The concepts of printing and knowledge management are not often considered side by side, but Fuji Xerox Australia believes convergence in document technology will change all that.
The vendor recently launched its Convergent Document Technology campaign. The idea behind the program is to help make IT decision-makers aware of the issues surrounding the convergence of printing, copying, faxing and scanning. The inspiration came from recent IDC research commissioned by the Office Equipment Industry Association, which showed that IT managers were often integral to the buying process, while the purchasing department was relatively uninvolved.
"What was also interesting is more than a third of companies said they wouldn't buy these products because they thought it was too risky," said John Denton, Fuji Xerox's general manager of marketing. "We've got an answer to that but people are not aware of it in the marketplace."
To help create awareness, Fuji Xerox has launched a booklet to accompany its CDT campaign, An IT Manager's Guide.
"This is an opportunity for Xerox to own a market space we haven't owned before, and help IT managers make the connection with knowledge management," Denton said. "Our products can sit in the middle of a knowledge management strategy and work on-ramp or off-ramp to get information in or out of the system."
Fuji Xerox also hopes the new strategy will also help the vendor gain market share in the indirect market, offering background and training materials to resellers.
"Resellers are trying to build closer relationships with their customers, so this material will be as valuable to them as to IT managers," said Terry Gatward, Fuji's e-business officer manager. "Knowledge management is such a huge subject, you have to get started somewhere. A relationship may start from a hardware point of view, but we are trying to build that into a total offering."
Currently, a divide exists between personal multifunctional devices and the high-end workgroup machines.
"Every office has the need for faxing, copying and printing -- being able to scan back into the knowledge management system is a bonus," Gatward said. "It is strange to think that a printing system can give you the benefit of knowledge management."