By, Bob Wagner, Corporate Director, Global Communications, Technology Business, Xerox

“Narrow your focus to expand your opportunity.”  I’ve heard that adage from several great leaders here at Xerox in my 20-plus years with the company.  It’s timeless, rock-solid management advice—whether you’re selling printers or potatoes.

Keep it Simple: The first person who taught me to “keep it simple” was Len Vickers, a charismatic corporate marketing chief who helped our public relations team introduce the wildly successful Xerox DocuTech Publishing System in 1990.  Len helped us strip out all the clichés and refine our story to the key messages around the truly breakthrough values this system offered.  The DocuTech series went on to create the print-on-demand market and revolutionize the digital printing industry.  The products were great and, I’m proud to say, the PR did them justice.

Narrow ‘n Deep: Another manager, and mentor, who espoused taking a “narrow and deep” marketing approach was graphic communications industry icon Frank Steenburgh.  In 1999, Frank established a dedicated industry team to address the highly specialized requirements of the graphic communications market—our “print-for-pay” customers.  The experts Frank assembled each led a team that focused—some would say, “obsessed”—on one of the key market segments: creative services, prepress, commercial print, quick and franchise print, book publishing and transaction print.  Frank’s segment-based approach helped us pioneer what was, in effect, a whole new way of looking at this important market we serve, and his organization is the predecessor to the larger and more sophisticated team that’s in place here today.

Be Great at Fewer Things: Fast-forward to the present.  Today, the president of our Technology Business, Armando Zagalo de Lima, leads all of the company’s core, technology-driven business lines.  Like Len and Frank, Armando’s a strong advocate of tightening our focus to fuel business growth.  He believes that by focusing on fewer things, we are better positioned to yield best-in-class results in what we choose to do.  And, he adds, it’s the fastest and most efficient way to meet our customers’ needs as the pace of change continues to accelerate in our dynamic markets.

From Len to Frank to Armando . . . so many things have changed in our Xerox world, and in yours.  But one thing remains constant—the need to stay focused on what you do best.  In fact, that belief underlies what today’s Xerox is really all about.  That is, we give customers the freedom to focus on what they do best: their Real Business.