First I would ask a couple questions that help me understand the business of Xerox better. My question would be:
– My knowledge of Xerox is not updated but from what I know, Xerox’s core business is selling print machines to large entities and providing ongoing support. Is that still the case?
Let’s assume the answer is they are still in the business of selling printers and after sale support and they are not focused on other things.
When I think about Xerox, there are a few key technologies that come to my mind:
– Printing quickly
– Managing queues of orders and multiple documents
– Scanning documents and sharing with multiple parties
– User authentication to ensure privacy and access management
We all know the print industry has been under a lot of pressure with the rise of digital media. It makes less sense for many people to print documents. As a result, Xerox should be thinking about finding a new industry to get into. Xerox wants to get into an industry that is large enough for it to have impact on Xerox’s growth and is relevant to Xerox’ current business so that it can leverage its technologies and its market knowledge to win in the industry. There are a few industries that I can think of. I’m just going to brainstorm and list them here:
– Enterprise Document management
– 3D printing
– Security and digital access management
– Content recognition of documents scanned
The first three industries I’ve listed are large enough for Xerox to contribute to. However, the 4th industry doesn’t seem large enough so I’m going to focus on analyzing the first three technologies listed here.
To determine which industry is right for Xerox to focus on, I would evaluate each industry based on how much Xerox can leverage its technology and market knowledge.
Industry Technology Leverage Market Knowledge
Enterprise Doc Management High High
3D printing Low Low
Security and Digital Access Low Medium
Here is my logic behind my analysis and ratings in the table above:
– Enterprise Document Management: Xerox already does a lot of Document Management by storing documents while they are in the queue to be printed / scanned & emailed / copied. In addition, Xerox’ clients will also be the perfect users of Xerox’ Enterprise Document Management tool. By seamless integration with their all-in-one printer hardware, Xerox can close the gap in document management between the physical and digital world.
– 3D printing is a growing industry however the technology required to 3D print a product is very different than the technology required to print a document. Also, 3D printing use cases are currently mostly in creative environments where people want to build a prototype quickly. Even when 3D printing evolves to enable people to print products for personal use, its market will still not match with the market of the Xerox’x current products – large enterprises
– Security and Digital Access is a big problem that’s being solved by variety of players. Many large players such as Facebook, Google, and Apple are using new technologies such as biometric to simplify security and authentication. These technologies are not technologies that Xerox has traditionally developed and therefore, do not bring any competitive advantage to Xerox. In addition, Xerox’s lack of relationship with small enterprises will work to their disadvantage in developing an ecosystem that applies to large and small companies
For the reasons listed above, I suggest that Xerox enters the Enterprise Document Management business as a way to continue its growth and transition to a new industry before paper printing becomes obsolete.