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Workgroups? 2006 Software Suite Rolls Across Graphics Industry

Workgroups™ 2006 Software Suite Rolls Across Graphics Industry

Iowa City, Iowa (PRWEB) November 28, 2006

MetaCommunications, a leading software developer of cross-platform process management and productivity solutions for the graphic arts industry, today announced that its new Workgroups 2006 software suite has been adopted by leading organizations across the graphic arts supply chain. Workgroups 2006 began shipping in September 2006 and is the only process automation and management solution available for collaborative workgroups in the marketing, creative, publishing, prepress and print environments.

"These environments share a common need to manage and automate the workflow processes in a collaborative manner during the design, production, and delivery of graphic content," said Robert T. Long, Executive Vice President of MetaCommunications. "Workgroups 2006 is the only solution available today that can be used across the entire graphic arts supply chain. Wherever you find creative and production staff you'll find a need for Workgroups 2006."

Since the release of Workgroups 2006, diverse organizations have capitalized on its value and capabilities to streamline workflow and improve productivity. These include Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., Center for Disease Control, Merisel, Hi Resolution, Madison Advertising and Publishing, Northwinds Publishing and Printing, RTI International, Shared Marketing, Sandy Alexander, and the Department of Defense - Defense Intelligence Agency.

Workgroups 2006 consists of four components:

Job Manager, a powerful suite of financial management tools that enable creative and production workgroups to accurately create estimates and quotes, monitor job costs, quickly generate on-demand reporting and invoices, and share information with industry leading accounting systems.

Virtual Ticket, a configurable job ticketing solution that brings together all the components of your work in a centralized location, including project briefs, job tickets, customer information, associated document files, and more. From this one location Virtual Ticket provides advanced workflow tools to help you manage and automate your processes, dramatically improving productivity, turnaround time, and quality.

Approval Manager, a tool for managing, tracking, and scheduling any approval process within and across creative and production environments.

Digital Storage Manager, a powerful storage management solution specially designed for creative, publishing and prepress workgroups, leveraging multiple file servers, near-line storage, and offline media.

By combining all four modules in a streamlined, integrated suite, Workgroups 2006 unites and empowers creative and production staff by facilitating collaboration, automating processes, centralizing information, managing workflows, tracking files, and measuring key financial and productivity metrics.

"Process automation and management are sorely missing in creative and production environments. While production tools have gone from the camera room to the digital desktop, the tools to automate and manage the process are still missing in most environments. Workgroups 2006 is the first solution engineered from the ground up to not only manage the process, but help users excel individually and as part of a team," added Long. "Our customers are already benefiting from the tight integration of the Workgroups 2006 suite."


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC - became a MetaCommunications customer in August of 2005. CDC has deployed Job Manager and Virtual Ticket nationwide to all of its graphic services locations, which are connected to a central database located in Atlanta, GA. This enabled CDC to bring all locations under one common management system, saving time and increasing productivity.

In September, CDC purchased and upgraded to Workgroups 2006 by adding Approval Manager and Digital Storage Manager. CDC will use Approval Manager to traffic and schedule its digital proofs nationwide. Digital Storage Manager will be used to archive finished files from remote CDC graphic service locations onto a central server in Atlanta where they will be distributed for reuse via Digital Storage Manager's web portal.


The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. (, a retailer operating multiple brands, became a MetaCommunications customer in December of 2001. Bon-Ton Stores currently utilizes Virtual Ticket to facilitate the production of all its point of sale, catalog, advertising, and direct mail work across its Bon-Ton, Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson Pirie Scott, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers nameplates. Job tickets and graphic files are linked in Virtual Ticket, enabling users to quickly identify instructions, unify workflow, and dramatically simplify the pickup and reuse of graphics.

In September 2006 Bon-Ton upgraded to Workgroups 2006 by adding Digital Storage Manager. Bon-Ton will use Digital Storage Manager to archive all its files from its EMC storage array onto DVD. Digital Storage Manager's tight integration with Rimage CD/DVD duplicating equipment allows automated migration of files to labeled DVDs and simplifies retrieval of those files when necessary.


Well-known commercial printer Sandy Alexander, Inc. ( joined the MetaCommunications customer base in December of 2004. Sandy Alexander utilizes Virtual Ticket for order entry and electronic job ticketing. As a result, much of Sandy Alexander's paperwork has been converted to electronic documents that are centralized for easy and universal access, driving process automation in the prepress department.

In September 2006, Sandy Alexander added Approval Manager and Digital Storage Manager to round out the Workgroups 2006 suite. Sandy Alexander will use Approval Manager to traffic and schedule its electronic digital proofs generated by its Artwork System's Nexus workflow. Digital Storage Manager will be used to archive both prepress and Nexus workflow files to a single location online. Offline backup media will be automatically and simultaneous produced. Files will be searchable for reuse by internal staff and accessible through a secure web portal by customers.


MetaCommunications ( is a leading software developer of cross-platform process management and productivity solutions for the graphic arts industry, including its award-winning Job Manager(TM), Virtual Ticket(TM), Approval Manager(TM) and Digital Storage Manager(TM) components. MetaCommunications has thousands of users of its software worldwide, helping some of the world's top creative agencies, corporate marketing groups, printing and prepress firms, and publishers work more efficiently and profitably. MetaCommunications was founded in 1991 and is headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa. For more information, please visit


Robert Long


1210 S. Gilbert Street

Iowa City, IA 52240 USA

319-337-8599 x 180

blong @

©2006 MetaCommunications, Inc. All rights reserved. MetaCommunications, the MetaCommunications logo, Workgroups, Workgroups Suite, Workgroups 2006, Job Manager, Virtual Ticket, Approval Manager, Digital Storage Manager, and JDF Solutions Framework are trademarks of MetaCommunications, Inc. Additional company and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of the individual companies and are respectfully acknowledged.


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