The Integrator talks to Pui-Chi Li, Marketing Head of Xerox to gain insights on Managed Printing Services.
Q1. In the increasingly digital economy, how are printing solutions keeping pace?
A1. Digital economy is dependent on the digital transformation process and its success. Therefore, businesses are now demanding so much more than just a printer. To keep up with the market demands and trends, a stand-alone printing machine is evolving into an intelligent and connected workplace assistant. In the narrowest sense, digital transformation encapsulates the essence of moving from a ‘physical’ or ‘analogue’ world to a ‘touchless’ or ‘digital’ one across the print industry. The concept of ‘information digitization’ plays an ever-growing role towards utilizing ‘less paper’ and providing a communications platform. This harnesses the full power of new digital technologies, which is multi-channel and not simply print on paper. Therefore, print organizations are re-imagining and re-engineering the way they operate and how they communicate and transact business with their customers.
Q2. What is the landscape like of Managed Printing Service (MPS) in the Middle East?
A2. The Managed Print Services (MPS) market is growing across the Middle East and the growth differs depending on the specific countries/regions where you look. GCC countries, like the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, are leading the Middle East region when it comes to the adoption of MPS. The key enabler driving enterprises to adopt MPS solutions across both large enterprises and SMB segments is the need to improve employee productivity through greater automation and information security.
Q3. What are the key elements to consider for print solutions?
A3. Today’s office environments are evolving to fulfil productivity needs of the modern, mobile, always connected workforce. Therefore, we need so much more than just a machine – we need a workplace assistant, an intelligent device that gives us more than a piece of paper with letters on it. One of the most important qualities that a printing solution should have is being connected to a cloud to facilitate document transfer. However, at the same time the device needs to be protected from cyberattacks and malwares. In addition, today’s printers are expected to be efficient and cost-effective by cutting down on the number of documents that need to be printed.
Q4. How can businesses maximize their print investments?
A4. People productivity, data security, and costs are critical aspects for any organization’s business objectives. Intelligent print management software combined with the right technology and a robust service support infrastructure helps manage these three critical aspects and hence plays a pivotal role in any enterprise managed print services solution. Employing technologies such as MPS is a smart way to dramatically reduce costs spent on printing. In fact, MPS can help reduce organizations’ cost by up to 35%. A lot of organizations — big or small — don’t realize how much money is being wasted on purposeless printouts, maintenance of inactive printers, and downtime caused by poor servicing practices.
One great example would be the financial sector, which is very robust in the Middle East region and creates a highly competitive environment. We have been working with one global financial services organization; and, after a careful assessment of their printing infrastructures across multiple branches, we identified at least 35,000 inactive printers! Can you imagine if an organization didn’t know about the existence of 35,000 machines across its multiple offices and how many of these devices had default security features? While saving at least 35% in print associated costs, this organization eliminated cybersecurity vulnerability by eliminating unprotected network access points. If hackers managed to penetrate their network and access financial data that their business is built on, it could have caused an enormous damage to their overall business.
Q5. How does MPS ensure security of confidential documents?
A5. Security is a top priority for Xerox as it would be for any business owner. That’s why all Xerox ConnectKey AltaLink products are embedded with the Xerox-McAfee technology. It has an IoT approach to security, which constantly monitors and automatically protects products against malware attacks. These security enabled workplace assistants are armed with our holistic four-point approach to security, ensuring comprehensive, all-encompassing protection for all system components and points of vulnerability. These key features include intrusion prevention and device detection through a firmware verification test. Similarly, documents are not released until the right user is at the device such that scanned information is protected from unauthorized users. Xerox also protects stored information using the highest levels of encryption. In addition, ConnectKey technology provides extra security standards through our partnerships with McAfee and Cisco.
Q6. How can print solutions be made eco-friendlier?
A6. In the GCC, large enterprises are keen to reduce carbon footprint and incorporate more sustainable ways in their business practices. Therefore, eco-friendly MPS solutions are playing a moral role that is of essence. We are keen to offer this added value to our MPS customers. For example, through Xerox’s partnership with PrintReleaf, our clients can have the opportunity to contribute to the reforestation of global forests. PrintReleaf leverages paper usage reporting and equates the number of trees needed to reforest that usage. Similarly, utilizing a machine that can serve multiple functions all at the same time can help you save so much energy. Xerox’s ConnectKey technology-enabled multifunction laser printers reduce the amount of energy used by approximately 50%.