Mehmet Sezer, General Manager of Saudi Xerox, tells Intelligent CIO how the company is helping Saudi Arabia embark on its Digital Transformation efforts. He talks about how AI is playing a role in the Digital Transformation process within Saudi Arabia; the role the company is playing in the fight against cybercriminals; and the importance of Intelligent Workplace Solutions.
Please provide a brief on Saudi Xerox operations in KSA?
Saudi Xerox is the representation of Xerox in Saudi Arabia. It was established in 1986, with business lines that include providing solutions to improve business processes, automation and printing technology through an innovative vision of maximising productivity and efficiency to create a better work environment. Saudi Xerox offers the full array of Xerox products and services ranging from workplace assistants, workflow solutions and managed print services in the KSA market. We address global and local market challenges consistently together in alignment with Xerox global standards.
How does Saudi Xerox manage to tackle its operation during the current pandemic situation in the region?
The health and safety of our people, workplaces, and customers is of paramount importance. Saudi Xerox closely follows the guidance and advisories from the Saudi Ministry of Health as well as public health organisations.
We are in alignment with Xerox’s global assessment programme, the Business Continuity Assessment Program (BCAP) which oversees all our functions to assure plans are in place and regularly executed ensuring we remain operational despite business risks to help achieve the business objectives of our clients.
Saudi Xerox has established a ‘Response Team’ that meets regularly to monitor developments and closely follow the guidance and advisories from government and ministry of health and have taken a range of actions, in efforts to raise awareness and promote preventive measures using all Saudi Xerox media channels, educating all employees about the pandemic, encouraging them to work from home if they can, and sharing resources and guidance on how to contain the spread of Coronvirus.
How does Saudi Xerox and its technology contribute to the Digital Transformation process of Saudi?
A key goal for Vision 2030 is diversification from an economy based on natural resources to become a digitally enabled hub for trade, innovation and investment through the implementation of digital technology.
The only way to realise this opportunity will be through large-scale adoption of transformative digital solutions such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR).
At the end of the day, government offices and enterprises operate on an organisational level, and require many of the same solutions. We enable a modern workplace by providing our customers access to our Intelligent Workplace Services (IWS). The IWS has a portfolio of capabilities that uses analytics, workflow automation, content management, security solutions and print infrastructure optimisation to help workplaces become more efficient, employees more productive and data more secure. Saudi Xerox helps them to streamline and automate processes, manage hardware, software and data. Flexibility, remote access and simplicity are making it simpler than ever for organisations to embrace the cloud.
Can you tell us about the sectors in the KSA that are pioneering Digital Transformation efforts? And how Xerox solutions help them to achieve this?
Digital Transformation process is not unique to specific sectors, it is being embraced by various sectors on various levels. A few examples of sectors currently adopting Digital Transformation in KSA include transportation, education, healthcare, oil and gas, finance, utilities and energy, among many others. Saudi Xerox supports all sectors, irrespective of their Digital Transformation needs or requirements. We approach individual customers and sectors based on their needs and not based on our offerings or solutions. We assess requirements of every organisation and implement solutions that will help them to achieve their business operational goals.
What is the importance of Intelligent Workplace Solutions and what is its role in Digital Transformation progress?
The acceleration of Digital Transformation initiatives is driving a new way of thinking around how organisations operate. The most successful of them are increasingly looking at their workflows and using up-to-date data to enhance employee productivity. Information needs to be in the right format for leadership and using intelligent workflow analytics helps organisations understand and improve the way employees and technology coincide.
In today’s multi-platform environment, there is a need to ensure information is available across both the digital and print worlds. Information needs to be consistent and above all secure, while ensuring compliance with data and privacy laws.
Digital disruption is redesigning modern enterprise. Radical rethinking of technology and processes is fueling unprecedented innovation and growth for organisations bold enough to break away from the past.
Turning your organisation’s paper documents and forms into digital content delivers crucial benefits:
• Innovation: Classify, search, analyse and mine digital documents for business intelligence insights that foster innovation and drive competitive advantage.
• Security: Secure critical data in ways not possible with legacy paper documents. Apply policy-driven integrity, confidentiality and compliance controls to digitised documents to safeguard your organisation’s most sensitive information.
• Efficiency: Digitisation lets you redefine workflows. Sharing, forwarding and collaborating with digital documents drives down costs, ramps up productivity, speeds decision-making and changes the way business gets done.
Intelligent workplace and Digital Transformation are synonyms. They cannot exist without one another and there no way to transform digitally without implementing intelligent workplace solutions that drive the actual transformation.
Are Xerox solutions protected from cyberattacks?
The printing industry as any industry today is susceptible to cyberthreats. Since all printing devices are now part of the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem, they are receptive to IoT cyberattacks and require enhanced security solutions. All office devices that are connected to the Internet automatically become vulnerable to attacks designed to penetrate the network and that network access will grant access to sensitive data and the entire IT infrastructure to cybercriminals which can cause enormous damage to any organisation. Security is always Xerox’s top priority and we constantly work towards enhancing security features of all our devices. That’s why every Xerox Connect Key Technology-enabled device is armed with our holistic four-point approach to security, ensuring comprehensive, all-encompassing protection for all system components and points of vulnerability.
