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Q&A: Anne M. Mulcahy looks to move Xerox beyond copiers

She lauds the company's push into document management services

By Thomas Hoffman
September 11, 2006 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Mention 'Xerox' and most people think of copiers. Even though the Stamford, Conn.-based company certainly hasn't disbanded support and development of its office systems mainstay, it has aggressively pushed into other high-growth areas such as document management services under the leadership of Chairman and CEO Anne M. Mulcahy. The strategy appears to be paying off. For the second quarter, overall revenues at Xerox grew just 1%. However, it saw a 16% increase in post-sale revenues of its color products and 5% growth in post-sale global services sales.

Mulcahy, who joined Xerox as a sales representative in 1976, is also pushing the company's sales force to convey to CIOs the importance of having a document management strategy. Computerworld's Thomas Hoffman spoke with Mulcahy Friday after she made a presentation to industry analysts in New York on the company's performance and growth strategy. Excerpts from that interview follow:

Anne M. Mulcahy, chairman and CEO of Xerox
Anne M. Mulcahy, chairman and CEO of Xerox
How's business? Are there any forecasts you can share from the analyst presentation you gave this morning? I can't talk about that [financials] because we're in the middle of the [third] quarter. But I essentially highlighted what we're doing here to focus on sources of [revenue] growth and income for the company going forward, such as new office products that expand our reach in the channel and offer the customers new value. I also talked about our drive into services. So it was really highlighting the focus areas that are driving our growth strategy.

What recent steps has Xerox taken to expand customer awareness that it's more than just a copier company? I'd start at the top of the curve and talk about advertising and marketing and positioning. The vast majority of the marketing we're doing is allowing customers speak about the value we're bringing to them. You may have also seen some of our TV ads around archiving and office assessments. We're solving the big problems that customers have with document management. CIOs are a big constituency. We have an integrated force that's doing a good job of covering the market and staying in touch with CIOs and CFOs in terms of having a document management strategy.

If you go back five or more years, CIOs were the gatekeepers of corporate IT spending. Since then, technology companies have increasingly targeted their sales and marketing efforts towards CEOs, CFOs and business unit leaders. What's your approach at Xerox? I think the reason why it's not exclusively CIO territory is that many of the solutions are business-process-driven and not pure technology plays. When it comes to things like our office solutions suite, CFOs have a huge vested interest because it's a way to get control over the office infrastructure and get significant savings. When you talk about some of the marketing processes and business collateral, it becomes more of a business-led approach. It's no longer a single executive who drives a lot of these solutions and it changes company to company.

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