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In talks with Balaji Rajagopalan, Executive Director, Xerox India on their Printing business

Balaji RajagopalanOur technology expertise, solutions and services enable clients–from small businesses to large global enterprises–to operate more efficiently and effectively, says Balaji Rajagopalan, Executive Director, Technology, Channels & International Distributor Operations, Xerox India. He added ‘We work with our network of partners to deliver this seamlessly across India, freeing our customers to focus on what matter most:  their Real business.’

He discusses about their new line of printers with mobile connectivity, appropriate printer for an organization, how they became leader in the graphics art printing space and reveals much more.

Read Full Interview With Balaji Rajagopalan

Q1) How much of a business’ annual spending is usually on printing?

The amount an organization spends on printing depends on business it is in, however in most cases it varies between 3%-8% of the total organization expense. This is a significant expense that an organization cannot ignore and but in spite of this we often find that many organizations do not have visibility or control on what  they spend on printing. This happens because the accountability of printing is split across various departments and no one carries the ultimate responsibility for making sure that this expense is managed well.

Not just that, printing hits more than just the expenses in an organization. A document carries information that is often confidential or personal so it could be significant security risk. Many processes are document based. So in case of a physical document it means that as various people in the process handle documents, there is a risk of losing or damaging the documents and there is an additional task of moving the document physically from desk to desk which means loss of efficiency. The emergence of mobile workforce, increasing penetration of cloud services means that the complete printing ecosystem also has to walk in step to address all these new challenges beyond just the cost of printing.

Q2) What is managed print services and how does it boost productivity?

If you look at enterprises today, each year improper document management costs organizations millions of dollars in liability, reduced efficiency and lost productivity. And these costs will only increase in future with expansion in business operations, and ever increasing regulatory and compliance related requirements. Hence it becomes critical to maintain proper document management infrastructure/program to ensure data privacy and security, regulatory, compliance, control and access to information and cost control associated with information processing. Therefore, the incumbent need is to outsource these services to a service provider that specializes in the domain and is capable of providing the desired turn-around times and Service Levels backed by tangible and measurable key Performance Indicators, continuous monitoring and proactive support for the print environments.

Managed Print Services deliver great results on the customers’ document output

  1. Optimizing, consolidating and simplifying the print infrastructure
  2. Leveraging trends: Product consolidation, sustainable supplies and hard drive set-up and maintenance
  3. Thinking beyond page volumes and clicks – applications & level of efficiencies
  4. Analyzing the enormous possibilities and showcasing it to the customer

MPS market in India is projected to grow at a rate of 30%, making it one of the fastest growing MPS market globally, and a significant growth opportunity for Xerox. In comparison, Asia-Pacific region is growing @17-20% and the global average growth rate is 10-12% (source: E&Y MPS study). As per the assessment that E&Y and Xerox did on Indian MPS market, the market size as of 2014 is expected to be 250M$.

Xerox, over the years has established itself as the world’s leading enterprise for business process and document management. We are differentiated through our innovation and renowned service. We are relevant through a wide range of technology and services that directly address our customers’ current and evolving needs. Our technology expertise, solutions and services enable clients – from small businesses to large global enterprises – to operate more efficiently and effectively. We work with our network of partners to deliver this seamlessly across India, freeing our customers to focus on what matter most:  their Real business.

Xerox is bullish and focused to tap this potential market. In fact in 2014, we announced to the media our expanded MPS offerings via the launch of The Next Generation MPS.  The latest NextGen MPS from Xerox addresses these challenges with its unique 3 step approach of Assess & Optimise, Secure & Integrate and Automate & Simplify.

It is designed to build momentum and deliver new value that help customers of all sizes realize significant cost savings on printing with increase efficiencies in organizational processes and enhanced security.  It is designed to:

  1. Analyze how and why documents are printed, and use that analytical intelligence to change the way information is accessed. It is way beyond merely managing customers’ existing fleet
  2. Enhance information security without disrupting the IT infrastructure
  3. Make mobile/cloud printing easier and more convenient
  4. Evaluate, simplify and improve everyday document-intensive business processes through workflow automation.

Q3) How are laser printers faring against ink jet printers? How does Xerox approach the shift away from inkjets to laser printers?

It is important to understand that both inkjet and laser printers cater to specific needs of the customer. As a result, both inkjet and laser printing market will co-exist. Saying that, there is certainly a shift towards using laser printers and Xerox is prepared to cater to both the inkjet and laser printer needs of the customer.

Q4) What are the business factors that need to be evaluated in choosing an appropriate printer for an organization?

Businesses of today pay a lot of attention to devices which are cost effective, secure and are able to multitask. As a result of this, there is an inherent growth in MFDs today. Demand for Multifunction Printers (MFPs) is increasing as they deliver enhanced functionality and productivity for an organization. Also, multifunctional devices edges over single function devices with increased adoption by small, medium size businesses as well as large enterprises. The other primary factors leading to MFP adoption are higher level of efficiency, lower total cost of ownership (TCO), high quality prints, ease of use and value the MFPs offer. Multifunction color laser printers possess true multitasking ability while also giving one the competitive advantage of color, when your work demands it. With a multifunction color laser printer, one can create, communicate and collaborate.

These days, MFPs have in-built capabilities that enable printing from cloud and mobile devices. MFPs these days help workplaces of all sizes increase productivity and sustainability efforts significantly and are a true enabler of BYOD scenarios with outstanding security features. Seeing this market opportunity, we had launched ConnectKey enabled devices towards end of 2013 and these devices come packed with exciting features of security, cloud and mobility and we have seen good traction of these devices in India.

