Xerox and Cisco aim to bring more managed print services, mobile print services and cloud IT outsourcing to solution providers, particularly to Cisco partners who haven’t delved into managed print, said executives.
“Xerox and Cisco think networking and print managed services are [a great combination]. They’re like peanut butter and jelly,” said Rick Dastin, president of Xerox Enterprise Business Group. “And it tastes good too.”
Specifically, the new alliance lets VARs offer Xerox managed print services over Cisco Borderless Networks, a term Cisco coined relating to its networking architecture that promises to deliver a workplace experience anywhere, at any time, using any device to any resource. With Xerox, VARs can consolidate IT and print management leveraging Cisco’s embedded security, WAN optimization, and Internetwork Operating System software to reduce operating costs and protect data from any location. The alliance also brings Xerox’s cloud IT outsourcing services and its mobile print solution to a range of Cisco offerings.
As to how this competes with Hewlett-Packard’s offerings, Dastin said: “The thing we bring here is integrating [both companies] together. Cisco owns most of the wiring closets and networking. That fact that we can come with integration, full transparency of networking including print, which [customers] couldn’t get before, particularly for SMB customers, fully automated, and now it’s offered through the channel, is unique. This is a captive solution that the channel can sell. It is reseller-ready and we are enabling them to be ready.”
In fact, Cisco and Xerox have an opportunity to be more aggressive than HP in print services because their print install base is much smaller than HP’s, said Rob Whiteley, vice president and research director at Forrester. “Cisco and Xerox can go after individual branch lines of business and say, ‘Get our service as a way of getting up and running quickly.’ It very much uses that cloud model of pay-as-you-go and being able to target the departmental level,” Whiteley said.
Xerox and Cisco executives told CRN the alliance is their first step toward “building a document highway together” and will include more offerings down the road. “Today’s print is not really part of the IT infrastructure. We want to remove print as an impediment,” Dastin said.
Wenceslao Lada, vice president of Borderless Network architecture at Cisco, expects Cisco’s VARs to look to add print managed services. “They’re bringing a different perspective to the customer. You’re going to bring the integration and also manage another service that typically hasn’t been part of the network. With that, you’re going to deliver better opportunities in terms of provisioning, mobility, security, how you manage printing devices,” Lada said. “You’re going to expand into a mobile printing environment that is secure because it’s being provided by the network environment.”