Xerox revamps office product line

In an effort to reclaim a bigger piece of the office-product market and raise revenue, Xerox Corp. Wednesday announced an overhaul of its line of copiers, printers and multifunction units, as well as a panoply of new services and distribution channels.

Xerox, which has lost ground to competitors such as Ricoh Co. Ltd., Lexmark International Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co., is battling back with a three-tier product strategy that covers a range of businesses. Xerox launched 21 redesigned or new office products that come under three product families: CopyCentre, WorkCentre and WorkCentre Pro.

CopyCentre digital copiers are priced starting at less than US$1,000, and offer printing speeds from 16 ppm (pages per minute) to 90 ppm. WorkCentre products are basic multifunction systems that offer networked copying functions, with speeds from 16 ppm to 55 ppm, and options for e-mail, faxing and scanning. WorkCentre Pro multifunction units provide copying speeds from 16 ppm to 90 ppm, and offer the ability to integrate services and application from third-party providers.

Xerox business partners that announced add-on services, including networked scanning and fax capabilities as well as accounting applications, include: Omtool Ltd., Captaris Corp, Cardiff Software Inc., ScanSoft Inc., Kofax Image Products Inc., Equitrac Corp. and Control Systems Inc.

The high-end line includes the WorkCentre Pro 32 Color and the WorkCentre Pro 40 Color. Both devices use Xerox toner technology for sharper image quality and higher reliability. Furthermore, the WorkCentre Pro 40 operates at 40 ppm for black-and-white and 22 ppm for color, while the WorkCentre Pro 32 is capable of 32 ppm in black-and-white or 16 ppm for color.

The high-end copiers WorkCentre machines and third-part services, aimed at enterprises, come amid a major push into smaller companies that the financially beleaguered Xerox, which recently emerged from lawsuits related to accounting practices, is making in hopes of increasing avenues of revenue generation, according to officials.

"We are expanding our line to include segments of the market we haven't served as well as we could have in the past," said Nancy Morris, vice president of Monochrome marketing at Xerox.

The new low-end product family includes devices that are not connected to the network, but are upgradeable, Morris said. To make its wares more appealing to small companies, Xerox also plans to offer "competitive pricing."

Breaking with company tradition, Xerox will offer multifunction devices in the U.S. via distributors and resellers. The company also for the first time will post prices for multifunction units on the Web (http://www.xerox.com).

More details will be available after a Xerox announcement in New York Thursday morning local time.

(Tom Sullivan is an associate news editor for Infoworld.)

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