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Lexmark Targets SMB Startups With Smaller, Lighter Printers

‘This is exactly the type of product that the SMB end user is looking for,’ says Sammy Kinlaw, Lexmark’s vice president of worldwide channel. ‘It just opened the gate for us, for our relationships to grow, for the small VAR partner to come on board. I’m not kidding you. I’m not blowing smoke. This is going to allow me to do a lot of things with the channel.’

Lexmark is debuting two new printers to compete in the small-business startup arena where it has previously lacked the product to romance those companies just setting out.

Both devices are available only through channel partners selling Lexmark’s Go Line of products, which are aimed at boosting SMB and managed print services sales. The two devices—one a monochrome printer, the other a monochrome multifunction printer—are designed for micro workgroups partners might find in a new company.

“I couldn’t compete in that space before,” said Sammy Kinlaw, Lexmark’s vice president of worldwide channel. “There’s 10 million-plus devices a year that are sold that this category fits into. I couldn’t approach the price points, the small footprint, those areas that make the entry-level market successful. Our products weren’t intended to fall into that space.”

[Related: 4 Things Partners Need To Know About Lexmark's 'Future-Proofed' Printer Launch]

Kinlaw said with 90,000 small-business startups entering the market in December, it’s a space Lexmark could not afford to miss.

But now armed with a black-and-white printer, which weighs 15 pounds—half the weight of its nearest comparable printer in the lineup—and a black-and-white multifunction device that weighs 22 pounds Kinlaw said Lexmark can not only compete but can dominate the market, thanks to the robust construction, future-proof computing power, and lighter and smaller size.

“The opportunity to compete and have a tech, spec and size and a weight and a price that enabled us to go against manufacturers that are already in that space is a major investment for us,” Kinlaw said.

Smaller and lighter also helps the bottom line, allowing Lexmark to make the product for less money, ship it for less and charge less. Kinlaw said a partner who had a chance to see the product said it is perfect for his customers.

“This is exactly the type of product that the SMB end user is looking for,” Kinlaw said. “So with that, our horizons and areas of partnership just broadened dramatically. It just opened the gate for us for our relationships to grow, for the small VAR partner to come on board. I’m not kidding you. I’m not blowing smoke. This is going to allow me to do a lot of things with the channel.”

Both devices print 36 pages per minute, with built-in Google Cloud Print 2.0, AirPrint and Mopria capabilities. The machines can be configured on a user’s cellphone or other mobile device and are made to be set up and put to work quickly, said David Murphy, manager of research and development at Lexmark.

“We intend for these to fill a need. … Any type of situation where it’s a small number of business users who have limited, or no IT support, so they don’t have a lot of support in getting these things set up and configured,” Murphy said. “There’s nothing that the person who is setting them up would need to install. They come standard with duplex print. They come standard with both wired Ethernet and wireless. The MFP comes standard with analog fax. You unbox it and it’s very easy to be off and running with it.”

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