New Xerox Announcements – Far Beyond Printer Hardware
The announcement from Xerox’s event in NYC this week goes far beyond hardware speeds and feeds. Yes, Xerox announced 29 new products and two new printer brands, all sharing a common UI (User Interface) and all are powered by Connect Key. This has to be the most extensive announcement in Xerox’s 110 year history.
29 New Products and 2 New Brands
The VersaLink Family is designed for the SMB market and the AltaLink Family is for large enterprises and centralized environments. The following represents a new product line with 29 devices.
Xerox VersaLink Family – targeting SMB
- 19 products including 12 A4 products and 7 A3 products
- More aggressive price/performance
- 5” display on lower end products and 7 “ display on higher end products
- Ideal for multi-brand dealers
- Strong value proposition
- Entire product line available to the channel.
Xerox AltaLink Family – targeting larger enterprises, more centralized environments
- 10 new products, all A3
- 5 mono, 5 color
- Share common controller, 2 controller families
- Smart, powerful, scalable, built in security
- Total new UI with fewer steps for tasks vs. competitive products
- Built in NFC for future proof, now Android, future Apple
- Remote UI
- Built in security
The UI for all of these devices is common and the user experience is similar to a smart phone. However, Xerox knows very well that having good hardware products are just not good enough. They want to change the way people work by bridging the gap between the physical document and the electronic document. Xerox PARC is totally focused on helping with this transformation through innovative research.
Xerox Goals and Growth Areas
Xerox’s goals are to improve office efficiency and productivity while out performing the market. Their strategy includes shortening the product time to market, deliver leading customer experiences, and focus on growth markets through a pivot strategy. The pivot strategy is expected to account for 50% of Xerox’s business by 2020.
Key growth areas:
- Production color inkjet
- Managed document services, customized analytics
- Services for the SMB market
- A4 product line for SMB market, leveraging the channel
Target applications for inefficient workflows:
- Patient records
- Loans processing
- Visa applications
- Contract processing
- Finance agreements
- Legal documents
- Document archiving
- Invoice handling/processing
Xerox Mantra – Workplace Transformation
So why is transformation so important to Xerox? They believe the workplace is full of unproductive workflows due to scattered information, information siloes, security concerns, and IT support nightmares.
Xerox’s primary goal is to transform the workplace based on the following user assumptions:
- 81% of users are looking for workflow improvement
- 71% have identified processes that could benefit from automation
- 37% just started implementing plans for digitization
- 55% of workflows are still paper based
So what is Xerox’s strategy to enable transformation?
- Extended hardware offering – freedom of choice from low to high end
- Consistent Software Architecture – open platform, personalized user profiles
- Breadth of possibilities – customized solutions, partnering with software partners such as Nuance, YSoft etc..
- Developing workflows for the masses
Xerox’s is counting on Connect Key technology to enable this workplace transformation.
- Intuitive user interface – large touchscreens and customized user interface
- Mobile and Cloud ready – all 29 products support cloud connectors. Xerox is Partnering with Equitrac, Pharos, Nuance etc..
- Benchmark Security – Xerox has been working on document security for some time – Intrusion Detection, Device detection, Document and Data protection, some partnerships in this area.
- Enables next generation services – Secure cloning, remote configuration, usage, billing, status, meter reads, sustainability tools
- Gateway to new and expanded applications
Xerox’s goal is to simplify and make the following workflows more efficient with the new breed of Connect key MFPs to.
- Document archiving
- Document translating
- Expense processing
- Loan processing
- Patient record filing
- Invoice processing
Application Support Central to Xerox’ Future
In order to encourage Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to develop software for Xerox devices, they have developed the Personalized Application Builder (PAB). Xerox offers two levels of PAB tools, the App Studio which does not require programming skills, and a PAB Developer tool which does require programming skills. The applications may be information apps, support apps or workflow type apps.
The PAB business has grown significantly within Xerox fro 2016 to 2017.
# partners 162 >250
# Applications 11 42
Installed applications 13,000 >300,000
Xerox offers a number of training tools such as PAB Case Study videos (about 30 to date) which shows the before and after workflows and the money saved.
What about MPS?
Xerox, a leader in MPS market, talked about the future plans for their MPS program. Xerox’s MPS Ready Range puts new products through their MPS checklist based on 230 different attributes to ensure that new products are “MPS Ready” and designed with MPS in mind.
One Final Note
There is certainly a lot of excitement in Rochester inspired by a new, success driven management team. Xerox absolutely gets it this time. They understand that hardware is the ante in the game but it will be the applications and solutions developed by their partners supported by sales, and educational tools that will drive sales in the future for Xerox. We look forward to the results as this new strategy unfolds.
Kudos to Xerox!