Xerox says printing hurts productivity

Xerox wants you to print less.

In fact, it has not one or two, but three new solutions to help enterprise do exactly the opposite of what the company has come to be associated with over the years.

The end goal has less to do with saving money and more with raising productivity, according to Karl Hofmeister, product manager for Digital Alternatives, one of the three new solutions at Xerox.

“Let’s say you send a document to me for a signature,” said Hofmeister.  “I’m going to need to take that document, open it up from my email, print it to the nearest printer, walk down the hall, pick it up, sign it, take it back to my desk maybe, scan it back in, send it back … you get the idea.”

With the new digital signature feature in the Digital Alternatives solution, the whole process would be cut from ten down to two minutes, which could greatly benefit paper-intensive sectors such as the government, according to Hofmeister.  Furthermore, the Windows and iOS-compatible program also allows users to fill out digital forms in various file formats, sync their progress between multiple devices, and can even provide companies with analytics of granular usage data, which the software tracks and stores in a secure cloud.

Yet the company isn’t satisfied with simply trying to streamline workflow.  It’s also pushing ePublishing Services, a solution that allows businesses to produce physical and electronic materials simultaneously, as well as a Print Awareness Tool that tries to encourage employees to print less by setting targets and tracking results in a game-like fashion.

“There are three trillion pages being printed every year.” said Hofmeister, who added that all that talk of the of the death of printing hasn’t amounted to much because the existing technology is still “clunky.”

Even with all the tools that are out there today, physical copies are still sometimes easier to work with, Hofmeister said.  He added that makers of consumer e-readers have done a great job in making consuming digital documents more enjoyable.

“We are now bringing this level of simplicity to the enterprise user,” he said.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Dave Yin
Dave Yin
Digital Staff Writer at Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel.

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