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Xerox is fully committed to digital transformation, turning pressure equipment into Workplace Assistants.— Photo: Andreas Weber

By Andreas Weber, Head of Value | German Version

Note: The translation of the original German version was done by xeroxtranslates.com

“Our biggest challenge is to meet the demands of the people in the mobile age,” notes Mark Boyt. In its function as a global of solutions marketing at Xerox he presented head at an analyst meeting in Uxbridge, UK, strategy, and news about the ConnectKey platform, workplace Assistant, and e-commerce. The development and marketing of business apps is a focus. To do this, Xerox has collaborated extensively partner companies with qualified and authorized Xerox.

 


 


 

“To be still attractive for our customers and to create new business ideas, we have developed by the device vendor to the solution provider, and now to the service partner for our customers”, explains Marcus Putschli, CEO of e-dox AG, Leipzig/Germany. In the Centre is thus not only the hardware product portfolio, but the creative and consulting-oriented performance, to create a maximum customer benefit. Partner developed Putschli in other Xerox as a series from around the world with his team apps that offer new, specific application solutions notably based on technology infrastructure provided by Xerox.

Putschli said: “in addition to the managed print solutions we offer our customers the possibility of digitizing and data protection solutions in the enterprise to anchor. We are various document management partner provider, Microsoft-365-partner-certified app developers for Xerox, and support our customers in many IT issues advice to the page”. The app development takes place through the project area e-dev/> and can be accessed on 10 years of experience. The highlight: the apps are tailored to and run on existing multi-function printers.

 

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Info box to current example — the Convert2PDF app e-dev

Usable via subscription Convert2PDF app, it will be possible to take advantage of the full functionality and benefits of Convert2PDF easily directly from the Xerox, each ConnectKey device by Xerox device i.e. workflows and document processes by simple To control the app user interface.

Systems provides a particular advantage when using the app with Xerox VersaLink. The Convert2PDF app has extended the product range VersaLink in conjunction with Convert2PDF quasi often missing workflow scanning and allows the use of different Scanprofilen for different tasks or workflows. Users as well as administrators in companies are significantly relieved. The Convert2PDF scanning and workflow can be easily managed thanks to the app and also operated. Sources of error for incorrect processes are eliminated so in a comfortable way.The app is also offered on the redesigned Xerox app Gallery.

Xerox’s according to his own admission, that ConnectKey apps accelerate the digital transformation for companies. In the focus are three areas of action:

  1. Support for mobile workers, Office workers and teachers
  2. Smooth workflows for each company
  3. The advanced Xerox app Gallery to facilitate search and install and purchase transactions

 


My take: everything will be fine. Thanks Appiness!

Good news: print is an important pillar of the transformation of companies and their business communication processes. But: It is no longer sufficient to optimize existing, but sometimes are disruptiv new ways to follow, which provide the benefits for all those involved in the focus.

The so-called digital transformation simplifies and accelerates not only processes, but provoked new business goals and opportunities. All of us could benefit from this but only if we also transform to become creative consultants. Our customers have to become partners and customer service is a central issue. And this new, tailor-made apps play a central role. In this sense: Everything is fine. “Appiness” thanks!

 

 


 

Background information

New Xerox ConnectKey Apps Speed Digital Transformation for Enterprises, SMBs

  • Apps support office workers, mobile workforce; educators 
  • Frictionless workflows for any business
  • Enhanced Xerox App Gallery makes browsing, installing and purchasing easier

UXBRIDGE, U.K., Oct. 10, 2018 – Organisations can now better connect staff to popular business platforms such as Salesforce, QuickBooks Online and Concur, supporting customer relationship management, accounting and invoicing, plus streamline additional processes with new apps for Xerox ConnectKey® devices. Purchasing and implementing the apps is simple with a new e-commerce-enabled site.

The Morrell Group, a full-service automation controls design and engineering services organisation, has experienced the power of ConnectKey apps. The company saved 25 percent by automating its product distribution process with the Sign Me app, built by MidAmerica Technology, a Xerox Personalised Application Builder developer. The app digitises the document-laden process, accelerating the speed in which products get out the door. 

