New Lexmark Cloud Print Infrastructure as a Service

Lexmark International today introduced what it’s calling a new modern print infrastructure,  Lexmark Cloud Print Infrastructure(CPI), a subscription-based service that takes the hassle of printer purchasing, ownership, and print fleet and infrastructure maintenance off the shoulders of the customer and their IT staff.

With Lexmark CPI, Lexmark says customers can access a modern, secure print environment through a subscription service in which they pay for print capacity, rather than owning and managing the physical print-fleet and print infrastructure.

It also says that this completely new approach to enterprise print enables IT departments to reduce costs by removing infrastructure and management burdens, while ensuring a higher level of user experience. For purchasing departments that means elimination of complex printer proposals and billings, with CPI instead providing flexible subscription pricing options.

Allen Waugerman, Lexmark senior vice president and chief technology officer, explained: “As organizations seek to remove IT complexity, Lexmark Cloud Print Infrastructure as a Service builds on Lexmark’s MPS leadership to simplify how our customers approach print. We can now take on a full range of their print infrastructure challenges, allowing the customer to focus on the print capacity they need while we take care of the rest.”

The Lexmark CPI offering simplifies print, from acquisition to IT management and user support with:

Data-based Print Fleet Design that provides customers a more standardized and connected fleet of devices. Using best-in-class benchmark data, Lexmark hardware deployment plans address current use patterns, security protections, and future print and scan needs, resulting in a custom fleet design that can be scaled to meet changing needs. Printers are owned and managed by Lexmark, providing potential flexibility in operating expense accounting.

Cloud Print Management enables customers to eliminate the physical infrastructure required to support the print environment, including on-premise print servers, print-server provisioning, print-driver deployment and user management. Instead of sending documents through a print server to a designated printer, documents are transferred to the Lexmark Cloud where they are held until a user logs in or authenticates at the printer. Features include Secure Print Release, Mobile Print and a Hybrid Option.

IoT / Smart Services are designed to deliver an always-on print environment:

  • Proactive Consumables Management uses artificial intelligence to provide automated, accurate toner monitoring, and just-in-time supplies fulfillment.
  • Predictive Services assess the health of a device through algorithms based on alerts, sensor readings, and more to anticipate needed intervention and to maximize uptime.
  • Proactive Device Notification informs users of actions taken behind the scenes, such as toner shipments and service delivery schedules.
  • Live Data Analytics provides real-time device performance data.

How It Works

Here’s how Cloud Print Infrastructure works:

  1. Deploy Lexmark devices: Lexmark owned and managed devices are installed based on industry best-practice data and agreed-upon deployment principles, and IoT smart services are activated.
  2. Eliminate print infrastructure: Print servers, queue management, user management and data collection are moved to the cloud and secure cloud print release is enabled.
  3. Subscribe: Customers choose from simplified as-a-service billing models that work best for their organization, including usage-based utility, flat-rate or traditional, purchase plus use options.

“Lexmark MFPs are smart IoT devices,” Waugerman said. “We apply Big Data analytics to sensor output that enables smart servicesallowing us to actually predict device needs and take preemptive action to maximize uninterrupted uptime, including automatic supplies replenishment and predictive service.”

Cloud Print Infrastructure as a Service is available in the United States today directly from Lexmark.

Our Take

This latest Lexmark offering relieves customers and their IT staff from the burden of reviewing bids, purchasing, deploying, maintaining, supplying, trouble-shooting, and securing a print fleet and print infrastructure.

For IT, that means no more print servers to maintain, print drivers to deploy, and no more monitoring toner levels and ordering new toner, and with  troubleshooting issues  often solved remotely by Lexmark. For the customer’s accounting department, instead of multiple maintenance contracts, the benefit is a simple single monthly subscription.

The customer’s purchasing department is also relieved of the burden of comparing printer specifications, proposals, and purchasing a fleet of printers – instead the printers are selected and owned by Lexmark using agreed-upon criteria. And of course, the customer pays for what they print, not for hardware that may often be over- or under-utilized. All-in-all, this should be a very attractive offering for the many customers and their IT staff that will likely be more than happy to be offload the responsibility of purchasing, deploying and maintaining their print fleet onto someone else, so that they can better focus on their own core business.

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