TBY talks to Chris Govier, General Manager of Xerox Middle East, on the company's strategy to diversify, invest in new technologies, and grow the market in the Middle East.

Chris Govier
Chris Govier first joined Xerox in 1993 and has held several senior roles within the corporation, including numerous key general management positions across the Middle East- Africa region. In 2015, he was appointed General Manager of Middle East Operations, managing Xerox’s regional operations and overseeing the activities of its channel partners and affiliates across the region.

Xerox has been implementing a separation within the company. How are the two companies going to differ?

There will be two completely separate companies. They will be self-managed, with separate boards and separate CEOs, and they will be focused on the traditional lines of the two companies prior to them coming together. There will be a Xerox technology business, which will continue to be called Xerox, focusing on document technology and the services associated with technology. The business processing services (BPS) will form Conduent, and that will continue to run as a BPS company. Xerox itself has a legacy and a history of success in innovation, technology, and bringing new ways to address customer document technology requirements. That is really where we will continue to focus. From our point of view, as Xerox, it gives us focus and operational efficiencies and better use of our cash. Historically, we have invested significantly in innovation and R&D on the technology side, and we will see that return, which will be hugely positive.

How does that restructuring change your role, especially here in the Middle East?

The UAE marketplace is eight million people strong, which gives Xerox Emirates huge opportunity to grow further and succeed. The separation allows us to look at different areas of opportunity, diversify, approach new markets, and differentiate our value proposition. We are a global leader in document management and document outsourcing; this separation will give us an opportunity to lead the UAE market with superior offerings of technology, solutions, and innovations that optimize document management in an increasingly interconnected, digital world.

What is your involvement in cloud technology and security?

Xerox technology and solutions enable higher productivity and efficiencies for document-driven business processes in a secure environment, including those that require integration to cloud technology. These enablements are touching everyday lives in educational institutions, healthcare facilities, banking and finance, and so on. For example, with the prevalence of a bring-your-own-device-concept in a majority of schools, universities, and educational institutions, the staff and students rely on a variety of handheld and smartphone devices for their day-to-day activities and functions. And our intelligent, multifunctional ConnectKeyR devices enable secure mobile printing and scanning over the cloud along with accounting control to the institution. We are also currently capable of offering and delivering enterprise content and business process management solutions, including software as a service (SAAS) on the cloud to support customers regarding their on-demand business requirements with faster implementation timelines and cost-effective services that do not require big initial investments.

Why do you believe that the Middle East is an attractive market for Xerox?

The key for this region is how quickly it adopts new technologies. Sometimes emerging markets are seen to be lagging behind more developed counterparts, but Xerox is instead witnessing a tendency to leapfrog. So you will see a particular industry trend that occurred in Europe five years ago that has not happened here because they jumped over that trend into the next. The uptake and ability to move the market is far easier here. For example, if you look at the uptake of our management services business, it probably got traction and became mature in a shorter space of time than it did in Western Europe and the US. The separation is good news for us as it allows Xerox to refocus on its core business. As a relatively young country, the UAE does not have the same legacies in terms of customs and procedures, and thus people are much more willing to change. The people who have chosen to make this home tend to be outgoing, adaptive, and welcoming to change, and as a result, Xerox has a receptive audience that is willing to embrace new technologies.