Xerox Focuses Forward at Real Business Live

Compu-Mail’s Michael Vitch (center) explained to Gina Testa and Brian Walsh how his firm evolved from a database processing company into a marketing services provider offering digitally printed direct mail with e-mail campaigns. Major verticals include automotive aftermarket sales providers.

Bob Keats (left), director of document and mail services at Colgate University, discussed how he successfully transitioned his department from traditional offset to digital printing.

ROCHESTER, NY—Xerox didn’t miss a beat during its recent “Focus Forward: Rochester, Real Business Live” event for area customers and prospects, held June 27 in concert with the Rochester International Jazz Festival. Comprising a fast-paced, talk show format featuring interviews with regional digital printers, marketers and industry analysts, the day-long program ended with tickets to hear Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers in the Eastman Theatre, as well as to see other bands playing throughout the downtown area.

The event lead off with a keynote presentation by Bill Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company Magazine, who said the key to business success today is to redefine your company with one-of-a-kind ideas, as well as to find new ways to deploy technology and be innovative with customers.

A Production Print track followed, co-hosted by Xerox executives Gina Testa, vice president, worldwide graphic communications; and Brian Walsh, manager of graphic communications marketing and sales support. Speakers and panelists included Michael Vitch, president and co-owner of Compu-Mail in Niagara Falls, NY; Bob Keats, director of document and mail services at Colgate University, Hamilton, NY; industry consultants Howie Fenton and Mark Hanley; Sheraan Amod, Personera; Susan Beard, XMPie; Stephen McWilliam, Avanti Computer Systems; and Xerox’s Adam Missell.

Some takeaways:

• Variable data printing involves accessing people’s databases, but a lot of databases are a mess. Knowing what to do with the data is an IT skill, not a printing skill.—Hanley

• If you’re not looking every year on how to reduce cycle times and manufacturing costs, you’re probably not going to be in business in five years.—Fenton

• Meet with your staff and discuss how many times they have to “touch” a job. Eliminating those touches is the key to profitability.—McWilliam

• In order for direct mail to work, it must be relevant. With e-mail and direct mail marketing, data quality is crucial. Doing the right offer, at the right time, boosts response.—Vitch

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  • Mamta Moolchandani

    Hi Mark,

    Great post – thank you so much for providing a section of takeaways. I can relate to these as after having watched the video highlights of the Focus Forward event series, I feel I couldnt agree more with the above summary.

    I work for Xerox and we have made the Best of Focus Forward available online so you can re-live the experience by logging on to .Similar to the live event, our virtual event has highlights from the key note speaker Bill Taylor followed by short clips on managed print services and print production.

    I can see you attended the Rochester one but online you can watch videos from several of the Xerox Focus Forward events that took place across the US!

    Hope you enjoy these as much as I do and let me know what you think of these.

    Kind regards,

    Mamta Moolchandani
    Xerox Ltd.