An Interview with Joseph Hanania, Xerox
Managed print services, or MPS, plays an integral role in today’s business world, not to mention with printing and other technology. Xerox, who we have spoken to quite a bit about the topic has consistently ranked among the top companies in providing these services and a source many turn to for their MPS engagements. With the evolution of digital and mobile printing, we wanted to get another inside look at the industry from those that know it well. To that end, we reached out to Xerox and were granted the opportunity to speak with Joseph Hanania, SVP, Global Document Outsourcing Services Business Group at Xerox. The interview was conducted via email and our questions with his answers appear below:
1) You've been in and around the business and technology industry for some time now. How have you seen MPS environments evolve and change over time?
If you look at MPS specifically and how it's evolving, the trick is to understand that it's not just about print—it's about marrying print to the digital part of a users' core strategy. While we want to provide the best ROI, quality, and reliability when it comes to print, we also want to provide a path toward managing digital content in any feasible way that the user wants. Yes, we are committed to addressing print requirements, but we are equally committed to evolving in the market as the market leader. Our customers expect us to have solutions not only to keep up but to lead them to where the market is going.
As digital content becomes more pervasive, a lot of what used to separate MPS, workflow, and BPO starts to fade away. On top of that, we are getting requests by customers who want to know more about who is using their content. How it is being used to leverage that information to grow their business even more. This gets you into analytics.
As we move forward, users will also be looking to do more sophisticated things with their content without really following a specific structure. If you look at how younger people today conduct their personal business, we have to devise a way that they can access business content in the same way—anywhere at any time, without a big infrastructure.
2) Xerox has an obviously impressive track record in MPS, garnering awards from all the major vendors each and every year for some time now. To what do you attribute this consistent level of success?Xerox is committed to being a market leader in every type of service we offer. As part of that commitment, we will pursue whatever avenues make sense, not just to maintain our position, but to lead the market. We believe our leadership position in the Gartner Magic Quadrant is validation that our strategy is helping our customers streamline and optimize their paper-based business processes to improve employee productivity and help meet sustainability goals, as well as our recognition as the worldwide MPS leader for the sixth consecutive year by Quocirca Ltd. and as a leader in the IDC MarketScape U.S. Managed Workflow Services Vendor Assessment.
3) Based on what we've read and written over the last few years, it would seem that MPS is now a lot more focused on the information and access than it is as a cost savings tool now. Would you agree with that analysis? Why or why not
Without a doubt, MPS should optimize your print environment and provide added capabilities and features to manage your fleet. All are about lowering your cost, increasing your fleet’s uptime and availability and improving your TCO. As we add digital content management capabilities, the opportunity to help companies generate incremental revenues, understand and better address specific requirements and even interests of their customers, then the formula quickly expands from TCO to helping clients generate more profitable revenues, increasing the retention and satisfaction of their customers.
4) What are some of the trends you see happening right now and down the road in the next 18 months or so?
- Digital content management will continue to become more pervasive. Xerox Digital Alternatives offers a versatile yet easy to use interface that consolidates key digital content features in one application.
- Evolution of MPS—automation and management of workflows is a key part of the MPS evolution. Managed workflow services will focus on managing a company&rquo;ss specific workflows.
- Rise in Mobile Printing—especially with the rising adoption of BYOD, opportunity will come from solutions that enable mobile workers to print from multiple apps across multiple devices.
5) While some have suggested that the paperless office is forthcoming, recent studies conducted by Brother show that many businesses rely on hard copies. Are you seeing similar trends at Xerox with dependence on the printed page?
In general, the paperless office is something that every organization, no matter the size, tackles at their own speed. Many knowledgeable workers have apprehensions in going all digital because they are so familiar with paper-based processes, and change can be nerve-wracking. One of the main reasons offices are still mired in paper is that companies don't provide staff with obvious alternatives.
While a fully paperless office may still be a dream for some companies, I do think that it will be a priority over the next couple of years. There are too many business benefits to a paperless office that corporations will no longer be able to ignore.
6) Given the breadth of Xerox's offerings in the MPS space, are there any business segments where a Xerox solution couldn't be right-sized and used?
There are some industries that by their nature are less suited or oriented to paper-based workflows. Energy, for example, where so much of the capture and production takes place in rugged environments where you don't have your typical office operations. The same is true for some segments of transportation, and certainly other fields. But these markets are like many others in that they do depend on document processes for compliance requirements, etc. So while our device-level MPS programs may not be a direct fit, our workflow automation services can add value and be utilized for companies that have fully committed to and embraced a paper-free environment.
7) A lot of business operations are shifting towards being more mobile without sacrificing on security features. How is Xerox handling these challenges with its MPS suite of offerings?
These days, you can't afford anything less than keeping information completely secure, so we use the latest technology for enhanced authentication, encryption and virus protection. We partner with experts like Cisco and McAfee, who have industry standards second to none. Xerox has the bandwidth and strength to support integration and document security on a global scale. That's critical for large enterprises.
Analytics are driving smarter print decisions, and Xerox is helping counsel businesses on how to optimize their print environments with the Xerox Secure Print Manager Suite with User Analytics, which provides an analysis of who is printing what, when, how much and where. Xerox’s Mobile Print Solution helps employees stay productive wherever they are, and documents stay secure. Xerox Print Security Audit Service helps you manage security across your fleet infrastructure. Our software scans your network and performs an automated audit. It compares current device security settings against your IT configuration and security policy. This provides insight into compliance and non-compliance of Xerox devices.
8) After starting MPS engagements with new clients, what do you see are some of the biggest surprises for customers with the results they get?
Many organizations/enterprises go into MPS with a primary goal of cost reductions, which can run as high as 30 percent. They are often surprised to discover how broadly MPS can add value and improve results in so many other areas of the business. For example, sustainability, security and productivity are low-hanging fruit for MPS engagements, given all the solutions that are available with Next-Gen MPS. Clients are also surprised at how far they can go into workflow automation with things like automating employee onboarding to insurance new business processing. It’s just amazing where an MPS engagement can lead you. We use regular Quarterly Business Review meetings with clients to focus on the roadmap from paper to process to productivity and more.
9) Given your role as SVP, Global Document Outsourcing, what do you see as some of the biggest challenges for multinational companies trying to deploy MPS engagements across multiple continents around the globe?
Businesses today face similar challenges regardless of the industry. They are trying to balance an even more complex information management challenge due to the changing behavior in the user base, including multiple user types from the new digital natives to the baby boomer executives. Often this leads to complexity as mobile devices, cloud services, legacy applications and paper all collide in the workplace. This is leading many clients to ask their managed print services providers to help them print less paper while getting rid of the paper that already exists in their business.