Subject: March 2002 ECMgt.com:
Xerox Analyzed via the Value Framework
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Analyzed via the Value Framework
Though Xerox is "The Document Company" it does not come to the customer's mind during the usual document rendering process-only when something goes wrong. To increase value, Xerox must make itself a participant through the entire document life-cycle process.
A strategy to build the Xerox "brand" around the role of a networked business document follows the value of the process, not the document image. Xerox interactions with customers should include more business analysis and workflow tools. When customers think of an enterprise document, they should think of Xerox.
The core strategy issue is that Xerox's inventive prowess did not kept pace with the changing role of the document in the networked economy. Xerox's strategy to ascend to a leader as a technology and business solutions provider must include an analysis of its core competencies, documents, and the role of documents in 21st century business.
Known by many as a "copier" company, Xerox must focus on intelligent document routing and management within extended enterprise environments. Xerox's business models must provide a range of enterprise solutions that extend to the "transactive" and "intelligent document", central to current and future business process.
In deploying an initial strategy of standalone document imaging and rendering devices, Xerox built an incredible brand for performance and reliability. As a technology company, Xerox continued to invest in valuable research and development, but failed to capitalize on internetworking technology built around documents and peripheral devices. Xerox moved forwards with networking capability for peripheral devices, including digital management tools for managing and optimizing document rendering across an enterprise.
However, Xerox needs to extend value to participants beyond their customer's employees to the extended enterprise and the physical boundaries of the firm. Such strategies should include services creating digitally signed documents, cross-published in multiformats, and delivered over secure VPN connections. This strategy moves Xerox into the "transactional document" company, keeping pace with modern business.
Xerox would be wise to leverage horizon technologies that harvest meta-information to intelligently route, forward, and archive enterprise intellectual capital. Then, Xerox will truly become "the Document Company".
In the not too distant future, the concept of
"document" will evolve to "data encased in meta-information":
messaging through the extended enterprise in multiple formats, and future proofed
and repurposed on demand. Spearheading this transformation will be many firms
now active in knowledge and document management technologies.
With solution partners, Xerox will create a document that intelligently routes itself within an enterprise, transactionally outside it, as well as take new forms on demand. This will be a challenge, but a self-evident course of direction.
Xerox strategy for technology solutions should encompass the entire value chain of the document, which extends from process, to transactions, to participants-the central tenant of the Value Equation.
Managing this strategy will require partnerships with companies now in the enterprise solution space, and in particular, knowledge management, network-storage, digital encryption, and secure transiting. Future Xerox customers will discover new business solutions on a continuous basis, as digital software solutions deploy from Xerox as a managed service transaction model. Enterprise business partners and employees will engage a continuum of Xerox solutions from secure digital document transit, to intelligent document routing and management networks. Xerox will organize products and services around the business content of a document, creating fluid formats for presentation and building content on demand from knowledge networks. An evolving strategy for sales should include multi-enterprise rather than campus-wide solutions. Xerox strategy must evolve to "follow the value of information" rather than following the image of the document.
Managing strategy of a peripheral device to a document-centric business model will be the defining moment for Xerox.
Past metrics for success were marketshare, number of peripheral devices installed, and sales per customer. Current metrics for strategy require rising above the image of a technology company, and becoming seen as a business solutions provider. Xerox sees the value of a document past simple imaging and rendering and into the transactive realm of the new enterprise.
The Value Equation shows that the document of the 20th century was as much an artifact as a vehicle. It did not have the means to discover, transact, or reach multiple participants in the value and supply chain, and most of all, lacked "self-awareness" in the knowledge management realm. Xerox is making difficult choices, managing the business model from devices to software, and more recently to network deployed enterprise management systems.
Managing this change is difficult,
as transitioning to a solutions provider has required examining partnerships necessary
to implement knowledge management, storage, and archiving technologies. Xerox
is also managing image as a part of the strategy, which is critical to moving
away from a competitive product environment into a value add solutions provider.
