29 January 2014
Landa and other news from EFI Connect
LAS VEGAS—Benny Landa has an enviable habit of stealing a show. The CEO of Israel-based Landa Digital did it again at EFI Connect in Las Vegas last week.

Midway through the opening address by EFI CEO Guy Gecht, Landa, creator of the nanographic printing presses, made a "surprise" appearance onstage to help announce that EFI would develop a Digital Front End based on its Fiery RIP for the nano presses. The news reportedly went wild on social media. That’s the power of Landa.

The fireside chat has become a tradition at EFI Connect. Here CEO Guy Gecht chats with Gil Shwed, founder and CEO of Checkpoint Software Technologies and inventor of the modern firewall

In fact, Landa’s appearance was a tightly kept secret and a logistical coup finely executed by the EFI marketing team, after the deal was inked in pen only the morning of the appearance.

For EFI, which just yesterday reported growing annual revenues that exceed $700 million and 19 quarters of consecutive growth, the deal raised questions and possibilities that it may be positioning the Fiery as a leading DFE for inkjet cutsheet press before they enter the mainstream. No announcements were made on this end, and the Fiery will make its debut when the Landa S10 B1 press goes into Beta in the fourth quarter of this year.

The annual gathering of EFI users, which this year numbered more than 1,000 at The Wynn in Las Vegas, also yielded other insights into how the company plans to move forward. According to Gecht, the company will be guided by five big themes—he called them bets: automation, big data, connectivity to the internet, digital print and partnerships.

On the hardware side, EFI continues to build its large industrial inkjet portfolio, which now accounts for close to half of its annual revenues. Focus will continue on LED technology, which has already appeared on some of its models; ultra HD imaging capabilities with new heads, software and ink sets ready to be deployed at ISA in April; and lean printing capabilities.

Also, expect to see new announcements in the industrial printing sector. The company, which has long played in the fabric printing space, last year acquired CretaPrint, a tile-printing enterprise which is posting healthy growth, particularly in China, and is creating a huge opportunity in ink sales. Execs reported that a new platform is in development for other industrial printing applications. Though they would not confirm it, speculation pointed to the furniture space.

On the software side, the lynchpin that holds the systems together, EFI will continue to make strategic acquisitions that round out its extensive portfolio, said newly appointed COO Marc Olin. It recently added a system to manage shipping costs, for example.

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