Xerox launches Versant 2100 in India
Balaji Rajagopalan, the executive director who replaces Vipin Tuteja at the helm is a Xerox veteran. Seated in the corporate office in Gurgaon of the USD22bn digital giant, he is bullish about the Versant 2100 because “it is the latest mid-level production engine, which ups both speed and quality.”
21 Nov 2014 | By Ramu Ramanathan
Balaji Rajagopalan who has clocked 32 years at Xerox and built the enviable tech support team in India, took over operations a month ago in September. Speaking of the launch and roadshows in Delhi and Mumbai, he says, “The Versant 2100 is a mid-level production engine that replaces the already successful mid-level Xerox J75 press and the production-level ColorPress 1000.” From the look of it, the sheetfed SRA3-format digital toner press with duplex capabilities on weights of 52-350gsm, has a higher speed, accepts a wider range of media and benefits from greater automation.
There is a new low-gloss version of the EA ‘dry ink’ toner that was seen in the 1000. This is intended to give offset-like quality, rather than the giveaway sheen of some digital print. Smoother tones are possible with 10-bit imaging depth.
Post the announcement last month, “Xerox has already installed a few units of the Versant 2100 across India; specifically in south, north and western India,” says Pankaj Kalra, head, production systems group, Xerox India.
Exciting set of features
At 100ppm on stocks up to 300gsm, the Versant 2100 is faster than the 80ppm of the DC8080. It can also handle mixed colour (such as 4/1) at almost full speed. The duty cycle is quoted as an occasional maximum of 660,000 pages per month, with averages expected to be between 75,000 and 250,000 sheets.
The star attraction in the 2100 is the Ultra HD resolution which goes upto 1200, with up to 10-bit image depth for smoother tones. It uses heated belt fusing rather than rollers, giving a uniform heat and pressure across the sheet, which helps image consistency. It also heats up more quickly, saving energy. The toner melts at a relatively low temperature and the press has a cooler before the delivery, to prevent toner sticking the sheets together.
A full width inline RGB scanner detects and corrects image alignment as well as duplex alignment. It also assesses quality for closed-loop colour and density correction.
Pankaj Kalra says, “This is a brand new platform with an exciting set of features.”
Having said so, the Versant does doff its hat to the features from Xerox built Colour 1000. These include the heated belt and the EA toner, though the Versant uses new versions. There is also a new jam clearance feature and a significantly wider range of finishing options.
Balaji Rajagopalan says, “Versant’s maximum sheet size is at 330mm.” The Versant also has an official maximum resolution of 2400dpi, but its various RIP options can generate 10-bit depths, at 1200dpi. This the exceutive director at Xerox asserts will guarantee “smoother gradations”.
Kalra says it is ideal for creating the products now demanded by print buyers for fast-paced, digital marketing: vivid, colour-accurate, personalised communications, brochures, photo publishing opportunities and specialty products.
Outstanding in its class
“Built from the ground up, we have lifted the bar when it comes to productivity and flexibility, with fully automated colour control, broad media handling and speeds up to 100ppm. On top of all of this we are delivering outstanding, near-offset image quality,” Kalra says.
Balaji Rajagopalan has the final say, “We are going to launch new products in the near future starting with the Versant 2100. We are confident that this new launch will have a positive impact in the market. We plan to back it with our tried and tested support systems and network, which in turn will boost our market share both in the production and office space. I wouldn’t like to put a number on it, but I think 2015 is poised to be an exciting year for us. I took up this new challenge because of the challenges and opportunities that exists in the market today. I hope the knowledge and experience garnered over three decades at Xerox will enable me to drive the technology and channels business towards new heights by bringing in a more focused and streamlined approach.”
PrintWeek India’s assessment
From the look of it, the Versant 2100 is a timely press for the Indian market and shall ensure Xerox can compete with the Canon Imagepress C7011CP/VPS, the Konica Minolta C8000 and the Ricoh Pro C901; and build upon its 30% market share based on outreach in the B and C-tier cities.
Maximum speed: 100ppm
Paper weight: 52-350gsm
Contact: Xerox India
Balaji Rajagopalan, the executive director, Technology & Channels of Xerox India
A veteran at Xerox: I took over the technology and channels business at Xerox in September 2014. I joined Xerox 32 years ago. I was involved in launching the first fax machine, first laser printer and the first production colours in India.
New role at Xerox: As one can see, I come from a background which is highly varied, my objective as Head of Technology & Channels is two-fold. The most important thing is to strengthen our indirect business model and solidify our partnerships and enhance our reach and network to tier-II and tier-III cities and felicitate growth both in terms of revenue and profits supported by the technology that we are launching, that will the enabler for improved growth. Our focus will be on mid-segment where we see scope for growth.
Technological development: HCL Technologies and Xerox have tied-up in the R&D front. At their Chennai facility, HCL undertakes research in hardware and software for our technologies. The Chennai research centre is working on various developments in terms of designs, modifications and testing in developed products. We take our customers and partners to HCL-owned facility in Chennai to showcase our technological acumen. We also training sessions at the facility.
Xerox Research Centre: Apart from our unique R&D centre, we also have a state-of-the-art Xerox Research Centre in Bengaluru, which is thefirst located centre outside North America and Western Europe. The Centre in Bengaluru has a focus on innovation and creating solutions according to the requirements of the developing markets.
Market share of 30%: Today we have a market share of close to 30% in production business. Our indirect business model has enabled us with different partners in different sectors. As manufacturers, we have solutions which cater to a vast array of print needs and we have different partner networks for different segments. This business model provides us versatility and helps us optimise our profits by associating with the right partners in the right sectors. We have over 100 sales and services partners who are trained effectively to provide value and functionality to the customers, that they expect from Xerox. Our post-sales services are one of the best in the marketspace and when 60% of the business filters in through repeat customers it becomes imperative to keep your existing customers happy. We are looking at tapping new customers in order to increase our market share.
Market approach at Xerox: Xerox India has a two-pronged go-to-market approach, one through Technology & Channels team and the other being the Services Team. The services space is handled through direct sales. According to all leading analysts including Gartner, IDC, Quocirca etc Xerox is number one in the managed print services space. For the large and global accounts serviced by our Services Team, sales and key operations is handled by our direct team including product deployment and providing core-competency in areas where the client doesn’t want to spend their time. For other key accounts, we offer MPS through our Xerox Partner Print Services Offering where our partners deliver cost-effective solutions that bring ease of operations and saves time for customers.