FAQ

FAQ

About PressWise

How much does PressWise cost?

For competitive reasons pricing is available upon request.  Our product comes in several different editions depending on your business requirements.

PressWise never sleeps or takes a vacation.  Fully implemented, it does the work of several people, at lower cost than a part-time worker. An even better question is “How much is it costing you to operate your business without PressWise?”

What is PressWise?

Born and raised in a highly successful print shop, PressWise was designed as an alternative to purchasing, or developing tools to tie together, Web-to-Print, Production Workflow, Print MIS, and Mail Preparation Software. Instead, a single, SaaS-based platform is available with today’s must-have tools critical to managing and growing print shops. Highlights include:

  • Unlimited Web-to-print Storefronts
  • Print Estimating and Quoting
  • Order Management
  • MIS
  • Production Automation
  • Mailing Software (Optional)
  • Inventory Management
  • Shipping and Fulfillment
  • Accounting Connectivity
  • Reporting
  • APIs
  • Cloud-hosted by SmartSoft or self-hosted in your own shop

PressWise is offered on a subscription-based pricing model with NO long term contracts. You pay an initial set-up fee and a monthly pay-as-you-go fee and can cancel at any time.

The system is accessed through a browser so can be run from Windows, Mac and Linux systems and once set up you can begin to explore your system from day one, with just a few hours of online training.

PressWise easily integrates with most third-party web storefront products, including Printable, PageFlex, OPS, PixFizz, PageDNA, Saepio, Pressero, Prisme, RedTie, custom storefronts and more.

Best of all, because PressWise was designed by a printer, with real employees and customers, it just plain works!

Data Security

How secure and reliable is my PressWise system?

We use a state-of-the-art cloud computing system that allows us to provide you with security and redundancy you would otherwise have to pay over $250,000 to achieve.

Each PressWise system runs in its own isolated virtual network, populated with virtual machines.  These machines are totally isolated from each other and protected from every known form of cyber intrusion with active port monitoring and automatic IP blocking.  These systems are patched frequently and cared for by full-time dedicated staff.

Most importantly, each of these systems has its own 100% dedicated resources that are not shared with other systems when you are offline.  Unlike airlines we don’t “oversubscribe” and hope too many people don’t show up.

We don’t use the cloud computing environment for the purpose of creating a way to oversubscribe our resources (like some competitors do)… we do it to provide a layer of extra security between your system and the physical hardware it runs on, and maximize server uptime and availability.

Your system will be running on a High Availability system, with real-time data backup across an entire grid of physical servers in a mirrored RAID configuration. All system data is cloned in real-time on hard drives inside separate systems. Extra idle servers are on standby 24/7 – if a machine in the grid fails it drops out of the grid and your virtual machine will automatically come back up on a different server. The worst case scenario is a reboot and you are back online within two minutes.

Other vendors will host your private system on a singled dedicated box and you bear the risk and cost of disruption, replacement, or even data loss if that machine dies.

Additionally, to optimize performance, we geographically distribute our servers across three separate locations within the US.

Do you offer backup of my data?

We provide a “best practice” hosting environment for your data, including data redundancy against most foreseeable data disasters caused by hardware, operating systems, etc. We do not maintain any off-cloud backups of our client data, but we do provide you with full access to all of your data in real-time, so you can put your own off-cloud backup procedures in place. We also offer the option of self-hosting your PressWise server too, so you can manage all your data on your own network.

Getting Started

What is the lead time involved in getting a PressWise system?

We can generally deploy a complete PressWise system within one business day after receiving your setup fees & first month payment.

If you are considering self-hosting PressWise in your own facility this usually adds a couple days to the process, plus waiting time if you’ve ordered a new server.  Once your new system is deployed you can work on setup & configuration.

PressWise comes fully functional with a real-world shop setup already in place.  Everything right down to realistic example prices on over 200 finishing & service cost codes are already configured.

A motivated person can completely review and customize this setup from start to finish in about 4 – 8 hours of work.  Upon completion of the starter tasks your shop will be set up to quote & automate production of most common jobs.

