Xerox likes to do things in a big way. At least that's the message it sent today by launching ten apps to automate document related processes, and, in the process, push many of them into the mobile world.

Mike Feldman, president of large enterprise operations for Xerox Services, told us the releases are a continuation of the company's objective to automate and simplify the document management cycle.

Processes and People

The apps target two groups, processes and people.

Some of the apps automate work processes. They provide tools and services that improve the way retailers, financial institutions and healthcare systems manage their paper-based content.

The others help employees create, share and process information without servers, middleware or IT support. They're designed specifically with mobile workers in mind.

But that’s not all. Xerox also plans to expand its cloud offerings by expanding Xerox Digital Alternatives, which was made generally available last November, to a Xerox private cloud.

In addition, Xerox’s DocuShare Private Cloud Service now allows for deployment of an enterprise content management and collaboration platform. This enables users to capture, manage and share content securely in the cloud from a mobile device or PC.

Feldman described all this document management action as the latest moves in the company's strategy that dates to the acquisition of ACS five years ago. These releases also form part of Xerox's current three-stage strategy in regard to its managed print services (MPS) program.

3 Stages of Print

According to Feldman, the first stage assess and optimizes a customer’s environment and develops strategies to place the right number of devices and the right technology in the enterprise to optimize document processes.

The second stage focuses on security and integration. The goal is to ensures that the right devices are in the right places in the enterprise and are also secure.

The third stage focusing on automating and simplifying processes, Feldman said.

Enterprises are "struggling with the content explosion around them. As a result of that, people are printing more, especially as a percentage of the content [that they have]. The amount of printed content is going up. So a lot of customers are saying help us bring this down, help us get to a more digital environment and speed up key processes," he explained.

Structured Data

Xerox is developing technologies to manage both structured and unstructured processes, he added. Unstructured processes involve the random printing of documents for tasks that could be done digitally.

The apps released today, however, are focused on structured data. Xerox wants to make it easier to secure content and make it mobile, he continued. 

We are offering analytics so that customers can really understand what their employees are doing, how they are interacting with documents. We can report at levels that were not available before, and we are also upgrading our mobility platform with an android print services plug-in."

The Xerox Mobile Link App for iOS devices, for example, enables users to create personalized, one-touch workflows to remotely control a Xerox MFP (Multi-Function Printer) and transmit documents to the cloud, fax, email or other destinations.

Once created, the workflows are saved as icons in the Mobile Link app allowing for easy, repeatable use. This will also be release for Android at a future date. He explained:

It’s effectively taking the multifunction [printer] devices on the road. My iPhone can now manage the multifunction [printer] devices. After I put the document into my MFP, I can do anything with it with the contacts in my phone. I can even have distribution lists set up before I start."

Intuitive Apps

All the automation apps have built-in intelligent capture to take content or data from different fields in a given form.

Asked about the seeming reluctance of workers to take to document management software in many enterprises, Feldman says that the issue is not the workers but the systems.

If you get the right intuitive apps, with the right training and the right insights into how people are using documents and document management, the workers will come, he said. Customers are asking for ways to print for less and ways to print less.

What they are really saying is help me improve my productivity, help me, deal with the content explosions and the information management we are challenged with and help us making this a better place for my employees.”

The new apps will become available over the next few months, depending on your geography.