January 11, 2021
Lexmark reported a record uptake of connected printers through channel partners worldwide to its Cloud Fleet Management platform. Lexmark resellers registered over a 73% yearly increase in cloud-connected printers from their customers at the end of 2020 compared to the devices connected in 2019.
“One of the biggest catalysts for the sharp increase in the percentage of cloud-connected devices through channel partners was the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Stephen Bell, Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand at Lexmark.
“But even before the pandemic, many SMB customers had started to eliminate a lot of their on-premise IT infrastructure, including their print infrastructure, in order to gain efficiencies from an operational and cost perspective, and to increase the security of their printer fleet.”
Going into 2021, Bell believes the trend towards the cloud is going to continue to grow as SMB customers move away from centralised A3 print towards distributed A4 printing in the post-pandemic world. The trend, according to Bell, is in favour of resellers, who can deliver superior customer service by monitoring and managing their customers’ fleet remotely.
“One of the most efficient features of Lexmark’s Cloud Print Services, which our channel partners have been using, is the real-time analytics they receive from their customer base, which allows them to dispatch consumables before clients become aware that they need them, and makes for a much better experience for the end customer,” Bell said.
“In addition, given all Lexmark devices have over 120 IoT sensors, channel partners are also able to flag potential technical issues with the hardware before they even occur.”
Recent IDC research has shown that, by 2021, one third of companies with fewer than 500 employees will have adopted structured print and document management policies supported by cloud-based software.
“This year, channel partners have become all too familiar with 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 due to the pandemic,” Bell said.
“It’s evident in the annual results that more and more of our partners have shown increased interest in Lexmark Cloud Fleet Management to overcome these obstacles and start taking advantage of the cloud.”
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