Konica Minolta South Africa has officially launched its world-class, cost effective and all inclusive photo-PRESS photo book solution, opening up new business opportunities and revenue streams for local print providers. The solution comprises a suite of three solutions, designer, web and production, intended to drive more volume through digital presses. The software is also available in two business models, standard and professional. Each has been tailored to accommodate specific needs for most business sizes, budgets and applications.

According to Konica Minolta South Africa product manager: production systems, Leon Minnie, the beauty of this solution is that the company will provide a similar model to its click charges offering, making it all inclusive, from web hosting, online payment, backup support and integration to current MIS systems, to the customisation of customer specific designer applications.

Often companies purchase a software application, only to find that they also need to invest huge amounts of money in hosting fees, servers at an Internet provider or to manage complicated administration functions, said Minnie. When it comes to the photo-PRESS solution, these additional headaches will all be taken care of by Konica Minolta South Africa, allowing users to focus on building a profitable business and allowing them to concentrate on what they do best – printing high quality photo books, calendars, year books, greeting cards, wall art and a host of other options.

Print providers can use the solution in the way that best suits them, from either a B2B or B2C perspective. In addition, it provides a ‘shopping cart’ feature, whereby a user can promote additional options to add value and greater margin to the print, including foiling, embossing, lamination and UV coating.

The customised designer application provides a host of features that will satisfy even the most advanced users, while still making it easy enough for the novice user to create a photo book or calendar in just a few minutes. These features can be limited if the print provider prefers, including the look and feel of the designer application.

Another great standard feature is the social sharing element, allowing you to upload your photo book or other product to social media sites, such as Facebook or Twitter, and share it with friends. This gives a print provider the ability to produce multiple books, such as wedding and holiday photo albums.

The latest release is the culmination of more than two years of development work, equating to over 25,000 man hours, 250 enhancements and in excess of 250,000 lines of new code, and has resulted in an entire application of which more than 50 percent consists of new features. These enhancements make photo-PRESS one of the most comprehensive solutions out there, while still remaining easy to implement and without the huge cost usually associated with these kinds of solutions, said Minnie. Photo-PRESS uses Konica Minolta’s cloud technology, providing the reliability and 247 access require for both print provider and their clients.

Printing providers can also combine this solution with Konica Minolta’s bizhub PRESS C70hc digital press to make RGB work more vivid and life-like than any other standard CMYK printer.

The bizhub PRESS C70hc’s revolutionary HC (high chroma) toner produces unbelievably vivid and natural colour. Thanks to seamless integration with RGB colour workflows, colour setup and colour conversion is fast and easy – colours will be printed virtually following the WYSIWYG principle. Photos and photo books in particular are perfect examples of how to use the wide colour space that can be achieved with the bizhub PRESS C70hc, added Minnie.