Xerox became a household name by making copies. Now it’s trying to copy that success in outsourcing. It is transitioning from being “The Document Company” to become a provider of services for corporations’ back offices by providing business process outsourcing (BPO) and document outsourcing (DO). Services include customer care and claims filing, infrastructure, cloud computing, application development, managed print services, and document and data management. In addition, it remains a leading provider of equipment, including office printers, digital printing systems, and multifunction printers/copiers. Xerox serves customers in both the private and public sectors worldwide; the US is its largest market.
Its two main business segments account for more than 97% of Xerox's sales: services (BPO and DO, 54%) and document technology (products, supplies, and related service and financing, 43%). The company's other, smaller business lines include wide-format systems, Global Imaging Systems (GIS) network integration, and electronic presentation systems; together they make up about 3% of sales.
BPO constitutes about 68% of services, with DO making up about 32%. BPO addresses common enterprise functions such as HR, support for financial services, healthcare, transportation, retail, travel, and insurance, and more. DO provides managed print services and communication and marketing services.
Xerox's document technology segment is made up of mid-range products (nearly 57% of the segment), small and midsized business offerings (about 20%), and its high-end portfolio for graphic communications and large clients (about 23%).
Xerox serves more than 180 countries, with about 67% of sales coming from the US, and about 23% from Europe. The company has primary facilities in Canada, France, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Mexico, the Netherlands, Philippines, the UK, and the US.
Sales and Marketing
The company markets its products and services by geography, sales channel type, and line of business. It complements a network of third-party sales channels, such as resellers and systems integrators, with a large internal global sales team. Xerox has about 5,300 sales professionals and around 31,000 technology resellers.
Revenue fell more than 9% in 2014 to $19.5 billion. A good chunk of the drop came from extracting revenue from its departing ITO business from overall revenue. Not counting the ITO business for either 2013 or 2014, revenue was down 2% from 2013 to 2014. Xerox saw a decline in equipment sales in document technology. Sales were bedeviled by product launch timing, customers moving to the growing offerings of partner print services, and a decrease in annuity revenue.
Net income in 2014 dropped 16% and fell below $1 billion, landing at $969 million, primarily because of lower revenue.
If Xerox were a start-up company, its strategy might be called a pivot -- turning away from a defining, but fading, business to a different business that has more perceived upside. While documents remain a key Xerox component, it is shifting to services in a big way. The company is inching its way toward its goal of getting two-thirds of revenue from services by 2017. They accounted for 54% of revenue in 2014, up from 52% in 2013.
To concentrate more on higher margin business services, where it is strongest, Xerox agreed to sell its IT outsourcing business to Atos for about $1 billion in late 2014. The deal is to close in the first half of 2015. The company will contract with Atos to continue to use the unit's IT services.
The ITO divestment followed the 2013 sale of the company’s US and Canadian paper and print media products business to Domtar Corporation. It later sold its Western European paper business to Sequana subsidiary Antalis.
Xerox also focuses on vertical markets -- healthcare, transportation, wireless communications, and graphic communications, among them -- where it exploits its years of experience. In the healthcare vertical, the company partnered with PatientPoint in early 2014 to help market PatientPoint’s digital check-in and population health management software. Also that year it expanded its healthcare research at Xerox research facilities in New York and India.
With much of its business coming from the US, Xerox also sees international business as a key growth opportunity. Three of its four acquisitions in the services segment were outside the US. However, 2014 revenue was flat in in Europe and dropped 11% in the rest of the world.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Xerox remains on the prowl for acquisitions in 2015 armed with $900 million earmarked for deals. In 2014, the company made several purchases to strengthen and diversify its services segment. They included Smart Data Consulting, a New York-based provider of hosted and on-site e-discovery services; ISG Holdings, a provider of bill review software and services and managed care programs for the workers compensation industry; and Consilience Software, a provider of case management and workflow automation software to the public sector.
The document technology segment made acquisitions to plug holes in its geographic coverage, picking up Elan Office Systems in Las Vegas, and the Stewart Organization of Birmingham, Alabama.
In line with its strategy to expand its market reach and the offerings of its services segment via acquisition, Xerox bought ISG Holdings for $225 million; ISG offers workers' compensation software and services. In 2013 the company purchased Canadian pension administration software provider CPAS Systems, London software firm Customer Value Group (cloud-based accounts receivable and CRM software), and Invoco Holding, based in Germany, which expands Xerox’s customer care services in Europe. Its lone US acquisition that year was e-learning and consumer education firm LearnSomething, based in Florida.