In This Edition...

New Focus, New Speaker: Welcome to the Cloud

Technology changes daily, and the ERA is helping its members keep up by making changes of its own. The ERA Board of Directors has decided on a program change in our keynote speaker to a focus on the changing technologies that will impact our businesses in the future. Attendees will take away a new perspective and insight on these challenges and opportunities.

The new keynote speaker is KP Reddy, a construction technology expert and author who will explain how reprographics professionals can take advantage of cloud technologies.

Reddy will discuss what cloud technologies are, why they are growing in popularity, and what they mean for your business, both in terms of opportunities and threats. This will assist all participants in better being able to position and take advantage of this recent technology trend.

Reddy’s keynote address, coupled with our other presentation, Social Media Opportunities in Today’s Business Environment, will help attendees create a road map of action items to position their businesses to take advantage of emerging economic opportunities.

Who is KP Reddy?

KP Reddy is a nationally recognized expert on advanced construction technologies, including building information modeling (BIM). Reddy is currently a managing advisor with AMPIRIX Consulting in Atlanta. He is a sought-after speaker and business adviser.

Reddy previously was the vice president of BIM Services for ARC. He arrived at ARC when ARC acquired RCMS Group, a firm that Reddy founded. Other positions Reddy has held include vice president of operations and chief information officer for Verso Technologies, chief technology officer of Cereus Technology Partners, and project engineer and business development manager for Law Engineering and Environmental Services (now MACTEC-AMEC).

Reddy has a bachelors of science degree in civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He served on the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) BIM Task Force and as an adjunct professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Five Ways Cloud Computing Can Help Repro

Cloud computing will be a key focus of the ERA Convention, and keynote speaker KP Reddy will explain its importance to reprographics.

But what can cloud computing do for reprographics? Here are five things:

  1. More Digital Document Services – You probably already offer a digital planroom of one type or another, and cloud computing can enhance that by allowing you to store and access drawings in the cloud -- through the Internet -- rather than on your own server. That leads to point 2….

  2. Reduced Hardware Requirements – The beauty of the cloud is that you can use someone else’s hardware to store your giant files. If your digital planroom exists in the cloud, you don’t need a giant server and back-ups to handle client files. Let someone else invest in the giant computers, back-up computers, and maintenance. You just need a computer that’s strong enough to access the Internet, and there’s not much to that.

  3. Reduced Software Requirements – As with hardware, you can access software over the cloud. This saves you the hassle of buying and installing your own software, and you can count on the company behind the cloud to keep the software properly upgraded and maintained. You might already be using cloud software for some applications, such as email (if you have a gmail account, for example, you are using Google’s software accessed through the cloud).
  4. More Power When You Need It – If you ever needed more computing power for some major project, you could access as much as you needed through the cloud. And you could use it for as long as you needed but no longer. So instead of buying a massive new computer system to handle some project, just “rent” some computing power in the cloud.

  5. Easy Off-site Employment – If you have remote employees, say people stationed in manned FMs or designers working from home, you probably want them to have access to the right software. Rather than buying separate packages for each of them, the cloud would allow them to access the software from any computer with Internet access.

For details on this and much more about cloud computing, don’t miss KP Reddy’s keynote speech at the ERA Convention.

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Saturday Panel Discussions Will Educate and Inspire

After being inspired by the two speakers on Friday, ERA convention attendees will be able to solidify the concepts they heard about during round table sessions on Saturday morning.

The Saturday morning roundtables will inform attendees about cloud technology and social media tactics and trends and inspire them to put these technologies to work in their own shops. The topics to be covered include:

  • How can I use social media to promote my business and what tools can I use to implement and track it?
  • What is your biggest concern and/or resistance to implementing a social media strategy?
  • Social media ROI - is it real or is it a fantasy?
  • Should I have a corporate policy around social media (social networking)? If so, why?
  • Which social networks are the best for my business and why
  • How can I use cloud technology for data storage?
  • What competitive advantages does cloud technology give me?
  • How can I expand my workforce virtually using the cloud?

The Saturday roundtable discussions are sure to provide ideas and inspiration that you can take back to your shop on Monday.

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Learn About the Latest Repro Technology

In today’s virtual world, it’s easy to imagine that you can learn everything you need to know about technology by browsing the Web. But the truth is nothing can beat having face-to-face conversations with companies that can provide you with new technology needed to grow your business. A great way to do that is by attending the Trade Show at the ERA Convention.

The Trade Show will be open during the President’s Reception on Thursday, April 18 and the afternoon of Friday, April 19.  Visit www.eastrepro.com/convention.html for more information.

Exhibitors will be distributing information about the latest repro technologies and showing attendees how they can apply them in their shops. The following exhibitors have already confirmed, and others have expressed interest:

  • Canon 
  • Contex
  • Cylix
  • Cyrious Software
  • Dietzgen
  • Digital ES
  • Drytac
  • KIP
  • National Azon
  • Quality Mounting & Laminating
  • ReproConnect
  • Ricoh
  • Seiko Instruments
  • TST/Impreso, Inc.
  • Wynit

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Make Time for Fun, Too!

The ERA Convention will be loaded with opportunities to meet friends, share experiences, and simply enjoy yourself. Here are some options:

Golf: The annual ERA Golf Tournament will tee off with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 18 at the beautiful Nicklaus Course. The $100 fee for the tournament includes the cart, greens fees, access to practice facilities, and breakfast and lunch. And, of course, hours of socializing and networking!
If you don’t want to carry your clubs to the convention, you can rent them at the course for $20. Reserve your spot when you register for the convention.

Luau: On Thursday night network with friends while eating roasted pig, Polynesian brined grilled skirt steak, mango chicken, shrimp, Bahamian conch fritters, and lots of festive desserts, including key lime custard, parfaits, and pineapple upside down cake. Don’t forget to wear your Hawaiian shirt!

ERA Fun Night: Friday night will be filled with games, including Pacman competitions, baggo matches, and Wii bowling. The theme will be “All American Cookout,” and you’ll enjoy all the traditional cookout food, including hamburgers, hotdogs, and chicken with all the fixings.

The Hotel: The Wyndham Bay Point Resort is located on beautiful St. Andrew’s Bay, an 1,100-acre inland protected water and wildlife preserve off the Gulf of Mexico. The resort has a private beach, four outdoor pools, and a luxury spa. The rooms and Golf Villas all feature balconies or patios, refrigerators, and complimentary wireless Internet.

You’re probably coming to the convention to talk business and learn new trends, but make sure you make time for fun, too!

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