Q5) How has Xerox enabled its new line of printers with mobile connectivity? In what other ways is the company adapting to the new era of connected devices?

With the changing market landscape, we looked at enabling our printers with features of mobility, cloud and security. We made a move to launch the ConnectKey series of printers in late 2013 and we have already seen good success with these printers. ConnectKey is the new operating system and software for Xerox multifunction printers (MFPs). It is designed for one purpose: to simplify the way work gets done.  ConnectKey MFPs offer flexibility, simplicity and security – all of which allows businesses to focus more on what matters most: Real Business. The ConnectKey MFPs do much more than print, scan, fax and copy.

  1. One can print from just about any device from anywhere.
  2. Documents can be scanned directly to cloud services like Google Drive, Evernote, Office 365 for storage and collaboration – right from the MFP touch screen
  3. The new common user interface also allows anyone in the workforce to easily connect into the company’s business processes
  4. For IT professionals, this common user interface as well as embedded security protection from McAfee allows MFPs to be managed and protected as easily as the rest of the network
  5. The ConnectKey MFP platform has an open API system. That means sales channel partners, systems integrators and resellers can develop applications and embed them on the MFP with no additional software requirements

This tells you about our commitment to innovate and bring forward the best products to the market place.

Q6) How are the printer requirements for SMB’s, different from that of a large scale organization?

Talking about the printing requirements of small and medium businesses, they are very different to large enterprises. They are looking for high quality printers at affordable price points to address their needs and our new range of printers are especially designed keeping that in mind. Streamlined performance, ease of use and compact design make our printers attractive for the SMB segment. We have feature-rich products to cater to both the needs of SMBs and large enterprises.

Q7) How has Xerox innovated in the area of graphics art printing? What gram per square meter paper density is achieved in more powerful printers?

We are one of the leaders in the graphics art printing space. The recently launched Xerox Color C70 offers the widest range of applications in this market space, including running synthetics, vinyls, window clings, carbonless paper, never-tear paper, transfer papers, magnets and many other unique applications that are made possible with Xerox’s low melt toner & flexible paper path. The C70 also has exceptional energy saving capabilities. With ultra-low melt technology, the machines achieves minimum fusing temperature at 68 degrees F (20 degrees C) lower than conventional toner for even more energy savings and brilliant glossy output even on ordinary paper. Also, the power consumption of the scanner using LED lighting is 1/3rd of traditional scanners using fluorescent lamps. With these energy savings, the running electricity costs of the C60/C70 are almost 1/4th to similar press configurations available in the market today! Furthermore, the newly developed, heat-efficient IH fuser does not require preheating, which helps reduce power consumption in standby mode by 44% compared to a resistance heating.

Another newly launched device, the Xerox Versant 2100 is targeted at mid- to high-end segment of the digital printing industry. We believe this press, with an offset-like matte finish, will revolutionise the digital printing industry in India and also expand the market to tier II cities for on-demand printing in the commercial and photo printing segments. The digital production engine can print up to 100 pages-per-minute with Ultra HD image quality. It can be used for personalised communications, collateral, brochures, photo publishing and specialty print products. Both these presses provide a combination of cutting edge capabilities across services and equipment technology that are driving the growth and profitability for Xerox.

Versatile Media handling is another key requirement of the production industry. You need the capability to be able to print on different type of media – glossy, non-glossy, matt,  high-gsm etc depending on the application. Xerox production devices are very versatile in terms of media handling. The high-end printers like Versant and CP 1000 can easily handle media upto 350 GSM and iGen can go upto 500 GSM with a heavy duty option.

Q8) How has LED technology changed the manufacture of laser printers?

Back in the mid-1990s, LED (light-emitting diode) page printing was poised to be the next big thing in the workplace. LED technology offered a less complicated and quieter method of using the same basic technology as laser printers. LED devices were more compact and use significantly less power, all factors which encouraged buyers. Five years after they were introduced, LED systems still hadn’t made much of an impact on the market—or on users.  While traditional LED devices provided more reliability than laser printers in some ways, their design limitations also proved to be problematic.  LED printers featured shorter light and paper paths and fewer moving parts. Still, their light intensity and timing accuracy varied from LED to LED resulting in highly inconsistent image quality.  Print quality, especially in terms of resolution and reliability, became LED’s primary disadvantage, and lasers retained their dominant position in the marketplace.

In traditional LED printers, the print head consisted of a wide linear array of digitally controlled, light-emitting diodes, which were often built into the cover of the printer. Instead of scanning the image, as a laser printer does, the LEDs selectively flash to create a pattern of dots on the photo-receptive drum as it rotates; creating a latent image that is transferred to paper via electrically charged toner.  Important aspects of LED printing work well and offer real advantages to users. In addition to LED’s mechanical reliability and compact design, it’s a simple design overall, with fewer moving parts than laser printers.

LED printers will continue to be use as they cater to specific jobs and there will be a lot of development on this technology in time to come.

Q9) Do you still see the 3D printer market as niche? By when do you think this will proliferate into the consumer space?

The 3D printing market in India is still at a very nascent stage. It is certainly catching up and entering the mainstream printing market, but in a cost-conscious market like India, we believe there is still some time to go before the 3D printing market blooms.



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