IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Lexmark Expands Cloud Services Offering

Partners now receive third-party printer monitoring, free access to a premium app catalog, and the ability to equip businesses concerned about COVID-19 risks with touchless print capabilities. By Rich Freeman

Lexmark has added third-party printer monitoring, an expanded catalog of free apps, and touchless print capabilities to its Lexmark Cloud Services offering.

The third-party device monitoring feature lets users of Lexmark’s Cloud Fleet Management (CFM) product collect data about status, consumable levels, page counts, and more from printers made by other manufacturers in addition to Lexmark’s own products. The functionality works with most devices that support the SNMP protocol, and displays alerts from those units as well. 

“During the global pandemic, we’ve seen the challenges of on-site fleet management. In addition to being costly and time-consuming to deploy, and a hassle to service and reconfigure, partners have faced access issues and employee safety concerns. Lexmark CFM empowers partners to maintain the entire print infrastructure of their small and medium-size customers from one integrated tool,” said Brock Saladin, Lexmark’s senior vice president and chief revenue officer, in prepared remarks. 

Third-party printer monitoring is the most requested new feature among CFM users, he added.

Lexmark has also made its catalog of premium printer apps available free to its partners. Subscribers paid extra in the past for those systems, which allow users to scan documents directly into RightFax and Microsoft SharePoint, for example, or setup printers with card-based user authentication functionality.

“Lexmark designed these apps to enable our partners to bring customized workflow and other solutions to their customers, and now we are providing even the premium apps to our partners at no cost,” Saladin said in his media statement.

The touchless print capabilities Lexmark added today enable both the Lexmark Cloud Print Management (CPM) and on-premises Lexmark Print Management platforms to let businesses print documents without touching a printer’s control panel. Devices equipped with the new functionality allow users to release all jobs in the queue waiting for them by scanning a badge instead. Organizations reopening offices after coronavirus-related shutdowns want features that reduce unnecessary contact with potentially infected surfaces, Lexmark notes.

Introduced late in 2018, Cloud Services is a collection of software-as-a-service printing solutions that includes both CFM and CPM. The latter system, which was previously available only to enterprise customers from Lexmark itself, became available to channel partners as well in February.

According to IDC, one-third of companies with fewer than 500 employees will have adopted structured print and document management policies supported by cloud-based software by 2021. 

“The global pandemic has accelerated this trend and it is critical that we equip our partners to capture this growing demand,” Saladin said in supplied comments. “Lexmark will continue to update our cloud offerings—Cloud Print Management, Cloud Fleet Management and Cloud Connector—to enable our partners to deliver value-add function and differentiated experiences to their customers.” 

Lexmark added 13 compact new printers and MFPs to its SMB-focused GO Line of products in April.

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