“Sign Me is a breakthrough app that has greatly improved our business – we’ve gained efficiencies that impact our bottom line,” said David Hajciar, operations manager, Morrell Group.   

 

Transformation: Xerox turns multifunction printers into Workplace Assistants. Video: Xerox


New apps make work easier 

The ongoing development of its ConnectKey-enabled portfolio underscores Xerox’s position as a print technology powerhouse. The latest enhancements make labour-intense, time-consuming efforts easier and offer new twists on traditional ways of working.  

The Xerox VersaLink® and Xerox AltaLink® series are the launch pads for apps such as:  

  • Xerox Connect App for Salesforce: access to Salesforce’s Customer Relationship Management system right at the multifunction printer (MFP); upload and share sales management information to client folders by scanning the documents directly into Salesforce. 
  • Xerox Audio Documents App: securely transforms hardcopy documents into audio files allowing commuters, multitaskers, or audio enthusiasts to listen on the go instead of reading. 
  • Xerox Connect App for QuickBooks Online: offers a hassle-free expense reimbursement process with multi-receipt scanning. Receipt data is extracted into an expense report and submitted with notifications sent to reviewers for timely approval. For Concur users, a similar receipt management app will be available by year’s end.   
  • Xerox Forms Manager App: simplifies management of multiple forms while reducing paper-based filing risks. With intelligent routing capabilities via embedded QR codes, scanned forms are automatically routed to the appropriate email address.
  • Xerox Quick Link App: enables a fast start to printing without IT support. This intuitive app sends an email directly from the device containing appropriate links to install, and connects computers or mobile devices with the drivers and configuration settings. 

 



 

Making the grade with educators

With insights gained from working with thousands of education customers, Xerox responds with apps that increase productivity for teachers and students:

  • Xerox Connect App for Blackboard: provides access to an industry-leading learning management system; documents are digitised and stored into their Blackboard Learn account from the MFP.    
  • Xerox Proofreader Service: checks for writing elements in the English language, such as spelling, grammar, style and plagiarism.  

Extra Value for Channel Partners 

Alongside an improved design for a better user experience, the e-commerce-enabled Xerox App Gallery provides a global marketplace for channel partners to promote and sell apps. Also, channel partners can share in the revenue when their customers purchase an app. 

Channel partners will learn more about how they can boost recurring post-sale revenues with the new ConnectKey apps and how the new e-commerce model helps them create, market and sell their own apps at the European Personalised Application Builder (PAB) Forum taking place November 7-8 at Xerox’s Innovation Centre in Uxbridge, UK. 

Availability 

Xerox’s newest ConnectKey-enabled apps will be added to the Xerox App Gallery in select geographies between fourth-quarter 2018 and first-quarter 2019. 

Source: Xerox

 


 

At a glance — via Twitter Moments

 

 

 

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#Think!Paper #PDA Sommer Weber.001

Peter Sommer, Member of the Elanders Board, and Andreas Weber, Head of Value, met in Waiblingen, near Stuttgart, to discuss their ideas. Their meeting resulted in the #Think!Paper initiative.

 

#Think!Paper — Edition 1, Volume 1. | German Version

 

“We are launching an initiative that highlights the importance of print not only in but also for the digital era. What counts is not what we do or how we do it, but rather why print delivers sustainable success. The focus needs to be on the unique benefits that professional print production delivers. And that applies whether you’re looking at the past, present or future!” – Peter Sommer and Andreas Weber

A special kind of summit on print and transformation: Peter Sommer, Member of the Elanders Board, and Andreas Weber, Head of Value, met in Waiblingen, near Stuttgart, Germany. This European city is a major hub for the most dynamic solutions portfolio for print and demonstrates with high volumes and strong profits just how big a contribution print (based on digital printing) can make in the digital age. 

“I find it astounding and completely incomprehensible how poorly print is portrayed – especially by the print media industry itself. Why is that?” asks Sommer. The meeting picked out core issues that led to the establishment of the Think!Paper initiative. These points also represent the key thrust of the Think!Paper activities, offering a constructive and critical basis for further discussion.

