Xerox displays Versant series at PrintExpo

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Xerox displays Versant series at PrintExpo
Balaji Rajagopalan

PrintExpo 2017, a three-day event from 18-20 August, was recently concluded at the Chennai Trade Centre, Nandambakkam, Chennai. With the widest range of machines, equipment, consumables and products on display, PrintExpo is the region’s largest print technology show.

Indian Printer & Publisher met Balaji Rajagopalan, executive director – technology, channels and international relations, Xerox at the company’s stand to get a brief on their product display and to understand how Xerox positions itself in the highly competitive market in the country.

On display at its stand were Xerox’s all new digital press line-up—Xerox Versant 3100 (for the mid- to high-end market), Xerox Versant 180 (for the mid-end market), and Xerox C70 (targeted at the entry-level market). The all-new Versant series promises to be more robust and comes with over 500 unique modifications to ensure greater reliability and better print quality, as per Rajagopalan. The machines come with in-line calibration, consume less power and feature full HD display with 1024 shades of color. While the Versant 3100 offers a speed of 100 ppm on stocks and specialty media from 52–350 gsm, Versant 180 is a powerful production press printing at 80 ppm. The third variant, Versant C70, prints at speeds up to 70 ppm color and 75 ppm black-and-white.

The three variants in the series are powered by the all new touch-display EFI Fiery RIP that offers a phenomenal advantage from the point of workflow automation and makes the workflow simpler, faster and smoother.

Eureka service and EFI Fiery RIP
As a company, Xerox has always relied on its servicing, and Rajagopalan did not mince words when he said that service offering is the one area that gives Xerox the required competitive edge. He said, “Over the years, machines have become more and more modular. Nevertheless, these machines still need service on a regular basis, whether it is preventive maintenance or other similar services. It is in this segment that we score above the rest. The reason is we operate by not just sending the engineer to the customer but the kind of system, process and knowledge base we have is something that others don’t.”

Xerox has a 20-year-old knowledge base called Eureka. Working with current mobile handsets and tablets, Xerox’s customer service engineers can document and clear service calls, search for parts, retrieve optimized routing and perform other tasks. Used in tandem with mobile devices, the Eureka tool provides a searchable database for quick problem-specific results at the point of need.

Talking about the competition that Xerox faces in the current environment, Rajagopalan shared, “Everybody is a competition to us, right from Ricoh to Canon to Konica Minolta, but what differentiates us is the kind of products we have brought to the market—from low end to high end, including inkjet—along with the simplification of workflow that we offer with Fiery in the front-end. Fiery in the digital space is like Apple in the mobile space. While others offer Fiery as an option, we have it embedded in our Versant series.”

Xerox is growing faster than the competitive market in both office and production categories, capturing around 33.7% market share with business growth year-on-year, as per an IDC MarketScape 2015 Q4 report.

On Xerox’s latest offering, Rajagopalan was firm when he said, “We offer not only quality but also value for customers in terms of costs. We have always believed in offering nothing but the BEST.”

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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