On the 15th and 16th of October 2009 the 5th Comparting took place in the Böblingen CongressCenter. The technology forum focusing on document and output management, was organized by Compart AG. In this, its fifth year, the event was aimed squarely at an International audience so that presentations given in German were simultaneously translated into English
Because almost a quarter of the participants were non-German speakers from the US or other countries, this made a significant contribution to another healthy increase in the number of attendees to about 200. To cope with this increase, the event was moved to the larger Europe hall of the CongressCenter. Similar to previous years, the audience was made up mostly of users who need to process a large number of documents in a print computing center. Also well represented were the well-known suppliers to the field. This mixture, once again, facilitated lively discussions among the participants during the breaks and, of course, during the evening event and was found to be very informative as expressed in the overall feedback survey.
The opening session was this year held in English - Rory Staunton of Strategy Partners ("The Future of Output Management: Identifying Opportunities in Challenging Times") dealt with the current core issue of the field: How is the crisis affecting the behavior of customers and suppliers, which trends can be observed and which activities can be used to ameliorate the effects. His responses covered the entire range of priorities from brand value through to a process-oriented approach in projects, providing very significantly the catchwords for the follow-on presentations.
The presentation given by Reinhold Frech of Kodak ("The Third Dimension in Digital Printing: New Technologies and Their Application") took the audience into the world of print technology hardware and augmented with a film showed what surface and high gloss effects are currently now possible with a fifth printing module in particular with new ink technologies.
In the application presentation "Getting to Grips with Word, Excel & Co: Central Output Management from an Office Environment at ZRWest", Marco Dönni covered the creation of individual correspondence in the business departments. In these, the time consuming and costly effort associated with printing, enveloping, franking and dispatching by transferring these documents to the central print computing center can clearly be reduced. Based on the process introduced at ZRWest Dönni could clearly demonstrate the substantial rationalization potential that lurks in companies.
After lunch the forum continued with application presentations: That of John Amos (T-Systems UK) who was sadly prevented from attending was given instead by Oliver Schenk, who contributed to the project on behalf of Compart Germany and who therefore was very familiar with the work involved. He shared with the audience the advantages of starting with a "green field" and demonstrated with examples how "Starting from Scratch - How T-Systems UK Reinvented its Dynamic Print Services.
Without doubt, the highpoint of the presentations, based on the from the judgment of the participants was the presentation which followed "Out of the Compart Laboratory" in which Compart employees Jörg Palmer, Andreas Pehnack, Dirk Haun and Thomas Funke introduced not only the latest product developments, in particular of DocBridge Pilot and DocBridge Profiler, but also insight into the approach for the creation and testing of new product versions.
The next day brought a focus on "SOA – Service Oriented Architecture". First of all Harald Grumser, chairman of the executive board at Compart AG, reported on the subject of "Do Your Letters Have to be Sent Using the Traditional Postal Service? Post Distribution Logistics, a Comparison" and illuminated developments towards the end of the processing chain. He produced current figures and trends on the development of physical and electronic dispatch in different sectors and countries and showed, how with new electronic dispatch forms, considerable but irreversible changes in volumes have taken place to the detriment of letter dispatch and how this tendency will continue and increase with the acceptance of electronic signature.
The following presentation by Julian Kortländer (BÖWE SYSTEC Mailroom Communication AG) revolved around "Package Tracking Begins with the Data Stream: Quality Control from the Digital Document to the Letterbox " recalled one major issue: Even from the position of the supplier whose professional specialty is enveloping, the complete process chain, beginning with the creation of a document through to dispatch can be seen as an interconnected system with multiple interfaces to other processes.
Oskar of Dungern, involved in product management for Compart, finally turned the focus on the term SOA in his presentation: "SOA, Yet Another Hype? – Designing Business Processes and Service-oriented Architecture in the Print Center" he explained to the audience, the meaning of this notion, and why from his user point of view it is so important, and why manufacturers/developers have addressed the subject until now and the way in which and how successfully these strategies have been implemented. And finally he explained how and in which way SOA features will be introduced in upcoming Compart products versions.
The application presentation coming afterwards again took up the SOA theme, this time from the project perspective: Marco Kornrumpf of arvato services showed in his presentation "Compart@arvato, Embedding in a Service-oriented Architecture how the SOA fundamentals at arvato were implemented in a very heterogeneous environment from data input through to multi-channel output. Based on examples, he illustrated the advantages which this approach delivers, but also which challenges needed to be overcome.
In Harald Hain of Océ’s presentation entitled "Complete Flexibility in Spite of Rigid Processes: Workflow- Management for Enterprise-Wide Document Flow" he covered the issue of SOA from the point of view of the supplier. Using the Océ product Cosmos he explained how workflow solutions represented, managed and controlled individual processes in output management, in often-used in separate applications at the application level and also the business process level. Data integration can be improved and workflow optimized this way.
The final words of Comparting 2009 came from Anette Hassenjürgen, responsible at Compart for contracts, trademark law, domain law and data protection centered around "Copyright is Everywhere: User Rights in IT". She provided an overview of on the one hand an insight into the legal basis for the development and use of products and the application of fonts, and on the other hand a view of an area which is both complex and partly non-transparent.
The event on the first evening took place at the Schloss Weitenburg close to Rottenburg. The historical ambiance of this castle offered an imposing backdrop and many opportunities to exchange ideas.
And so another Comparting comes to an end, and according to the view of the participants a lot of information was provided on topical trends in document and output management as well as a glimpse into the latest developments and plans of Compart. At the same time users and suppliers were given ample opportunities during the breaks and at the social event to interact and discuss projects, experiences and product implementations.
Next year Comparting 2010 will again be held in the Europe hall of the CongressCentrum in Böblingen on the 23rd and 24th of September. To again ensure that participation of non-German speakers we will again plan to provide simultaneous translation for the presentations given in German.