Following the long-awaited reorganisation announcement from Xerox Corp which was made in February (CI No 1,107), the company has started realising its stated aim of merging Versatec Electronics with Xerox design technology products within Rank Xerox Ltd. Having said that the two organisations would come together within a stand-alone division called Xerox Engineering Systems, a […]
Following the long-awaited reorganisation announcement from Xerox Corp which was made in February (CI No 1,107), the company has started realising its stated aim of merging Versatec Electronics with Xerox design technology products within Rank Xerox Ltd. Having said that the two organisations would come together within a stand-alone division called Xerox Engineering Systems, a new UK company has emerged from the two UK divisions of these organisations entitled Xerox Engineering Systems Ltd. Xerox has been having difficulty adapting to the changing peripherals markets and the company’s restructuring has been in response to this. In particular it has been losing money from the contraction of the electronic typewriter market and is clearly slightly perturbed about the possible evolution of paperless offices. As an alternative strategy it views the merging of all engineering product lines and laser plotters into the new division as the key to becoming the premier vendor to the expanding engineering drawing market. To this end it is converging its printer, plotter and engineering copier technologies to focus on the computer aided design market. This market is of interest, according to Kaz Herchold, director and general manager of the new division’s European operations, because of the way computer aided design has taken off at the workstation level. Xerox believes that there will always be a requirement to have hard copies of engineering drawings. Consequently it intends to contribute to the growth of the market in digital-based systems and components for automated drawings. So far Versatec and Xerox have only collaborated on the development of one product – the Versatec 8836 36 laser plotter which combined Xerox’ laser printing technology with Versatec’s expertise in the engineering wokstation market. Launched earlier this year it has proved successful in opening up a new market for Xerox, namely architectural design, and this success is being cited as the rationale for merging the two businesses. Hitherto Xerox has relied on long life cycle products and claims to have suffered from not having product development and resource allocation decisions made by a dedicated field organisation – mistakes it does not intend to repeat. Within the UK Rank Xerox looks for Xerox Engineering Systems Ltd to produce revenues of over UKP30m in 1989, and the merger of the two businesses will not lead to redundancies. Headed by Tony Dodd (who was managing director of Versatec Electronics Ltd) the new UK company will be headquartered in Newbury, Berkshire, but for the time being the sales and technical support for Xerox industrial reprographic products will be co-ordinated from Uxbridge, Middlesex.