Mahmoud Al Yahya, the Middle East Operations Region Manager at Xerox speaks about the company’s game plan for 2019
How was 2018 for the industry and your company?
2018 has been a good year for Xerox in the Middle East. We have seen a very strong shift in digital transformation adoption. Both private and public sectors are seeing the digital transformation trend as inevitable direction for their business success.
Digital drive was strongly reflected in the growing interest and greater demand for the recently launched ConnectKey enabled Workplace Assistants, alongside managed print services (MPS), workflow automation solutions and other services. Organizations are coming to a realization that going digital is not just about changing the way you store data, but about what you do with that data, how you analyze and leverage it.
Another great highlight of 2018 is the launch of Xerox Iridesse Production Press, a state of art press that can print metallic gold or silver dry ink, CMYK and clear or white dry ink in a single pass, giving print providers an immediate competitive edge in the growing digital print enhancement market. The Iridesse Production Press was very well received by customers in the region and we are very pleased to see how Xerox’s innovation continues paving a way for brands to be even more successful in the Middle East.
What sort of opportunities did 2018 bring along?
In 2018 clients were thoroughly evaluating the return on every investment they make which was a great opportunity for us to capture more business with solutions we offer. With the launch of new products, solutions and our partner program in the Middle East we were able to help our channels to capitalize on more business and increase their customers’ satisfaction. They could successfully grow their customer base and consequently revenues.
Did you face any challenges in 2018?
Every year comes with a few unique challenges, however, 2018 is not much different to previous years.
What were your key achievements in 2018?
We continued to grow our inkjet footprint in the Middle East as we saw more installations. Additionally, we’ve seen an excellent uptake of orders for the Iridesse Production Press and many installations are taking place in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, and Jordan.
Xerox ConnectKey Technology has been very successful in addressing the demands of today’s ever-changing workplace. ConnectKey is a proven technology solution that is transforming the experience of how people work as it allows them to solve problems, be more sustainable, productive and accept more challenges. Our ConnectKey powered Workplace Assistants were well received and tie in with the digital transformation drive and mobile workplace trend in the Middle East.
Managed Print Services (MPS) did very well in the region in 2018, as it once again addresses the digital transformation trend along with sustainability efforts that regional entities are making. One such initiative is the Dubai Paperless Strategy launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, that is aimed at transforming Dubai into a fully-fledged smart city.
MPS has been proven to help businesses boost their productivity while cutting down on costs. We took MPS to a new level last year by introducing Xerox’s partnership with PrintReleaf. Based on a theme of “you print one, we’ll plant one,” PrintReleaf leverages paper usage reporting and equates the number of trees needed to reforest that usage on an equivalent basis in identified geographic areas.
Xerox customers around the world are now able to sign up for PrintReleaf as an add-on to a managed print services contract. Through an online portal, Xerox helps customers select the managed forestry projects where their trees will be planted, in addition to tracking and reporting on their direct reforestation impact.
Do you see opportunities on the market with Dubai Expo 2020 just around the corner?
Expo 2020 will be a great opportunity for a lot of companies in the region. More companies will want to focus on their core businesses to be ready for this big event and our role will be to help companies work better and more efficiently.
According to you, which technologies will be in demand in 2019?
We will see further proliferation of value-added print management and document management solutions and services. Managed print services, workflow automation, and mobile print capabilities to enable mobile workforce will continue being on the top of the list of solutions that will stay relevant in 2019.
What will be your key focus areas for 2019?
We will focus on providing our clients with solutions that will make their work easier and better. Whether it is through managed print services or any other mechanisms that promote efficiency, business agility and strengthen business competitiveness.
What milestones have you set for 2019?
Grow our inkjet footprint, continue leading managed print services sector, capitalize on the momentum created by Iridesse launch and maintain overall positive growth trajectory in the region are top milestones we are aiming at achieving.
What would you like to do differently in 2019, when compared with 2018?
We have a solid strategy that is focused on providing clients with the best technology available to help them work better and this won’t change next year. We will continue exploring even more ways to help our customers and channel partners to further improve their business bottom lines.
Do you plan to enter new markets or add new products/applications to your portfolio in 2019?
We are always looking at ways to enhance our market coverage. We are exploring opportunities to be more present in growing markets such as Pakistan and Iraq.