Lexmark Redirects Its Solutions Focus

In a series of wide-ranging interviews earlier this month, Lexmark executives said the Lexington, Ky.-based vendor continues to invest growing amounts in developing customized solutions for the channel, despite companywide spending cuts and layoffs.

“When we look at Lexmark, there’s a technology aspect to us and there’s a customer intimacy part of us—and we invest heavily in both of those and the combination of the two together,” said Paul Rooke, president of Lexmark’s printing division, in an interview with CRN.

Lexmark now demonstrates two specific vertical applications: for the education sector, a K-12 application that permits teachers to create custom, standardized tests that can be scanned and graded via Lexmark hardware, and a health-care application that permits a health-care provider to create customized wristbands for patients that include photo ID and bar-code access to patient information. Those applications, which demonstrate technology used in the Lexmark Document Solution Suite software unveiled last year, had been rolled out in limited areas over the past 18 months, executives said.

And earlier this month, Lexmark announced it had integrated some of its proprietary print management technology into offerings provided by Ottawa-based managed service providers N-able Technologies and LPI Level Platforms. The offerings will be available to solution providers that partner with either of those companies and will allow them to manage the workflow and page impressions in printers, scanners and other page output hardware on a network.

Sponsored post

Lexmark executives have said they are trying to change in a changing market and focus increasingly on solutions rather than pure hardware sales. The custom solutions segment of the document output market has been heating up over the past year, with solutions from rivals including Xerox, Canon, Hewlett-Packard and others, in what manufacturers believe will be a growth area.

Lexmark’s channel partners also are finding the market changing in some regards.

Chris Glass, president of The Printer Place, a solution provider and Lexmark reseller in Portland, Ore., said the current business climate is a good one, albeit different from the recent past. “It’s been pretty strong,” Glass said. “I’d say our sales are down, but our margins are up—which is a change, you could say.”

Lexmark is slated to announce its most recent quarterly earnings on April 25.