The announcement of a strategic alliance between Xerox and Cisco will have a major impact on the growth of local distributor Bytes Technology Group.

Earlier this week, Xerox and Cisco announced a partnership through which they would simplify IT management by delivering cloud-based services and technology solutions that combine network intelligence and print.
Bytes Document Solutions is a sister company to Bytes Systems Integration, a leading and award-winning Cisco distributor. The two companies will be collaborating closely in the next few months to deliver joint solutions to existing and prospective customers and partners.
“It is impossible to overstate the importance of this partnership to Xerox, Cisco and Bytes as a whole,” says Hennie du Plessis, CEO of Bytes Document Solutions. “I don’t think anyone can quite yet grasp how big this development is for all involved entities. We will be able to offer Xerox and Cisco solutions as a joint offering to existing and prospective customers. We will extend and expand our channel in South Africa and in all our territories in Africa. Cisco has 82% of the network router market, and our ability to address this market with a combined solution means a dramatic opening of opportunities throughout Africa.”
Xerox is a leader in managed print services and cloud IT outsourcing, and has recently unveiled a strategy for printing to the cloud. This means that authorised users can print and manage documents from any location, using any device, to any printer, any time. Cisco, in turn, has a vision it terms “Borderless Networking”, which makes cloud computing a reality.
“As one of South Africa’s leading Cisco distributors, we are very excited at the potential for combining our solutions with those of Xerox,” says Rob Griggs, MD of Bytes Systems Integration. “This is one of the most important partnerships in the market in recent memory.”
Bytes Document Solutions is working closely with Bytes Systems Integration on initial opportunities, technical integration and how to bundle their joint offerings. Once this is in place, it will move to make its MPS offering available through all Cisco partners. These can include such companies as Dimension Data, DataTec and Westcon.
“The partnership also means a Cisco reseller can approach their enterprise and SME marketers and sell our MPS solutions,” adds Du Plessis. “With Cisco partners, we can now offer a seamless solution and reduce the total cost of printing.”
In terms of MPS, customers are able to consolidate their fleet of printers and bring their printing, faxing, photocopying and scanning costs under control. An MPS customer such as Edcon has reported saving R4 million a year in printing costs just at its head office. Universities have found that it restores control, motor manufacturers that it allows them to produce short-run manuals on demand, and all MPS customers report that consumable and paper theft is eliminated.
“Combining Xerox MPS and Cisco technology is a fundamental, game-changing development,” adds Du Plessis. “In every sense the market is right for a solution conceived at the right time in the right way, at the right price. It will change the way that our joint customers do business. It will also ensure our channels are more competitive through their ability to offer a joint solution and value-added services.”
“This relationship puts Xerox and Cisco at the centre of a simplified, connected infrastructure – bringing together networking, printing and cloud services,” says Ursula Burns, chairman and CEO of Xerox. “Together we’re helping businesses transition to the cloud in ways that best suit their operations, and add the services needed to enhance security and productivity for employees.”
Xerox and Cisco are collaborating to deliver the following solutions:
* Xerox Managed Print Services (MPS) over Cisco Borderless Networks: Consolidates IT and print management using the network’s embedded security, WAN optimisation, and Internetwork Operating System (IOS) software. The combined solution monitors print technology and reduces operating costs, protects confidential data from any location, and improves employee productivity with advanced mobile and cloud printing applications.
* Xerox Cloud ITO Services built on Cisco UCS and Vblock infrastructure: Help customers accelerate the rollout of new IT services, so they can better respond to changing needs of the workforce and reduce IT costs through a private cloud, the public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment. These cloud services from ACS, a Xerox company, include infrastructure as a service (IaaS), cloud consulting services, and private cloud deployments.
* Xerox Mobile Print Solution on Cisco virtual desktop clients and Cisco Cius: Allows mobile workers to securely print business documents from any email-enabled device – including Cisco virtual desktops clients and Cisco Cius business tablets – to any enabled printer, using Cisco Borderless Networks and Wireless LAN solutions for reliable and seamless connectivity from any location.
“Aligning Cisco and Xerox cloud offerings brings the power of intelligent networking to printing to help our mutual customers drive innovation across their businesses and become more agile and reduce costs. This strategic alliance also creates a tremendous opportunity for channel partners to grow revenue by building cloud practices,” said John Chambers, chairman and CEO, Cisco.