An Exclusive Interview with Mehmet Sezer, General Manager of Saudi Xerox
Xerox Mission Is to Enable a Modern Workplace
Xerox has always been a familiar name in the workplace or governmental and private organizations. However, with the evolution of workplace especially after the Corona Pandemic, Xerox has also evolved. The company is very active across the region. To find out more about Xerox activities and how the company plans to help companies in Saudi Arabia achieve digital transformation ME Printer talked with Mehmet Sezer, General Manager of Saudi Xerox.
For many people name Xerox is synonymous with copying machines, although the company has been in forefront of many innovations, do you believe Xerox has done enough to change this perception?
Xerox Corporation is a technology leader focused on the intersection of digital and physical. We use automation and next-generation personalization to redefine productivity, drive growth and make the world more secure. Saudi Xerox is the representation of Xerox in Saudi Arabia. It was established with business lines that include providing solutions to improve business processes, automation and printing technology through an innovative vision of maximizing productivity and efficiency to create a better work environment. Saudi Xerox has been offering the full array of Xerox products and services ranging from workplace assistants, workflow solutions and managed print services in the KSA market. We address global and local market challenges consistently together in alignment with Xerox global standards.
Digitization is the future of Saudi Arabia and we are actively working with our customers to help them transform their organizations with our solutions. Embracingdigitaltransformation, Xerox has strived to introduced key workplace solutions in the past decade to enable more efficient processes and workflows.Our Managed Print Services offering is industry-leading, and we use many of the tools and techniques to implement digital transformation. As an example, a critical aspect is the collation, management and understanding of the significant volume of data that organizations suddenly have access to. In such cases, an organization like Xerox can help customers navigate this assessment stage before automating and optimizing.
Covid 19 disrupted many aspects of our lives, including how we work, how does Xerox contribute to businesses and companies in the Middle East to adapt to the changes during and post Covid 19 crisis?
Due to Covid-19, many businesses have realized the need for digitization and the paramount importance of secure digital solutions. We are tapping into the digital segments as they present a huge opportunity of growth, especially during such times. With the government and private sectors digitizing data, we are providing solutions focused on digitizing documents, utilizing the cloud storage for mobility and ease of access.
What is digital transformation according to Xerox?
Digital transformation encapsulates the essence of moving from a ‘physical’ or ‘analogue’ world to a ‘touchless’ or ‘digital’ one across the print industry. The concept of ‘information digitization’ plays an ever-growing role towards utilizing ‘less paper’ and providing a communications platform. This harnesses the full power of new digital technologies which is multi-channel and not simply print on paper. It is about re-imagining and re-engineering the way print organizations operate and, in the way that they communicate and transact business with their customers. In fact, digital transformation plays an instrumental role in developing an efficient workplace as it creates opportunities for organizations to manage their documents in a digital format while reducing the number of pages they print. It also allows companies to analyse their printing habits and automate processes that are inefficient and time consuming. The office needs so much more than a printer to cope up with the increasing workplace demands. It needs a workplace assistant, a printer that offers more than print. Revolutionizing workflows, boosting innovation and bolstering security by digitizing paper documents. Digital disruption is remaking the government and modern enterprise. Radical rethinking of technology and processes is fueling unprecedented innovation and growth for organizations making it necessary for them to implement digital solutions.
Can you elaborate how Xerox is contributing to Vision 2030 in Saudi Arabia?
A key goal for Vision 2030 is diversification from an economy based on natural resources to become a digitally enabled hub for trade, innovation and investment through the implementation of digital technology. The only way to realize this opportunity will be through large-scale adoption of transformative digital solutions such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, cloud computing, the internet of things (IoT), and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR).
At the end of the day, government offices and enterprises operate on an organizational level, and require many of the same solutions. We enable a modern workplace by providing our customers access to our Intelligent Workplace Services (IWS). The IWS has a portfolio of capabilities that uses analytics, workflow automation, content management, security solutions and print infrastructure optimization to help workplaces become more efficient, employees more productive and data more secure. Saudi Xerox helps them to streamline and automate processes, manage hardware, software and data. Flexibility, remote access and simplicity are making it simpler than ever for organizations to embrace the cloud.
Do you think Saudi Arabia has the necessary infrastructure to embrace digital transformation?
Organizations, economies and markets around the world are embracing digital transformation rapidly. According to International Data Corporation(IDC), it is predicted that by 2023, 60% of revenues generated globally will have been delivered by organizations that have undergone digital transformation.
