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Technology / AI and automation

THE DOCUMENT COMPANY XEROX LOOKS TO A COLORFUL FUTURE

Rank Xerox is dead, long live The Document Company Xerox. Or so the re-christened UK arm of the mighty Xerox Corp would have us believe. As of November 1 this year, the new Xerox (UK) Ltd commenced commercial activities, following the sale by Rank Group Plc of its remaining 20% interest in the former European joint venture which was Rank Xerox. Calling itself The Document Company Xerox, the rebirth is meant to represent a new and exciting era for the UK outfit, which has existing revenue in excess of $1bn and over 7,000 employees. The passing of the name Rank Xerox marks the end of an institution that had become as well known and trusted as Marks & Spencer and British Airways, said the UK’s managing director, Bill Goode. But Goode wants the whole photocopier legacy, which the name invariably conjures up, to be sloughed off in favor of a more holistic approach to the business of digital document management. The Xerox name means we help people and organizations create documents and use documents, he said. And so the news at Xerox is all about digital and color. The new Xerox products will all be digital and networkable, while revenues from color printing and copying grew by 50% over the 1996 third quarter. Xerox claims to have created the monochrome print on demand market and now it plans to do the same for the color printing market. It will also be throwing its full weight into the small office and home user market, where the growth is highest, with its new indirect sales division, the Xerox Channels Group. And don’t get carried away with the Xerox Vs. Hewlett-Packard Co scenario. This isn’t just a two horse race, according to Xerox. The market is so huge that it’s a very open field of play. But it was left to Bob Anderson, the director Xerox’s European research laboratories, to talk about the other great legacy of Xerox’s past, that of creating spectacular inventions of original brilliance, and then dropping them on the floor to be forgotten while other people steal them away to commercialize. Well that’s all in the past too, says Anderson. All research from now on will be putting the customer first. Our customers don’t care about technology, he said they just care about getting things done. Novel technology prototypes will be built up around real document flow processes and tested in safe customer environments. Recent innovations cited include the six million pixel, high resolution flat display and the high speed (1,000 page per minute) flat document scanner. Xerox wants to be your one stop shop for all things document orientated, even to the extent of providing consultancy services to re-engineer your business processes. And to this end, it says, service and consultancy revenues will eventually become the Company’s biggest income stream. According to Xerox UK’s director of business services John Drinkwater, By the year 2000, The Document Company Xerox, the company you used to think was the copier company will have moved through being a digital and color products company to being one whose lead offering is services.

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CBR Staff Writer

CBR Online legacy content.