*NEWS*FUJI XEROX:AGAINST THE WALL.

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*NEWS*FUJI XEROX:AGAINST THE WALL.

 user 2005-12-02 at 11:02:00 am Views: 141
  • #13007

    Against the Wall
    Many
    consumers are aware of its established reputation as a manufacturer,
    but there is clearly a gap between how Fuji Xerox is perceived on the
    market and how it actually sees itself.

    To many, the joint venture between Japan-based Fuji Photo Film Co and US-based Xerox Co is a printer and copier maker.
    It’s
    definitely not far off the mark. The company offers a wide range of
    high and low-end document processing products including printers,
    copiers, and large printing machines for publishing companies.
    But
    that’s not exactly what Fuji Xerox wants to be. It instead prefers to
    define itself as “The Document Company,” as its company logo states. It
    positions itself as a provider of document processing solutions, and it
    expects to generate more revenue from document-related services in the
    future.
    Toshio Arima, president of Fuji Xerox, says that the company is actively promoting and developing its service business.
    “We want to provide our customers with value-added, document management services, not just hardware,” he says.
    Arima
    hopes that document-related services, which currently account for only
    15 to 20 per cent of the company’s revenues, will contribute 30 per
    cent by late-2010.
    The company’s revenues over the fiscal year ending March 31 stood at 1029.2 billion yen (US$8.63 billion).
    Arima acknowledges that Fuji Xerox is experiencing a strategic shift in its business structure.
    “We want to be the industrial leader in document management within five years.”
    Fuji
    Xerox currently competes with a number of big names in the printer and
    copier markets, including Canon, Ricoh, Hewlett-Packard, and Epson.
    It
    is taking a gradual approach to its goal, by continuing to strengthen
    its manufacturing capabilities while it provides more document-related
    services.
    “There are admittedly many companies providing e-document solutions.”
    The shift to supplying document services is introducong changes to the company’s internal structure and sales channels, he adds.
    “It is just the beginning.”
    The
    company has invested heavily in its labs in the United States and Japan
    to develop new applications for business customers. It has come up with
    an e-document processing platform called “Open Office Frontier” (OOF).
    Based
    on broadband telecoms and Internet services, OOF is designed to
    encourage frequent, interactive communication between companies and
    their clients and offices, regardless of location, time zone, language,
    or specific information technology (IT) framework.
    The “Interactive
    Wall” lies at the heart of the OOF-style workshop. It is a touch-screen
    with a number of functions, and Fuji Xerox has developed processing
    software for it. Partners will offer the facilities.
    The screen can
    be used for video-conferences, and the wall connects companies’
    internal area networks. This enables conference attendees to register
    on-screen by using IC cards, which makes it easier to see who is absent.
    Images displayed on the wall can shift between the meeting and audio-visual presentations.
    Speakers
    can use special pens to add notes and highlight key points on the
    screen. The wall also provides hardcopies of speakers’ e-documents
    through network printers. Opinions can be shared by scanning messages
    for immediate display on the wall.
    These are only some of the many
    applications of the Interactive Wall. If it is shaped as a desktop,
    engineers can show their product drafts to clients who are at other
    locations and discuss details. Both sides can easily express their
    ideas by drawing on the screen and talking as in a video conference.
    OOF will be particularly useful for employees of multinational companies.
    “OOF makes PCs almost invisible,” says Hidetaka Kai, corporate vice-president of Fuji Xerox.
    Employees
    travelling overseas can simply carry IC cards instead of laptops. These
    provide access to data on office computers from any location, because
    information is stored on Internet-based corporate servers.
    “We’re
    still in the research and development stage with OOF, but the
    Interactive Wall, which is a part of it, is already being marketed in
    Japan,” he says, without elaborating further.
    Fuji Xerox has
    installed the device in 23 of its offices, including its facilities in
    Shanghai and Shenzhen. Four more are to be installed in its plants by
    the end of this year. All the walls are connected and operate online in
    real-time.
    “Customer needs are driving our growth, and we believe
    that document solutions hold huge potential in the Chinese market,”
    says Arima. “We are prepared to introduce the latest document
    processing technologies and solutions to our Chinese customers. Local
    governments, large domestic enterprises, and foreign multinationals
    will likely be our first customers.”