Our security features include Prevention, Detection, Protection and Strong liaison with global partners.
Moreover, Xerox leads the way with device-level protections like strong authentication and encryption for data at rest and in motion. We’ve also partnered with Cisco Systems to strengthen device protection and take security beyond the device, protecting critical information across the entire corporate network.
Together we’ve built more than 200 detailed Xerox device profiles into Cisco’s Identity Services Engine (ISE), the networking leader’s widely used, enterprise-proven security policy management and enforcement platform. These profiles let ISE automatically detect Xerox ConnectKey-enabled VersaLink and AltaLink devices and control access based on granular security policy set by the organisation.
Additionally, Xerox, McAfee and Cisco have teamed up on security for faster threat detection and response. The team was created through partnership with McAfee, the global cybersecurity company and Cisco, the networking and security firm and Xerox Corporation. Utilising McAfee’s ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) and Cisco’s Identity Services Engine (ISE) allows centralised printer management of printer security policies.
How does AI play a role in the Digital Transformation process within Saudi Arabia?
As technology advances, Digital Transformation grows to include more options. Artificial Intelligence is a rapidly evolving area that offers a variety of benefits and has become a focal point for transformative efforts in the KSA. Sophia, developed by Hanson Robotics, became the first robotic citizen in the world in 2017. Smarter technologies, in which AI is an integral part, are the future of sustainable development.
AI offers streamlined processes that reduce the need for repetitive tasks and can handle many necessary requests without human intervention. Digital Transformation is occurring at every level. For example, the introduction of contactless payment service by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) aims to increase the number of cashless transactions. By making this switch, it will enable more consumers to make e-commerce purchases, driving new revenue streams. Integrating a wealth of technologies into a single, harmonious vision for the future is a part of what may make Saudi Arabia successful in its quest to becoming a global leader in technology and innovation.
Saudi Xerox is currently working towards implementing AI solutions across most of its services while focusing on workflow automation aspects. Workflow automation is designed to automate and eliminate repetitive tasks that employees do, so they can focus on their real work and do more, evolve and grow while solving essential problems and allowing AI to take care of mundane tasks. The level of AI sophistication varies, but its functionality and application always boil down to achieving better work efficiency.
How will your solutions achieve the sustainability the Kingdom adopted in their Vision 2030?
At Saudi Xerox, sustainability is our way of doing business. We align our goals for the environment, health, and safety in key areas to make a worldwide impact. We strive to maintain the highest standards for preserving our environment and enhancing the health and safety of our employees and communities. And we are dedicated to helping governments and organisations to achieve their sustainability goals. Our commitment to sustainability includes helping them find ways to work smarter and faster while improving their business operations and the environment. Governments are proactively working towards their sustainability objectives and enterprises are following their lead. Once you become an eco-friendly brand, you will notice how your behaviours affect the environment. Having sustainability become part of your company’s DNA will bring the world closer to reducing the carbon footprint while helping you to cut down on workflow costs.
Xerox is a green brand at its core and it always encourages its employees to contribute to meaningful and impactful initiatives, such as the “Making Riyadh Greener” campaign that Saudi Xerox supported for several years. Everything Xerox does on the corporate and global levels impacts its regional operations and how brand’s sustainability efforts are represented in the Middle East and in the KSA specifically. Here are some of the initiatives Saudi Xerox’s customers in the KSA benefit from:
- Waste management and prevention – Xerox produces waste-free products in waste-free facilities to help our customers reduce waste. Our aim is to design products, packaging and supplies that make efficient use of resources, minimise waste, reuse material where feasible and recycle what can’t be reused. All Xerox products contain between 0%-5% post-consumer recycled plastic content.
- Efficient use of paper – Xerox recognises their obligation to responsibly source paper and enable efficient paper use. Their strategy begins upstream with the fibre source and continues to processing and manufacturing, through use and end-of-life. Xerox applies stringent paper sourcing guidelines for companies that provide paper to Xerox for resale. The requirements cover all aspects of papermaking, from forest management to production of finished goods. Additionally, Xerox equipment and software are designed to help customers to make more efficient, use of paper.
- Reduction of energy use to protect our climate – Xerox believes that industry must do its part to protect our climate. To this end, Xerox reduces its carbon footprint by cutting energy use in its facilities, investing in product designs that conserve energy and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and offering digital multifunction printers and energy-efficient solutions to its customers. In 2008, Xerox’s (Europe) Ltd Dundalk Colour Toner Plant was certified to ISO 50001 – Energy Management System.
In addition to sustainability efforts, Xerox is highly dedicated to maintaining a safe work environment for its people. Xerox strives toward a goal of zero workplace injuries, continually decreasing the frequency and severity of injuries each year as the result of increased safety awareness and communications to their employees and focused safety management processes within their management teams. Xerox applies strict exposure limits for worldwide manufacturing, research and service operations to protect employees from elevated exposures to chemicals, noise and radiation.
Xerox’s emergency preparedness and response program helps protect the health and safety of Xerox employees, their surrounding communities and the environment. All Xerox operations worldwide develop documented plans for responding to fires, chemical releases, natural disasters and other potential incidents.