How long does it take to fully implement our new PressWise system?

Times range from 2 days to 2 weeks to 2 months … depending mostly on personnel. A typical hybrid shop will take about a calendar month to get things fully dialed in, but we’ve seen people do the same work in 3 or 4 days.

Software-As-A-Service

What is SaaS anyway?

SaaS is an acronym for Software-As-A-Service.  It’s a way of delivering a software product over time to meet a market need.  In theory this model is superior because it financially aligns the delivery of a service with the needs of the buyer.  When the buyer no longer needs the service they can discontinue it.  This possibility keeps the software vendor on their toes.

SaaS has often incorrectly been assumed to mean a product must be hosted online.  While it is true that most SaaS products are vendor hosted, they don’t have to be.  SAAS is really a business model issue.

In contrast, non-SaaS products are usually “purchased” with large upfront sums for the software vendor.  Vendors who sell a product this way generally find themselves forced to focus the majority of their company resources chasing new business and working very hard to minimize the amount of resources spent on existing clients.  Their cash-flow and survival depend upon it.

PressWise was created to match the vision of it’s founder.  A product that delivers value to it’s customers and is fundamentally built on sound business principles… profitably operating within the limits of the monthly fees it generates!

This ensures the long term availabilty of resources dedicated to the growing client base and allows us to focus on delivering more value to our clients… leading to a reinforcing cycle of value and stability.  Exactly the kind of dependable service you strive to provide your clients with.

Is there a minimum contract period?

No.  PressWise is licensed on a monthly basis and you can cancel (or hold) your subscription at any time.

This is fundamentally different than buying high-end systems from other vendors, who usually have no financial incentive to care about you after the sale.

We are building a different kind of product, business, and community of users.  We have aligned our success with yours!

Even if you decide to host PressWise on your own server you can still minimize cost and risk by licensing it on a monthly basis, with no long-term committment.

Can I host PressWise myself in my own shop?

Yes, you can host PressWise on your own server.  And the best part is you still don’t have to “buy” or “license” the software to do so.  In our business model “SaaS” just means that PressWise is a pay-as-you-go service.  You can cancel at any time… even if you have chosen to self-host.

System Requirements

What are the system requirements to run PressWise?

This is dependent on whether you run the standard cloud-hosted version of PressWise or decide to self-host.

Cloud Hosted System

Internet access and the ability to upload/view pdfs. The minimum internet connection should ideally be a 6mb DSL connection. Customers seldom experience the “ISP-advertised” speed so we suggest you test your speed to make sure you are getting at least 3mb.

Self Hosted System – Minimum

4 core server w/ 4GB RAM
Allocate 4 cores and 4GB RAM to PressWise
Install 64 bit operating system (Windows or MacOS)
1TB storage directly on server

Self-Hosted – Recommended

12 core server w/ 12GB RAM
Allocate 8 cores and 8GB RAM to PressWise
Install 64-bit operating system (Windows or MacOS)
2TB storage directly on server (w/ RAID)
This will leave 4 cores open for better performance in the host operating system.
VMWare is required and will actually run on any OS, so we don’t mind what you put on it as long as it’s 64-bit

Training

How is training provided?

Training is provided online via a series of how-to videos, user guides, knowledge base and one-on-one GoToMeeting classes upon request.

We built the business this way to keep implementation costs down for our clients and to make it faster/easier to get up to speed. This approach has worked very well so far for our clients, and allows us to provide the best support for all of our customers.

How long does training take?

Well, you could be asking about two different kinds of training. 

The training we give you.

We provide an ever expanding video collection and selective direct one-on-one training.  We generally spend 6-8 hours online working with each new company and will tailor the sessions to your indivual skill set and learning style.  Many highly self-motivated users have completely trained themselves by using the videos and diving right into using the product.

The training you give your workers on an ongoing basis.