Taking stock

The print media industry is underselling itself and taking far too little interest in what is going on elsewhere. It likes to keep to itself. There is usually little more than speculation about the challenges set by the digital age. Many positive aspects go unnoticed, and there is a failure to grasp the opportunities that change could bring.

Core arguments

Status quo: The industry has built its own funeral pyre and is fervently stoking the fire beneath it. However, the prospects for print shops in the digital age are far better than the image the industry is presenting, both within and beyond its own ranks.

The mistake being made is that print shops and print buyers are following false prophets.

Clarification: Print is a perfected medium with a pedigree, potential and the capacity for profitable new business. 

Consider the facts:

  • Print represents an exceptionally valuable form of communication – made by people, for people!
  • Improved functionality is exponentially increasing the benefits that print offers in the digital age.  
  • Print isn’t just about duplicating data – it can package text, images and special effects in a very special, highly personal format that moves people profoundly. 
  • As a communication medium, print has the most lasting effect and can therefore be used to great advantage. 
  • As part of the marketing mix, print is constantly raising the bar and creating new potential for customer relationships in the most effective ways possible.
  • And, when it comes to transformation – if anything has to change, then it is how print is handled as a premium product.

Paradigm: Print was, is and will remain an indispensable catalyst for cultural, social and economic developments. That is something ‘digital leaders’ such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple have long since recognized. Indeed, these giants of the digital age are highly adept at using print to their benefit. 

Plea: Print will continue to be a winner in the digital era, if it can strike the right balance between what is useful on a technical level and people’s real needs. The facts are on the table. Now is the time to communicate them clearly and comprehensibly! Let’s put the beauty and diversity of print in the right light!

Aims and measures

We are kicking off creative conversations that cut to the chase with a clear focus. This is how we want to present a vivid and forward-looking picture that highlights effective solutions for using print in all types of communication where it can harness its full potential and strengths. 

We are kindling enthusiasm for innovative and exceptional communication solutions that use print.

We are reinforcing business development with print by identifying and integrating areas of the market that have so far been under-utilized but can rapidly and effectively benefit from innovation solutions using print. 

We are organizing round tables, VIP events and social media-based interactive communication using print.

We are providing clear and concise concept papers as part of the new Think!Paper activities. These include elements such as dossiers, reports with analyses, and guidelines for top decision-makers in business.

We are launching a global ideas competition. 

We are setting up and managing the international “Think!Team”, an interdisciplinary panel of experts.

 


 

Note

A number of hand-picked partners have already been found for Think!Paper, including first and foremost Mondi Group, GT Trendhouse 42 and DRUCKMARKT. More news to follow shortly.


Contact

If you are interested in the Think!Paper initiative or want to get involved, please get in touch:

Twitter @PrintDigitalAge

Andreas Weber (coordination) via LinkedIn

Hashtag: #PDA #printforthedigitalage #creativity #printinnovation #transformation

 


 

#Think!Paper the key facts at a glance

What we do

We evaluate and profile print and its proponents as an effective driving force for transformation – across all industries!

Our mission

We show, first and foremost, that print is by no means driftwood in an ocean of transformation (with Titanic-style effects) but rather a solid anchor for the ‘tsunamis in our heads’!

Our USP

We are bringing together the brightest minds to form interdisciplinary #Think!Teams with a global outlook. 

We are building up the finest pool of expertise with a clear focus on interaction, discourse and sustainable conversations.

We are reinforcing the bedrock of any successful ‘digital’ transformation – proficient, dynamic and meaningful communication.

Benefits for our partners

We help our partners make new and market-relevant discoveries that inspire them and inject new energy into their development.


 

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ValueCheck HDU.001

Photos: Heidelberg / HDU. Collage: Andreas Weber, Frankfurt am Main

 

“We’re remodeling customer interfaces for Heidelberg and creating a seamless digital ecosystem for its customers.” Rainer Wiedmann, Head of the Heidelberg Digital Unit (HDU) and Chief Marketing Officer at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG.

