Ricoh Investment Bolsters Avanti’s Position
A popular choice by in-plants seeking print management information systems (MIS), Toronto-based Avanti Computer Systems has long stood out as one of the few remaining print MIS vendors not acquired by EFI. With EFI’s May acquisition of privately held printLEADER, the company now controls about 70 percent of the Print MIS market, according to EFI’s own data.
This, according to Patrick Bolan, president and CEO of Avanti, has led some customers to speculate about Avanti’s future and whether it, too, might become an EFI acquisition. Last month, however, something happened to change all that. Ricoh Co., Ltd. made a multimillion dollar investment in Avanti in an effort to expand its reach across the print industry and help its customers streamline their businesses and become more efficient.
The investment, Bolan says, will allow Avanti to accelerate product development and expand into new markets, including the global market. But also, he said, Ricoh’s support shows that Avanti’s future is bright, and the company will continue to get stronger.
“It really signals to the marketplace that we’re in it for the long haul—and that we will not be purchased by EFI,” Bolan declared. “This ensures the longevity of the company and the product, which provides security to both our customers and our employees.”
For its part, Ricoh sees great opportunities ahead.
“Avanti’s Print MIS capability is a perfect complement to our portfolio,” said Yasuhiko Hosoe, associate director and deputy general manager of Ricoh’s Production Printing Business Group. “In the same way we automate print workflow, Avanti automates the printer’s back office systems: inventory management, job pricing, estimating and billing. The investment also speaks to our ‘imagine.change.’ initiative, by enabling commercial and in-plant printers to streamline their businesses and seek efficiencies to lower costs and improve their bottom line.”
Ricoh, he added, is committed to providing printers with alternative solutions that support open industry standards and connections to key production print technologies across vendors. Ricoh previously invested in PTI Marketing Technologies, a provider of marketing automation solutions for enterprise users and print service providers. This type of investment, Hosoe says, will enhance the development of new management tools to help in-plants and commercial printers on their path toward efficiency and growth.