5 Ways Xerox CEO John Visentin Plans To Boost Sales

It's A New Day At Xerox

New Xerox CEO John Visentin took the first 15 minutes of the company's second-quarter earnings call to catalog some of the firm's strengths, weaknesses, and how he plans to increase revenue and modernize processes at the aging technology powerhouse.

Visentin was named CEO on May 13 following a high-profile legal battle between activist investors Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason and entrenched board members over the companies proposed sale to Fujifilm. Following a legal victory for Icahn and Deason, the sale was scrapped, the board members left and Visentin was installed as CEO, replacing Jeff Jacobson.

Visentin told investors Xerox has great software and technology that it has failed to capitalize on and has not taken advantage of M&A opportunities that could make it stronger. While Visentin mentioned M&A repeatedly during his remarks, he did not discuss specific opportunities or a timeframe of when the company may pursue buys.

Here are other highlights from Thursday's earnings call:

Xerox Has A Robust R&D Pipeline With "Disruptive" Technologies

"We have valuable and differentiated offerings that are under-utilized as well as some new technologies, including work that's underway in our labs that has the potential to disrupt industries," said Visentin. "And as we develop and deploy these technologies we must think differently about business models.

"Is our role to be the systems integrator and provider of the entire offering? Or for some of these technologies, are we better off following the model of Intel and the PC industry and focus on high value technology elements, and sell them broadly across and industry? What I saw in our labs tells me Xerox has the potential to go beyond our current core market and achieve scale by providing a critical technology element for several high-growth emerging areas where we do not participate today.

"While we may choose not to develop the product, we have technology that will go into other's products. It could be inks and imaging systems for digital packaging. It could be print and materials for 3D printing. It could be low-cost pollution or hazardous gas sensors to keep us, and the environment, safe. The exact path of these opportunities is hard to predict. But the opportunities are real."

Xerox's Internal Organization Is Bulky And Inefficient, Which Hurts Decision Making

"The processes and the systems we use are complex," said Visentin. "As is our operating model. For example, there's a lack of clarity on decision authority and who is accountable for outcomes in our current matrix organizational construct. Often the result is management by committee and a painful decision-making process.

"We have over 1,000 IT systems. It takes resources to manage all these systems and disparate data from various systems hampers the decision-making process.

"From order entry to product install to repair and billing we need to redefine our supply chain, not only to meet customer requirements, but also to increase our competitiveness. We will anchor the transformation of our business on improving how we serve our customers and partners. Better differentiating our products services, systems and resources, based on the way they want to be served."

Going To Market With Partners

"First, we have an opportunity to drive improvement in our topline by addressing how we go to market," said Visentin. "We need to take a strategic approach to customer engagement to meet the evolving needs, both in how they choose to buy, and the level of services necessary for their business. We're going to make sure we have the right mix of direct, indirect, and online, or ecommerce channels to support our various clients.

"And we're going to work with our channel partners whether they are agents, concessionaries, document technology partners, solution providers, or velocity partners to create frictionless processes and quick response times."

Simplifying The Business Model

"This is more than just process optimization," said Visentin. "We need to optimize the way we are organized. Our product portfolio, our supply chain, our financial model. Xerox carries the legacy of a much larger business. With processes, systems and resources (that are) beyond what are required or affordable today. We need to change the way we operate. In our supply chain, we need to think differently and holistically to eliminate costs, while ensuring that we get the right offering to the right customer at the right time.

"We will drive for greater efficiencies, reduce complexity and faster time to market to enable an end to end customer experience. As we improve our operations. We know that to be a tech company, we must reenergize our innovation engine. And to revamp our innovation business model. To invest in our own capabilities as well as M&A to enable commercialization of technologies we create. We also need to pursue more partnerships to accelerate our competencies while still maintaining our core differentiation and IP for value capture."

Using Software Innovation To Drive Hardware Sales

"In the office, we have ConnectKey technology that is powered by an embedded, secure, cloud-enabled workflow management software platform with Artificial Intelligence and real-time analytics that enables the same app-based flexibility on our products that app stores do on mobile phones," said Visentin. "Software-based flexibility is the new paradigm for hardware and we are leading our industry with ConnectKey.

"With the Xerox App Gallery, users can download apps to a ConnectKey device and make their work easier. There are apps with broad appeal, like those that scan to a cloud-based repository, and apps that are industry specific, like the Healthcare MFP app, which enables a HIPPA-compliant paper-to-digital content workflow.

"Our software businesses are some of our best kept secrets… they are small but they have tremendous growth potential. For example: Our Docushare offering -- think DropBoxx and Box -- is cloud enabled and helps companies manage their digital content -- one of the biggest challenges we all face. We will soon launch a series of solutions for our DocuShare Flex cloud repository that will connect, and allow integration with, applications such as Salesforce.com, Intuit and DigiSign. Such integrations will simplify business processes and enable automated workflow apps. XMPie is a second software business and it provides customers with technology to transform their print businesses into omni-channel print and digital communication businesses. Just last week, we won an InterTech award for XMPie's Circle PersonalEffect Edition. This automation software connects every stage of marketing campaign production.

"We need to take our software and services businesses to the next level."