German Version


New digital ecosystem for the print media industry

The new “leading light function” of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG heralded by CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer midway through 2017 is increasingly taking shape and making dynamic progress. “The new Heidelberg Digital Unit is boosting the company’s e-commerce business, online presence, and digital marketing expertise,” said member of the Management Board and Chief Digital Officer Dr. Ulrich Hermann just recently.

What exactly does that entail? Rainer Wiedmann discussed this publicly for the first time in an interview for ValueDialog. A successful digital pioneer, Wiedmann took charge of the Heidelberg Digital Unit start-up company (HDU for short) on April 1, 2018 in parallel with his role as the Heidelberg Group’s Chief Marketing Officer. – The interview was conducted by Head of Value Andreas Weber.

 

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About the new Heidelberg Digital Unit (HDU)

 

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Website: https://hdu.heidelberg.com

Location: Wiesloch-Walldorf, with branches in China, the United States, and Asia

Initial workforce: 50

Objective: To enjoy dynamic growth and establish the number one digital ecosystem in the print sector

Partner: Internet specialist iq!

 

As CDO on the Heidelberg Management Board, Dr. Ulrich Hermann is a dynamic driving force behind the company’s digital transformation. 

 


 

Digital business models inspire the customer journey

Mr. Wiedmann, you were already a digital pioneer over 20 years ago when you founded the argonauten group, a multimedia agency that was an immediate success. What has changed since then?

Rainer Wiedmann: Back then, I was already heavily involved in shaping customer interfaces. This approach led by way of marketing innovation to e-commerce. Nowadays, the focus is on end-to-end digital business models. Thanks to IoT (the Internet of Things), machine learning, voice control, and similar innovations, a complete digital customer journey is now possible for the first time – not only sales & marketing, but many other parts of the value chain are being digitized. 

So you see this as a linear dynamic development?

Rainer Wiedmann: What I see is an extremely dynamic process. An online presence is no longer the be-all and end-all. Access to customers and interaction with them are the most relevant things. Based on the new approach, an optimum customer interface is essential if digitization is to generate value. 

What’s your motivation for treading new ground with HDU in the mechanical engineering sector, of all places?

Rainer Wiedmann: I started out as an engineer and, following my studies at the University of St. Gallen’s Institute of Technology Management, I gained vital experience with a large number of industrial customers. New forms of connectivity are rapidly transforming mechanical engineering, and Heidelberg is extremely well placed to benefit from this development. 

How so?

Rainer Wiedmann: Our machines have long been networked. We also have our own global sales and service organization with a portfolio incorporating hardware, software, and consumables. 

What’s more, the executive management team at Heidelberg understands exactly what transformation through digitization means, as demonstrated among other things by the new subscription model – a first in the industry. As I see it, all this creates the perfect conditions!  


 

HDU in a nutshell

 

How is the newly founded HDU positioning itself in this context?

Rainer Wiedmann: Our goal is to design customer interfaces for Heidelberg that create a seamless digital ecosystem for the company’s customers.

What are HDU’s core values?

Rainer Wiedmann: HDU is all about creating added value based on permanence, consistency, and relevance. Its main value lies in getting the maximum number of existing and potential customers to use the Heidelberg offering on a weekly or, better still, daily basis. It’s not simply a case of registering a large number of nominal users in the system, but of having as many active users as possible. As I see it, content, function, coverage, and interaction are the key to success.

Does your new approach with HDU fit in with the Heidelberg culture?

Rainer Wiedmann: On the one hand, the people at Heidelberg come across as being open and innovative. On the other, they like to follow precise rules. In the digital transformation context, however, I feel a more target-driven approach is vital for employees.

What does that achieve?

Rainer Wiedmann: One advantage of HDU that can be transferred to Heidelberg is that in order to achieve specified goals or optimize target achievement, we work as a team on the structure of rules so that we can make adjustments as and when required.

Heidelberg is indisputably strong when it comes to technical innovation. But what about the company’s customers? Are you aware of any reservations about digitization?

