It’s been nine months since EveryonePrint and Hybrid Cloud Platform (HCP) were acquired by Y Soft. In these months, we’ve ventured through compromise, loss, wins, and progress. With a strong plan of action and long-term strategy, we’ve navigated Y Soft through an acquisition and united key technologies to give you YSoft SAFEQ Cloud, a true cloud solution built on a combination of EveryonePrint HCP and the successful technology in the SAFEQ platform.
In July 2022, Y Soft acquired EveryonePrint. With clear synergies and complementary offerings, a decision was made to merge companies and become a leader in the cloud printing space. The transition came with nine lessons learned, from prioritizing the people, celebrating wins, and making a product rebrand successful.
Print workflows are everywhere, and we’ve made it our mission as a united company to help IT teams automate and streamline their document processes. Getting to this point has been a journey, and navigating through an acquisition and product rebrand has had its ups and downs–leaving us with a few lessons learned.
As the previous CEO and founder of EveryonePrint, I’m thrilled to take you through the EveryonePrint story, the acquisition journey, and Y Soft’s future plans. Enjoy your read!
Rebranding EveryonePrint HCP to SAFEQ Cloud
The first months of the acquisition were all about the people and the product. We needed to understand what sacrifices needed to be made and make some tough decisions. While keeping our team focused on business as usual, the c-suite built out a plan of action.
After that, we got all our teams merged and started looking at how we could best optimize our roster. At the same time, our DevOps teams had a mission to focus on: Integrating key capacities of SAFEQ into EveryonePrint HCP and turning it into one master product.
Our marketing team was tasked with the rebranding and launch of the product to come. “EveryonePrint” and “Hybrid Cloud Platform” had reached their final days. Our Chief Marketing Officer, Adam Bishop, and his team heads built out a four-stage launch plan with rebranding at the center. After a string of meetings to brainstorm what the product would be named, we settled on SAFEQ Cloud, the last piece of the SAFEQ platform puzzle (for now, at least...).
After a massive rebrand project, spanning the entire frontline (support, sales, and marketing), we’ve now officially introduced SAFEQ Cloud as Y Soft’s true cloud print solution. And as the CTO of Y Soft, I couldn’t be prouder of the commitment I’ve seen and the many, many things we’ve achieved!
While this article will talk about the lesson we’ve learned as we navigated this transition, I’d like to first walk you through the story of EveryonePrint, and pay homage to everything we accomplished before venturing into the exciting Y Soft world.
The Story of Everyoneprint & Hybrid Cloud Platform
The story of EveryonePrint dates back to 2003 when my close friend and I founded the company. We saw an opportunity to create a software-based printing solution that would enable people to print from anywhere, at any time, and from any device. We started by introducing our legacy mobile print product to enable users to easily print from mobile devices to any printer connected to a network.
After a few years of getting EveryonePrint on its feet, my co-founder decided to draw a new path for himself, so we shook hands and called it a day.
In 2015, I had a beer with a friend and discussed how companies were starting to move all their IT to the cloud–well, almost all of it. What was left, was the pesky (and expensive) print servers.
This sparked an idea–and I decided to enlist a couple of my best developers and camp out in a hotel in Amsterdam. After some intense whiteboarding, the Hybrid Cloud Platform (HCP) was born–and introduced to the market in 2017. The solution provided IT teams with secure and scalable true cloud printing to be easily integrated with existing IT infrastructures.
Between 2017 and 2022, the business grew, the product developed, and we started disrupting the print industry. Everything was going great.
EveryonePrint's history was one of innovation and growth.
And so, it continues to be.
It started to become clear that the EveryonePrint Hybrid Cloud Platform (EveryonePrint HCP) had something extraordinary that, with the right chargehand, had the potential to become a true industry-leading product. To become the bold pioneer we dreamed of, it was time to investigate new horizons to take the product even further.
At the same time, as luck would have it, Vaclav Muchna and Martin de Martini, founders of Y Soft, were dedicated to launching a future-proof, cloud-optimized software version of SAFEQ, their flagship print software.
While Y Soft was already well underway in building a competitive alternative to HCP, we decided to have a sit-down and talk about the future of our industry, our individual missions, and the synergies between our product offerings.
What we discovered was sensational. Not only were we on similar paths, but we also wanted similar results, leveraging almost identical strategies and business models. We even noticed that our product portfolios complemented each other and the underlying technology of each print platform, if merged, could create an incredibly powerful top-tier solution, worthy of the name “industry leader”.
The choice was easy, and as of July 2022, EveryonePrint was acquired by Y Soft. Before the acquisition, EveryonePrint was a standalone business for 20 years. With a commitment to excellence and a focus on meeting the evolving needs of customers, Y Soft and EveryonePrint joined forces, poised to maximize our united success well into the future.
I look back to the EveryonePrint days with so much pride and appreciation. But even more, I gaze ahead, and I see an overwhelmingly exciting future for Y Soft–one I can't wait to share with you all.
For now, let’s look at the lessons we learned as we went through with the acquisition.
