Commentary & Analysis
FREE: Scitex Digital Printing Reports Success, 10 Minutes with Xerox's Elaine Wilde
Scitex Digital Exceeds Expectations &
By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: May 3, 2002
Scitex Digital Exceeds Expectations “Not surprisingly, quick printers, like our new partners Sir Speedy, PIP Printing and MultiCopy, were looking for inexpensive digital color, and many of them said the VersaMark Vantage would be an attractive value proposition for their businesses.” Scitex Digital Printing’s Jason Oliver A Half-inch From Her Customers--10 Minutes with Xerox's Elaine Wilde “We are the cost of goods sold for these customers. We have to help them build volume, not simply get another machine in there.” Xerox’s Elaine Wilde by Noel Ward, WTT Editor@Large Scitex Digital Follow-up While the Xerox iGen3 brought a lot of people into the Xerox booth, just down the aisle Scitex Digital Printing (SDP) was also drawing crowds with the announcement of its new VersaMark Vantage press. The new machine offers customers an alternative to other digital presses with the advantages of high speed (708 impressions per minute) and very low operating costs (as low as 2 cents including consumables, paper, maintenance, etc). Before On Demand, WhatTheyThink.com had talked with Scitex Digital Printing CEO Homi Shamir to get his take on how SDP technology fits the market. As a follow up we have checked back in with the company to see how show attendees responded to the VersaMark Vantage. We reached Jason Oliver, Marketing Director for Systems for a quick recap on SDP at On Demand. And here's what he said: WTT: What was the response to the Vantage press at the show? SDP: The response to VersaMark Vantage was overwhelming and is exceeding our expectation. The significant level of interest confirmed what customers have been telling us--Business Color fits a broader market, especially when it comes in a smaller, less expensive package. WTT: What kinds of customers (types of printers/businesses) were showing the greatest interest? SDP: Not surprisingly, quick printers, like our new partners Sir Speedy, PIP Printing and MultiCopy, were looking for inexpensive digital color, and many of them said the VersaMark Vantage would be an attractive value proposition for their businesses. Also, a number of billing and statement printers looking to replace pre-printed forms with full color dynamic documents stopped by the booth. That market has been our fastest growth market for the VersaMark worldwide, and we are excited to see North America ready to embrace this change. WTT: What were they saying were the most compelling features? SDP: While prospects liked the simplicity and small footprint of the VersaMark Vantage, they really liked the price. Many of them had seen the handouts of Charlie Pesko’s keynote speech printed on the Vantage, and they wanted to confirm that the cost per page for Business Color was actually as low as two cents per page. WTT: Can you talk at all about number of orders placed for SDP machines? SDP: We cannot give you exact figures, but suffice it to say the year is looking bright for Scitex Digital Printing. WTT: Given the low operating cost of the VersaMark, does SDP see it replacing highlight color in statement and transactional markets, such as service bureaus and data centers? SDP: Absolutely. Around the world, telecommunications firms, financial services companies, and others printing statements and bills are using VersaMark to replace pre-printed forms with a "plain-paper-in" approach. They are saving conversion and storage costs for pre-print while transitioning to dynamic color for one-to-one marketing. A Half-inch From Her Customers--A Few Minutes with Elaine Wilde It took some rescheduling on her part and mine, but Xerox's Elaine Wilde and I finally had a chance to sit down on Friday to catch up on what she's doing in her role as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Graphic Arts. She's responsible for all the market-related activities in the five segments of Graphic Arts, which Xerox defines as creative and publishing, transactional service bureaus, quick and franchise print, pre-press, and commercial print. It's a big job, with an intense customer focus. To Wilde, that means "....staying a half-inch from my customers. I am aligning the thousand or so people in Xerox Graphic Arts to wake up each day with a goal of helping our printers profit and grow. It sounds very short and sweet, but there's a lot to it. It means developing tools, creating market awareness, why we are working with PIA in creating a digital design guide for designers, why we support PPML, and so on. We have a responsibility to grow awareness if we are to move ahead with our 'New Business of Printing' strategy." "The other day the CEO of a multi-billion dollar printing company thanked me--Xerox really--for being the first vendor who has ever done national advertising around the business of printing. He was talking about Xerox's new ad campaigns that have been running on TV and in magazines." This approach is part of how Xerox is coming to realize they must approach their markets, because the new business of printing comes with plenty of competition. The NexPress 2100 is positioned against the iGen3. HP, while still testing the waters in its alliance with Indigo, is clearly a competitor, and Xeikon is still in play with a sizeable installed user base claiming an AMPV (average monthly print volume) of around 200,000. On the black and white side, the Heidelberg 9110 and Océ DemandStream 4040 are putting pressure on the DocuTech, while mid-range (60 to 100 PPM) machines from Océ, as well as Japanese firms like Canon, Konica and others are finding homes in places where smaller Xerox products were the leading choice just a year or two ago. And IBM has just dropped two new machines into this segment. "It used to be that Xerox always had a clear privilege. Now we have to operate with the understanding that we will always have two or three viable competitors." To Wilde, this means staying as close to the customer as possible and finding out how to deliver the service level a customer needs. To do this she does a lot of listening. "I spend 90 percent of my time with customers," says Wilde. "These people are all CEOs. Their companies can be big or small, but they need response time, from me or anyone else. In graphic arts we are very different than the corporate account marketplace. We are an intimate part of these customers' business models. We are the cost of goods sold for these customers. We have to help them build volume, not simply get another machine in there. These customers make or lose money depending on how we market to them. So when I talk about profit and growth, it is the model I am trying to live and build throughout graphic arts."