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On Top of the World with Objectif Lune

Posted by BrettDashwood on May 18, 2014

OL-Connect_Panorama1_1200x357.jpgThis past week I had the pleasure of being at the top of the world – or at least on the floor above the Southern Hemisphere’s highest viewing platform – for the Australian launch of Objectif Lune’s OL Connect, their new multi-channel communication platform.

“Eureka 89” located on the 89th floor of Melbourne’s Eureka Tower was the venue for this historic launch, where we listened not only to Objectif Lune’s Managing Director for Asia Pacific, Stuart Drysdale, but also the Product Development Manager Harald Weinhandl, regional Professional Services and Pre Sales Managers, Gary Thompson and Daniel Holden, as well as Didier Gombert, the Global CEO of Objectif Lune.

truly leapfrogging their mainstream competitorsI was curious to understand whether Objectif Lune is simply in catch-up mode with this new offering.  Thankfully, I genuinely feel that when it comes to ease, functionality, and speed of developing and creating complex multi-channel customer communications, Objectif Lune are truly leapfrogging their mainstream competitors with this highly intuitive new suite.

Acquisitions Fill the Gaps
Through their own development and acquisitions over the last 20 years, Objectif Lune is responsible for PlanetPress, PrintShop Mail, acquired with Atlas Software in 2004, and the PReS suite of products after acquiring PrintSoft from Australia Post 3 years ago.

Acquiring Atlas provided a solid entry-level product with PrintShop Mail and part of the reason for the subsequent acquisition of PrintSoft was to fill the enterprise end in Objectif Lune’s product and service offerings.  With the high-end and high-speed data handling and output capabilities that PReS offers, Gombert had collected the strategic pieces to put together his vision for a complete personalised customer communications solution.

Gombert later expanded that a key part of his vision lay in being output channel independent, with email automation – particularly transactional email automation – a large strategic part of the new OL Connect platform.  PDF attachments are not mobile friendly.  Not satisfied with only offering this method of delivery, with OL Connect, users can create completely dynamic HTML emails and link through to dynamically created web pages.

Of Large Appeal
The new platform, does not require existing customers to replace their current document composition solutions. If they wish they may simply extend them.  In fact something that will be of large appeal to companies requiring high-speed document composition, whether existing Objectif Lune customers or not, will be the ability for OL Connect to seamlessly ingest not only raw or connected data, but also page and print output directly, regardless of the document composition engine that created it.

Drysdale assured the gathered audience of customers, prospects, and partners, that Objectif Lune were not planning on “end-of-lifing” any of their current mainstream products, and that if they do so decide, they will give at least 5 years of support following the decision.

Also of significant interest was the new Datamapper.  Not only can this simply define multiple raw and connected data streams, it was shown to graphically “grab” data easily from ingested legacy print streams. It comes complete with a range of workflow features and seemingly unlimited and almost effortless business rule capabilities.

Global Development for a Global Audience
Almost 3 years in the making, OL Connect is a true ground up development.  Rather than relying solely on their own IP and development resources, a majority of the suite has been developed by 1000’s of people around the world. Objectif Lune chose to base their new technology on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The core uses PDF/VT and the Gecko layout engine, which is used by Mozilla Firefox and other browsers. This technology is used to render the created pages at “speeds of tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of pages per minute!”  

One of the powerful demonstrations shown of a responsive web-based transaction document used CSS controls for variably displaying different content by clicking on different pieces of a dynamic pie chart.; all able to happen either online or offline.

Further to this, because of the HTML/CSS/Javascripting base, Objectif Lune have implemented a simpler to use open interface using a REST API, which exploits the existing technology and protocols of the Web, including HTTP and XML. Basically anything that you can do in a web browser, you will be able to use as part of a “document” out of OL Connect.

Great for our Industry
With nearly 20,000 on maintenance customers in Objectif Lune’s global network, I can see that OL Connect will help change the game for high end data driven documents and personalised customer communication.  Whether others choose to catch-up or leapfrog is up to them, but with products like this evolving it can only be great for our industry.  Well done Objectif Lune.

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