Written by Dustin Graupman
Vice President/General Manager Ink Jet Business
It’s a pretty simple statement…one that not many will argue with. And examples of exactly why are pretty much everywhere you look.
In my life, I choose one kind of football—the old-world kind—while almost everyone else I know chooses the other kind. Here, it’s not the most popular choice, but as John Cleese from Monty Python said, “American football is played like a series of advertising jingles while soccer is played like jazz.” In reality, I like them both, but it’s a great example of why choice is good.
But is that too simple a statement?
Our acquisition of Impika and their aqueous inkjet technology made us pause and think about why choice is important. And while it is what you might think – that it lets you choose the best technology to match a growing and changing list of applications – it’s also more than that.
The less-obvious value that a choice of technology brings is that it lets you choose based on things other than technology.
I know that at least some of you are saying, “Wait. That doesn’t make any sense.”
But it does. Take an example almost everyone can identify with. If restaurants only offer one type of food, you’re forced to select a restaurant based on that criterion alone. But if restaurants offer any food you might want, then you can select where to enjoy a meal based on atmosphere, location, service, or wine list.
With Impika, Xerox has expanded its high performance offerings to include aqueous inkjet technology to complement the waterless ink of our CiPress Production Inkjet Systems. We’re confident that it was a good decision for Xerox and for our customers.
Certainly, each of the two inkjet technologies has its strengths. Our waterless inks provide vivid color and excellent image quality on low-cost plain papers. And our aqueous ink prints well on virtually any surface—delivering high density color on a variety of substrates.
But as I mentioned earlier, the choice of technology means that you can choose how you want to enter this digital market based on factors other than the printing technology itself. Things like support, business consulting services, and differentiated capabilities like Variable Data Printing that can really make you stand out in a crowded marketplace.
That’s it to us in a nutshell. Always has been. You aren’t choosing technology based only on technology. You’re choosing based on what that technology makes possible for your business. What new avenues of profit it opens up. What areas of savings it uncovers. What capabilities it adds to your portfolio. What values it brings to make you stickier with your customers—so they can be with theirs.
So sure, if you want to be one of these super-printers, of course you’re choosing between aqueous and waterless inkjet technology. But you’re also choosing based on so many other things. Like workflow. And business development. And reliability. This segment has unique demands for uptime, reliability, and performance. Because if one monthly bill doesn’t get out to thousands of customers, we’re talking about a serious financial impact.
Looking back at what I’ve written here, it’s interesting how only a portion is really about the choice between water-based or waterless. It’s been about bigger business decisions – like selecting the most trusted partner in the digital print space to help transform your business around an important emerging technology.
Because that’s the way we’ve always looked at the business of printing.
Dustin Graupman is the Vice President, General Manager of the Ink Jet Business in the Graphic Communications Business Group at Xerox. He is responsible for Marketing, Business Management and Go to Market for all Xerox Ink Jet product offerings.
Written by Dustin Graupman