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Deb Cantabene of Xerox on the importance of educating customers

Published on February 2, 2010

Interviewer:  Hi.  I'm Cary Sherburne and Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Deb Cantabene who's the Vice President of Work Flow and Solutions for Xerox.  Welcome.

Deb Cantabene:  Thanks Cary.  Great to be here.

Interviewer:  So, we just finished up -- recently finished up Print '09 and one of the trends that I noticed here and it's been evolving over the last few shows, but a lot of heavy emphasis from many of the exhibitors on customer education and of course Xerox has kind of led the way on that.  If you go back to Drupa and now you're doing some consulting and different things.  Maybe you can just talk about how why Xerox is doing that and what the reaction has been to those kinds of services at the show.

Deb Cantabene:  The reaction at the show is excellent.  Customers are really trying to be far more educated so they can get up and running quicker.  They're also hadn't been as concerned in the past to the degree they are now anyway on productivity, especially in these tough times.  It's really important to get every page out of those printers as quickly as possible and to generate new revenue.  So they want more than just product information or software information; they really want to know how to implement and how to sell, how to go after these apps.

So we, at the show this year, did put in a lot more educational aspects.  We did have seven conversation stations; so seven different areas for based on applications that were manned with the experts that we have in those particular applications.  We also had, you might have noticed, an application hub where we had eight presentations; very quick, five minutes.  This is how you get the application accomplished and why you care: so the benefits of it.

Interviewer:  And then they could go to the conversation station for more information.

Deb Cantabene:  Exactly.  Where we staffed with the experts.

Interviewer:  Right, right.

Deb Cantabene:  And then our partners -- we had over 30 partners in the booth this time and we had an Ask The Expert area there as well.

Interviewer:  Oh, that's great.

Deb Cantabene:  So they, too, brought their most knowledgeable people to the show where customers could sit in chairs, which is always helpful at a show.

Interviewer:  Yes.

Deb Cantabene:  And talk to the people that really know the ins and outs of a particular app.

Interviewer:  And then you also had the Real Business Live event as well as within the booth. 

Deb Cantabene:  We did.  We did.  We wanted to talk about real customers with real applications.  So much of the how to do it and why it's effective came right from the customer applications not those that marketing folks like me make up, but true applications our customers are actually running. 

Interviewer:  Yeah, so it was pretty busy, the whole thing?  Were people responding pretty well to that? 

Deb Cantabene:  Oh, very well.  Very well.  There were a lot of people that came and lingered because how often do you get free consulting?

Interviewer:  Yeah, that's true.  That's true.

Deb Cantabene:  So they took full advantage, which is terrific.

Interviewer:  Oh, that's great.  Well congratulations.  I think that's a really great move on the part of Xerox.  As I said, I think you've kind of led the industry in having that kind of approach and now you see a lot the other exhibitors following.  So that's great.

Deb Cantabene:  Thanks.  Yeah, thanks.

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