Rainer Wiedmann: Given that all kinds of print production have long been based on digital data, our customers are well advanced with the process of digitization, and e-commerce is nothing new to them either. Online printing has created a huge new growth market. Our approach of working closely with customers to offer a comprehensive package providing peace of mind has therefore proved very popular. If you know what needs to be done and the goals are clear, digitization in printing is regarded very much as an opportunity.

Digital print shop processes are one thing, but the go-to-market strategy in the digital age is another matter entirely. I see a weakness here. Am I right?

Rainer Wiedmann: The important thing in my eyes is for Heidelberg to demonstrate the positive effects of digitization as effectively as possible to customers who are in dialog with us. Only personal experience gives a proper impression of how print shops can also put this to good use in their own customer relations.


 

 

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Screenshots from the Heidelberg Digital Unit’s new website.


HDU mission statements

“We develop innovative digital sales, marketing, and service solutions for all stages of the customer journey and deliver measurable results with a multidisciplinary team and external partners focused on success.”

“We contribute to the operational excellence of all Heidelberg units by offering a digital, state-of-the-art ecosystem that sets new standards in this area.”

“We don’t shy away from any risk. We rely on our entrepreneurial skills and make unexpected, disruptive decisions that enable us to score points with our customers.”

“We won’t let anything stop us achieving our goals and dreams. Continuously pursuing them and measuring our progress will see us succeed.”

“We embrace the digital age. We enjoy working with people who leave the office happy because everyone has done their best and is proud to be part of the team.”


 

It’s all about clear goals and measurable successes

HDU started out with 50 staff and is aiming to expand rapidly. What skills do you require?

Rainer Wiedmann: Around 80 percent of our initial team are very experienced and highly skilled in the print market. We’re adding new people who have experience in areas such as e-commerce, digital marketing, and social media. 

What’s special about your team?

Rainer Wiedmann: We have the right mix! The mutual respect and common goals of our “mixed” team make us particularly effective. The excellent market position enjoyed by Heidelberg and our geographical proximity to the company are very helpful and motivate us all. We are “Born in Heidelberg” – a statement that perfectly demonstrates our unshakable commitment. It also boosts our credentials as an employer beyond the confines of the sector.

How is HDU’s work being integrated into the Heidelberg Group’s everyday operations? And how is the collaboration going?

Rainer Wiedmann: We’ve gotten off to a very promising start because we actively approach Heidelberg staff, provide them with all the information they need, and listen to what they have to say. We have contacts for the individual Heidelberg business units and access to all the sales units. Our global Growth Hacking Tour has already started. We’re using it to raise the local profile of our portfolio in key markets, offer training on our new tools and software solutions, and introduce e-commerce initiatives that we’ve developed.

 

HDU Growth Hacking Tour 2018

Roadmap of the Global Growth Hacking Tour in the startup phase of the HDU. (Photo: screenshot from the HDU website)

 


Focus on maximum competitiveness and market relevance

Does that effectively mean HDU is offering in-house consulting and agency services at Heidelberg? 

Rainer Wiedmann: Yes, but we’re not uniquely a service provider. We offer support with customized tools, efficient campaigns, and in-depth know-how. And we enter into clear target agreements. Our task is to create measurable results and boost e-commerce sales. We focus closely on figures to deliver success. And we achieve results as a team when we generate leads and sales. 

What is the response to the Growth Hacking Tour? 

Rainer Wiedmann: People are immediately seeing that we’re coming to them with the offer of added value for their day-to-day work and demonstrating a true community spirit. As a subsidiary, we have a clear advantage. We’re creating a trusting relationship from scratch for joint success.

Looking beyond Heidelberg, competitors on the digital printing market are claiming they provide their own digital platforms as ecosystems for print. What can and do you want to do differently or even better?

Rainer Wiedmann: Yes, we have our rivals, but in our segment – commercial and packaging printing – we have the highest market shares and by far the largest installed base. What’s more, we’ve had the world’s largest database for presses for over ten years. 

