By Andy Slawetsky – It’s been just over two years since I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Xerox at their Gil Hatch Center for Customer Innovation in Webster NY and it was great to be back to find out What’s Happenin’ with the Big X.
After seeing their presentation at the recent BTA conference in Coronado, CA and an interview with dealer SVP Mike Pietrunti, I was given the chance to visit this historic facility to actually see some new technology and to tour their manufacturing plant.
Manufacturing you say? But, didn’t Xerox get rid of all of their manufacturing? False! Xerox manufacturing is still alive and well at their Webster campus! Fred Ramsey and Brian Segnit toured me through the toner packaging facilities as well as the iGen remanufacturing line – both of which are located right up the road from me. Who knew?
After a walk through the building past the original copier, the Xerox 914, we made our way into the factory to see what was behind Xerox’s curtain.
Massive boxes of toner as far as the eye could see were lined up in rows, waiting to be shipped out to partners, customers and even competitors.
Some of this toner is sent in these giant containers while the rest is to be sent to another building where it is loaded into printer cartridges.
Further into the tour we came across the iGen remanufacturing line, where they strip these massive digital printing presses down to the frame and then reassemble them by hand into new iGens.
Following the facility walkthrough, we sat down to chat about some of the newer technology Xerox has come out with over the last year.
In case you missed it, last November Xerox very quietly launched the VersaLink C8000W, one of the most innovative A3 MFPs I have seen in years. In the past, this would have been the kind of product that Xerox would have flown people in from all over the world to see. But in the era of the great virus, it’s only now just coming to my attention.
This MFP is essentially a regular color office printer combined with a commercial printing press. At a time when the COVID pandemic has accelerated the shift from A3 console printers to smaller less expensive (and less profitable) A4 desktop devices, Xerox has given customers a pretty solid reason to reconsider A3.
What is it?
The VersaLink C8000W is a 45 page per minute color MFP that will print on paper sizes up to 12” x 18.” With optional WIFI, a potentially massive paper capacity and a slew of standard and optional mobile printing solutions, it seems like a typical color office copier/printer, right? Wrong.
This printer also offers capabilities not generally found on a regular laser printer. Commercial printers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more for a device that can produce prints that look like some of these. Yet this machine is currently listed on the Xerox website for $4,549 with rebates.
Think labels, signage, COVID floor decals, menus, wedding invitations and just about anything else; it can now be brought into the office for small runs with quick turnaround and it will look like it cost a fortune from a professional printer. And, it can be done on the device that everyone else uses as their everyday copier/printer.
The key is Xerox’s white toner, the “W” in the C8000W. By printing white underneath, the device can put incredible, eye-popping images onto any color paper. And it’s coming from a printer that can be sold by production specialists and geo reps alike.
Xerox has come out with a product that actually gives customers something new and different than they had with their last copier and a reason to buy another A3 size printing device.
I appreciate the time Brian and Fred spent showing me the facility and walking me through the presentation, it’s always great to get an in-person update.
While they may have been quiet with respect to new product announcements, that doesn’t mean Xerox wasn’t keeping busy. The VersaLink C8000W was the first MFP I have seen in a while that got me truly excited. It’s not just that it prints white toner; it’s the massive variety of substrates makes it so flexible.
Custom wine bottles for vineyards, COVID signage and floor decals for offices, professional looking disposable menus and so much more on the regular office printer? Customers should love this device. When was the last time they got a new MFP that actually did so much more than their last one?
This is the type of innovative product that gets the attention of resellers, partners, customers and competitors. Check it out if you get the chance.
SOURCE Industry Analysts Inc.