In-depth

Your Smart Workplace Assistant

Practical ways Xerox VersaLink printers and multifunction devices can make your business smarter

Printers are no longer dumb machines that sit in a corner. While your current printer may just be there to support your workflow, your next one should transform it. This isn't hyperbole: here, we investigate practical examples of how businesses are using Xerox VersaLink printers and multifunction devices to solve genuine, real-world problems. 

The smart workplace assistant

The key to Xerox's solution can be summed up by one concept: a smart workplace assistant. If you think about your current document management workflows, there's every chance you have inefficiencies due to human intervention. That could be manually moving documents to a shared cloud resource after scanning, it could be archiving physical documents, it could be the way you handle emails and faxes. Every business has its document workflow challenges that consume man hours. 

Xerox VersaLink printers can solve many such problems through apps. By embedding an app into the heart of your document management process, namely your multifunction device or printer, you can re-imagine whole workflows. That could be automatically sending scanned documents to Dropbox or faxing documents through the cloud - or it might be a custom-made solution that solves a particular problem you face.

So how do you know if a Xerox printer or multifunction device is capable of transforming your workflow in this way? Simple: look for VersaLink. This is Xerox's brand for smart, connected printers that are designed for small and medium-sized businesses. They come in all shapes and sizes, so whether you want an affordable A4 mono printer or an A3 colour MFP that can handle super-heavy workloads, you'll be able to find the right VersaLink printer for you.

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Naturally, such a device would be no use if it didn't get all the fundamentals right too. As the three PC Pro award-winning printers opposite show, however, that isn't a concern.

Scanning invoices

Here's a real-world problem faced by Swedish IT consultancy Xllnc. "The way we used to [handle invoices] was very time-consuming and very manual," said its CFO, Urban Odelind. "You received the invoice, you went to the scanner, you have to scan one invoice at a time. You can them as a PDF file which is sent to your computer, you open the PDF file, and then you transfer some of the information into the ERP system it's extremely manual and time-consuming."

Rather than outsource the invoicing, which was becoming a bigger problem as the business expanded, Xllnc chose to work with Xerox's development partner Foxway to develop its own solution. "Previously the employee stood at the machine [scanning invoices] for hours, and that meant that other people couldn't do the job. They couldn't get to the machine," said Odelind.

"Instead of 40 hours per month, it now takes us ten hours per month, which gives us a lot more time to actually do things we like to do and work with our core business. We are saving a lot of time - and, of course, money."

So how does this smart workplace assistant work in practice? Stefan Nilsson, CEO Foxway, explains. "With the Foxway solution, the end user goes to the MFP, he takes a group of invoices, it can be one, it can be a hundred, puts it in the feeder and one touch [on the screen] and it goes away directly into the backend system where key invoice gets extracted and then inserted into the ERP system automatically. Job done."

Automatic translation

Needless to say, you don't need to create your own apps. British recruitment agency Austin Fraser, which has offices in the USA, Germany and the UK, took advantage of a Xerox-made app called Easy Translator Service.

"What tends to happen is we'll have contracts come in and it's the role of our commercial and legal team to review those terms, negotiate, make edits and make changes," explained Mitchell Bailey, Austin Fraser's IT manager. "That process is very difficult when you're dealing with a foreign language."

The previous solution was both time-consuming and expensive. The first stage was triage: Austin Fraser received documents through the post and via fax, and would need to sort all the foreign-language documents. These would be manually scanned then emailed to a translation service. After a wait of a day or two, the translated document would come back via email, printed out for annotation, and then scanned back in and re-sent. 

Fortunately, Austin Fraser's managed print service partner was aware of the VersaLink range and its Easy Translator Service. "Using the Xerox Easy Translator Service couldn't be simpler," said Bailey. "Our employee simply needs to walk up to the printer, put their document in, select the Xerox Easy Translator app [then] choose the input and the output language. The app gives you an option to either print the document or send it via email."

Bailey describes this as a "huge time saver". "Previously we were having to wait two, three or even four days to get a translated document back. Now, we can use machine translation to get a good enough translation of that document, then and there when we need it, and it allows us to negotiate with our clients quicker, it allows us to place candidates in roles quicker. And it allows us to stay ahead of the competition."

How apps could help you

These are just two examples of how a VersaLink printer can act as a smart workplace assistant. Head to Xerox's App Gallery (appgallery.external.xerox.com) and you can see the full selection of apps, which are growing month by month.

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Some are created by Xerox itself to enhance common workflows. For example, Office 365 customers should take advantage of the self-explanatory Print and Scan for Office 365, which is already saving time for hundreds of Xerox VersaLink owners. There are similar apps for Google Drive, Dropbox and Box too. 

Or perhaps you want to help your sales team process business cards. OptimiDoc extracts the relevant data and creates a new VCF file: no manual effort required! Or perhaps you have an Amazon Echo in your office. Vision-E Voice can pass on simple instructions such as checking toner levels or make copies, and even tell you if you have enough ink and paper to print, say, 200 copies.

Along with creating personalised apps that solve problems for businesses, Foxway has also created its own suite of apps for VersaLink called the Productivity Pack. Among many other things, this creates an audit of what's copied and scanned on your Xerox VersaLink MFPs.

The VersaLink difference

So Xerox VersaLink printers aren't just there for printing and scanning. They can genuinely act as a smart workplace assistant, saving you time, hassle and money. 

Perhaps your needs can be met from one of the ready-made apps; or perhaps you would benefit from a tailor-made app that solves a specific problem, just like Xllnc. To find out more, call the number below, email or visit xerox.com/versalink.

For more information, call 0800 123 4567 or visit www.xerox.co.uk/en-gb/connectkey/versalink

Turn to the next page to find out which Xerox VersaLink printer is right for you...

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