Xerox refreshes product line, expands services

Company aims for scanning, imaging services to account for 50 percent of revenue in future

Xerox wooed Wall Street and users last week in New York with a three-day rollout of new printers, software and strategic initiatives that underscored how services will be the engine of growth for the company.

The company's long-term message is that Xerox has the broad array of products and services to meet users' requirements for "smarter" documents that, for example, can be tagged with information and automatically routed through a company's workflow.

"Documents are containers that have information for human processing," said Anne Mulcahy, chief executive officer and chairman, in a keynote address Friday. "The vast majority of documents are dumb as the day is long. They don't know where they're going and ... don't know how much damage they can do if they get into the wrong hands."

The company announced new Xerox Imaging Services Centers in The Netherlands, Spain, and Japan, to complement its centers in the U.S., U.K., Brazil and Singapore, and an existing center in Japan. The centers offer scanning and imaging services that convert hard-copy documents to electronic documents. The company is also eyeing possible locations in India, China and eastern Europe, Global Services President Tom Dolan said in an interview.

In an interview after her keynote address, Mulcahy said that to achieve the company's long-term growth goals, she would like to see services account for about 50 percent of company revenue. "Whether that's over the next three, four, or five years, I can't say," she noted.

Currently services, including high-end business process services as well as traditional maintenance-type services, account for about 20 percent of the company's revenue -- or $3.3 billion out of annual revenue of $15.8 billion.

Xerox also announced the DocuShare Developer's Environment, a set of tools designed to let developers customize the company's DocuShare 5.0 and DocuShare CPX content management software and create workflow applications. For example, the tools let developers tap XML (Extensible Markup Language) to create documents whose content can be automatically reused in business forms. Templates can also be used to personalize blogs and wiki pages while adhering to a common business look and feel.

"The drive toward personalization is a great opportunity," Mulcahy said, noting that all sorts of businesses are personalizing marketing messages to the point where they address individuals. "Wheaties can put your picture on the cereal box," she said.

A number of printer manufacturers, such as Canon and Ricoh, have kept up the competitive pressure on Xerox, especially in the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market, noted Riley McNulty, a research manager with market research company IDC. "But it's really Hewlett-Packard that has the real breadth and scope that Xerox has," he said.

A new printer announced this week, the WorkCentre 4150 black-and-white multifunction printer aimed at the SMB market, addresses competition in that area, he said. The 4150, starting at $2,199, offers speeds up to 45 pages a minute, simultaneous copy, print, scan and fax functions, and queue-management functions.