Six years ago, Tadahito Yamamoto, President of Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd, set his company down the road of transformation-from being a device maker to being a complete business communication solutions provider. We spoke to him recently about this transformation journey. Below is the expurgated transcript of that interview.
Talk about Fuji Xerox today and how you see its transformation as a business necessity.
Tadahito Yamamoto, President, Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd: We just celebrated our 50 years in the business last year. In those five decades we were mostly selling copiers and printers. Obviously, I don't think we can continue solely doing that for another 50 years. Our business is B2B, not B2C. Most, if not all, our customers are enterprises that use our products for business communications. They have always used our products to copy or print for distribution internally or externally to their partners or customers. And from that, they create their own commercial value.
But my answer to the question, "What is Fuji Xerox's business?" is "Communication" and not "Copier and printers." And in the past 50 years, printing and copying have figured prominently as essential tools in enterprise communication. As such, we have for most of those years been focused on producing better communication devices.
However, a lot has changed in the enterprise environment. In ICT terms it certainly has changed. Its constraints and needs are different today. For instance, it has become more convenient and cost-effective for our customers to loan their systems from us. And with the growth in size and continual enhancements to the screens and performance of tablets in recent years, it has become more apparent to enterprises today that it isn't necessary for them to print out so many things to be productive and communicate effectively.
That leads to my point. Our strategy is to transition from being a primarily device or product maker to being a company that is even more helpful to customers-one that focuses on giving them the comprehensive set of solutions and services that make them more productive.
The need for this transition is not something that came upon us overnight. In fact, we tried moving toward it about 10 years ago. And when I took on the position of President of the company about six years ago, I started pushing this transition agenda even more aggressively.
Now, our business is clearly divided into two types. One that still places importance on our devices-which continues to see increasing growth in emerging countries-and focuses on fulfilling the market's need for copiers and multifunction machines from the low to the high end. And one that creates and delivers a suite of services to customers.
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