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Xerox goes after the big spenders as it questions the channel’s ability to meet their more complex needs

In its latest six-month product update, Xerox has revealed a raft of new solutions designed to improve business processes and productivity.

Xerox has revealed a raft of new solutions designed to improve business processes and productivity
Xerox has revealed a raft of new solutions designed to improve business processes and productivity

These include workflow automation solutions, currently available only from Xerox Large Enterprise Operations; cloud solutions, also available via the channel; user analytics for managed print services, also available via the channel; and a number of mobile printing solutions.

The four new workflow automation solutions reflect the greater focus within Xerox on vertical industry solutions, as it aims to develop deeper relationships with those organisations that spend most on printing and imaging technology.

They are designed for customers that want to keep processes in-house, but Xerox believes that as a result of the high level of consultancy involved, the solutions provide a natural bridge to Xerox’s business process outsourcing (BPO) services.

The four solutions are:

Workflow Automation Solution for Supply Chain Optimisation. The solution helps retail organisations manage in-store returns and reconcile orders, stock levels and supplier payments. Xerox says that the first company to use it – a large retail chain in Canada – has reduced the labour required for reconciliation by 50% and cut printing by 33%;

HR On-boarding. Xerox’s solution is designed to create a unified workflow for the provisioning of laptops, tablets, telephones, corporate IDs, cars and other assets to new employees. It brings together information from disparate sources including paper, scans, web forms and phone information;

Loan Origination. The workflow application manages the capture and archiving of information needed for loan applications from paper, electronic forms and email and automatically routes them to loan officers through a tailored workflow; and

Health Records Information

Management. This solution provides a unified view of patient data held in paper archives, Dicom systems and electronic patient record (EPR) systems that clinicians can access on a tablet as they do their rounds. The system is already being used by The Luton and Dunstable NHS Trust, which has digitised about 1.2 million paper patient records, freeing up floor space for a new cardiac ward and improving patient and clinical safety.

Consulting demands

These solutions combine workflow and content management from Datawatch and Hyland with consulting services, change management, process improvement, technical implementation, integration into existing systems and data capture through imaging and scanning.

Due to the high degree of consulting involved, Andy Jones, Vice President, Workflow Automation, Large Enterprise Operations at Xerox, said that the solutions wouldn’t yet be available through the MPS channel, though this was an area that Xerox was investigating.

“It is our intention to see how we can take these to market through the channel, but there is a big demand on the channel partner having the right consulting and technical skills to go and deliver these solutions,” he said.

“For now, the cloud-based platforms (see below) will be the leading edge of what we go to our channel organisations with. We will understand better how we can bring these deeper vertical solutions to the market once we understand channel partners’ capabilities in more detail. Part of the opportunity is to identify some new communities of channel partner beyond some of the traditional MPS ones that may have better access to the market to take these solutions. So we think they could open up some opportunities for us.”

Cloud solutions

In addition to its workflow automation solutions, Xerox has developed a number of tools that address individual worker productivity, which it is now offering as packaged cloud offerings available from Xerox and its channel partners. These are:

Digital Alternatives. Launched in November as an on-premise solution, Digital Alternatives (DA) is now available as a private cloud solution hosted in data centres in Western Europe. It is designed to improve productivity and remove the need to print when working with documents. It does this through digital signatures, easier sharing of documents and other tools, with automatic synchronisation between a user’s various devices. An analytics engine collects data about the types of task being performed and enables organisations to monitor activity on a per user basis. It also shows how much time and how much paper has been saved.

Jones said: “This information is extremely useful for businesses in helping them understand how they can improve efficiency inside the office and move towards their vision of the office of the future. It’s certainly one of the really important features of DA that separates it from some of the personal apps that you see in the marketplace.”

In addition, all analytics from the DA platform can be imported into Xerox CompleteView, giving MPS customers visibility of everything from core print data to DA usage.

DocuShare.Xerox’s document management solution is also now available through a private cloud, reducing the user’s administrative burden and increasing the speed of adoption. The Energy Alliance, an energy supply company, is using the solution to give mobile workers access to documents from anywhere in the UK.

MPS solutions

Xerox also announced CompleteView User Analytics to help MPS providers deliver the continuous improvement demanded by customers.

CompleteView User Analytics is the third member of the CompleteView product family developed by Xerox company NewField IT. It follows the introduction of CompleteView Pro, which gives a devicecentric view of a user’s environment, and CompleteView Document Analytics, which gives a document-centric view of a customer’s environment.

CompleteView User Analytics offers a user-centric view of the customer’s environment, giving insight into what types of document users are printing, when they are printing them etc. This highlights inefficiencies and enables resellers to provide continuous optimisation of a customer‘s environment.

A software agent links into print management tools, such as Xerox Secure Print Manager suite, Equitrac Office and Safecom, gathers the information and transmits it to a Xerox data warehouse where it is stored and organised. Using a web-based tool, users can view the data, analyse it and drill down to find inefficiencies in their environment.

Mobility Solutions

In addition, Xerox has launched new serverless mobile printing apps that improve the productivity of mobile workers. These include:

A Mopria Alliance universal plug-in for Android users in a mixed vendor print environment, facilitating two-sided printing and paper size and page range selection;

Xerox Print Service Plug-in for Android for more demanding Android users who want automatic print device discovery; more print options, including paper and colour selection; finishing, such as stapling and collating; and PIN code print release inside the native Android OS.

Xerox Mobile Print Cloud 3.0 for large MPS customers that want security, accounting and user tracking features. The new version includes a print-from-email capability that lets users send print jobs to an email address via a ConnectKey app. This generates a PIN that can be input at an MFP to release the job; and

The Xerox Mobile Link App, which allows users to create one-touch workflows on their mobile devices for remote control of Xerox ConnectKey MFPs and the ability to transmit documents to the cloud, fax, email or other destinations simultaneously.

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