InterviewsOutlook

“The Current Situation Can Be Improved Only If We Work Together”

Mohammed Amer, the VP and Regional Manager of Xerox MEA, speaks about his company’s plans for 2021

How was 2020 for the industry and your company?
There is no doubt that the pandemic has changed the way we work and been a watershed moment for digital transformation. According to Xerox’s Future of Work survey, 72% of organizations were not fully prepared from a technology perspective for the sudden transition to remote work due to COVID-19, which ultimately impacted productivity. But the pandemic has hastened the adoption of remote working, with 81% of respondents now having more confidence in remote working. We’ve been working with customers to create a seamless work experience between the office and home environments.

The production printing industry has followed suit and looked for opportunities to grow and transform their businesses in the current circumstances, with automation a key driver. To survive and thrive, customers need to drive more revenue from less volume and print-high value applications at less cost. At Xerox, we responded with a set of nine innovations that will help print providers capture new segments of print volume growth through increasing page value and bringing high-volume print production to new applications. These solutions include new presses, artificial intelligence automation, and production enhancements for existing presses, which create value and protect customers’ investments in Xerox print technology.

Did you face any challenges in 2020?
We are going through an exceptional moment in time that has challenged us to be better and demonstrated that we can only improve this situation when we work together. Like many businesses, 2020 provided us with an opportunity to reflect, analyze, find room for growth whilst remaining flexible. Over the year, we’ve supported customers through the changing dynamics of the pandemic, with sudden lockdowns and enforced remote working, and then a return to the office, and now restrictions but the hope is on the horizon with the vaccine roll-out.

According to you, which technologies will be in demand in 2021?
Technology has rapidly evolved to support new ways of working driven by the pandemic. According to data, 56% of businesses plan to increase technology budgets, and 34% will accelerate digitization, with heavy investments in touchless workplace apps, digital collaboration tools, process automation solutions, and services. Multifunctional devices and printers will support a combination of on-site, hybrid, and remote workers, enabling a seamless work experience wherever employees are located.

Data shows that businesses are prioritizing investments in cloud-based software (65%), remote IT support (63%), and collaboration software (52%). For many companies, especially SMBs that are more vulnerable to security breaches due to smaller technology budgets, and less in-house IT security expertise, addressing security in the 2021 IT budget is a must.

What will be your key focus areas for 2021? 
Helping our customers create a flexible and secure work environment, with technology to support a hybrid and ever-evolving working culture. This includes tools that enable collaboration and can sustain shifting company cultures looking to emerge out of the covid-19 pandemic in a healthy and competitive position.

Do you plan to enter new markets or add new products/applications to your portfolio in 2021? 
We expect to build momentum within our software portfolio as companies increasingly need tools to support a hybrid working environment. We’re also focused on making progress across our innovation pillars, spanning 3D printing, IoT sensors and solutions, and cleantech.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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