Sales, CSR, Prepress, Production, Press, Bindery, Bookeeping, and Admin roles all use different aspects of the system.  Here is the breakdown of how long each role “typically” takes to learn:

  • CSR (2)
  • Sales (2)
  • Prepress (4)
  • Production Manager (4)
  • Production/Press (2)
  • Bindery (1)
  • Shipping (2)
  • Admin (6)
  • Bookkeeping (1)

Note: these overlap a lot.  It does not take 4 hours to learn Sales & CSR.

What is the best way to approach training?

Have a strong top-down culture that embraces change with excitement. 

Print isn’t ever going back to being the kind of business it was in the 90’s, so you may as well automate as much of your business as you can and make the most out of it.  Embrace the things that have become possible via technology.  The internet, digital printing and modern marketing techniques have all had a hand in changing what it means to be a “printer”.

Let’s be the best we can be and continually strive to improve our operations.  This attitude toward change is rewarding both financially and psychologically.

Pick the right person to drive PressWise adoption in your business.

Who is your most computer-savvy, afraid-of-nothing, wants-to-know-it-all employee?

Usually this person will be a prepress manager, production manager, or IT worker, but they can come from any position.  Choose the right person to learn the system and share their knowledge with everybody else.

Assigning an unmotivated person (who is very resistant to learning & trying new things) to drive your PressWise adoption can be the beginning of a long road.

Using PressWise

Can PressWise accept file formats other than PDFs?

Yes, you can upload .tif, .eps and .jpg files into the PressWise system. When doing so:

– a Catalog items is converted to a .pdf immediately
– an Estimated job is converted to .pdf at imposition

What about credit card processing in PressWise?

Yes, PressWise supports credit card processing. You just need to select the credit card gateway that you want to use (VeriSign or Paypal are supported), and enter the API keys from your gateway provider.

Does PressWise keep customers informed about job status?

Yes, PressWise will send an email to the person who placed the order at:

– Order Confirmation
– Request for job approval
– Ship Confirmation

You can also enter your own SMTP account settings and have all your outgoing PressWise emails go through your own mail server.

Can I set up my vendors/suppliers in PressWise?

Yes, the vendor tab in PressWise allows you to create and manage your own list of suppliers eg if you want to offer a portfolio product but don’t have the capability of producing it yourself, you can still make it available to order for your customers.

PressWise allows you to create products/tasks that will be automatically outsourced to specific vendors. When an order for one of these products is placed, it goes directly to your chosen vendor.

Jobs will be tracked on the “Outsourced” tab of the production dashboard when a job goes to production.

If that vendor is also a PressWise subscriber, you will get constant updates on where it is in the process.

How many customer storefronts can I set up in PressWise?

PressWise lets you set up unlimited storefronts without any additional charges. You can control the look and feel of your storefronts and can use CSS to overwrite any existing styles if you wish.

I already have customers on a web storefront. Do I have to move them to PressWise?

Although PressWise comes with the ability to create unlimited web-to-print storefronts, we also offer full support and connectivity for most third-party web storefront products too, including:

  • Prisme
  • Saepio
  • Four51
  • Pressero
  • PTI
  • PageFlex
  • PageDNA
  • RedTie
  • Pixfizz
  • PrintNow

New web storefront partners are being add all the time, so if you have a web-to-print product not listed above, just let us know. PressWise offers a set of APIs that make it easy to integrate with most third-party systems.

Can I export financial data to my accounting system?

Yes, PressWise PressWise lets you export your data in both QuickBooks and Peachtree formats. You can then import this data into your accounting program. The whole process should take less than five minutes.

If you self-host however, you can also set your system up so that you can pull your accounting data directly from PressWise.

Do you support third-party shipping services?

Yes, PressWise includes integrated UPS, FedEx and Endicia shipping services, with support for third-party billing and blind-shipping.  On-demand shipping labels are printed seamlessly, as workers barcode scan each package to be shipped.

To improve client communication and speed the billing cycle, email notifications, which include package tracking links and an attached PDF invoice, are sent to clients as each shipment is completed.

PressWise also lets you upload a shipping list for items shipping via UPS so you can bulk print a job, and ship to multiple locations.

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