The company aims to accelerate workplace digitization and future proof its technology with an array of new apps.
(Pictured above: Bertrand Cerisier, vice president, marketing technology & services offerings, addresses analysts during the opening session of the Xerox analyst briefing on October 10.)
Say what you will about Xerox and all the drama enveloping it this year, none of that mattered at a briefing for industry analysts on October 10.
The day-long event offered an intimate look at the company’s latest apps, apps designed to make its Smart Workplace Assistant’s (what some of us, but not Xerox call MFPs), smarter, more secure, and more efficient, and the customers who rely on Xerox technology more productive. Presentations by Xerox executives, including Tracey Koziol, senior vice president global offerings and Bertrand Cerisier, vice president, marketing technology & services offerings, were followed by detailed demonstrations and a round table discussion featuring Xerox resellers and a McAfee security blogger.
What Xerox is looking to do with these apps is accelerate workplace digitization and future proof its devices. Apps, as it so happens, represent an excellent way to do that. That’s why the company can say “we lead with apps with everything we do.”
The event covered some familiar ground, including Xerox ConnectKey technology and how that technology is evolving. For example, users can now use their mobile phone to securely access ConnectKey-enabled devices using a single sign on. But the main focus of the event centered around apps.
Among the new apps was Xerox Quick Link, an app designed to simplify the Xerox Workplace Assistant setup process for new users without the need for IT support. The setup process has been reduced to two steps rather than multiple. Another app, Fleet Orchestrator is designed to improve IT management and provides server-less, secure fleet management. Here an IT manager can configure a single device once, then let the fleet deploy and be managed automatically. It also allows for the sharing of automated workflows across devices while also ensuring software upgrades and configuration settings are synchronized across devices.
Xerox is also enhancing its VersaLink and AltaLink Series devices by allowing users to scan and print documents to and from Salesforce via a Connect app for Salesforce. The company also introduced an app to connect to QuickBooks Online, making it easier to scan multiple receipts for reimbursement. An Audio Documents app allows for converting hardcopy documents into audio files at the MFP and a Forms Manager app streamlines forms processing with intelligent routing of forms to designated emails.
The company is also offering vertical apps for the education sector, including Connect App for Blackboard, which digitizes and stores documents into a Blackboard Learn account from an MFP; Connect App for Remark Test Grading, which reportedly simplifies grading of bubble tests; Xerox Proofreader Service, which checks for spelling, grammar, style, and plagiarism; and Xerox and SRC Inc.’s Gateway Capture to Student Information System, an app that reportedly streamlines digitizing student records into mandatory K-12 information systems.
Also notable were enhancements to Xerox’s DocuShare Flex cloud-based platform. The platform offers control of business documents and automates workflows and features basic capabilities such as scan to cloud instantly and PDF creation as well as advance add-on capabilities such as an accounts payable module, Webforms, native mobile application, and a connectors platform.
There was a strong emphasis on security, most notably securing digital content with the Xerox Workplace Solution app. This provides authentication and access control, safeguards against data loss, and monitors content being processed for specific text as well as proactively notifies administrators and content owners when pre-defined criteria are detected. Xerox’s approach to security is not to charge extra for it and the company emphasized that it is not engaged in its security initiatives alone but doing so with assistance from partners such as McAfee and Cisco.
The company also offers proactive security monitoring with Configuration Watchdog. Here devices can be managed under a defined security policy. This app also monitors compliance with an organization’s security initiatives and proactively remediates if changes are detected.
Xerox also introduced an e-commerce platform, the Xerox App Gallery, which reportedly simplifies the distribution of apps and solutions and provides partners and developers with an opportunity to monetize those apps.
The imaging world is relying more on apps than ever before and this event provided concrete evidence that Xerox is one of the industry leaders in app development.
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