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Document Security A Key Opportunity For Xerox Partners Amid Push Toward Managed Print Services

The print giant's efforts to differentiate partners as service providers were highlighted this week at the Xerox Security Summit, which saw more than 200 vendors, agents, dealers and customers gather at the New York Stock Exchange.

Coming off the largest product launch in company history last year, Xerox has entered 2018 aiming to better position its channel partners as differentiated services providers. Security is quickly becoming one such way the print giant can drive that initiative forward.

Those efforts were highlighted this week at the first-ever Xerox Security Summit, which saw more than 200 vendors, agents, dealers and customers gather at the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan. Among them was Chris Gallagher, print management consultant at Chicago-based Green Office Partner, whose knowledge of document security and compliance has won big business for his company.

The key to that success has been customer education. C-level executives care about hitting their key performance indicators, big security issues and public relations fiascos, he said, and laws like the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) and HIPAA often go overlooked by many of them. What's more, he said the potentially steep fines imposed if they are violated make the handling of printed personal data a potentially crippling situation for small businesses.

[Related: Potential Xerox Deal With Fujifilm Could Be A Competitive Boon To Both Sides, Partners Say ]

"I was with an automotive dealer. I'm talking about security with the GM and owner, and he's just glazing over," Gallagher said. "I went to the leasing department in the back and came back in with this box full of confidential data. I said, 'Do you realize this box here could have you all over the press and could absolutely destroy this company's reputation? Not to mention have the [Federal Trade Commission] all over the place.' It was a real wake-up call."

Plenty of additional security threats exist around printers, Gallagher said. Other examples included a large hotel chain that was relying on inexpensive printers in its business center, supplied by an IT outsourcing company, and even disgruntled employees that could take a picture of sensitive data and report it to the FTC.

Gallagher said Xerox's Cisco and McAfee partnerships, which have helped it meet the U.S. government's rigorous FedRAMP standards, coupled with brand recognition have made the selling easier. And by leveraging Xerox's managed print services, in particular its cloud-based XPPS technology support, he said Green Office can manage more than 2,000 machines across 34 states with a staff of fewer than 20 employees.

"The printer security page on my website gets 20 times more traffic than any other page," Gallagher told CRN. "Everybody's trying to sell copiers, and if they're a little bit smarter, they're trying to sell managed print services."

Via Xerox's CentreWare Web services, partners that provide IT support to customers can remotely monitor, manage and configure printers and MFDs. The Norwalk, Conn.-based company has received partner feedback on that front and said it plans to develop more remote configuring and management capabilities that build upon its existing managed print services.

Mike Feldman, executive vice president and president of North American operations at Xerox, said that as SMB customers increasingly find themselves becoming victims of cybercrime – particularly as more cloud migrations take place – partners have a prime opportunity to educate themselves, dedicate resources to security and develop expertise.

"We've seen some groups do this and it's paying off, helping them differentiate in the marketplace," he told CRN.


Xerox's Feldman added that he "absolutely" expects managed security services to continue being an integral part of the Xerox MPS portfolio as agents and dealers look to add more value-added services to their sales accounts.

Simplicity, and ensuring that all of a device's security features are being properly leveraged, are also key components of the Xerox security emphasis.

"Partners tend to sell into smaller businesses that may have unsophisticated support staffs," Steve Hoover, Xerox CTO and senior vice president, told CRN. "If you built a lot of capabilities but they're not being utilized, have you really helped people? We put a lot of emphasis on ease of use. We put in a security software agent to walk people through and easily implement the security features that are on the device. We have gotten a lot of really positive feedback from our partners and resellers about that. That helps them provide that to their customers, and that's a real differentiator."

Terry Greenan Jr., vice president at New York-based multi-brand dealer Greenan Business Products, said that the rise of Internet of Things-enabled devices has heightened customer awareness of print security needs. In fact, he echoed Gallagher's sentiment that security can be the gateway to net-new business as executive-level decision-makers become more involved in technology purchase decisions.

"[Security] actually leads a lot more than speeds and feeds. Businesses can deal with spending a little more if it's going to save them from a big loss or a big data breach. If you're leading with that, you're selling more value," Greenan said.

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