lot of challenges and a lot of fun.

4:31    But at the same time you are very serious about your business?

4:35    We’re very serious because business is a serious thing. And basically, with our solutions, a lot of people depend on it to make their own bread and butter, to generate revenue for their own companies to feed their own families. So, yes it is important. So, what we do, we try to do well.

4:52    One of your products is Enfocus Switch. Is it a challenge to make customers understand the full complexity of Switch?

4:56    I wouldn’t say that Switch is necessarily complex, but it’s so versatile that we often guide customers, and we have to accompany them in their journey, showing them the step by step what you can do with Switch, starting with very easy automation, not automate your entire pre-press. And then, as they play with it or as they familiarize themselves with the product, they can see the value of the product and build more and more.
5:21    Where do you see Enfocus in the future?

5:24    On the one hand, we will always play a role in the graphic arts because that’s part of our DNA, but on the other hand, and it’s also driven externally. We’ve been surprised by the way some of our customers are using Switch, especially for automation purposes. And, we found out that a number of these customers have nothing to do with the graphic arts. Banks are using Switch, insurance companies, advertising agencies. We are using Switch in-house, as well. We have been working hard on a new order fulfillment process in which Switch plays a crucial role, and we have developed Switch to such an extent that we feel we have a commercially viable product for companies that have a lot of financial transactions to do. So, it’s something that we’re looking at to see if we could play a role there, as well. So, indeed we are branching out slowly but surely into new verticals. But, overall automation is really key for us. In the future, you will see that the new technologies or new products that Enfocus will develop will most likely work within a Switch ecosystem. Switch is really the foundation on which we will continue to build in the future.

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