9 Lessons Learned While Navigating our Acquisition
#1 Alignment is not a Piece of Cake
Trying to plan out the ultimate approach to align our businesses and combine our teams took time. At first, it was frustrating, but we learned in time that we can’t force alignment. While building our plan of action, we started at the very top, making sure the three of us (Vaclav, Martin, and myself) were on the exact same page regarding how the alignment would go. Then came the rest of the c-suite.
Finalizing the acquisition required an immense amount of planning for us all, but the real work came during the transition into one team. Navigating two rosters through a transition into one was rocky at times. Still, we wanted the alignment to be organic. So, we handled every obstacle when it presented itself – we still do. Every setback we’ve met, we’ve leveraged to build trust, empower accountability, and set us on the right path.
#2 Our People are the Priority
I’ll be honest with you, we quickly learned that setting priorities isn’t always easy–far from it. But Vaclav, Martin, and I knew that our people would come first. The focus, above all, was to be transparent and clear about what was going to happen in the coming months. We made time to frequently communicate and meet with colleagues, employees, partners, and customers, to make the transition comfortable for everyone involved.
We knew we needed to reassure everyone about our commitment to them, whether it be our devoted personnel or trusted partnerships. And when hard decisions had to be made, we made sure everyone knew why. Building and sustaining trust was at the top of our list.
With everything going on, there were times when we didn’t get as involved in creating a good experience for our teams as we would have liked. As teams were merged, we learned that we needed to encourage team building and spur confidence in everyone. We talked with our department heads and made sure they helped us show every YSofter that their happiness and confidence are at the front and center of a successful transition.
#3 It’s a Ground-Up Process
While we made sure everything alignment-oriented started from the top and percolated through the organization, merging the companies was a ground-up process. We needed to start with 'why’ and make our way through ‘how’ and ‘what’. The foundation was determined first–and the execution was set thereafter. We wanted to shape the vision and long-term strategy, to begin with, and make sure all decisions would be aligned with it.
#4 Preserving the Excitement is Key
In these first nine months with Y Soft, with numerous re-prioritizations, hiccups, and changing paths, it quickly became clear that for us to be successful during this acquisition, we needed to preserve the excitement–keep employees focused on the exciting, new journey ahead.
Vaclav and I made sure to encourage every department head to keep nurturing the excitement during team huddles and scrum reviews. More than that, we wanted to make our contributions as well.
During all-hands meetings and sprint planning sessions (where we could join in), our focus was on the virtual high-fives, celebrating wins, inspiring further progress, addressing blockers, and setting the stage for our teams to continue being engaged in our shared success.
We didn’t want this acquisition to feel like there were three musketeers sitting in an office, making decisions behind closed doors. This journey involved 300-something musketeers across development, sales, marketing, HR, security, legal, operations, and so on. We were determined to make this as much of an all-hands-on-deck scenario as possible.
#5 You Win Some, You Lose Some
There’s no denying that as we navigated Y Soft through the last nine months (and continue as we move forward), we’ve had to make sacrifices and take a few hits. We’ve lost good people and had to re-evaluate many employees’ roles and indispensability. Tough calls were made and many of them left residue for some time. We knew compromise would be inevitable, so we decided to address each hit with our heads held high.
Thankfully, that’s all behind us now.
#6 The Wins Outweigh the Loss
When you consider the big picture, it’s clear that the wins we’ve seen far outweigh the hits we’ve had to deal with. We’ve seen record-high quarterly revenues, we’ve strengthened partnerships on multiple continents, and we’ve established a roster of mission-focused, diligent YSofters.
#7 Don’t Underestimate Rebranding
Rebranding is no easy feat–it’s a complex process that takes a lot of time. At the same time, we knew it would be a key part of this acquisition. In the first months, there was quite a bit of confusion externally, as we still had two websites (one for Y Soft and one for EveryonePrint). More than that, we also concentrated on business as usual for a while, which means that we kept up the social presence and website updates of both companies. We also kept publishing product updates separately.
Since each individual company had important partnerships to sustain, we wanted to make sure all partners kept getting the same value as they’d received before. No holdups, no delays, we wanted them to understand that while we’re merging businesses, it won’t change the value of the partnership–at least not for the worse. So, we continued to deliver on our promises while slowly beginning to integrate our cloud technologies into one.
Slowly, but steadily, we made it to the rebranding phase. Hybrid Cloud Platform (temporarily known as YSoft EveryonePrint) has permanently been renamed to SAFEQ Cloud, earning its orange stripes for good.
Our frontline teams (sales, support, and marketing) have diligently pushed our rebranding with everything from our support platform, partner portal, websites, co-brandable assets, tools, decks, messaging, graphic design, and much more. And while some of it is still underway, we’ve come so far already. Just see for yourself:
#8 Don’t Lose Sight of the Big Picture
Like many others’ experiences with an acquisition or merger, it’s a little too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day details and lose sight of the bigger picture. From our earlier experience with acquisitions, we knew we had to keep the big picture top-of-mind.
