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Xerox has always been at the cutting edge of office technology. First, it defined the modern office with its state-of-the-art printers, copy machines and general office equipment. Today, it is redefining that same office with a portfolio of innovative technologies. To learn more, AmCham Connect spoke with Dr. Monica Beltrametti, Vice President of the Xerox Research Center Europe (XRCE), based in Grenoble, France.
 

Xerox has always been at the cutting edge of office technology. First, it defined the modern office with its state-of-the-art printers, copy machines and general office equipment. Today, it is redefining that same office with a portfolio of innovative technologies. To learn more, AmCham Connect spoke with Dr. Monica Beltrametti, Vice President of the Xerox Research Center Europe (XRCE), based in Grenoble, France.
 

  
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Defining the Modern Office at Xerox

By Nick Klenske

Every year, the Grenoble Innovation Fair brings together some of the extended region’s most innovative technology companies and research centers, and the Xerox Research Centre Europe (XRCE) is once again gearing up to play a significant role. As an industrial member of the fair’s international strategic committee, XRCE helps target industrial attendees looking for innovative solutions.

“We’re excited about the fair as it is an excellent opportunity to meet people who represent key technologies from around the industry – including IT, biotech, manufacturing and the environment,” says Beltrametti. “The theme of this  year’s fair  is the future of European manufacturing and is set to showcase more than 150 technologies – including 10 Belgian exhibitors identified with the help of the WalloniaSpaceLogistics business incubator.”

Although XRCE is not showcasing any of its own technology this year, it is continuously looking for new partnerships – in line with the center’s commitment to open innovation and collaboration.

“The Grenoble area is the perfect setting to implement this philosophy for technology innovation,” says Beltrametti. “Over the last 20 years there has been an incredible economic boom here and today XRCE has over 100 people.”

The main focus of the center is on performing research in text, images and data and to commercialize this research for IT business process services.  This R&D process is not done in isolation. Instead, XRCE takes advantage of the fact that  such companies as H.P., Oracle, Cap Gemini and the public sector also have research centers within the area, along with a 65,000 student-strong university.

“There’s a great collaborative spirit here in the valley,” says Beltrametti. “Through collaboration with other research centers, companies and university departments, we can organize and submit joint applications for government and EU funded research and, as a result, further all of our innovative goals.”

A Focus on Service Technology

Today, Xerox is focused on providing a complete service offering. The transition began in 2010, with the acquisition of Affiliated Computing Services (ACS), a business focused on outsourcing business competencies such as accounting, HR and customer care.

“With this acquisition, Xerox transitioned from providing office equipment to providing management solutions for business processes,” says Beltrametti. “Today, we are focused on providing technological solutions to manage every kind of  business process from accounting and employee benefits to IT and document analysis.”

In other words, the Xerox of today is working with customers to provide guidance and solutions on how to improve performance  by outsourcing those processes that are not core to their expertise and business. “Companies are much more distributed than a few years ago with people working from home, from planes and generally on the go,” explains Beltrametti. “Xerox is dedicated to ensuring that, regardless of where you are doing business, you have easy access to the information you need to succeed.”

This is best seen in the work Xerox is doing to help companies better manage what Beltrametti refers to as ‘Information Overload’. “In some sectors, you might receive millions of pages of information a day, each containing a combination of text and images,” she says. “You simply don’t have the time to analyze this amount of information to find what is important. That’s where Xerox can help.”

With specialized technology, the process of data analysis has become an automatic process. Xerox can simply scan the material and extract, analyze and understand the information required and then route it to the appropriate person or department.  

“This process has a wide range of uses,” says Beltrametti. “In customer care, when a customer submits a specific question, we can quickly analyze the available knowledge base and get back to them. In HR, when an employee has a question about vacation days or benefits, we can quickly and automatically generate the response.”

Just as Xerox originally took the stress out of basic office functions with its copiers and printers, today its technology is eliminating the stress of too much information.

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