Ricoh UK and Vpress have embarked on a partnership that will see the latter’s web-to-print technology integrated with the former’s MIS and workflow tools to provide seamless job ordering/capture and progression into production, which should reduce errors, shorten turnaround times and enable enhanced web-based services to be developed and offered.

The agreement will see Vpress Coreprint technology integrated with Ricoh’s scalable MIS, Avanti Slingshot and with other Ricoh production workflow tools, in order to streamline and automate processes from colour management and imposition to sharing work with trade printers.

The impetus for the partnership is said to have come from Ricoh customers looking for a way to quickly establish e-commerce facilities during the pandemic:

‘The genesis for our partnership is that we identified the need in our overall business support offering for a specific web-to-print system that would enable our customers to move from analogue to cloud-based design, specification and order systems for their clients,’ explained Simon Isaacs, national sales director, Ricoh.

‘Several of our biggest customers work with Vpress, and so we naturally wanted to investigate their offering. We are very pleased to have built this partnership from this starting point and the future is very bright in terms of its mutual value and the additional business support we can provide to our customers.’

Vpress sales director Kelvin Bell commented, ‘It is fundamental to the long-term growth of the UK print industry that technology developers in hardware and software come together to build partnerships that deliver tools and resources that enable the growth ambitions of its businesses and support them in adapting to an unpredictable market place. Ricoh can now provide their customers an online web-to-print and brand management platform that delivers real value-add to that relationship.’

Mr Bell added, ‘The other pivotal requirement for this partnership was to help Ricoh customers use Vpress technology to provide a service to their own clientele. They are not just clever print specification and ordering tools, they are full-blown brand management systems that organisations such as councils and agencies can roll out to support their own customer base or wider organisational needs. We will help Ricoh’s customers, the printers, automate and streamline their customers’ experience into their print shop. ‘

The agreement is initially operating on a UK-wide basis but it is expected that Ricoh will consider expanding it.