It's been eight months since Lynn Blodgett was named president of Xerox Services. Previously, he was president and CEO of Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), which was acquired by Xerox in February 2010. Blodgett held court in a suite at the U.S. Open tennis tournament this week, taking time between Maria Sharapova serves to talk to CRN's Scott Campbell about Xerox's services catalog, including cloud offerings and its flourishing partnerships. Here are some excerpts from the conversation:
You were named in charge of Xerox Services this year and ACS is integrated into Xerox now. Can you give us an update on how that's going?
Most of our services revenue has historically been focused on larger organizations. We needed a mechanism to get our services out to broader, small, medium business base. One of our approaches was to work with partners like Cisco and we're offering our cloud solution through the Cisco VAR network, which works well for us. It's great reach.
What made you decide to leverage another vendor's partner network as opposed to trying to leverage your existing partners or try to build a new channel partner base yourself?
We've had a good relationship with Cisco for a long time. We've been looking at ways, asking what else can we do that makes sense that helps them and helps us. As we explored that, cloud seemed to be a very natural [space]. It's much more cost effective for us to do it that way. We get to take advantage of huge investment they have in building that network. It's also a good way to ramp up in a more controlled way.
It's been about a year now that that partnership has been in place. How's it going?
We've released our products and had them set up and working. It's going well. In two years, it will be much more significant than it is now. It's a growing business. I think it's given us a good [offering]. We offer cloud to our enterprise customers directly and this given us a good [opportunity] to go to customers that we just usually wouldn't have access to.
I think many traditional VARs wouldn't think of Xerox when they think of cloud. What are some things you've learned and kinks you've had to work out in bringing the offerings to market?
I think that the cloud is only one thing that we do. We have dozens of different services that we provide and different services that have different success working within the Xerox network. For example, finance and accounting or human resource and outsourcing, those two are things that are so generally required that having a Xerox senior account executive go to their customer and say did you know we can now do finance and accounting [services]? That's a relatively easy concept to get across, right? It's a little more complicated to talk about Medicaid and it's a narrower market. Customer care is another good example. The fact that we do customer care is conceptually relatively easy for people to grab onto. Those kinds of services have been easier for the Xerox global