SOURCE: IBM

November 22, 2005 08:00 ET

IBM Brings Virtualization to Print Environments

Two New Software Products Help Deliver Flexibility and Automation to Print

BOULDER, CO -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 22, 2005 -- IBM today unveiled two new software products that can provide a wider range of print options for mainframe clients. They incorporate virtualization technologies to automatically, seamlessly and securely transform and transmit print-ready jobs from a server running the z/OS operating system. These technologies are designed to deliver a new level of automation that is critical to clients who want more flexibility in where they want to print to help meet business recovery or outsourcing needs. This can help reduce output costs, increase productivity, and improve document security.

This is the latest extension of IBM's efforts to help meet the rising demand by businesses to collaborate more efficiently. Collaborative processing means using technologies like virtualization, open standards and service-oriented architecture to share information real-time inside a business and helping to enable companies to work seamlessly together.

"Clients are looking for automated solutions that can bring more flexibility to their print environment," said Karen Fukuma, vice president, production solutions, IBM Printing Systems Division. "We've worked closely with clients to develop software that can increase their print alternatives with the potential for lower costs, reduced operator intervention and greater choice of where to print."

IBM Print Services Facility (PSF) for z/OS version 4 and IBM Infoprint Transform Manager for Linux® Version 1, Release 2 include components that can convert the most widely used data formats into Advanced Function Presentation™ (AFP™), packaging them into a portable, print-ready file for delivery to a production print site practically anywhere in the world. New capabilities included in PSF for z/OS are designed to automatically create and transmit error-free, print-ready files, helping to save time and money for both the sending and receiving print sites. This automated process can reduce from days to hours the time it takes to prepare print files and associated resources for transfer between locations. Based on Linux and IBM BladeCenter servers, Infoprint Transform Manager delivers web-based capabilities to seamlessly convert print data streams into an industry-standard, reliable and secure AFP environment.

Advancing print process automation

PSF version 4 runs on z/OS V1R4 or later, and z/OS.e V1R4 or later releases. The new AFP Download Plus feature of PSF automates the process of preparing print jobs on z/OS for production printing at another site. In addition to creating a print-ready file for delivery, it can provide increased security through automatic file encryption to protect against unauthorized access to the print data and resources. IBM Print Services Facility (PSF) for z/OS version 4 is scheduled to be generally available on November 25, 2005.

Scalable solution designed to increase print system flexibility

IBM Infoprint Transform Manager for Linux® Version 1, Release 2 works in tandem with IBM Infoprint Manager, Infoprint Server for z/OS, and an AFP architecture to boost efficiency and help lower operating costs. The enhanced IBM Infoprint Transform Manager for Linux is designed to integrate seamlessly with Infoprint Manager for Windows or AIX 5L -- and now Infoprint Server for z/OS -- to handle data and image intensive transforms. Infoprint Transform Manager allows print jobs to be spread across multiple processors or blade servers, so processing power can grow as needs grow. IBM Infoprint Transform Manager for Linux Version 1, Release 2 is scheduled to be generally available on December 16, 2005.

About IBM Printing Systems Division

With more than 40 years' experience helping customers with print solutions, IBM Printing Systems Division specializes in output solutions for the on demand era. IBM is helping customers link electronic information with the various forms of output choices that businesses need today, while allowing them to improve operations, reduce costs and maximize business value. IBM Printing Systems' offerings include printers, software, consultation, systems integration, supplies, service and support. For more information visit www.ibm.com/printers

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