CRN Exclusive: Xerox Channel Chief On How Company Split Will Drive Channel Growth And Software Opportunities

Channel Chief: Split Will Lead To Growth

The executive who heads Xerox’s channel partner division says the planned split of the company -- announced last week -- will allow it to pursue growth opportunities through the channel and become more nimble to respond to the faster pace of business,

John Corley (pictured), Xerox's president of channel partner operations, talked with CRN to explain how the split of the services provider and copier and printer vendor will impact its channel partners.

Xerox – whose Global Services division ranks No. 7 on CRN’s 2015 Solution Provider 500 list -- said it will split into two publicly traded Fortune 500-sized companies by the end of 2016. (The company ranked No. 143 on last year’s Fortune 500.)

The services side, Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO), has 104,000 employees and brought in $7 billion-in revenue last year. Ninety percent of that came from recurring revenue. The other company, Document Technology, will focus on Xerox’s legacy core of office products. It employs 40,000 and raked in $11 billion in 2015

Here's what Corley had to say.

What will the split mean to document technology channel partners in terms of revenue opportunities?

The separation will allow the new document technology company, which channel partner operations will be a part of -- and a very material part of that organization -- to better adapt to rapidly evolving markets. It drives innovation and technology to create better solutions for our clients and our partners.

This allows us to pursue additional growth opportunities within the channel. It will ensure that our clients are consistently offered the most innovative services and technologies to improve the operational efficiencies of their businesses.

And I would say that the DTC (Document Technology company) will maintain its global leadership position around document management and document outsourcing services. We are going to continue to lead with the superior technology solutions and innovation that optimize document management in an increasingly interconnected world.

What is the software and services opportunity for partners in the document technology business going forward?

We see immense opportunity for partners as print and IT continue to evolve and integrate. Our view is that integrating and managing the endpoints is not the end, but rather, just the beginning. The next, perhaps more relevant part of the conversation for customers and partners is, now that you have an integrated IT environment, how does one unlock the potential, and leverage the assets and investments to help a client improve their productivity? The way to do that is by leveraging the software and leveraging the workflow and the apps that (reside) on our devices.

That software opens up a whole new world of opportunity to improve processes and productivity that tie back to the individual lines of business in a client's environment.
We have a number of partners who have built a competency in this area, and who are using workflow and apps to help grow their business. They are becoming more relevant and distinguishing themselves in the marketplace.

Ultimately, we see a ton of opportunity to grow with us.

Will this allow the document technology company to be more nimble?

The pace of business today is a lot faster that what it has been in past years. If you think about global macroeconomic conditions that are happening, this is going to enable us to be more agile and more flexible to meet the ever increasing and changing needs of our clients and partners.

How will this help on the product side?

We are going to continue with our investment in technology. I think this is going to allow us to become much more focused in some of the growth markets that are happening like MPS [managed print services], solutions, apps, workflows that need to improve their flow of work. So this is going to allow us to become more focused and more agile to those ever increasingly changing needs.

Talk about the R&D investment we are going to see in the document technology business.

We are committed to R&D as we always have been. We are committed to make sure that we continue to make the right investments that will not only enable us to become easier to do business with, and competitive and profitable for our partners.

We are going to continue to make investments in our technology, in our workflows, in our solutions, in our managed print services, because we recognize [that] to stay as a market leader, we have to continue to make those types of investments.

What kind of channel investments including marketing and MDF (market development funds) will be available for partners after the split?

We are going through all the post-separation work right now. We said it is going to be completed by the end of 2016. Right now the primary focus is to ensure that we operate business as usual and we deliver on the expectations that we have set for 2016 so that our partners can deliver on their expectations.

We have launched a number of tools this year, a number of programs, a number of enablers at our year-start meetings. The feedback from the partners has been overwhelmingly positive of the tools that they have available at their disposal right now to drive solid performance and to continue to create value for their clients.

We are going to continue to challenge ourselves so that, along with our partners, we can create value for clients going forward to 2017.