Innovation is part and parcel of Xerox’s journey since starting in 1906 as The Haloid Photographic Co., a US manufacturer of photographic paper and equipment.
It took more than two decades to create the first automated machine to make copies for the commercial market. But the company rose to mainstream prominence in 1959 with the Xerox 914, so popular and successful that by the end of 1961, Xerox had reached nearly $60 million in revenue.
Marketed with an iconic campaign showing that even monkeys could use its products with ease, Xerox found its brand elixir in simplicity—in products and for users. Revenues grew to over $500 million by 1965.
A recent technology leap is Xerox’s new Direct to Object Inkjet Printer—capable of printing any 3D object. “The printer leverages Xerox image quality algorithms that direct the tiny stainless steel nozzles—half the width of human hair—to accurately spray ink on objects as small as bottle caps and as large as football helmets,” reports the company.
“This innovation opens up a path for creating customized products instantly at a time when the consumer’s appetite is all about personalization,” said Brendan Casey, VP Xerox Engineering Services. “Imagine a sports fan coming home from a game with a helmet or ball that was personalized right at the stadium, or a retailer offering on-demand personalization on hundreds of different store items.”
To spur further growth, Xerox announced in January that it is spinning off the services business to its shareholders and separating it from the legacy hardware side, creating two distinct and publicly traded companies to “maximize return to shareholders and align with current market dynamics.” The $11 billion document technology will retain the Xerox name, while the $7 billion business process outsourcing company is being called Conduent.
Whether targeting the growing phenomenon of small office productivity drain with new multifunction printers, developing new Shop and Ride mobile apps, teaching machines to see or supporting its PARC team to continue developing innovative electronics technologies, the Xerox brand is poised for ongoing growth well into its second century.