For more than 100 years, Xerox has been improving the way we work. Innovation plays an important role in this.
We have been doing this for years in our research center Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and through the acquisition of innovative technology companies. We anticipate trends and developments at an early stage and focus fully on the future way of working. Wilco van Bezooijen, General Manager of Xerox Netherlands, currently sees six important trends and developments.
1. Robotic Process Automation
With RPA, short for Robotic Process Automation, it is possible to automate repetitive actions, such as opening e-mails and filling out forms. Other actions such as collecting, analyzing and distributing data are also possible with RPA. By automating this work, an employee can focus on more specific tasks and customer questions. In this way an organization uses the available time and resources in a smarter way.
2. Augmented Reality
We are seeing more and more applications of Augmented Reality (AR), both in business and in private. Two examples are the well-known smartphone game Pokémon Go and the possibility to visit a museum via AR during the corona pandemic. In the business world we see the use of AR in instructional videos and in troubleshooting tools. Called CareAR, Xerox launched a joint venture last year that uses this technology to easily deploy global expertise for maintenance of printers and other technical products locally. Xerox already uses CareAR within its own services to, for example, help graphic customers with 24/7 services.
To limit climate change as much as possible, it is important to invest in technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. New products should cost less energy to make, consume less energy when they work, and be more efficient than previous generations. We also contribute to this at Xerox. Xerox scientists in PARC develop heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) technology that reduces the energy consumption of air conditioners by up to 80 percent.
4. Hybrid works
We are increasingly working from home and much less at the workplace. As a result, connectivity and cyber security are becoming increasingly important. Employees also want to do their job well from home. This requires fast connections and optimal security. Confidential business data is highly valuable and sought after by cybercriminals.
The government is also paying more and more attention to this aspect. This is apparent from the recent appointment of a State Secretary for Digitization, who closely monitors all developments in this area and is responsible for specific policy in this area. “Every company has to deal with cybersecurity,” Lodewijk Asscher, the driving force behind the Center for Security and Digitization, recently said in a radio broadcast: “It’s not just about technology, it’s people’s work, so awareness, knowledge and resilience play a role in this.”
Any device within a company that is connected to a network is a potential security risk, think of a printer that is connected to the internet. Through a vulnerability, hackers are easily able to penetrate a company network. Xerox IT Services offers a solution for this. IT Services is a comprehensive, customizable suite of end-to-end IT services and solutions. From hardware procurement and help desk support to security and automation. Xerox also works closely with McAfee and Cisco to keep hackers out.
The world is digitizing faster than ever. The use of mobile devices has increased dramatically in recent years, with the smartphone increasingly acting as a personal assistant. Thanks in part to the use of smart apps. The vision of Xerox is that (multifunctional) printers evolve in the same way into a workplace assistant, where the user is central and can work with the use of apps with the same ease and speed as on a smartphone, always and everywhere.
For example, Workflow Central is ideal for employees who are often on the road and work with different devices and document types. Workflow Central provides a solution to everyday workflow problems, such as translations, editing, file conversion and more.
5. Internet of Things
Xerox is active with IoT through the joint venture Eloque (a collaboration with the Australian state of Victoria). Eloque is able to monitor the structural condition via sensors on bridges. Eloque’s technology can be used worldwide on all forms of infrastructure.
6. 3D printing
Printing-on-demand in 2D with paper already ensures better stock management, but especially with next level 3D printing. 3D printing parts strengthens supply chains by enabling rapid production and to proactively respond to market changes to avoid supply chain disruptions. This means that 3D is not a new development, but the development continues if we look at the materials with which printing is possible. ElemX, Xerox’s proprietary liquid metal printing technology, provides printing solutions primarily for production environments.
Today’s innovations are tomorrow’s trends. Xerox continuously makes it happen!