HP Acquires German Web-To-Print Services Vendor Hiflex


Hewlett Packard added to its print technology arsenal Tuesday by acquiring Hiflex Software, a privately held printing services vendor based in Aachen, Germany, for an undisclosed sum.

Hiflex's product portfolio consists of Webshop, a web-to-print portal that includes a Drupal-based quote generator tool for print jobs such as business cards, flyers, brochures and books; and MIS Office suite, a management information systems (MIS) product that includes order processing, materials management, CRM, connections to financial and payroll accounting.

MIS Office suite is certified for JDF, an XML-based file format that's designed to speed information transfer between different print applications and systems to accelerate workflows, according to Hiflex's web site.

Hiflex offers an XML/SOAP-based API that developers can use to integrate their applications with MIS Office, as well as a partner program for companies that are seeking more exposure for their creations.

"We list qualified partners in our online directories, which are visited by thousands of print service providers each month," Hiflex says on its website.

Hiflex also offers an Affiliate Reseller Program that gives partners referral revenue when their customers sign up for an HIFLEX MIS license contract.

Last month in HP's Q4 earnings call, CEO Meg Whitman ruled out large, multi-billion dollar deals but said HP would consider smaller deals in the $500 million range that fit strategic aims.

HP got into the online photo printing collaboration space in 2005 with its acquisition of Snapfish. In March 2007, HP acquired Tabblo, a Cambridge, Mass.-based provider of online print services.

At the time, Pradeep Jotwani, senior vice president of supplies for HP's Imaging and Printing Group, described Tabblo as "a more robust print-on-demand" that HP would look to embed in a wide range of web sites.