The paper-based office space

The connectivity of users via wireless and wired networks, coupled with the increase in storage capacity were widely hailed as the precursors of the paperless office revolution.

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By  Administrator Published  September 6, 2007

The connectivity of users via wireless and wired networks, coupled with the increase in storage capacity were widely hailed as the precursors of the paperless office revolution. A quick peek around your workspace confirms that the revolution has been delayed. Ben Gale, the general manager at Xerox Middle East & Africa, sees a lot of growth in the printing and copying business, and he takes us through a few of the products that will capture this growth.

An IDC survey that was conducted in 2006 indicated that the current market for Xerox Global Services (XGS) in the UAE alone is US$39m, with a growth rate over the next four years of more than 20%. The biggest area of growth being imaging and document management.

For an enterprise to thrive, it has to optimise the use of all its resources, provide timely access to relevant information and knowledge, distribute it to the people who need it, re-use it whenever appropriate, realise opportunities, and remove overheads.

Xerox increases the value of printed and published information by making it more timely and relevant, through the addition of high-quality, cost-effective color, print on demand, personalisation, and customisation.

The nature of the local market means that companies are expanding fast, and many of their processes remain paper based and inefficient. There is big potential for improvements to be made in many document-related processes by digitising documents early in the business process, reducing cycle time, improving the end customer experience and reducing costs. The approach is based on the fact that you can't have a viable business strategy - or a viable IT strategy - without an equally strong document strategy.

Xerox Global Services have helped thousands of clients in different industries across the region. National Commercial Bank (NCB) is one such example whereby the bank has outsourced all their office document production capability at their head offices in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Xerox, including the production of all their statements and credit card bills.

Xerox Global Services helps businesses cut the cost of document production, management and distribution by 10 - 25%. The total potentially adds up to millions of dollars - it all depends on how much the customer spends today and how much they can save tomorrow.

Outsourcing document processing always brings up questions about security. Network and data security is one of the many challenges that businesses face on a daily basis. Recognising this, Xerox continues to engineer and design products to ensure the highest level of security possible. Threats to information security are appearing more frequently and are of greater magnitude than ever before. They can come both internally and externally and can be online or local, accidental or malicious. A company's most sensitive business information can be exposed to unauthorised use, disclosure, modification or total loss. Companies such as Xerox are working directly with customers to help them assess where information exists, how it is transferred, where it is stored, and to identify the greatest areas of risk. Since most of an organisation's secure information resides in documents, document security is one such area. Businesses are looking for security features that allow them to trust their information systems and networks to function as required, and Xerox has a full range of products that ameliorate the threats.

While the need for document security is widely recognised, many companies are unaware of a major threat - the networked hardcopy peripheral. Each time a document is copied, printed, scanned or faxed, an image is left behind on the system's hard drive(s) that is as much at risk of getting hacked as the information on their PCs. With network connectivity rates for these products increasing each year, this security threat grows exponentially.

Xerox advanced printers offer security features, which can be customised to meet an organisation's needs. Devices with these features have been shown to effectively resist attack from intruders attempting to gain access to the information stored within the system or to gain access to the customer's network. These features include: Embedded Fax, Image Overwrite Option (which "shreds" information stored on the hard disks of devices as part of routine job processing), Internal Auditron (which tracks and limits usage of the walk-up copy features), and Secure Print (where jobs are safely stored at the device until the owner enters a personal number to release them).

A final area where Xerox sees tremendous growth is in colour printing. Some studies show that communications in colour have greater impact, convey points more persuasively, and charts and graphics overcome the one-dimensional look.

Xerox network colour printers are available for under US$1000, with Xerox's high volume colour multifunction systems that copy, print, scan and fax. Colour for office multifunction systems is surely a concept whose time has come.

Xerox colour systems have been engineered to make colour more affordable, keeping business in the black and out of the red.

Ten reasons to go colour

1. Capture attention - Colour emphasises critical information and conveys a sense of professionalism. Your company's first impression is the most important of all. Using colour demonstrates that you mean business.

2. Colour increases readers' attention spans and recall by 82%. Safety notices, warnings and vital technical information are more likely to be remembered if they stand out in colour.

3. Colour makes an impression that is 39% more memorable. People are 55% more likely to pick up a full-colour piece of mail first.

4. Enhance Productivity - Colour reduces search time by as much as 80%. Information can be located faster if it's in colour.

5. Colour reduces errors by 80%. Improperly-completed forms and applications can bog down data entry and customer service departments.

6. Document sorting improves by 15% when highlight colour is used. Improving the ease with which documents can be identified, sorted and filed can reduce the number of people assigned to the task.

7. Improve Communication - Colour increases comprehension by as much as 73%.

8. Colour increases learning and retention by 78%. Educating your technical and service staff can be drastically shortened by preparing the materials in colour.

9. Boost sales - Colour helps to sell up to 80% more.

10. Colour can improve brand recognition by up to 80%. Local retailers, realtors, consultants and others can have improved brand recognition which lead to increased sales.

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