VIP INTERVIEW Rodolfo Piedra Calderón Golden Jubilee

TBY talks to Rodolfo Piedra Calderón, General Manager of Xerox Mexicana, on the company’s focus on multi-sector business solutions, and the innovative products it is developing on the print side.

THE BUSINESS YEAR How important is the Mexican market for Xerox?
RODOLFO PIEDRA CALDERÓN The past year has been very special for Xerox Mexicana given that we celebrated our 50th anniversary. This event was extremely important for us because Mexico is our oldest affiliate in Latin America and one of our oldest affiliates in the world. Mexico continues to be one of the most important markets for Xerox, as it is where we first began in the Latin American market, and we continue developing our services widely throughout the region. Overall, 2012 was not only important to us because we celebrated our anniversary, but also because we launched several initiatives related to this milestone. We are taking advantage of our 50 years of experience. Our track record of operations provides us with the experience, talent, and the different aspects that we need in order to replicate and develop in other Latin American markets. As a company, we have evolved tremendously, and since we are a technology-oriented organization we have always been at the forefront and kept up with the market’s rapid pace. We have had significant technological launches in products and services, and this has helped us to evolve year after year, always looking for a way to reinvent ourselves from the quality perspective, yet maintaining the ethical values that are at our core.

In what ways is Xerox Mexicana trying to evolve brand perception?
One of our main initiatives is to build a different image for Xerox. We are proud of our reputation for service and technology, but one of the main ideas that customers have about Xerox is that we are primarily focused on equipment. This is particularly due to the photocopy machine, which the company invented a long time ago, and is naturally part of our legacy. However, Xerox has developed many other lines of business over the last few years, and we want to get the word out about what kind of solutions we can provide to the market and all of the other high-end technology we continue to develop. Three years ago we completed the acquisition of ACS, which has been renamed Xerox Services. This component of the company is completely integrated and offers customer care, information technology outsourcing (ITO), and business process outsourcing (BPO). We continue to expand our portfolio of solutions as we target bigger markets and invest in countries like Mexico. Xerox Mexicana has offered the Mexican market end-to-end solutions for companies of all sizes, not just in document printing, but also in integrated approaches to document management, including development, distribution, storage, sharing, and reuse. While the printing market is still very relevant, we are developing more solutions aimed toward the flow of user information, serving both types of market demands. In our business model, the channel represents all that is end-user facing and coverage, which is why one of our main priorities is to continually develop business strategies and programs that provide training and tangible benefits to our business partners. With this, we expect to achieve engagement and loyalty toward our brand and to offer the best service to our end users. Xerox Partner Print Services (XPPS) is the next generation of solutions for Managed Print Services with the Xerox brand for the channel, sharing our global expertise and proven technology with the Mexican market through certified distributors. We also offer our clients an extensive array of communications and marketing services, which are implemented through our high-end technology and support of consultants. These services are intended to help our clients generate 360° communications with all of their users and customers, sharing the right message, at the right time, to the right market segment. Our processes enable us to create personalized content offering results and benefiting brand maintenance while reducing production costs. As an example in Mexico, the telecommunications and retail industries have experienced significant success using our communications and marketing services, reducing costs and time by 30% and 42%, respectively.

Today, the company makes half of its revenues from business processes. How significant will this area be in the future?
Half of our revenue streams come from services. The technology stream remains very strong and we intend to maintain it as a driver in our business. However, the business services line is providing us with strong leverage. We are capable of offering end-to-end BPO solutions for small, medium, and large corporations for all back office needs. Some examples include invoicing, delivering, and storing accounting information and sharing it with customers. We provide support on how to improve productivity for current business processes, and we externalize these solutions to help keep our clients focused on their core business. The company’s broad portfolio includes a wide array of both human resources solutions and accounting solutions. In ITO we are able to provide the full outsourcing of data centers, including assets acquisition, IT experts, and numerous additional processes. We are investing substantially in the call center business and are evaluating how to make this business line grow within the Mexican market. We could say our sights are set on every potential market because we serve all industries, such as manufacturing, banking and finance, and telecommunications, and we are considering venturing into mining. There is no one-size solution for all, but we can offer customized solutions that are applicable toward any industry. At this time, we have focused on serving the needs of SMEs, where we have found a natural segment given the conditions that we have, not just as a country, but as a region that is growing quickly.

How sophisticated is the Mexican market in terms of demand for back-office business processes?
Mexico is a mature market compared to the rest of Latin America. Compared to the rest of the world, we believe we need to explore the level of maturity in different business lines. The market trend is pointing in this direction and the Mexican market demands these kinds of solutions, but we need to work with our customers to develop these support and consulting services. Customers know what they need, but Xerox needs to work with them to develop solutions. They need help identifying where and how to apply the solutions. We help them understand how they can be more productive by implementing innovative solutions.

What are some of the innovations you have brought to the market recently?
Currently we are working aggressively toward communicating the solutions we offer to the market, all aimed at raising awareness. Many solutions are available worldwide, but the local market continues to lack many services. One of the critical key performance indicators is how to monitor the implementation of business solutions. On PowerPoint, every solution works, but when you start implementing and integrating critical processes, it’s not the same. You need the infrastructure, experience, and talented people to do it right, and this is what we can offer. We have a strong presence in Mexico, and with over 4,000 employees we are capable of offering solutions that go from design to implementation. As we work with more companies, we also grow and learn, and since every customer is different, we learn from every experience we encounter. In the past, on the technology side, we launched something new every year; now we release new products every quarter. We developed a new, environmentally friendly way of printing, called “ColorQube.” This technology uses solid ink, like a crayon, which can be used instead of toner. ColorQube is one of our biggest investments in the last five years, and we have a family of products that
are 100% environmentally friendly, from the production of the cartridges, to the consumables, to the energy used. One of our advantages is that we have narrowed the space between black and white and color with these new developments, and we are very proud of that.

Do you receive a significant demand from the public as well as the private sector?
Through our Managed Print Services (MPS) platform, we already offer solutions to large corporations and SMEs, after having developed over 9,400 patents and the support of over 50 years of market experience. Our business strategy is to continue promoting these kinds of solutions in the public sector as well, where there is tremendous business opportunity by helping government entities to improve work processes through document management and digitalization, managing work flows and services. Public sector demand is growing and we believe there is a strong opportunity in this market, where we are developing specific initiatives to increase our activity. We have a lot of experience in the sector and with our specialized business partners, which allows us to deliver the right solutions for market needs.

How is the company dealing with increased competition in the market as the economy develops?
Emerging markets are critical for every company now, and Mexico is one of the largest markets. Competition is always good because it drives us to be more competitive and provide better solutions to our customers. We are not concerned about competition because we have substantial experience in adding to a legacy of high quality. We intend to maintain our reputation by offering quality services at the right prices. To be successful, companies need to be competitive in terms of pricing. We have to be competitive to be a viable option for our customers. Pricing is not our top priority; however, we aim to provide the right solutions and understand the customers’ needs perfectly before we look at pricing. We must always consider the differentiation between business lines and tailor our solutions accordingly. The company always evaluates its competitiveness and competition is always present.

This interview will be published in 'The Business Year: Mexico 2013'. To pre-subscribe please e-mail us at info@thebusinessyear.comok Machine”