Saudi Arabia’s government and public agencies are introducing initiatives to improve citizen experiences via digital platforms, in line with the Vision 2030 and the supporting National Transformation Program (NTP) aim to make the Saudi economy more competitive in this emerging landscape. The Kingdom is rapidly utilizing data to redesign customer experiences and to create more innovative business models. Saudi Arabia has also laid down the desired infrastructure for organizations to fully transform their operations, participate in new markets and engage customers in more efficient and innovative ways. The country is fast adopting accelerators of innovation like Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data analytics.
The government and other sectors have laid out action plans for establishing the necessary infrastructure outlined by Vision 2030, clearly setting goals and recalibrating activities to fully optimize and leverage the kingdom’s strengths in order to deliver digitalized services.
Digital transformation in the kingdom has been embraced by various sectors on various levels. A few examples of sectors currently adopting digital transformation in KSA include transportation, education, healthcare, oil and gas, finance, utilities and energy, amongst many others.
Do you think the Coronavirus crisis reminded us all that how important is digital transformation?
We do think that the Covid-19 has laid a clear spotlight on the dire need for organizations to be resilient and to embrace digital capabilities. Now more than ever, businesses must rethink their business models and redesign customer and employee engagement. It is important for change to be implemented not only during the current pandemic but for longer term future as well as expectations for businesses and consumers have shifted at a remarkable speed.
Even though there are external factors effecting digitalization across different sectors, companies need to adopt the technologies that spark innovation, efficiency, and growth for better visibility in business and to fundamentally respond to crisis demands.
ConnectKey is one of the key innovations launched by Xerox, could you please elaborate more about this technology and has this technology been embraced by businesses in our region?
Xerox® Connect Key® technology is designed for the changing office environment based on cloud connectivity. It allows employees to be more productive while allowing them to operate with more structured processes and information.
ConnectKey also helps streamline workflows so employees spend less time managing documents.Employees are also able to make electronic documents and manage tasks through the ConnectKey apps.
As the digital landscape is changing in the region and fast adapting to new technologies, organizations in the Middle East are implementing intelligent workplace solutions enabling smarter and more efficient work processes. Security is a key concern in the region and the printing industry is susceptible to cyber threats similar to other industries. Since all printing devices are now part of the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem, they are receptive to IoT cyber-attacks and require enhanced security solutions. As security is always Xerox’s top priority, we constantly work towards enhancing security features of all our devices. That’s why every Xerox® Connect Key® Technology-enabled device is armed with our holistic four-point approach to security, ensuring comprehensive, all-encompassing protection for all system components and points of vulnerability. Our security features include Prevention, Detection, Protection and Strong liaison with global partners.
How does Xerox incorporate AI in its products and system? Is it part of the self-learning mechanism of the machine?
As technology advances, digital transformation grows to include more options. Artificial intelligence is a rapidly evolving area that offers a variety of benefits and has become a focal point for transformative efforts in the KSA. Sophia, developed by Hanson Robotics, became the first robotic citizen in the world in 2017. Smarter technologies, in which AI is an integral part, are the future of sustainable development.
AI offers streamlined processes that reduce the need for repetitive tasks and can handle many necessary requests without human intervention. Digital transformation is occurring at every level. For example, the introduction of contactless payment service by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) aims to increase the number of cashless transactions. By making this switch, it will enable more consumers to make e-commerce purchases, driving new revenue streams. Integrating a wealth of technologies into a single, harmonious vision for the future is a part of what may make Saudi Arabia successful in its quest to becoming a global leader in technology and innovation.
Saudi Xerox is currently working towards implementing AI solutions across most of its services while focusing on workflow automation aspects. Workflow automation is designed to automate and eliminate repetitive tasks that employees do, so they can focus on their real work and do more, evolve and grow while solving essential problems and allowing AI to take care of mundane tasks. The level of AI sophistication varies, but its functionality and application always boil down to achieving better work efficiency.
Do you think businesses are doing enough to protect their digital assets and how Xerox can contribute to cybersecurity while digital transformation is reshaping the way organizations do business?
A significant number of assets for organizations are now digital.Therefore, it is important to secure digital assets in terms of data privacy and security. Organizations are implementing solutions that involves redesigning of data storage methods, along with implementing key protocols that help protect against malware and cyber-attacks. In our opinion, a key part of digital asset management is simply to be aware and understand the importance of data. Especially with the current pandemic, businesses are realizing the importance of using the proper malware prevention software, storage tools, and secure servers when storing their information. Additionally, cloud has vastly changed the digital asset management infrastructure as people turn to mobile devices and cloud access for storage.
As the threat landscape is changing, Xerox has taken a flexible and agile approach to security through our Enterprise Cyber Threat Management Portal, introducing initiatives that address security concerns while demonstrating business value through digital transformation.Also, as product security issues are vital for Xerox, we have demonstrated a commitment to keeping digital information safe and secure by identifying potential vulnerabilities and proactively addressing them to limit risk.