APAGO AND SHARP COME TOGETHER FOR ONEticket
June 17, 2008 – Apago Inc. recently announced that it
is working with Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America (SIICA) to
offer ONEticket, its universal print driver, to Sharp customers. As part of
this alliance, Apago will promote this integration to both the Sharp dealer
channel and the public at large. Apago debuted ONEticket’s compatibility with
Sharp at Sharp's 2008 National Dealer Meeting recently held in Orlando.
While ONEticket is also compatible with products from
Canon, Heidelberg, Hitachi, IBM, Kodak, Konica Minolta, Océ, Ricoh, Toshiba,
and Xerox, Sharp has chosen to work directly with Apago on the offering, with
the key advantages being support from both a technical and marketing standpoint.
According to Eric Roundtree, software engineer at Apago, Sharp’s dealers will
work directly with Apago to offer ONEticket, while Sharp direct will primarily
be a marketing partner. “ONEticket is a valuable tool to help our customers get
the most out of their digital printers,” said Mike Marusic, senior vice
president of marketing, SIICA. “We believe our customers will appreciate how
Apago's technology can help to increase productivity.”
A “Universal” Offering
As Roundtree explained, ONEticket is ideal for CRDs
and print shops with multiple machines. “Even individual vendors at times have
different interfaces depending on the low end or high end,” said Roundtree.
ONEticket makes it possible to send PDF print jobs to dozens of devices from
multiple manufacturers using one interface through a series of plug-ins from
Acrobat. “With ONEticket, print shops will not need to know how to interface
with different speed devices,” he added. The software works with Acrobat 8.0 or
The universal print driver enables users to create a
single ‘virtual job-ticket’ that describes how a document should be printed.
This job-ticket is not specific to a single model, as is the case when using
vendor-supplied print driver software. Upon printing via ONEticket, the virtual
job-ticket is converted into printer-specific commands. Capabilities include
the ability to use different paper sources for a single job, and page-level
finishing and simplex and duplex settings. In addition, users can set up a job
once and then run it to multiple machines. Additional features include Bates
stamping, watermarking and masking, as well as the ability to print on
Fiery print drivers from EFI, a competitor of
ONEticket, tend to require users to buy enablers for different speeds and the
cost keeps increasing, said Roundtree. “We interface directly with the device,
not just the front end of the device,” he said, adding that EFI users must get
the front end in order to support Fiery printing. Other competitors include
Canon’s imageWARE and Kodak’s SmartBoard.
“From our standpoint, we had to add Sharp’s printing
commands to our software, just like we do with all other vendors. Sharp
provided us with the necessary material, we added the commands to our ONEticket
software, and Sharp validated and approved it,” Roundtree said.
What The Future Holds
While ONEticket has been available for seven years, it
is new to Apago, who recently bought the rights to the software. According to
Roundtree, the product is currently sold mostly by dealers who offer multiple
lines. While sales have been steady, Apago hopes to increase sales by changing
the software from a plug-in application that requires Acrobat to a standalone
application. “We would like to get more manufacturers and dealers to carry this,”
Roundtree said, adding that direct sales to end users is also under
consideration. Apago is also looking into Sharp OSA as a development channel.
ONEticket has a suggested retail price of $2,495, and is available from
supported manufacturers, authorized resellers, or Apago.