“Xerox’s strategy is to grow by buying companies and there will be news shortly”, Mariola Martínez, general manager of Xerox Spain
He has been tied to Xerox for most of his professional life. After having passed through various positions of responsibility, some of them international, the company recently announced its appointment as general director in our country.
Mariola Martínez talks with Xataka about this new responsibility, as well as the future of a printing company making its way to services or 3D printing.
Three objectives at the head of the subsidiary
Martínez assures that, after 25 years in the company, “running the Spanish subsidiary is a dream”.
In her new position, Mariola Martínez claims to have “three great obsessions”. On the one hand, “to continue growing in the areas where we have been doing well all these years.” That is, in the high-end printing segment, in the most corporate market.
Second, Martinez wants Xerox is known for more than printing. “We develop solutions in the cloud, we have applications and we facilitate work in vertical sectors”, he specifies.
Its third objective refers to communication. “At a time like the one we live in, in which we have gone from being in the office to being at home, we need to have this continuous communication, more bonding,” he details.
“We will continue printing”
Martinez does not hide that the impact of the coronavirus on the printing business “has been great”, although he assures that, in the case of Xerox, in the last quarter they have already registered growth. “This year, 2021, it must also mark increases,” he emphasizes.
The head of Xerox confirms that in April of last year the volumes of printing decreased, but assures that now they are increasing again, and both in the office and remotely. “We continue to print and we always will”, he assures, adding that in high production, much printing has not been stopped during all these months.
What’s more, it ensures that new niches of opportunity are being produced. “Some of our partners print stickers and now they are placed everywhere to indicate the entry or exit routes as well as the places where there is hydroalcoholic gel or instructions to maintain safety distances”, he puts as an example.
In his opinion, the challenge of the printing sector is “how to do an efficient job, and become more agile in these hybrid work management environments that are being imposed ”. “The way to transform the printing business is not to continue printing,” he says. “We have solutions to keep people productive, to add security to your work environments, to digitize businesses, to work in the cloud …”.
The Xerox Retrofit
Martínez defends that his company has been digitally transforming “for a long time” although, like other managers, acknowledge that the pandemic has accelerated this entire process. “Simply having your employees have laptops is a transformation. We have developed applications of outsourcing printing, which allow companies to have greater agility. But with the pandemic we did an examination of conscience and we saw that we were not as prepared as we should, because not even many employees had basic tools such as a laptop to be able to work at home ”, he gives as an example.
This margin of improvement in their own digitization has meant that they are investing more in the development of cloud applications for content management and other very specific products for the hybrid work model, such as everything related to document security.
Xerox has a gallery of corporate applications your machines can work with, such as some applications from Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, and other companies.
Grow via acquisition
“The pandemic has given us a lesson in reality,” insists Martínez, who assures that all of this has helped Xerox have “progressed from being a product-oriented company to being solution-oriented.” Thus, the company’s focus is more on software than hard-hitting printing, although “we remain focused on our core business.”
Speaking of the future, Martínez is clear that a good part of the company’s growth will be linked to acquisitions. “Xerox’s problem is not one of liquidity,” he says. For this reason, and although he declares not to know much more than what has been published about the failed purchase operation of HP’s printing business, certifies that, in this industry, “you can grow by yourself or by buying. The second is Xerox’s strategy ”.
It’s more, predicts that “very soon” there will be news in this sense and that “there will be more purchases, and in the short term. Of course, they may not all be acquisitions of printing companies. In fact, one of the last purchases Xerox has made is a Augmented Reality firm, CareAR.
Beyond these possible acquisitions, Xerox in Spain wants to continue growing by vertical sectors such as education, retail or justice. In addition, Martínez’s challenge is to go from five to seven percent of market share in the office segment and soon start marketing the company’s 3D printers, which until now were not in Europe. A new business in which Martínez recognizes that they are going “slowly, with leaden feet.”
It should be noted that, as in the rest of the products, 3D printing is going to business sectors. One of the first clients is, in fact, the Naval Postgraduate School, an applied research university of the United States Department of the Navy.