Innovation is more than a buzzword at Xerox. It’s in our DNA. We are constantly thinking about how we can simplify work, deliver more personalized experiences, and improve productivity through new technologies that connect the physical and digital worlds. Our mission and heritage to help our customers be more successful has led us on a fascinating journey in innovating how the world communicates, connects, and works.
Workplace Assistants and Apps
Xerox’s line of multi-function devices composed of the Versalink and Altalink product families contain so much more intelligence that we call them “workplace assistants.” Not only are they secure and reliable, but they also come with apps that enable a high degree of personalization and automated workflows. Similar to how we use apps on our smartphones, Xerox’s ConnectKey app ecosystem automates frequent actions such as scan to Dropbox, or translating a document into another language through the EZ Translator app. Other apps are targeted at specific industries such as a secure document transfer app for the healthcare industry to send patient information with a much higher degree of security than faxing. We have also given our partners the ability to create their own custom apps for their customers.
Users easily access these apps from the multi-touch displays on the Versalink and Altalink products, in a consistent way across the full range. We invested significant time in user research and iterative design to make sure that the user interface was easy to use. As part of our innovation process, we use ethnography, or the observation of people in their natural work environments, to gain deeper insights into user needs and pain points than what can be normally obtained through traditional market research techniques.
At Xerox, we view our customers as partners in innovation. Going beyond user studies, we engage our customers in innovation workshops to explore the future of the customer’s business and identify new opportunities to apply our technologies to solve problems or create new products and services. For example, we have a deep competency in printed and hybrid electronics that enable us to create new types of low-cost sensors and smart tags that enable interactive and smart packaging. We engage customers and partners across a range of industries to explore applications ranging from personalized packages to supply chain monitoring, followed by validating the value proposition before moving to commercialization. We are using this collaborative, agile innovation approach to explore new adjacent markets in digital printing from digital packaging to industrial printing.
Another focus area of innovation is in digital transformation to enable the agile workplace of the future. Along with our customers, we are seeing rapid changes in consumer and employee expectations due to digital technologies that have transformed every industry. Given the high degree of uncertainty in our world, the most valuable trait of any company going forward will be agility – not only to respond quickly to changes but also to create new markets and business models.
Building upon our deep domain expertise and analytical insights from working with our customers in managed print services and workflow automation, we are investing in innovation to help our customers become more agile by going beyond the automation of predictable workflows in back-office processes to delivering automation and intelligent assistance to knowledge workers in their more variable work. Similar to our innovation efforts around digital printing, we are using a highly collaborative co-innovation process with our customers to ensure that our new offerings in this space are both useful and easy to use.