The market for enterprise managed print services (MPS) is a competitive space dominated by a small number of large vendors. With little to differentiate core services, such as fleet optimisation and proactive management, vendors such as Xerox are expanding their focus beyond MPS to lucrative business workflow services.
Xerox is a company in the midst of transformation, working hard to shift the legacy perception of its brand. Its journey to a services-led company means that today it is competing in a much wider technology and services market space.
Its Services unit is comprised of three offerings: business process outsourcing (BPO), document outsourcing (DO) and IT outsourcing (ITO). For FY 2013, revenue from its Services business accounted for 55% of its total revenue, up from 46% in 2010. In its Q1 2014 earnings call, Ursula Burns, CEO, indicated that Xerox expects this to grow to two-thirds by 2017.
Consequently, Xerox is pushing ahead with new services offerings, the most recent announcements relating to its MPS business.
Driving MPS growth
The MPS market is one where Xerox has established a mature leadership position. However, competition is intensifying, particularly with vendors such as HP, Lexmark and Ricoh strengthening their offerings.
Xerox is actively working to differentiate and strengthen its enterprise MPS offerings—through both expanded services and enhanced go-to-market. A key differentiator for Xerox is its breadth of service offerings that encompass the full range of printing services—from the office to the print room.
Its next generation MPS platform is built on three pillars—assess and optimise, secure and integrate and automate and simplify. These elements are supported by a range of technology, services and products that support enterprise initiatives around cost reduction, productivity and sustainability.
Key highlights of its latest announcements include:
Xerox has already developed a mature set of security solutions. Along with standard encryption and image overwrite capability, Xerox ConnectKey multifunction peripherals (MFPs) support McAfee’s whitelisting technology to detect and prevent unauthorised access of MFP files. In addition, ConnectKey MFPs also include Cisco TrustSec, for intelligent access control.
Xerox is enhancing these capabilities with the launch of its Secure Print Manager Suite which is available only to its MPS customers. Based on Nuance technology, this product offers 5 modules—user authentication, secure document release, job tracking, chargeback and accounting and rules-based printing.
A flexible and modular usage-based pricing model means that a customer can adopt a layered approach to document security, implementing the functionality required and adapting as business needs change.
New document analytics and workflow assessment services
With many organisations still relying heavily on paper-based processes, many MPS engagements are moving beyond the initial stages of fleet management and optimisation to driving productivity improvements around document workflow.
Xerox is looking to uncover further opportunities for business process optimisation, which will also enable it to leverage its BPO expertise to drive further productivity improvements for its customers.
Xerox has made significant investments in developing new workflow automation tools and applications.
It has launched two new services, leveraging its NewField IT technology, to help customers improve workflow efficiency.
- Xerox Document Analytics Service. This service analyses the lifecycle of a printed document—from creation to storage. By analysing when and why documents are printed, and how they are shared and stored, Xerox can deliver workflow automation, centralised print services or BPO recommendations. Xerox also includes, as an option, a full audit of paper across the organisation, including paper stored in filing cabinets. Analytics and visualisations are enabled through the Xerox CompleteView, Document Analytics application.
- Xerox Workflow Assessment Services. This three tier service starts with a high level capability and maturity assessment. Document Analytics is the second tier used, with a specific focus on workflow opportunities. This allows identification of paper-intensive processes that can be optimised. Once inefficient processes have been identified the third tier offers a more in-depth workflow study.
In addition, Xerox is building on its existing Enterprise Content Management (ECM) capabilities available through its DocuShare product, Xerox is keen to play a broader role in helping enterprises understand the unstructured paper dimension of their 'Big Data' challenges.
It is actively developing a new Workflow Automation Suite, which comprises services, software such as Xerox Content Management, ConnectKey and third party tools. Following the availability of the Xerox Ignite workflow solution for the education market, Xerox will be expanding availability of additional industry solutions for the government, financial and healthcare industries over the next 12 months.
Overall, Xerox has the depth and scale of expertise to offer enterprises a broad, holistic approach to managing enterprise document workflow.
Its latest announcements demonstrate its continued commitment to expanding its already mature MPS offerings. It has developed a broad set of tools and services to address the long term needs of enterprises to control costs, drive productivity and enhance sustainability.
As MPS engagements evolve, business process expertise will be a key enabler for next generation contracts, as enterprises look to optimise and connect disparate paper-driven business process silos. Xerox’s Workflow Automation Services is addressing these needs and. together with its BPO capabilities, Xerox is already well positioned to tackle the optimisation of business-critical processes.
To enable enterprises to harness the value of their paper-based information, next generation MPS providers will need to offer broader ECM capabilities. This demands the provision of ECM services that offer intelligent document capture and content analytics to help businesses gain better insight across all enterprise content.
Leveraging MFPs to automate document workflows will be key to managing paper content more effectively. Xerox has developed a strong proposition for business process automation around the integration of its ConnectKey MFPs with its DocuShare product.
However, penetration of Xerox DocuShare is relatively low in the large enterprise space, which presents an opportunity for Xerox to expand the profile and capabilities of its new Workflow Automation Suite. This will be vital in increasing its mindshare in a market where competitors such as HP Autonomy and Lexmark Perceptive are strengthening their integrated ECM and MPS propositions.
Meanwhile, Xerox‘s BPO and ITO offerings hold promise for the future as enterprises become more aware of the potential benefits of extending their MPS contracts to these areas.
Quocirca’s research indicates modest, but growing, interest in using a single provider across MPS, BPO and ITO. As the market develops this will be an opportunity for Xerox to expand its enterprise footprint, and also attract new customers.