Above: Frank G. Cannata and CJ Cannata with Xerox CEO Steven Bandrowczak
Xerox invited us to attend the first dealer/agent meeting they had in a long time, June 21-22. This year, we have been on the road from January through June. We were not enthusiastic about attending another event in June, but fortunately, two factors became clear. CJ believed that we could gain a better understanding of what Xerox was all about by attending the meeting. The second and most important was that Mike Pietrunti, vice president of dealer sales for Xerox, expressed great interest in having us attend. As luck would have it, we made our way to Miami for another dealer gathering. CJ has made many good calls in the close to 11 years he has been with us, and this one was one of the best.
CEO Steven Bandrowczak Sets the Stage
The presentation delivered by Xerox CEO Steven Bandrowczak, set the stage for everything that followed. His delivery was right on. He was appointed as an interim CEO upon the death of former CEO John Visentin in June 2022. The Xerox Board made it permanent on August 3, 2022. Bandrowczak was COO prior to the interim appointment. This man is no novice. He previously served as the senior vice president for Global Business Services at HP, where he transformed its 16,000-employee shared service organization into an operation with a focus on automation, business intelligence, and labor optimization. In addition, Bandrowczak led the business process outsourcing (BPO) practice in Xerox’s Enterprise Services Group.
Bandrowczak led off his presentation by welcoming Xerox partners. He asked those who had been with Xerox for 40 years to stand up, this was followed by those who had been a partner for 30 years and finally 20 years. A large part of the audience stood up.
Bandrowczak set the table by saying, “This is about a company that has been in business for 100 years. It is all about how we move forward in building a foundation on what we have done together.” This was followed by all the reasons to be optimistic. “Print is not going away. We are building services on top of print,” emphasized Bandrowczak. “We are still doing 30 billion pages per month.”
What we appreciated most was his constant interjection of doing it together. “You want to know how to navigate through AI?” The answer was obvious; Xerox will do it for you. The underlying message of diversification was the reinforcement of the theme we heard at the TD SYNNEX Executive Print and Imaging Summit two weeks earlier.
It was a good program with some excellent speakers. The themes were diversification, working together, and that Xerox will provide its partners with all the support they require to change how they work.
Further into his talk, Bandrowczak referenced processes. “We have to change the way we work,” he said. The underlying message was that Xerox, dealers, and partners will do it together. The importance of what he was saying was that the next workplace is going to be about working together. It was no surprise that Bandrowczak challenged competitors by saying Xerox is different in that it is focused on services and changing the way people work.
COO John Bruno followed Bandrowczak and added some specifics to the positive message. Xerox Financial Services grew originations by 20% with agents, dealers, and resellers. The executive team has been active in structurally redesigning the company for long-term profitability and sustainability. The result is making it easy for partners to do business with Xerox.
In Bruno’s view of the future, he discussed AI, which he indicated will be a $1.3 trillion business by 2032, up from the $40 billion it reached in 2022. The significance of this is that it offers the potential to change the anatomy of work. According to Bruno, the result will allow Xerox to be a better partner and deliver world-class programs.
A panel addressed hybrid work, productivity solutions, and core business processes and automation. Related to hybrid work, Xerox now has 16 A4 models.
Company executives also revealed what clients are most concerned with today.
- Hybrid Workers
The company stressed the need to shift from product-centric to customer-centric and data-driven models. It was also noted that print is now part of the connected IT ecosystem with an expanding threat of data breaches reaching 61%. The average cost of a print data breach is $935,000 with 47% of print leaders reporting a data loss.
The company’s 2022 year-end results were $7.1 billion, which yielded a 1% growth. To place those numbers in perspective, read my article published from February 4, 2019. (Editor’s note: That article does not necessarily reflect Frank’s opinion today.)
The Visual Edge Connection
We were surprised about the strong presence of Visual Edge. In a subsequent conversation, we were informed by Austin Vanchieri, chairman of Visual Edge Technology, that they are Xerox’s largest customer. Production print is the major reason. And just prior to attending the meeting, we were told by a member of the UBEO team they buy 300 Xerox production print devices at a time. Do we feel vindicated? I leave you to answer that.
Xerox has correctly targeted the role they must play in the dealer channel. The mega dealers are killing it in production print, and Xerox knows that market better than anyone. The company appreciates the full capabilities of the dealer channel and is offering solutions that make sense. The most compelling message delivered at that meeting was, “Sustainability is the driver for digitization.”
We never thought we would see the day when Xerox would embrace the independent dealer channel and offer it something that they are uniquely equipped to provide.
Thanks to Mike Pietrunti, CJ and I had an opportunity to interview Bandrowczak after the presentations. He responded to all our questions. We got it straight and enjoyed every minute of it. Look for the interview in my next Frankly Speaking column.
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