Wednesday, June 04, 2008
  Drupa Day 7: Halfway
Day 7 here at the Drupa show. In exactly one week the show will be over, so we're halfway.

Maybe a good time to talk a bit about our Drupa experiences so far.

There are a lot of people interested in XPS technology, and are passing by our booth. They can be categorized in a few separate groups:

  1. Printing companies
    By printing companies I mean companies that are making devices that print.
    There are not so many companies that actually make printers, but quite a lot of them passed by our booth. Both engineers, but also product management and strategy people. It is clear that XPS is firmly on their radar, and they are very interested in our technology and tools. Most of them share the view that they will release XPS enabled products in the short-term, if they haven't done so in the mean time. And most of them also share the view that XPS will become a big factor of importance in corporate and desktop print.

  2. Service Providers
    These people are running, or working for, companies that provide all kinds of services around printing and documents. There are quite a number of them that passed by. Some of them are already up to speed with what XPS is, and are also very fond of the nice marriage between XPS and WPF. And are as such very interested in XPS.
    Some are not educated much about XPS (Microsoft: I'm looking at you here!), and we give them a quick overview. A lot of these people leave the booth with the feeling that they should look into this for their projects.

  3. Journalists
    The more skeptic group. Drupa is a professional commercial print fair. On the software side of things this is a synonym for 'Adobe Tools + PDF'. And rightly so - for professional graphics there are currently no good solutions (both hardware and software) to work with XPS. So, as a result we get a lot of questions about why anyone would be interested in XPS, and how it would replace PDF, etc... The answers are always pretty straightforward: no, XPS is not replacing PDF for professional commercial print anytime soon, but this doesn't mean it has no market. Print is getting more digital, and more low-end. There are various scenario's where XPS will actually have an advantage over PDF (f.i. look at the slides on our homepage, where we make the case for using XSP as a delivery format for low-end digital print).
    But then again, a journalist should be asking the tough questions, and we are very happy with informing them about XPS and NiXPS as much as possible; and the talks are always pleasant.

  4. Competitors
    Competing companies are stopping by to talk about our solutions, and XPS. Everybody is always welcome here, as we really have no secrets about what we create and sell. It is also a very good sign that we see more and more competitors, as this indicates a healthy XPS ecosystem that is growing. It is also very interesting to hear about what a competitor's view is on XPS, and where they are going with their products.

  5. ISVs
    We get quite some interest of software vendors that are interested in our XPS technology. It depends on what their software does, but XPS is also on most of their radars. We are offering our library and plug-in interface to them.

  6. Misc: ex-collegues, industry specialists, ...
    We get a lot of nice visits of all kinds of people, a lot of them we already met. It is always pleasant to talk about our company, products, XPS, or whatever other subject that is on their minds.

All in all a nice mix, and a lot of conversations. We are learning a lot about XPS, how it is perceived, who is interested in it, who is opposed to it, etc...

For the remainder of the Drupa, I'm going to have some more one-to-one's with a select number of companies I spoke to earlier, and which expressed their interest in XPS. Hopefully we can do business with some (preferably all) of them!
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