Next year's iteration of the annual Electronics For Imaging, Inc. users' conference, EFI Connect, will be among the most informative and valuable in the event's 20-year history, thanks in part to keynote sessions that deliver new insights and expertise in workflow management and automation, integrated digital print, and industry growth marketing strategies.
Keynote speakers for the conference - which is taking place Jan. 21-24 at the Wynn Las Vegas resort - include former IBM senior executive Alfred Zollar, who will share his expertise in enterprise management systems. Jeff Jacobson, the longtime print industry leader who joined EFI as its CEO and executive chairman in 2019, will also share his vision for the future of the industry in a Connect keynote.
Plus, a special fireside chat keynote session will feature a conversation between Jacobson and former EFI CEO Guy Gecht.
The sessions are part of an extensive, dynamic conference and technology offering that has become one of the print industry's most-important conferences. Every year print and packaging professionals from around the world attend Connect to obtain a technological, operational and management edge in the growing digital space.
The new frontier in IT for efficiency in automation
Zollar, who will speak in a 4:45 p.m. session on January 22, is currently part of the executive partner team at Siris Capital, LLC and helped structure the mid-2019 private equity acquisition of EFI by a Siris affiliate. Prior to working with Siris, he had a 34-year career in IBM's enterprise software businesses in information management, application development, networking, operating systems and security.
Drawing on his experience leading IBM's multi-billion dollar Tivoli Software infrastructure management technology, IBM Lotus software and many other business-critical enterprise applications, the 2011 Harvard Advanced Leadership Fellow and software engineer will outline future trends and strategies for success for print professionals in the next era of IT.
"The Connect audience is the industry's most engaged in terms of businesses commitment to improvement by leveraging data and ERP tools," said Zollar. "I look forward to sharing many important future trends with them, including developments that affect how printing companies can manage their businesses to maximize productivity, flexibility and security in increasingly complex computing environments."
Two CEOs and the future of print
Jacobson's January 21 keynote session will give attendees a clear vision for the future of print based on the major trends shaping the future of communication, marketing and commerce. He will bring a perspective gleaned from his three decades in print - a tenure that includes roles as the CEO of Kodak Polychrome Graphics, Presstek and, most recently, Xerox. His keynote insights are informed by the extensive contact he has made working with customers since assuming the top executive role at EFI in August.
The special fireside chat keynote later that day will, for the first time, feature two EFI CEOs onstage at a connect event as Jacobson interviews the company's longtime leader, Guy Gecht. EFI Connect's typically unpredictable fireside chats will once again have a fresh perspective on industry challenges and opportunities with the former executive who spent nearly 19 years leading EFI from its early days as a RIP technology developer to its status as a provider of complete, integrated portfolios for digital industrial, display graphics and commercial print applications.
"I interviewed Jeff Jacobson for a fireside chat in 2017, and now the tables have turned!" said Gecht. "I'm excited about being on the other side of the table and looking forward to sharing new reflections on the industry and its future opportunities. Print service providers continue to face challenges and opportunities, and their ability to quickly learn and adapt is key in realizing profitable growth. As we start a new decade, I'm excited to come back to Connect, which continues to be a unique conference for customers and suppliers to gather actionable insights about trends in the industry and in technology."
"Connect provides outstanding value as a platform for sharing ideas in a way that really sets the tone for the year - outlining the proactive steps printing companies can take to establish a profitable, competitive advantage in their businesses," said Jacobson. "The discussions that will take place next month are not to be missed, especially with the caliber of experts we have coming to Las Vegas."
With approximately 200 sessions across a wide range of topics, EFI Connect is an ideal venue for open dialogue and idea exchange, with educational talks, hands-on training, and networking with a large community of print professionals committed to driving growth. Attendees from all over the world learn the best ways to use EFI's portfolio of production and industrial inkjet, integrated MIS/ERP workflow and Fiery digital front ends (DFEs). Customers also benefit from being able to provide in-person feedback to senior EFI executive and technical development staff.
A solutions center exhibit area at the conference will feature the latest EFI workflow, Fiery DFE and inkjet display graphics offerings. Plus, attendees can view advanced solutions from participating partners, including: Aberdeen Fabrics; Color Concepts; Duplo; Enfocus; Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.; MBM Corporation; OneVision; The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation; Progress Software Corp.; Ricoh Americas Corp.; RISO; SpencerMetrics; Thomson Reuters; and Zünd.