The Altavia group installs QuarkXPress Server in China and deploys a fully automated international publishing platform
A specialist in marketing communications, in particular for network-based businesses, Altavia is using QuarkXPress Server as its catalogue production automation tool
PARIS - 5/11/2010 - Quark today announced that the independent Altavia group, specializing in marketing communications, has acquired a QuarkXPress Server solution for its business in China. This takes the number of QuarkXPress Servers in the Altavia group to 9, which makes it one of the largest installed bases of Quark Server solutions in the world.
The Altavia group is present on 23 sites and in 14 countries in Europe and in China. Its Marketing & Publishing Services solutions are specially designed for retail. A leader in marketing communications in France and a major player in other countries where it is present, Altavia has prestigious brands such as Auchan, Carrefour, ED, FNAC, GITEM, Go Sports, Monoprix, Office Depot, Pizza Hut and Système U among its clients.
Marketing communications: a significant challenge
Like in other financial sectors, mass distribution firms must be able to deliver targeted, flexible communications, depending on national, regional and even local promotions as well as targeted segments of the population. At a time when information is broadcast in near real-time, communications must also be able to offer the same responsiveness, while guaranteeing secure, long-lasting production workflows. This is a major challenge for the Altavia group, whose activities have strongly integrated new technologies in recent years in order to better anticipate market demands. "In the retail sector," explains François Rousseau, Altavia Information Systems Project Director, "catalogues contain 128 pages on average, which represents between 7 and 10 products per page or over 1,000 products to manage. Each product includes an information sheet with at least ten structured fields. The final element is that some 60 operations are carried out by the brand each year. That gives you an idea of the scale of information to be managed, controlled, rationalised in a completely transparent, secure manner – since we are talking about legally-binding documents –, particularly if you add the international dimension of some hypermarket routes." The need to implement tools allowing processes to be automated became clear. That led Altavia to move to Quark technologies.
9 QuarkXPress Server 8 solutions in production
At François Rousseau's instigation, Altavia chose Quark Server solutions – Quark Dynamic Document Server and then QuarkXPress Server. "In my opinion, with my Internet background, it was THE solution that was missing. To be able to create complex, customised documents right away using a simple Web browser for all buyers present in a catalogue was a key trump card for Altavia. In addition, the fact that all of the design leveraged the QuarkXPress experience proved very reassuring. On the market, there are very few solutions that use the features enabling the content to be fed in server mode." Today, Altavia has 9 QuarkXPress Servers, enabling them to offer their own tools, in particular Altavia Web System (AWS) Edity®. "We can offer direct access in server mode to a collaborative folder management system as well as text and image databases and also automatic DTP."
150,000 pages per year
Altavia produces around 150,000 pages per year in Europe, "which does not represent a large number of pages but, on the contrary, a very large number of products, which is where the added value of a tool in server mode resides". François Rousseau can compare it with a press dummy: "in a magazine, a page includes one or two images, a title, a headline and two columns of text for example. In a retail brand catalogue, there are 50 blocks of text, 20 images, etc. It is ten times more complex." The process is also different. "We begin with the content and strictly speaking, the client does not determine their graphic charter - that is a later step. On the other hand, they can enter the content they wish to include; the layout is created on the fly by the prepress department."
From Europe to China
After developing in Europe, Altavia invested in China in 2005 and is in particular responsible for all the marketing communications for a Food Distribution Group in the country. "When we invest in a technology, we appreciate that it develops over time but also according to our needs," recalls Altavia's Project Director. "Thus, we have developed our own web interface for Chinese users with a bridge to version 7 of QuarkXPress Server. With full Unicode® support for Chinese character sets, and its hyphenation and spelling tools available in more than 30 languages, QuarkXPress Server 8 will enable us to go further." Three operations have already successfully been carried out for this Group in China, via AWS Edity®.
"A time saving of around 70%"
The next step in Altavia's strategy is the implementation of a centralised production platform to enable documents to be created fully automatically. "Our goal is to use the power of QuarkXPress Server to allow our clients to generate their catalogues and other marketing brochures, without human intervention," confirms Rousseau. "While we estimate the process to produce catalogues for national distribution takes between 8 and 12 weeks, we think that this solution will enable a catalogue to be created online and delivered to stores and distribution centres in fewer than 10 days!" With this server, Altavia aims to perfectly meet the new communications and marketing challenges, in particular in terms of responsiveness to offer a more flexible, more tailored communications workflow, while at the same time retaining full control over it.
For Gildas Duval, Quark Sales Director for Southern Europe, "this acquisition illustrates the strategy Quark has followed for several years with the largest communications groups. With its reliable, modular business-oriented solutions, Quark remains one of the key players in the sector, and one of the very few to offer solutions which meet everybody's needs, in an environment where productivity is synonymous with cost reductions and return on investment."
The leading European partner for retailers, Altavia is an independent international group specialised in marketing communications. Founded in 1983 by Raphael Palti, its CEO, Altavia is present in 14 countries in Europe and China.
Quark® Inc. is a leading provider of publishing software for professional designers, small and mid-sized businesses, and large organizations in more than 160 countries. Two decades ago, our flagship product - QuarkXPress® - changed the course of traditional publishing. For more than 25 years, Quark has built on its knowledge and experience in design and publishing to provide software solutions that support collaborative workflows and automated publishing across multiple channels. Today, Quark is revolutionizing publishing again by setting new standards in XML-based publishing across print, the Web, and digital media as well as by helping owners and employees of small and mid-sized businesses promote their products and services easily, professionally, and affordably. Denver-based Quark Inc. is privately held.
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