Xerox Networks With Domino

Xerox Corp. and IBM’s Lotus Development Corp. subsidiary announced an agreement where the two companies will work together to combine paper and electronic document solutions into a unified office system. At the same time, Xerox unveiled its DocuTech 65 and DocuPrint 65 printers, designed to fill the gap between high-end office printing and low-end production operations.

Xerox (Stamford, Conn.) and Lotus (Cambridge, Mass.) expect to deliver a solution during the fourth quarter of 1998 that will facilitate the management of paper and electronic documents throughout the enterprise. The solution is expected to integrate Xerox’s Document Centre family of digital multifunction office systems and Lotus Domino Web server software.

For the initial implementation, Xerox plans to integrate its Document Centre with Lotus Domino through scanning interface integration, enabling users to scan hardcopy documents from the Document Centre into a Lotus Notes e-mail format or a Domino.doc digital repository. Domino will act as the vehicle for distributing documents throughout a network. Documents can be scanned as images, or hardcopy text can be automatically converted into editable electronic document files using Xerox TextBridge optical character recognition software.

Lotus’ relationship with Xerox will help accelerate the use of e-business tools across the enterprise, fundamentally improving the management of both paper and digital documents, according to Jeff Papows, president of Lotus.

"Combined, we have spent a fair amount of time finding out how customers work with documents, integrating paper-based information into how people interact electronically," Papows says.

Xerox is promoting the concept of "knowledge through documents," according to Paul Allaire, CEO of Xerox. "With all the increase in information, we expect an increase in the use of paper for gathering this information," he says, adding that the future points more toward the filing of electronic documents that it does paper ones.

In addition to the "knowledge management" initiatives promoted with Lotus, Xerox also launched two hardware solutions designed to meet the needs of lower-volume production and distributed print-on-demand applications.

The DocuTech 65 Publisher is the smallest and lowest-cost model in Xerox’s DocuTech series. This device is designed to extend the DocuTech family’s digital publishing capabilities and work in small and large MIS centers, especially as a replacement for aging line printers. DocuTech 65 now adds DigiPath Production Software – delivering services such as print job submission and document viewing via the World Wide Web, storage and management of e-documents in support of print-on-demand services and hard-copy page scanning.

The DocuPrint 65 is a small printer designed to deliver data-center quality results to support printing of transactional documents – such as invoices and statements – from a variety of computing platforms. DocuPrint 65 is configured to provide native support of mission-critical, network-based, client/server transactional printing applications, such as those of ERP systems.

The DocuTech 65 and DocuPrint 65 share the same print engine, as well as the same controller/software – the Xerox Document Services Platform (DocuSP). These models integrate the DocuTech and DocuPrint families, reflecting the convergence of network printing and publishing applications. Both models are designed to handle monthly print volumes as great as 400,000 pages.

"We are transitioning from a stand-alone environment to a more connected one," with regard to copying and printing, according to Keith Kmetz, program director with International Data Corp. (Framingham, Mass.). In the copier world, there has been a "furious race over the past five years to move from analog to digital copiers."

While the integration of copiers into the network may make some network managers cringe, many digital copiers come equipped with sophisticated software that regulates traffic to the device and even gives walk-up copier users precedence over desktop users, according to Kmetz. By the year 2000, digital copiers will outsell analog copiers, he predicts.

"Increasing network traffic is a good thing because it means people can do more work from their desktops," says Richard Norton, president of DocuTrends Inc. (Saratoga, Calif.). Xerox is partnering to enhance paper and electronic workflow throughout the office and is one of the first companies in its market to look beyond the hardware and see the actual "value-added deliverables," he says.

As Xerox celebrates the 60th anniversary of xerography, the company finds itself shifting its focus from "selling boxes to selling solutions," according to Richard Thoman, chairman and COO, who says, "The key to better knowledge sharing does not reside in documents or people alone – our heads, hard drives and in-boxes are all overflowing."