The future is fine for printers, Xerox's CEO says

The future is fine for printers, Xerox's CEO says

Xerox, Lotus and Microsoft are working to integrate Document Centre with Notes and Exchange,

Instead of reducing print demands, e-mail and other online apps often increase them, Thoman says

G. Richard Thoman, president and recently named chief executive officer of Xerox Corp., serves on the company's board of directors and on the board of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Foundation.''

The last book he read was about a topic close to home: Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age by Michael Hiltzik. GCN senior editor Florence Olsen interviewed Thoman by e-mail.

GCN:'Hasn't print-on-demand had the unintended consequence of generating more rather than fewer pieces of paper?

THOMAN: Electronic information promised to reduce printing requirements but has actually had the reverse result. About half of all
e-mail is printed, and as e-mail volume continues to increase, this drives additional printing.

People will read from a screen if the document is short and the information is transitory. Longer documents are nearly always printed, as are documents that require repeated access. But a greater percentage of archival storage is becoming electronic.

GCN:'What is the document center concept that Xerox Corp. is working on?

THOMAN: A document center can be simply a standalone digital copier, better in every way than analog light-lens copiers. As tools on the network, document centers can print, copy, scan and fax'all from your PC or by walking up to the device.

Xerox is developing ways to transform these digital office devices into portals where documents and knowledge can move easily between the paper and electronic worlds. Xerox is working with IBM Corp., Lotus Development Corp. and Microsoft Corp. to integrate Xerox Document Centre with Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange for managing electronic documents across workgroups.

GCN:'How does the Xerox hyperbolic tree browser work?

THOMAN: It helps computer users make sense of large collections of electronic documents or large Web sites. It's something that has to be seen to be appreciated fully. Visit, the Web address of one of our Palo Alto, Calif., research center's spinoff companies, Inxight, where you can see a demo.

GCN:'Can you describe the digital document warehouse that you helped build for the Fort Hood, Texas, Directorate of Information Management?

THOMAN: Fort Hood distributes more than 46 million document pages each year, and regulations about their creation make distribution unwieldy.

The digital document warehouse enforces all necessary document controls while providing Web access.

It includes print-on-demand as well as distribute-and-print technologies to streamline document printing.

GCN:'How much has Xerox spent making its products year 2000-ready?

THOMAN: One of the primary concerns is to avoid any disruption to our manufacturing process.

As a safety net, Xerox will purchase one month's worth of extra supplies to have on hand in December for manufacturing primary products in January, in case the supply chain is disrupted.

That cost, and the money we will spend ensuring that our products are year 2000-ready, will total about $135 million by the end of the year.

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