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Exclusive: Xerox is part and parcel of the digitally transformed, safer, ecologically aware future office

In an exclusive interview with Mahmoud Al Yahya, Xerox General Manager, Middle East & Central Eastern Europe, AMEinfo finds out the transformative impact of the company on the planet, business, and people

Xerox's conversion apps helped the company go digital with documents, save office space, costs, and reduce waste Xerox's secure print features protect organizations' most sensitive data Xerox's Docushare is a mobile, intuitive, and cloud-enabled enterprise content management (ECM) platform

Xerox is known as a document management technology company but it also a business enabler and a key technology player of the future and hybrid workspace.

In an exclusive interview with Mahmoud Al Yahya, Xerox General Manager, Middle East & Central Eastern Europe, AMEinfo finds out the transformative impact of the company on the planet, business, and people.

1- How has Xerox digitally transformed as a company?

Slowing down is not an option for us. Our vision is to leverage our heritage of embracing innovation to help our customers find better ways of working. We achieve this by investing and creating new document technologies, products, and services that help improve our customers’ work processes and business results.

As a company, we started this journey years ago and have embraced digital transformation by continuously updating our processes and workflows. Our cloud connector apps make it safe and easy to create highly efficient workflows by connecting our ConnectKey® Technology-enabled printers to a cloud storage app. Our conversion apps have also helped us go digital with our documents, save office space, costs, and reduce waste.

More recently, we have expanded our software portfolio with the acquisition of CareAR, an augmented reality support platform company that provides real-time access to expertise for customers, employees, and field workers. We will be integrating CareAR into our service model to improve service quality and time for our customers.

2- How is Xerox contributing to the digital transformation of its B2B and B2C clients?

At Xerox, we support businesses by digitizing their data, securing it in the cloud, and automating them into workflows.  Below are a few examples of how we achieved this.

Xerox worked with a private bank to begin eliminating all paper onboarding forms across all their branches. To digitize the onboarding process, Xerox Capture & Content Services automatically captures and validates information from any source—paper or electronic. As a result, onboarding time at the branches decreased from 40 minutes to 10 minutes and reduced the banks’ maintenance process for its documentation from 10 minutes to only one minute. 

Xerox supported governments with capturing, storing, and analyzing the population’s data, allowing the country to deliver social services to those who need them effectively. The Xerox DocuShare Content Management Platform was used to upload census questionnaire responses into a virtual database where the information could be organized, measured, and securely stored. In total, 76 million document images were processed.

Xerox worked with an insurer to respond to large volumes of incoming queries, all of which require a printed and mailed response. The Xerox Digital Mailroom service automates outbound communications; indexing and routing of incoming queries improving accuracy and speed, helping meet SLA agreements with over 4,000 brokers for claims processing and other activities.

Xerox worked with a broadcasting company, allowing them to stay on air when the teams moved to remote work. Xerox IT Services created a centralized wireless networking and media storage system, which enabled the company’s team to continue to create and broadcast hours of media content every day.

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3- How much is paper still a part of Xerox machines and will the company reach a zero-paper threshold with its future document management technology

Digitization is fundamentally about transforming and improving our interaction with information, the reduction and elimination of paper is a positive effect of this. We anticipate there will always be a role for the printed page but increasingly re-proportioned in relation to digital and with a more focused purpose.

Digital transformation and the incorporation of digital services in the workplace is vital for ensuring seamless workflows. The efficiency of any organization or production operation depends on its workflows. Digitizing documents makes for quicker, easier access to information and reduces the time spent on managing files and records.

Digitizing also modernizes the document-sharing process, which enhances efficiency and productivity. In modern workplaces, there is a significant need for services that unite the workforce, provide a better customer experience, and create a more collaborative culture.

We have taken another step towards reaching our goals of an automated, digitized, and paperless workplace by completing our key internal Digital Delivery Project, which offers more efficient digital solutions. 

This project highlights how a full adoption of the latest technology can easily transition towards a paperless end-user experience. The benefits of not using paper are far-reaching; from increasing productivity to saving money on costs such as media stock, printing, ink, admin, envelopes, and even postage. Removing paper from the daily workflow equates to greater convenience and quality of service across the board.

While the traditional print trend if declining in the office space worldwide, there are still certain areas where digital print is in fact growing as a result of applications migrating from traditional printing to digital printing. We see this increasingly in the publishing and graphic arts industries.  

