Lexmark Moves Into SMB Space

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As part of a companywide push to increase market share in the SMB space, Lexmark is tapping its expertise in the enterprise to drive sales through solution providers.

The printing vendor is increasing its marketing, training, technical support and other partnership programs for solution providers serving the SMB market, said Paul Rooke, president of Lexmark's printing solutions and services division. Rooke would not specify the amount of money Lexmark plans to spend on those programs.

But with printer sales that research firm Gartner Dataquest expects to remain flat at about $7.9 billion through 2005, Lexmark needs solution providers to help it increase SMB market share, Rooke said.

"When it comes to the smaller [solution provider, we're going to support them technically, and with information and financial help," Rooke said. Lexmark will scale down the printing solutions it creates for its prime verticals,retail, financial and health care,to fit smaller markets, he said.

To help SMB VARs create robust solutions, Lexmark plans to leverage its application solutions group, which creates cost-saving and efficiency-based solutions by evaluating the business models and market segments of its large accounts. The group will tailor that information to fit the SMB market and offer it to solution providers, Lexmark executives said.

The solution sale is key to cracking the SMB market, said Jim Charbonneau, president of Allied Systems, a Spokane, Wash.-based solution provider and Lexmark partner.

"The type of applications that allow you to do what nobody else can do will get you inside the accounts," he said.

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