The Business Year

Andrew Horne

UAE, DUBAI - Telecoms & IT

Bar Raised

General Manager, Xerox Emirates

Bio

Born in the UK in 1958, Andrew Horne has over 24 years of experience in the Xerox corporation, having previously spent time in the armed forces. He is an experienced senior executive who has spent the past 20 years living and working in several counties including Hungary, Russia, Egypt, India, and the UAE.

"Government policy is rapidly demanding suppliers to advance the pace of technology solutions."

Xerox wants to move away from just being a provider of document technologies to a services company. How has Xerox Emirates implemented this strategy into its business model?

It would be more accurate to say that Xerox is broadening its portfolio by building stronger solutions and service offerings as part of our core proposition to customers. In this respect, in Xerox Emirates, we are developing our organizational structure to be able to “Sell, Deliver, and Manage” solutions and services. There have been many developments in the software platform that resides in Multi-function devices and printers, which enables a wide range of benefits, from diagnostics that provide advance warning of toner usage, wear on parts, to our ConnectKey platform that enables us to automate work processes. For example, an icon can be created that enables documents to be scanned and automatically forwarded to specific locations within a customer’s organization. The implication for our organization is that we are moving more resources to focus on customer experience and the delivery of service levels. We are investing in the skills of pre-sales analysts and application developers to make our customer’s work more efficient. The impact of these changes on our business model is that we see an increase in software and solutions revenue, and we expect this to accelerate over the medium term.

What innovative products have you launched?

Xerox innovation continues to be around solving real business problems and how customers can better leverage our technology. Customers are less concerned about speeds and feeds and more concerned about improving productivity and reducing cost. So by changing from the traditional “break-fix model,” which was reactive, we offer proactive support, where technology does the work, informing us ahead of time when a device needs attention. We call this “Invisible Service.” There are also innovations around print management software that enable auditing and accounting by users, departments, or even complete organizations. These developments reduce waste as well as help to lower their carbon footprint. The biggest development is the introduction of ConnectKey® technology. Xerox printers do more than simply scan, fax, and copy. They’re productivity powerhouses that help you get more done, faster. With Xerox® ConnectKey® Technology, the multifunction printer becomes the center of a complete productivity ecosystem right out of the box. Print from just about anywhere with mobile print services. Scan directly to cloud services. Customers use simple apps for complicated, often-performed tasks. This latest technology transforms the way people work.

Outsourcing of government spells a major untapped opportunity in the Middle East. Has Xerox Emirates done anything in this regard?

Yes, the government policy is rapidly demanding suppliers to advance the pace of technology solutions, and in every initiative, such as smart cities and smart government, they are demanding companies like Xerox to raise the bar. And we are ready for it. We are already helping ministries and government departments in the UAE and the region with services from business process outsourcing, information management, and content management to professional services, and from printer fleet management to complete managed print services. We are seeing a closer integration or convergence of services and the managed print environment. Customers in the early phase of managed print were happy with an assessment of what was being printed and a solution to reduce costs. That has now migrated and is evolving very fast. Managed print services is no more about basic printing, it’s about managed document services. This next phase is all about security and integration with cloud and mobile technologies. This convergence is broadening the conversation about how we can help customers be more efficient and improve business processes to save money.

Sustainability initiatives are on the rise, especially in the UAE, a country that plays an instrumental role in promoting sustainable development and clean-energy initiatives. How is Xerox meeting this demand?

At Xerox, sustainability is a way of doing business, rather than a cost of doing business. We focused on environmental performance and sustainability—long before it was popular to do so—in order to positively affect our operations, offerings, customers, and communities. We were among the first technology companies to set a company-wide target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In 2012, at the conclusion of our 10-year Energy Challenge program, emissions were cut by 42% and energy consumption was reduced by 31%. Our new corporate-wide goal is to reduce energy consumption by 20% by 2020, from a 2012 baseline. Xerox in 2015 was ranked #4 in Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens List.” In this market, there is a greater customer focus on the environment and sustainability, too. Here in the UAE we help recycle consumed printer cartridges. We have a contracted an agency that collects empty cartridges from our customer premises. With the growth in the awareness of this service, the amount of collection has grown and we collect between 500 and 600 kilograms of cartridges as part of an initiative that we fund through our marketing department.

Where do you see the industry going in the next few years?

I think convergence is the key word because technology advancement is helping to integrate many aspects of the way we work and play. In education, content can be accessed from anywhere at any time. In healthcare, the government recently announced that, by 2020, all patient records would be digitized. Technological developments will help Dubai become a healthcare destination. In infrastructure, the use of GPS enables smart transport. Xerox has a solution that is live in Latin America whereby in a city the entire bus transportation is managed intelligently. There are sensors in the buses that feed back to the control so they can know to put out more buses or reduce the number in off-peak hours. It means that timetables can be planned to maximize efficiency. Technologies like GPS and mobile applications are working together to provide solutions that have not been thought of. With multi-function devices, we expect more applications in the coming years that will help other work processes.

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