Commentary & Analysis
Mal Baboyian Shares His Vision for Océ Digital Document Systems: An ODJ Interview
By Noel Ward,
By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: January 26, 2004
By Noel Ward, Executive Editor January 26, 2004 -- No other major equipment vendor in the digital printing industry has undergone as many significant changes in the past few years as Oce North America. These changes have positioned the company to deliver a broad range of document-related services and technologies to companies of all sizes across several vertical markets. The company's "One Oce" concept, launched in mid-2003, focuses on providing customers with a unified offering of solutions that draw on a complete range of hardware, software and services solutions. Leading the charge at Océ North America's Digital Document Systems Division is its new president, Mal Baboyian, a 27-year Océ veteran who came up through the sales ranks. Company insiders says he's a hands-on executive whose leadership comes from his years on the "front lines." He is noted within the company for his understanding of customer needs and how to deliver solutions that work for the customer. He recently shared his vision for the company in an interview with On Demand Journal. Key Acquisitions Shaped the Company "When I joined Océ USA in 1976, it was only a $12 million company," related Baboyian. "Today, the U.S. market alone generates more than $1 billion in revenues per year. As you can imagine, the changes as the company has evolved are nothing short of transformational. Océ has grown through strategic acquisitions that enabled us to expand our offerings in the marketplace." He cites three key acquisitions as shaping Océ Digital Document Systems. First, Brunning catalyzed the growth of Océ's wide format printing systems business, which is referred to as WFPS. Next, acquisition of the Siemens Nixdorf Printing Systems division helped establish Océ as a leader in production-class continuous-form printing and publishing. Finally, the addition of Archer Management, now Océ Business Services, provided an entry point into outsourcing and professional/managed services. "Our internal growth philosophy is one that encourages innovation and thoughtful expansion," said Baboyian. "These acquisitions combined with an innovation pipeline to yield some extraordinary advances in document technology, and enables us to deliver a steadily improving product line with state-of-the-art technology." Customer Focus A key characteristic of many successful companies today is a clear focus on customers, which more often than not, is a top-down initiative. In developing his own particular focus, Baboyian said he has learned from customers, Océ's partner companies, and people within Océ, developing an understanding of what works--and what doesn't. "Success depends on understanding customers' issues, problems, and key business processes. It comes from encouraging growth by trying and implementing new strategies and tactics, working harder, collaborating more effectively, and combining strengths. It is also listening, learning and solving problems to deliver total solutions that add value to a customers' businesses by putting their needs first." One Océ Baboyian believes the One Océ initiative exemplifies the company's customer-centric approach by making it easier for customers to do business with the company. As Océ North America President and CEO, Ron Daly, has pointed out, customers want to buy Océ solutions easily. With that in mind, One Océ Digital Document Systems not only spans the business services, wide format and production systems, but reaches into the office network and workgroup areas as well. And with the ongoing convergence of when, where and how a document is produced, as well as who creates it, Océ's strategy of presenting a single face to the customer could pay big dividends. "We expect to gain important synergies by working across departmental and business lines," said Baboyian. For example, the recently announced contract with Boeing places Océ at the center of the aerospace company's document production. Océ's ability to deliver a spectrum of services from digital document production and workflow management solutions to wide format printing systems to outsourced enterprise solutions through Océ Business Services convinced Boeing Océ could provide all the services they required. "One Océ allows us to focus on providing solutions that address our customers' business processes throughout their organizations and result in improvements in the efficiency, productivity, and profitability of their operations. The bottom line is that our solutions can now draw on a much broader range of products to meet a broader range of customer needs in markets where we previously have not competed." This is a key shift for Océ. By adding consulting and educational professional services to its document production technologies, the company should be able address a full range of customer business issues. This enables the firm to offer a higher-level solution, where value, not price is the deciding factor. 2004 a Big Year With drupa just a few months away, many equipment vendors are preparing for the launch of new products and technologies. Baboyian said 2004 will be a big year for new products, services, software, and comprehensive solutions from Océ. "We'll be introducing new products in both the cut sheet and continuous form product lines. Color will continue to be the focus of the market action and appeal, and Océ Digital Document Systems will emerge as a serious color contender in 2004. We are strengthening our color product line with enhancements to our Océ CPS 700 system with version 3.1, and by adding new members to the CPS family." He promised several important announcements at the annual On Demand show and conference in New York City, March 8-10. We can expect the unveiling of a new color platform and what he termed, "…a revolutionary new continuous forms printing family that will redefine continuous forms printing." Supporting the new products is a sales force and marketing strategy Baboyian believes is more attuned to the marketplace than at any other time. "Our sales, marketing, and support teams are aligned to address the way our customers do business, to solve problems, and to understand what customers value." For example, Océ has added Industry Solutions experts who are specialists in developing and tailoring solutions to meet specific needs in several vertical markets. In addition, Océ will be offering more convenient leasing plans, such as new master agreements enabling any Océ customers to add any Océ product to an existing lease. The Need for Solutions Whatever new products are rolled out this year, customers still need to be confident that the solutions they invest in today are more than just boxes—they need to know that they're investing in a well-rounded and complete package that brings real value to their business. Baboyian says the Océ PRISMA suite of workflow management software products will continue to be enhanced with new tools and components that enable customers to be more productive in a range of environments. Just as important, PRISMA may well reach beyond the familiar territories of transactional, production and publishing.. "We'll also be looking at ways to e xpand into new markets and industry segments to reach to customers who have not worked with us before. For example, we'll be working more closely with Océ Wide Format Printing Systems Division (WFPS) to support customers in print-for-pay environments who can benefit from more complete Océ solutions." Even five minutes with Mal Baboyian tells you he is excited and pleased to be at the helm of Océ Digital Document Systems. ODJ was pleased to have the chance to hear his vision and we look forward to seeing Océ's new approaches to the marketplace in 2004.