To stay tied to the traditional definition and image of a document is to keep
Xerox tied to imaging devices and network management tools. It cannot evolve without
a managed effort in developing and deploying the documents involved in extended
enterprise transactions. This strategy is requires in digital signatures, security,
and guaranteed delivery, similar to VANs used in EDI. Xerox strategic focus on
technologies that incorporate XML-similar to the approach by Adobe-is changing
the business model in enterprise environments.
A solutions focus to reflect the context of a business document, defined by its value as much as its content, recognizes the life cycle of the document defined by the information value chain. Scanning, printing, and copying are routing steps that capture the face of a document but not its context. Transactive context-as defined by the Value Equation-includes processes, transactions, participants, and most importantly, the role of the document in connecting them all together. Xerox is transitioning to this awareness through IP-based electronic faxes. Managing documents with digital signatures for contracts, intelligently routed, and archived securely, is a new strategy in its infancy and is congruent with document value chains and business document life-cycles.
Xerox created more than a brand, it created an industry. From black and white to color printers, multi-functional peripheral devices, that print, copy, fax, and scan, and production printers and copiers for small business, enterprise, and an entire service industry. Stand-alone peripherals were a mainstay for decades, even with fierce competition from domestic and overseas. Software became a new product in the late 1990s with digital solutions for document imaging management. Xerox moved its process emphasis from document rendering to print and imaging device management over networks. High quality integrated imaging, rendering, and all aspects of document management and office integration became a core competency. Xerox became known for hardware, services and software that enhanced productivity and knowledge sharing. But with fierce competition in global markets, Xerox needed to expand past document technologies that emphasized only presentation, not representation. Strategy needed to advance to managing document content as a transactive medium for extended enterprise business solutions. Creating and managing networked business documents was the turning point for Xerox, and a key differentiator with increasingly competitive rivals. A focus on integrating Xerox image rendering devices across multi-vendor platforms was a wise choice which laid the foundation for inter rather than intra enterprise solutions. In 1998, Xerox started partnerships with firms including Chrystal Software, a Xerox New Enterprise Company, to take advantage of the emerging Extensible Markup Language (XML) technology. This started the change in strategy to separate document structure and content from presentation, so the same business document can be written once and then displayed in a variety of ways. However, these services were not deployed as integrated networked business solutions with Xerox devices. Thus a partner deployed solution was not fully integrated into Xerox's enterprise business products, and the image of the company still remains that of a document rendering rather than solutions focused firm.
About the Authors:
Mitchell Levy, is President and CEO of ECnow.com (http://ecnow.com), an e-commerce management consulting company helping start-up, medium and large enterprises transition its employees, partners and customers to the Internet age through strategy, marketing, and off-the-shelf and customized on-line and on-ground training. He is the author of E-Volve-or-Die.com (http://e-volve-or-die.com), Executive Producer of VMS3.info (http://VMS3.info), an on-line E-Commerce Management (ECM) eZine, Chair of comdex.biz at Comdex Fall and the Founder and Program Consultant of the premier San Jose State E-Commerce Management Certificate Program (http://ecmtraining.com/sjsu), VP of education for the Silicon Valley Web Guild and the Chairman of the Pay-per-Performance PR Agency Media Attention Now TM (http://ecnow.com/mediaattention) and the on-line learning content production company Transition Learning (http://transitionlearning.com). Mitchell was at Sun Microsystems for 9 years, the last 4 of which he managed the e-commerce component of Sun's $3.5 billion supply chain. Mitchell is a popular speaker, lecturing on ECM issues throughout the U.S. and around the world.
Bob Cormia, is an Internet technologist and e-business consultant. Working at SuperBusiness NET, Bob developed strategic positioning, product definition, and account management. Bob developed the e-commerce curriculum at Foothill College while working as a market analyst for G2R, specializing in IT strategy development for Fortune 5000 enterprises. Bob joined eCongo.com in Fall 1998, developing corporate strategy, product development, and launching FreeCommerce on the Internet. In March 2000, Bob joined Calkey.com as an advisor in training and education development in using UML (Unified Modeling Language). In Fall 2001, Bob will join Foothill College as a full-time instructor in the Computer Technology Information Systems division, where he will teach e-commerce, Web strategy, Internet projects, and XML.
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