In-plants on Wall StreetMay 2014 By Bob Neubauer
Xerox practically took over Wall Street in March with a two-day conference that drew more than 800 customers and thought leaders to New York City. In-plants were a prime focus of the event, which included an entire in-plant track.
The event, dubbed simple@work, featured Hillary Clinton as its opening keynote speaker. She fielded questions from Xerox Chairman and CEO Ursula Burns, who also updated the crowd on recent Xerox accomplishments.
The event was designed to examine how executives can better tackle the choices they face daily to be more productive while growing their businesses. To help attendees think outside of their comfort zones, futurist Anders Sorman-Nilsson, founder/creative director of Thinque, led off the in-plant track with some thought-provoking observations on how business models are being digitally interrupted.
“Everything that can be digitized will be digitized,” he remarked, encouraging managers to think about which areas in their in-plants are not yet digitized but can be. He urged managers to focus on content, not just print, and said in-plants have an opportunity to become in-house communication centers, knowledge repositories and content managers.
The next speaker, Pete Basilier, research vice president at Gartner Inc., took up this theme where Anders left off.
“When you focus on the content, you realize that the in-plant has tremendous potential,” he proclaimed. “You already manage content; it’s just in a printed form.”
In-plants should become the central portal for content, in charge of disseminating it in the proper format, he said. He urged managers to confer with marketing and IT about the best way to expand their role.
In-plants participating in the Xerox event included Bucknell University, Andrews University, Boys Town, Villanova University, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Fairfield University and Yale University, to name a few. One of the most interesting sessions for them was a discussion featuring Bucknell University’s Lisa Hoover, director of Publications, Print and Mail, and Loni Kline, director of the Annual Fund at Bucknell. In her role, Hoover oversees not only the printing of all university publications but also email blasts, and she works closely with writers and the Web team to ensure that a consistent message is being sent out to the public.