And that means what?

Rainer Wiedmann: It enables us to offer even better functions and optimum access to our entire portfolio along with detailed knowledge of specific customer interests that is always up to date. Our extremely strong service is now helping to expand things again on the operating side.

So does that mean the HDU ecosystem must make it possible, based on the Heidelberg platform, to significantly improve all aspects of performance?

Rainer Wiedmann: We don’t simply want production to run smoothly at print shops. At the end of the day, we’re improving our customers’ competitiveness and market relevance – not just here and there but at all levels as far as possible. 

Hand on heart, as a digital expert, what do you say to the boss of a print shop whose customers tell him printing is outdated and they no longer want to use it?

Rainer Wiedmann: Print media will never disappear. In fact, we’re seeing growth in areas such as packaging, labels, and mass customization. Yes, there are shifts from analog to digital – in particular when it comes to company marketing – but new applications will keep on emerging. For me, HDU’s main task in the long term is to unlock this new potential and enable customers to act flexibly, proactively, and sustainably as times change.

How do you personally think HDU will fare in the short, medium, and long term?

Rainer Wiedmann: I’m more than confident. We’re sticking to the vision and mission we formulated for HDU. And we’re measuring our progress, then responding immediately.

– Thank you very much for this interview. 

 


 

My take on things – a solution of striking simplicity

It’s enough to take your breath away. Heidelberg is putting in an impressive sprint on the home straight, hurtling forward in a completely new guise – the Heidelberg Digital Unit (HDU) – and showing the competition quite clearly who’s in first place when it comes to digital transformation. 

It’s official! A traditional company has without doubt completely reinvented itself – in record time –demonstrating the courage to take risks based on its wide-ranging expertise in printing and all things digital. Rather than abandoning much of the previous system, the company is using and optimizing it to benefit from new developments. One important additional aspect: Heidelberg has realized that in the digital age it’s no longer sufficient to aim for success with best-in-class product innovations.

Launching HDU in this form is a real stroke of genius in my opinion. A subsidiary designed as a start-up – fast, flexible, and firmly anchored with an excellent network – it provides new, user-oriented “digital” services for the Group and at the same time becomes a pacesetter with measurable results to make sales, marketing, and services permanently fit for the digital age on a global level. In my eyes, that’s the perfect way to firmly establish highly innovative products and solutions on the market on a lasting basis.

The biggest winners are Heidelberg customers and the market as a whole because, for the first time, they have access to a well thought-out, effective ecosystem in the form of an exponential platform that takes industrialprint production to a whole new level in the digital age and makes it fit for the future. To sum up, this is a real win-win situation – especially for Heidelberg staff, shareholders, and numerous new partners. 

The “crux of the ‘digital’ transformation problem” I identified in my #ValueCheck is thus soon set to be resolved!

 


 

Rainer Wiedmann

 

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Rainer Wiedmann comes from Stuttgart and is one of Germany’s great digital pioneers. After studying at the universities of Stuttgart and St. Gallen and gaining several years of professional experience, he founded the argonauten group (350 employees at 11 international locations) in 1996, the aquarius group (100 employees based in Munich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai) in 2005, and the iq! group (based in Munich and Palo Alto) in 2014.

The iq! group maintains close links with the new Heidelberg Digital Unit (HDU), which started operating on April 1, 2018 with 50 employees.

HDU is a start-up company and a subsidiary of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, where Wiedmann plays a dual role as Head of HDU and Chief Marketing Officer. 

From 1999 to 2003, Wiedmann was President of the Deutscher Multimedia Verband e.V. (now BVDW e.V.). From 2003 to 2004, he was on the board of Gesamtverband Kommunikationsagenturen GWA e.V. in Frankfurt.

 


About the author

Andreas Weber has been a print expert and internationally renowned business communication analyst, coach, influencer, and networker for over 25 years. His activities focus on transformation for the digital age and include lectures, management briefings, workshops, analyses, reports, and strategic advice. – His blog www.valuetrendradar.com inspires readers from over 140 countries worldwide.

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