Vaclav, Martin, and I knew we needed to remember and remind all YSofters why the acquisition was happening in the first place and what the ultimate goals were. We needed to integrate the long-term strategy into business initiatives and decisions and set clear goals for the job done to achieve the vision.
Coming back to transparency, we learned that part of the big picture is making sure we remain clear and consistent with employees and stakeholders about the direction of the company post-acquisition, giving them room to have influence and get their concerns addressed. With everyone on the same boat for what’s to come, we’re happy to be able to call this a truly successful acquisition.
#9 All Success must be Celebrated
If there’s one thing that will inevitably determine just how successful Y Soft was in acquiring EveryonePrint, it’s how well we celebrated our wins and made everyone feel part of the success. Because everyone was an indispensable part of getting us through the pre-, mid-, and post-acquisition stages. We made it through as one!
However small, medium-sized, or big the achievement, we made sure it was shared during our all-hands meetings. As we continue our journey, we’ll celebrate with colleagues, partners, and customers while setting our sights on new challenges to take office printing and workflow automation even further.
Back to Future-Proofing your Print Environment
EveryonePrint Hybrid Cloud Platform (YSoft EveryonePrint) is now called SAFEQ Cloud. The product is a pure cloud version of the SAFEQ On-Premises solution, giving IT teams the freedom to pick the solution of their choice, whether they want to keep their print on the premises, leverage a private cloud solution (SAFEQ Managed), or accelerate their digital transformation in a full-cloud printer setup.
The solution remains the same–and so does the goal. We will keep helping CIOs, IT teams, and IT managers future-proof their printing, make it easier to control print activities and costs, and ultimately improve IT efficiency. In document-heavy industries where everyone prints every day, we want to give IT teams an out from troubleshooting user issues, maintaining print hardware, and manually keeping up with security standards.
The SAFEQ Cloud solution continues to alleviate the burden on IT departments. This we’ll do by removing pesky hardware, centralizing printer fleet management, boosting infrastructure elasticity, and transferring a big chunk of management tasks from your IT team to your service provider.
And what now? A strong and united Y Soft strides ahead. As we move forward, we’ll continue to improve the experience and performance of our SAFEQ product family, including our cloud offering. We’ll continue making your favorite cloud print solution as great as it can be, with the following priorities:
- Make the SAFEQ platform as safe as it can be, so you can secure and protect your company and its data. We will keep ensuring your security with advanced regulatory compliance, frequent threat scanning and prevention, implementing the latest security protocols into the SAFEQ estate, and giving you a rich set of security features to go the extra mile.
- Develop the platform to help IT teams across the globe transform and modernize their IT infrastructure. By making your document handling simple and digitized with plenty of finishing options, we’re freeing up time for your team to focus on what matters most–and let go of print management.
- Make SAFEQ a future-proof solution for IT teams everywhere. As we enable digitization, power up our cloud priority, and deliver API-led connectivity, we’re hellbent on helping businesses and their people build better ways of working with future-proof IT infrastructure.
- Our offering is designed to improve efficiency and simplify the experience. With our SAFEQ cloud offering, our priority is creating a consistent and easy user experience with our embedded applications, for administrators and for end-users. With SAFEQ in your arsenal, the goal is to free up time and make IT efficiency an easy path to be on.
FAQs on EveryonePrint Hybrid Cloud
Why was EveryonePrint acquired?
When it was identified that Y Soft and EveryonePrint are two strong industry players with a shared mission to transform the print market, joining forces allows us to leverage our symmetry and tell a complete story. As one company, we’re determined to innovate and transform office workflow, creating a louder echo across the market.
What is “Hybrid Cloud Platform (HCP)” called now?
The cloud print solution has changed names twice. While it started out as “Hybrid Cloud Platform”, we temporarily switched it to “YSoft EveryonePrint” to make clear that the product is now powered by Y Soft. After 9 months of consolidating the best features from HCP and Y Soft’s prototype cloud product and merging their capacities, we’re officially naming the product to “SAFEQ Cloud”.
Are HCP and SAFEQ Cloud the same solution?
SAFEQ Cloud is a continuation of the former HCP, Hybrid Cloud Platform, originally offered by EveryonePrint. Since Y Soft acquired EveryonePrint, the product has been renamed but otherwise remains the same solution, just better. Ultimately, there is only one native-cloud print solution offered by Y Soft, i.e., SAFEQ Cloud.
Navigating an acquisition and rebranding an existing product comes with a fair amount of challenges. Looking back, I realize that we accomplished an incredible amount of work, tackled many obstacles and drawbacks, and became a truly united company in the past nine months because of it. We got to put the Y Soft way of working to the test and build a fully agile work environment and culture along the way.
We’re now in the post-phase of the acquisition. The product is officially named, our teams are working in unison, and the Y Soft powerhouse (YSofters and our partners) now looks to the future.
In hindsight, I know there are things we could have/should have done differently. We did what we could–and if we had to do it all over, a lot of it (not even the easy bits) I’d do the same way over again. We made people the priority and built long-lasting relationships with our partners in that stride. I’d say that isn't half bad.