Vineet Gehani, Director – Technology and Channels, Xerox India, speaks about how the pandemic impacted the Printing industry and how Xerox innovations help customers and channel partners.
A difficult year gone by. How has Xerox addressed the situation of the market during the year?
Vineet Gehani: Xerox has always focused on building new technologies and further improving existing ones to help organizations solve their workplace challenges. While the pandemic impacted the entire market last year, we considered it an opportunity to innovate and help our customers and channel partners face business-related issues.
The health crisis pushed the companies across sectors to adopt remote working and subsequently plan for calling the workforce to offices once lockdowns were lifted. This accelerated the demand for digital solutions to enable collaboration between the remote workforce, ensure high productivity and security. We addressed the situation by helping our customers build resilience by digitizing data, securing it in the cloud, and automating workflows. While businesses faced severe disruption all over, we were in a better position due to our diverse portfolio and cloud-enabled services.
How has Xerox supported its customers during the challenging times of Covid-19 and how much has the situation improved?
Vineet Gehani: During this challenging time, Xerox focused on unravelling the positives for our customers and leading from the front. In our case, that positive has been digitization and the knowledge that we can help our partners and customers transform their businesses – and to an extent, ensure against such situations – through technology.
We supported our customers through consultation related to the rise of the hybrid worker, prominence of employee health and safety, and increased collaboration requirements. Our unique suite of products, software, services, and apps has helped our customers extend desktop experience from the workplace to the home office and beyond.
To help our customers in print production domain, Xerox propelled the major breakthrough for the industry – going beyond CMYK. Xerox took the lead in the space with the Iridesse Production Press. Last year, we also announced Adaptive CMYK+ Kits that allow print providers to offer higher value embellishment solutions in gold, silver, white and even fluorescent without a significant investment.
With markets now getting back to normal, we have seen an uptick in business activities and transactions.
Digital Printing seems to have emerged as a preferred option in some sectors of print demand, particularly for reduced budgets resulting in shorter runs during 2020. How has Xerox benefitted from this situation and what are your plans to further this requirement in 2021?
Vineet Gehani: Print providers have delayed the high-capital investments due to ongoing uncertainty and reduced profits in the last year. Digital printing is cost-efficient and provides the agility to produce short-run outputs. It also delivers high-quality colour and an opportunity for print providers to increase their profitability. Hence, Xerox have long foreseen the trend of increased popularity of digital printing even prior 2020.
In this context, Xerox offers an industry-leading portfolio of digital printing devices for our customers’ requirements.
We believe the success of our customers to be the parameter of our own progress. Even before the pandemic, Xerox has been focusing on digital printing through the launch of Iridesse digital production press in 2019. During the uncertain market situation last year, our focus was to help our customers sustain their businesses. To enable them to fulfil the demand for digital print, Xerox products – like Iridesse, Versant 280 and Versant 4100 digital presses – provided our customers with the necessary capabilities. We also provided extensive training and support to our customers to help them tap all possible revenue streams through new tasks.
To enable our customers gain entry into the high-value digital print enhancement market, Xerox also launched its innovative Adaptive CMYK+ kits that can transform a four-colour Xerox Versant 180 Press into an 11-colour Beyond CMYK press capable of creating a million colour hues and shades by adding gold, silver, white, clear and fluorescent colours of yellow, magenta and cyan. The Adaptive CMYK+ Kit has empowered print providers with the ability to produce higher-quality prints without significant investment.
Xerox products and services have helped in fulfilling all customer requirements and this, in turn, has helped our brand grow. As we proceed in the year 2021, we will continue to support and add value to our customers and establish long-term relationships. We are open to new opportunities and will work to grow the brand while taking our customers along.
When do you see the industry going back to full scale and comfortable investment for expansion in digital?
Vineet Gehani: Printing industry, while impacted severely due to the pandemic, is slowly picking up the pace. We are going through an exceptional time that has challenged us to be better and demonstrated that we can only improve this situation when we work together.
Our customer conversations in recent months have revolved around addressing few common priorities:
- Workplace technology that helps people do their job no matter where they are.
- Access to the content and data that powers business-critical workflows.
- Analytics and automation that make complex processes less resource-intensive.
- Focus not just on productivity—but on agility.
- Security management underpinning all of these areas.
We are working toward a gradual but sustained recovery throughout 2021 as various vaccination programs roll out and the economy starts feeling the positive impact of this. We are poised to drive this forward with our offerings and solutions.
Print Enhancement and value addition is the most sought-after development in digital presses. How do you see this improve the demand in the market and in which segments of applications do you see this being promoted the most?
Vineet Gehani: The digital enhancement of print is projected to be a $25 billion market globally. Digital print enhancements have ushered in added capabilities to print a new range of colours, specifically metallic and whites, while also increasing quality and flexibility. Coatings, metallics, white inks, spot colours and gamut extenders are some of the digital print enhancements that are revolutionizing the printing industry.
The appeal of digital enhancements is the intriguing design options that makes the visual more impressive. This can help in attracting attention, amplifying content and captivating the audience. Digital print enhancements can contribute significantly in diverse segments like marketing collaterals, brochures, business cards, signage – producing extraordinary results to help customers cut through the clutter.
Digital print enhancement is a high-value market where demand is continually increasing. Offering these enhancements can provide a competitive advantage as well as an opportunity for premium prices for the output.
How is Xerox leading the way with its innovative new Adaptive CMYK+ kits?
Vineet Gehani: While digital printing offers substantial benefits over offset printing, everyone is looking for more – something special that can make their print stand out. Xerox Iridesse was the first xerographic digital press outfitted with Colour FLX technology that layers CMYK with up to two Speciality Dry Inks in a single press.
Now, Xerox has brought its innovative Adaptive CMYK+ Kits that can transform a four-colour Xerox Versant 280 Press into an 11-colour Beyond CMYK press capable of creating a million colour hues and shades by adding gold, silver, white, clear and fluorescent colours of yellow, magenta and cyan. The Adaptive CMYK+ Kit is a ground-breaking innovation from Xerox as it empowers print providers with the ability to produce higher-quality prints without significant investment.
How is it providing greater options for professional print providers and designers?
Vineet Gehani: The Xerox Adaptive CMYK+ Kit ensures that designers have more freedom to imagine, create and bring ideas to life. Using white toner, it is possible now to design and print on dark substrates such as black or dark blue for higher a contrast between fonts and images. Clear toner enables the designers to emphasize photos and images with a spot clear to draw greater attention.
With the advantages of digital embellishment options, there exists a wide range of high-value opportunities for print providers. Xerox Adaptive CMYK+ Kits can help meet the demands with swap-and-go simplicity and effectively double the versatility of the print hardware.
How it helps in increasing profits and delivers higher margins without needing new press?
Vineet Gehani: Customer expectations are changing when it comes to printing labels, business cards, book covers, marketing collateral and gift boxes, among others. This demand directly translates into an opportunity of more high-value jobs for print providers.
Earlier, this required a considerable investment in a digital press that could achieve the needed versatility. However, Xerox Adaptive CMYK+ Kit gives the print providers the ability to simply switch toners in their existing digital press to print more colors and enhancements. In three simple steps—and under 15 minutes—you can remove CMYK toner set and replace it with exciting embellishment opportunities created with gold, white, silver, and clear toners. Print providers can easily convert, enhance, and print more volumes with superior quality without needing to invest in a new press. They can gain an affordable entry into the high-value print enhancements market without sacrificing short-run digital printing.