XEROX:THE ICON OF INNOVATION
XEROX:THE ICON OF INNOVATION
2006-03-07 at 11:06:00 am #14725
Xerox: The Icon of Innovation
Journal – As a child, Donna Wittmann wanted to be an executive
secretary when she grew up. But today, she’s the vice-president of
small and medium business for Xerox’s North American operations
lead a company like Xerox is no small feat. Wittmann says a big
challenge is rebranding so customers realize Xerox does more than,
More than 90 per cent of Xerox’s revenues come from
multi-function units and printers that are network-ready, notes
Wittmann. “Stand-alone copiers are becoming less and less prevalent,”
she says. “Xerox is growing to be more printer-based, solutions-based
A former accountant (she worked at Ernst and
Young for two years), Wittmann joined Xerox 15 years ago. Watching the
company evolve, she has helped lead Xerox to 50 per cent growth over
the last three years.
Xerox is accustomed to success. Founded in
1906 as The Haloid Company in Rochester, New York, the company has
become a strong player buoyed by a reliable brand.
But 100 years of
experience doesn’t always make business a smooth ride. As Xerox has
found, many people view the company as a premium brand. Translation:
The technology is too expensive.
“What we’ve done is keep the
quality of our product, but bring down the price points to what small-
and medium-sized businesses can afford,” says Wittmann.
acquisition of Tektronix’s colour printing and imaging division for
$925 million in 2000 allowed the company to bring down the price of
colour printers to a level impossible before.
With new solid-ink
technology, Xerox overhauled its product portfolio and began offering
colour printers that printed at higher speeds, also cutting cost and
technical problems for the business owner.
According to Xerox’s
research, colour printing can drastically increase a company’s overall
returns. For example, a medium-sized company that uses colour on
billing will receive payments faster and with greater accuracy. “Xerox
has done a tremendous amount of work studying people and how they use
products,” says Wittmann.
For decades, printers were dumb machines -
they performed simple tasks when told to do so by computers. Today,
Xerox spends millions on R&D to integrate intelligent features into
its products. New Xerox printers will automatically send reminder
emails when ink is low, or order a service call if something breaks
down. Also, new multi-function devices can scan documents into archived
directories, allowing anyone to find, share and use information.
shows that 20 per cent of a worker’s time is spent looking for
documents, and half that time, they can’t find what they’re looking
for. Wittmann wants that to change: “Xerox is working to help people to
use technology for smarter document management, which always translates
into a more productive and profitable workplace.”