Market: EFI’s move away from production software

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Metrix, Directsmile, Dims!, Lector, Gamsys, Alphagraph, Printleader, Technique: it is almost ten years ago that EFI took over all these software houses and integrated their solutions into its own portfolio. Since then, the American company has been considered a real heavyweight in production software for print and packaging service providers. Now EFI has spun off the entire division and sold it to the private equity firm Symphony Technology Group (STG). 

Since the beginning of the year, the business unit thus spun off and taken over from an STG subsidiary has been operating on the market as an independent company under the name “eProductivity Software”, or “EPS”. “The productivity software business was already largely independent before the sale,” explains Dr. Gabriel Matsliach, who was most recently General Manager as well as COO of EFI’s EPS business and is now responsible for the fate of the new company as CEO of EPS, when asked by zipcon. Therefore, there should be “little to no impact” for existing customers and users of the software solutions. In most cases, they can even expect to continue working with the same contacts as before, the CEO promises.  

This may not at least be due to the fact that with the takeover, large parts of the previous EFI team have also moved to EPS. “The eProductivity Software company employs more than 750 people, about a third of whom work in research and development,” Matsliach describes. “Our primary mission continues to be to develop transformative technologies designed specifically for the packaging and printing industries. Therefore, the plans for our products have not changed. We expect to continue adding products to our portfolio in the future.” 

With the Symphony Technology Group behind it, which specialises in investing in software, data analytics and software-enabled technology services companies, the CEO says eProductivity Software’s value creation strategy will be built on four pillars going forward: 

  1. Accelerated investment in technology and modernisation, 
  2. broadening and deepening partnerships within the industry, 
  3. global growth and 
  4. driving innovation. 

In addition, EFI and EPS intend to continue working closely together in the future, according to the official press release. 

And what is EFI doing now?

Speaking of EFI: Anyone who has followed the development of the US company may well have been surprised by the news about the spin-off of the software division. After all, just ten years ago EFI had been buying up providers of MIS/ERP, production and personalisation software in a very targeted and regular manner and had thus built up an impressive portfolio in this area. 

But software was not the only area in which EFI was particularly involved, in addition to its actual core area, the Fiery DFE business. The American company is particularly fond of inkjet printing. EFI has long since established itself not only in large-format printing, but has also made a name for itself in industrial printing on ceramic tiles and in industrial textile printing with the takeovers of Cretaprint (2012) and Reggiani (2015). The group, which was taken over by a subsidiary of the Siris Capital Group in 2019, has now even brought a large part of its ink production in-house, making it a good deal more independent of other manufacturers. 

However, EFI is now realigning itself through the sale of the software division, which was finalised at the end of 2021. In the future, (industrial) inkjet printing and the Fiery business will be in the foreground and will be further expanded with investment packages, also into adjacent vertical markets. According to CEO Jeff Jacobson, EFI wants to focus on new applications in the textile and packaging sectors, among others. 

My Take: After numerous acquisitions, EFI was a real big player in terms of MIS/ERP and production software – perhaps too big to be able to develop it further between the other business areas with the necessary strategic and financial commitment along customer requirements? Or have the focal points simply shifted after the company’s own takeover? We can only speculate about the reasons for the sale. If the new company eProductivity Software keeps its promises, customers could really benefit in the end. For EFI, on the other hand, the move away from production software has two sides: It is true that the profit from the sale can be put into the expansion of the inkjet and Fiery business – but the price is not insignificant. This is because the company is relinquishing its sovereignty as a provider of complete packages consisting of a print press and the software that goes with it.
 

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Article Name
Market: EFI's move away from production software
Description
Metrix, Directsmile, Dims!, Lector, Gamsys, Alphagraph, Printleader, Technique: it is almost ten years ago that EFI took over all these software houses and integrated their solutions into its own portfolio. Since then, the American company has been considered a real heavyweight in production software for print and packaging service providers. Now EFI has spun off the entire division and sold it to the private equity firm Symphony Technology Group (STG). 
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beyond-print.net

Für viele in der Druckindustrie ist sie keine Unbekannte: Fast 14 Jahre lang war Judith Grajewski für das Fachmagazin Deutscher Drucker tätig; hat als Redakteurin vor allem über den Wachstumsmarkt Digitaldruck berichtet, als Online-Verantwortliche das Portal print.de und die Social-Media-Kanäle mit aufgebaut und sich als „Transaction Editor“ mit Content-Management- und Marketingstrategien beschäftigt. Nach einem kurzen Intermezzo als Chefredakteurin des Werbetechnik- und LFP-Fachportals Sign&Print beim schwedischen AGI-Verlag, bleibt die studierte Dipl.-Ing. für Medientechnik (FH) ihrer Leidenschaft für Print treu und widmet sich nun der Beratung und Projektbegleitung von Druckunternehmen auf ihrem Weg in eine digitalisierte Zukunft. Darüber hinaus gibt sie als Redaktionsleiterin von Beyond Print regelmäßig Einblick in relevante Themen des E-Business Print.

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