Have I gone to the Dark Side..?

Hi everyone, it’s been a long time since I wrote one of my blogs to share my ideas and views on the Software vs. Hardware approaches in the Managed Print Services Market. I have been leading with my Software defined Print Methodology for about 15 years now to demonstrate that its Software that defines a print strategy and not Hardware. Printing for me has never been about device but more about the EUC context and strategy. Printing is an application function and that defines the pathway for process and output, and this is where a print strategy should start, right!? It’s always been so obvious for me and I have swallowed up Hardware providers as a matter of course through my career when winning projects, as a lot of you will testify…

Steve Jones Darkside

So now… here I am sat as CIO of one of the largest and most recognised Xerox Platinum partners in Europe, Zerographic Systems Limited. But why? Why on earth would I set myself up to look like a hypocrite or a phony and join a hardware supplier? Why would I have smashed the hardware message to pieces for the last 15 years and then take on this position. Didn’t I consider my credibility in all this or was the draw of the Dark Side too strong…

The market demands we align ourselves

If we look back in history, we have seen clear changes of attitudes and messaging in the tech industry. When VMware came to the market with its ‘View VDI solution’ Citrix and many others, including Brian Madden belittled the idea and the concept. In fact, they openly criticised the idea of virtualising problem desktops, ‘why would you do such a thing’ was the cry. But as a matter of Market reflection and demand we now see Citrix going great guns in Azure delivering Windows 10 VDI and where is Brian Madden? Well he is sat in a position at VMware… The market tells us we should change rather than fear the change that’s coming. As I looked more closely into the hardware world, I saw what Luke Skywalker saw in Darth Vader…I saw the good…

The Managed Print Market Demand

I had a growing awareness over the last 5 years that told me that the print market was changing. As mobility, IoT, device management and user productivity improvements pushed harder into the edge technology market it was clear that the time of a holistic approach to managed print service was now. Most companies operate in multiple cloud instances and environments, the digital office is desired more and more each day, flexible and home working ethics and opportunities are ingrained into most modern business, and even though the Hybrid cloud model seems to be the winning cloud ideology, print servers and on prem print management is for sure not desired, for the most part, anymore…

As I stood in isolation in the software vendor world, I realised that I had to change. I had to recognise the value of the hardware, I had to find the hardware OEM that could recognise, align itself, appreciate and be successful in integrating a true Software methodology within Print Management. If I found it then that would be the place for me and my future.

How I found the Balance to the Force

Now, I know quite a bit about print, about 22 years’ worth, in relation to end user compute, cloud solution building, digital office print support, mobility etc and I also knew about the OEM’s out there too. But there was really only one that came out as the clear winner for me. Of course, people will say I am bias now, but I can promise you I did not tout myself out there, this was hands down the OEM ecosystem I wanted to be in, and in my own words, here is a snippet as to why I chose the Xerox one:

  • Xerox is an industry recognised Innovator and holder of countless Technology Patents.
    ‘Why would I not want to be part of this ecosystems future’
  • Their Device OS, ConnectKey, is the most secure and advance operating system in the OEM print industry.
     ‘A hardware OEM that clearly acknowledges that the most important part of their device; is its software’.
  • The Xerox ConnectKey is App lead meaning customers and partners can develop their own workflow apps to integrate directly into their core business solutions and processes.
    ‘They have an open developer framework to literally develop your own workflow optimisation apps, soooo cool’!
  • They already have an existing Apps eco system which is leading the OEM industry in print.
    ‘Seriously you have to see it! AudioDocs, AutoRedaction & XeroxTranslate area few of my favourites’.
  • They have a significant focus on the USER experience.
    ‘UI design, productivity improvements and integration with cloud solutions like Microsoft 365, Salesforce, QuickBooks etc and direct integration from device to its ECM solution DocuShare; it really is impressive’.
  • They have the industry leading Cloud Print service already.
    ‘I have the ability to leverage a world leading technology…ummm…yes please’!
  • I could go on and on…

Joining the right Partner

As soon as I heard the name Zerographic and I then heard of their story I knew I wanted to be part of it. Zerographic are a solely own family company that are absolutely thriving in the Xerox ecosystem. They are the fastest growing Xerox Platinum Partner in the UK and it’s no secret as to why…they believe in the longevity of partnerships and that’s what a customer is to them, a partner.

Being here now for the last few months I have been repeatedly taken back with the Zerographic approach to their customers. They constantly strive to build upon and help their customers on their digital journey and now I am honoured to be part of it. I walk around every day with a smile on my face. No matter what Zerographic office I am in across the UK I see the same ethic and the same belief in what Zerographic Stand for and that’s to provide innovation and a Holistic approach to our customer solution needs…

‘Maybe with a bit more onus on the software elements now though ’…

Thanks for the read and give us a call below if you feel we can help.



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