XEROX:THE ICON OF INNOVATION

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XEROX:THE ICON OF INNOVATION

 user 2006-03-07 at 11:06:00 am Views: 47
  • #14725

    Xerox: The Icon of Innovation
    Digital
    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

    Helping
    lead a company like Xerox is no small feat. Wittmann says a big
    challenge is rebranding so customers realize Xerox does more than,
    well, “Xerox.”
    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
    and service-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.
    Xerox’s
    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.
    Research
    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.