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Printing is still a focus business for Lexmark, which according to Canning has been more nimble than competitors in the transition from traditional A3-sized machines, which print at 11 x 17 inches, to A4-sized multifunction devices.
"I see Xerox and HP and some of our other competitors as trying to preserve something that's a little like sweeping water up a hill," Canning told CRN. "They're trying to preserve the A3 product platform when it's just not in the best interest of customers. A4 is superior and more cost effective and sustainable."
Added Canning: "There is a better mousetrap. If you go into certain emerging markets right now, A4 is dominating A3. The interesting thing about this is that A4 customers that weren't raised on this A3 break/fix model don't understand why anyone would ever pay for it."
But Lexmark's bigger focus is more options for partners, from Lexmark Fleet Manager, a remote print management suite, to the Virtual Solutions Center, which is essentially a Lexmark-hosted app store from which authorized partners can procure and customize applications for customers.
Lexmark's cloud strategy is also coming into focus. Earlier this fall, for example, it made its enterprise-grade Print Release solution available as a hosted application, deployable via SaaS, to let IT administrators more effectively manage printing jobs and also enable printing via Apple iOS- and Android-based mobile devices using the Lexmark Mobile Printing App.
What the channel is seeing in printing and imaging is a paradigm shift, Canning said. The move away from printer resale with break/fix contracts and toward smart software integration and a broader, more sophisticated set of solutions tied to printing and imaging is inevitable.
"A lot of competitors and some of the channel partners want to preserve the way things are now because they feed this huge break/fix model," Canning said. "I think the truth of the matter is that the customer value proposition will win out."
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