Business Interview: Xerox sees robust demand for its products in GCC
Chris Lynch is the head of production technology at Xerox Middle East & Africa. In an exclusive interview with Muscat Daily, Lynch talked about Xerox Corporation’s presence in GCC countries and growth in demand for company’s products in the Omani market. He also spoke about Xerox Iridesse production press, which the company recently launched in Oman.
What is the importance of the Middle East, and particularly the GCC market, for Xerox Corporation? What is Xerox’s core competence in this market?
We believe the Middle East plays a significant role when it comes to digital transformation and developing innovating technologies. The digital transformation era pushes printers to innovate and offer its customers long term benefits from print materials. The future of the print industry will revolve around helping print providers become more digitally competent, to enable them to offer new value to their customers and make print in whatever form it takes, more relevant to the consumer.
How is the demand for Xerox products in Oman’s market?
Xerox has seen tremendous growth in demand for its products and services in Oman, across the GCC and in fact throughout the Middle East. Commercial printers, in-plants, copy shops and print or print-related service providers are looking for new ways to grow their businesses, to enhance their services and to add value to their clients. Xerox is helping fuel that growth through the provision of innovative digital products and services, from entry level products like the Versant family of colour products, through to heavy duty presses like the Iridesse production press with its unique six colours in a single pass capability.
Such products have helped Xerox lead the professional colour sector (80-150ppm segment) and this growth shows no sign of slowing down. In fact digital colour is growing faster than any other sector in the print industry according to Smithers PIRA’s latest reports.
Xerox recently launched the Iridesse production press in Oman. What are the key features of this new technology that your competitors could not provide?
The Xerox Iridesse production press is the world’s first and only digital press that can print metallic gold or silver dry ink, CMYK and clear or white dry ink in a single pass. It has two in-line specialty dry ink stations allowing customers to create lucrative applications with spot colours, metallic and mixed metallic gradient. Iridesse eliminates multiple presses and processes usually required for print embellishments, increasing capacity and profits for customers.
Customers can benefit by using gold and silver metallic inks on their own or layered under or over CMYK to create unique iridescent palettes. A layer of clear dry ink can be added for an extra touch of dimension or texture while white dry ink enables customers to produce applications on a wider range of media including black, transparent or metallic stocks, craft paper, and synthetics and polyesters.
How can this new technology transform the print industry in the GCC region? Which verticals can benefit the most?
The Xerox Iridesse production press will open new business opportunities for our partners and their customers while offering them an immediate competitive edge. Adoption of specialty enhancements is growing as developments in printing technology, like Iridesse, make embellishments and enhancements possible for more applications. In fact, according to Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends, digital print enhancement volume is expected to grow at a 27 per cent compound annual growth rate from 2015 to 2021.
Digital print embellishments provide unique value, higher profits and increased growth. Print embellishments also revive the design possibilities by opening up a whole new palette of metallic, iridescent and specialty enhancements that can be used.
Iridesse has been targeted to all market verticals from graphic arts to corporate and government. Iridesse delivers Ultra High Definition resolution, combining 2400x2400 dpi imaging resolution with up to 1200x1200x10-bit rendering resolution. With print speeds as fast as 120 ppm, a range of inline finishing options and the capability to handle mixed media and stocks as heavy as 400 gsm, print providers can take on an even wider variety of jobs. The press brings new capabilities and opens up new business opportunities for customers from many verticals.
What are Xerox’s other latest products and which products do you plan to launch in the near future in the region?
Xerox is committed to a programme of product and service development, which has no end and is engaged in building new partnerships and developing new and innovative technologies, which will enhance business productivity and efficiency. Customers across the GCC and the wider Middle East region will be able to see some of these developments on our booth at the upcoming Gulf Print and Pack event, which is taking place between April 15-18 in Dubai. Looking further ahead, in 2020 DRUPA, the world’s largest graphic communications exhibition will take place and again Xerox will announce some significant new product launches to coincide with this.
Many reckon Xerox as the photocopier behemoth. Can you tell how Xerox is transforming digitally?
At Xerox, digital transformation means helping businesses-great and small, transform the way they work and communicate, turning organisations’ paper documents and forms into digital content, automating manual processes and driving operational agility which improves customer engagement.