The channel has been delivering managed print services (MPS) for a while but it has been something taken up by specialists who have a firm grip on not only the technology but have the confidence to deliver it to the customer.
That left some of the printer and copier channel missing out on the opportunity and has led to Lexmark taking the decision to establish a programme that should open up MPS to a wider audience.
The vendor has cut the ribbon on its MPS core programme, which takes out the heavy lifting associated with some of the managed service, removing the need for investment and fleet management.
Lexmark is taking on the responsibility for providing resellers with all the support they need to get into a position to provide users with managed print services giving more partners the chance to offer it as an option to customers.
"We have seen that some SMEs are still confused about the benefits of MPS and we will educate the channel so they can educate them about the benefits," said Martin Fairman, channel sales director, UK and Ireland at Lexmark.
"It is a great opportunity [for a reseller] to break into MPs without having to invest in developing a servoces department," he added.
The vendor has been providing managed print options for the past five years and these have been picked up by Business Solution Dealers and some of the traditional large format copier dealers. last year the vendor launched the MPS Elite programme so the core scheme is a third strand of its efforts on this side of the market.
"This third programme will complement the other two and although we would expect a partner to have some installed base of printers we are looking for IT resellers that have some knowledge but we want to engage further with them. There is no minimum page rate or of devices.
"It is designed to appeal to those going from a more traditional tin type of sale to a more consultative type of sale. We will work with them through the process," added Fairman.
He added that SMEs wanted to work with someone that showed they had the expertise and three quarters of smaller companies relied on printer support and were looking to the channel to help them reduce the time spent dealing with problems as well as helping to control print costs.
The rewards for making the effort seem to be clear enough with the SME market a strong target for the technology because it has not embraced it so far in large numbers.
Lexmark quoted numbers from analyst house Quocirca that revealed the adoption of MPS will grow throughout Europe this year with more than half of SMEs using some form of the technology by the end of 2015.
There are also numbers from IDC that forecast an annual growth rate of not far off 20% for the next three years.
"Our resellers have to jump on the bandwagon," said Fairman who has launched the programme today.