4- Can you describe your experience with businesses who buy your products when it comes to their being…

a- Cost-conscious: In the environment we live in, when businesses are careful with costs, it’s an opportunity for us. It means they will try to purchase items of good value for money, and this is a chance for us to sell our products and services. We have a broad range of products and services that offer our customers the best value and impact to their businesses.  

b- Sustainability-conscious: The company’s innovative products, services, and processes advance the sustainability effort by delivering social, financial, and environmental benefits. For example, Xerox inkjet takes the business and environmental benefits of digital inkjet technology and expands on them, allowing you to achieve new levels of value-driven differentiation, gain a stronger competitive advantage and realize new efficiencies that lead to major cost savings. 

We strive to connect the physical and digital worlds without adversely affecting the environment, human health, and safety. With goals to reduce environmental impacts across our value chain, we invest in innovative solutions that can conserve natural resources and lower the energy intensity of our operations.

In 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized Xerox with the Electronics Challenge Champion Award for its industry-leading Green World Alliance (GWA) supplies take-back program, which helps divert used supplies from the landfill.

c- Security-conscious: Security is critical to every business, and we take it very seriously. We equip printers and multifunction printers (MFPs) with several secure print features to protect organizations’ most sensitive data. Our software and apps ensure digital data is safeguarded as you share it via the cloud and mobile devices. And Managed Print Services is just one of the many ways we deliver document security expertise and solutions to our customers.

5- What are Xerox’s top recent technology innovations that will help a hybrid/remote working environment thrive?

Our vision is to leverage our heritage of embracing innovation to help our customers find better ways of working. 

Our TEAMS availability app is an intuitive platform that enables employees to communicate their availability every day—and provides leadership with a daily overview of their teams’ working hours and locations. This way, your business can make more informed resourcing decisions and stay organized from the inside out.

CareAR™ Assist, our augmented reality platform, lets remote service agents and experts virtually see a situation and visually guide onsite support to a solution using a suite of augmented reality tools via desktop, mobile, and smart glass devices as if they were there in person.

Another of our innovations is Docushare, which is a mobile, intuitive, and cloud-enabled enterprise content management (ECM) platform that can be deployed on-site or via a secure private cloud for enhanced mobility. Docushare provides the tools needed to automate processes and support digital transformation in any organization. 

Furthermore, in the past year, we’ve invested in new services such as Virtual Print Management Service and Digital Hub and Cloud Printing Services (DHCPS). Virtual Print allows companies to rapidly replace legacy, on-premises print servers with Xerox’s secure cloud infrastructure. DHCPS is clients’ one-stop-shop for all transactional, promotional needs for in-house or remote worker needs.

6- Is Xerox changing the new model of work or changing with it?

Xerox was one of the major contributors to design the offices we have today. Before Xerox, office spaces didn’t exist as we know them now. We are adapting with the changes and contributing to some of them. 

To better understand the changing working environment, we conducted our first Future of Work survey at Xerox. The survey helped us uncover how IT decision-makers support hybrid working and how businesses plan to move forward as the world begins to reopen. 

To address the workplace’s new emerging needs, we offered cloud connectivity features that accommodate those demands. Xerox embarked on this journey more than four years ago with the introduction of VersaLink and AltaLink Workplace Assistants powered by ConnectKey technology. Our devices include support for various printing methods to meet the needs of virtually any mobile or portable device. 

Also, to help organizations safeguard employee’s health as they return to the office, we provide organizations with the Xerox Workplace App: a mobile app that acts as a remote control to the multifunction printers (MFP). Workers can scan, copy, or print from their smartphone while avoiding the need to touch the user interface of shared MFPs. When used in conjunction with Xerox Workplace Cloud print management solution, the same app can also act as a secure print release terminal for all jobs sent from the PC or submitted by email, or even from the app itself.

The pandemic has allowed us to reimagine our working environments. Now is the time to plan and consider post-lockdown working environments, factors such as real estate, critical roles to the workplace, company philosophy, and our national attitudes towards remote working. 

We must incorporate learnings into the next phase, reduce anxieties, make the most of the positives, and give employees tools to thrive in a hybrid working environment.

7- What is the size of Xerox’s business in the region?

We have 15 distributors in 11 countries in the Middle East. We have been in the region for more than 30 years. There continues to be a huge potential for growth in this market as the population is young and tech-savvy, Xerox sees the Middle East as one of the engines of growth.

With the support of local government initiatives, the Middle East region continues to be early adopters in new innovations and implementing new programs. We work with all sectors but our main focus would be communication, government, financial services, and telecom providers. Other sectors important to us are graphic arts and publishing. We are also looking towards a new market of remote servicing.