The Business Year

Ehab S. Guindi

SAUDI ARABIA - Telecoms & IT

Offices of the Future

Country Manager/Managing Director, Xerox Saudi Arabia

Bio

Ehab S. Guindi is the Country Manager & Managing Director of Xerox Saudi Arabia.

"Today, Xerox is not only a technology provider; we also offer services and IT platforms."

How has Xerox developed its document-focused business into the comprehensive tools it offers in 2014, and what do those products and services mean for the growing Middle East?

Xerox has always been at the forefront of innovation and advancement in the IT industry. The office of today would not be what it is without the many Xerox inventions and enhancements to help processes and capabilities. In 2014, Xerox has the most comprehensive portfolio of document-based services and solutions for diverse customer types across the major commercial and governmental sectors. It is this one-stop shop service that stands Xerox apart. More importantly, today our relevance in the wider Middle East market place is at its peak. The Middle East is a dynamic market place and our products and services are enabling customers to focus directly on their core business. Specifically, Xerox’ services, products, and expertise enable workplaces, whether big or small, to simplify work processes so that they can focus on what matters more; their real business. Making processes simpler has been in our DNA since we invented the copier. Xerox believes that customers will want to add value to their business through the use of strategic IT initiatives, which we can help with. Consultancy, post-sale excellence, and the provision of management data to drive efficiency and excellence adds value. Xerox Managed Print Services (MPS) is a good example of this trend, and we are seeing significant demand for this type of high-quality offering. Xerox is also working with various governments across the Middle East to offer services that support transport infrastructure, healthcare, and financial processes. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is another trend that will see a significant increase, and clients will have to work with vendors on the challenges this brings to security, application development, and mobile working. This is an element of the consumerization of IT that is affecting all organizations around the world. Xerox has been working to help clients in the region with these challenges and provide users and IT professionals with the best of both worlds.

Xerox has been in the Saudi market for over 25 years. What importance does this market still hold for Xerox?

Saudi Arabia is part of Xerox Middle East and Africa and within the remit of Developing Markets Operations. As of today, Saudi Xerox is the single largest Middle Eastern operation by any measure of Xerox partners. It is with immense pride in the Xerox people in Saudi Arabia that I say this, because it is their hard work that allows us to say this. To put it into context, there are more than 89 countries represented in Xerox Middle East and Africa, and it is not just the results that make Saudi Xerox a leading light in this stable; it is capability, reliability, and consistency. As such, Saudi Arabia, as a market place, is considered to be an important part of Xerox operations across all developing markets, and it is a market where Xerox chooses to lead with a premium line up of services and technologies, enabling our Saudi customers to compete globally.

As Saudi Arabia grows and the world digitalizes, how will Xerox’s products assist Saudi businesses to compete domestically and internationally?

Today, Xerox is not only a technology provider; we also offer services and IT platforms that help businesses integrate their processes. Moreover, our solutions have been developed to adapt to the rapid pace of technological advancements, both in Saudi Arabia and in the wider international environment. In today’s economy, everyone is looking to cut costs. For most companies, the ongoing expense of office printing—cost-per-print, routine maintenance, and service—is an unexplored opportunity for significant, cumulative savings. Our worldwide network of certified reseller partners deliver managed print services to help large organizations and SMEs centralize the management of all their devices—including printers, copiers, and multifunction printers from multiple manufacturers. A centralized management of networked print devices through MPS can help organizations reduce outgoing costs and budgets by cutting costs on printing across organizations of all sizes, reducing energy consumption through device consolidation and using more efficient devices, freeing up IT resources for more business-critical tasks rather than installing, and supporting, and maintaining output devices. MPS helps in reducing around 50% of calls to the help desk ensuring greater productivity at the work place. It also allows people to forecast budgets accurately by setting printing and supply costs up-front. Along with our services-led approach, Xerox technology also helps workers adapt to new challenges. Over the years, while the working environment remains the same, the way people work has changed, leading to demand for better services to increase productivity and reduce workload. ConnectKey is an operating system and software for Xerox multifunction printers (MFPs). It was designed for one purpose; to simplify the way work gets done. The ConnectKey MFPs do much more than print, scan, fax, and copy. You can print from just about any device from anywhere. Documents can be scanned directly to cloud services such as Google Drive, Evernote, and Office 365 for storage and collaboration, right from the MFP touch screen. The common user interface also allows anyone in the workforce to easily connect into the company’s business processes. For IT professionals, this common user interface as well as embedded security protection from McAfee allows MFPs to be managed and protected as easily as the rest of the network. The total Xerox package of service and hardware brings together the sustainable competitive advantage that organizations are looking for.

“Today, Xerox is not only a technology provider; we also offer services and IT platforms.”

How do joint ventures and local partnerships, including your historic partnership with Olayan Group, factor into your long-term strategy for growth in Saudi Arabia?

Olayan is a local and multinational organization that has been in business since 1947, and its diversified portfolio and expertise has made it a leader that many organizations aspire to be. We at Xerox have the privilege of partnering with it to ensure that this history of success and performance is brought to the Xerox brand and operations in Saudi Arabia. Xerox recognizes the value of partnering with local Middle Eastern companies of note, and Saudi Arabia is not the only place where we have joint venture companies. In other markets we choose to work with significant organizations of local standing with a strong ethos of partnership, and always with the best intentions for excellent performance with local people who understand the requirements of the region. With this approach we are confident that these partnerships will help us both grow and prosper to achieve our aspirations.

Where do you hope to see Xerox positioned in the market in five years? What initiatives are driving you toward that goal?

Currently, Saudi Xerox has achieved leadership positions in IDC rankings for the sale of equipment in color and production spaces. We have had significant success in offering customers our global document outsourcing services, and we continue to drive new business in our entry printer business in the Kingdom. In five years, we must protect that achievement, but also introduce new customers to the wider offerings that Xerox makes in services, new technology, and solutions, and to be recognized in the market for being a leading player in business process outsourcing. Our future success as outlined above and as an organization is contingent upon our people first and foremost. We need to continue building their skills and capabilities so we can offer our customers the best-of-breed services and technologies that we currently do. We will also continue to expand the number and quality of partner organizations who work with Xerox in the country, ensuring that customers can access solutions and services from Xerox through accredited partners, doing business with the same quality and high ethical standards that Xerox itself does. We will sustain our leadership position as a service and technology provider by advancing technologies, launching new applications, and investing in innovation to provide our clients with state-of-the-art comprehensive services that will simplify their business processes and help them compete globally. The next five years will also be a growth period for MPS within the Middle East and Africa. Many industry experts predict that MPS will continue to grow as organizations look to reduce print and the associated costs. There will be a key focus on the broadening of existing agreements to support new and existing clients with business process services and content management as the print and IT worlds continue to converge.

© The Business Year – July 2014

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