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Lexmark has spent the past few days arming partners with the information and the services to encourage customers to move to more digital print services.
The vendor recently shared research it had worked on with IDC that indicated that legacy print hardware was one of the major barriers to digital transformation. It has now followed that up with some fresh features in its cloud services offering.
Partners will now be able to go out to market with third-party device monitoring, an expanded and free premium app catalogue, and touchless print.
The device-monitoring feature gives those that like to provide managed services the chance to use the firm’s Cloud Fleet Management (CFM) to manage printers from any location.
Brock Saladin, senior vice-president and chief revenue officer at Lexmark, said that third-party device monitoring was the most requested enhancement from its partners.
“During the global pandemic, we’ve seen the challenges of on-site fleet management. In addition to being costly and time-consuming to deploy, and a hassle to service and reconfigure, partners have faced access issues and employee safety concerns. Lexmark CFM empowers partners to maintain the entire print infrastructure of their small and medium-size customers from one integrated tool,” he added.
With the coronavirus in mind, the vendor has also rolled out touch-free printing to make sure that people can reduce their interaction with workplace surfaces.
Finally, the app catalogue offers an expanded choice of free tools that the firm’s channel can incorporate into their managed services offerings, with Lexmark having charted a rise in the number of customers that are using cloud-based services.
“The global pandemic has accelerated this trend and it is critical that we equip our partners to capture this growing demand,” Saladin said.
The latest offerings for partners come on the back of the firm’s sponsorship of an IDC whitepaper, Next-gen print infrastructure services: leveraging cloud and IoT to accelerate your digital transformation strategy, which found that outdated print infrastructure was holding back progress.
“This research highlights the importance of considering cloud-based print infrastructure as a key strategic IT initiative,” said Matt Dollus, Lexmark vice-president of global marketing and IoT portfolio.
“Established companies in every sector are under pressure to transform into digital-first organisations. With the Covid-19 pandemic exposing gaps and weaknesses in IT infrastructure, many are struggling by failing to take print with them on their digital transformation journey.”
“IT leaders recognise the benefits of cloud and IoT,” Dollus added. “Delivering print as an IoT product as a service will accelerate business agility and simplify IT management and acquisition, while improving the user experience for customers. Cloud print infrastructure as a service provides access to a modern and secure print infrastructure that can provide a basis for future digital transformation initiatives.”
Problems with legacy print
The Lexmark-sponsored IDC whitepaper found that although 60% of firms accepted that ageing print infrastructures were a barrier to digital transformation, fewer than half were making it a priority to change that situation.
The analyst house revealed that users were facing the burden of ensuring the security of print infrastructure and devices, dealing with the print servers as well as coping with headaches caused by issues with updating or replacing legacy print hardware.
“IDC believes that it is time for organisations to start thinking about print more strategically – to elevate the conversation around print and include it within the broader context of their DX discussions related to cloud migration and document process strategies,” said Robert Palmer, research vice-president of imaging, printing and document solutions at IDC Research.