Why Lexmark Printers Are Among the First IoT-Enabled Business Devices
In the following post published on the Microsoft blog, Brad Clay, Lexmark Senior Vice President, Chief Information and Compliance Officer, explains how Lexmark printers became the first Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled devices.
The average Lexmark printer is equipped with more than 120 sensors dedicated to collecting data. This data is gathered from the millions of Lexmark devices under management worldwide and stored in the proprietary Lexmark IoT Hub, a single, globally managed print services platform that feeds intelligence to Lexmark’s R&D and customer service functions, helping Lexmark build better products and solutions, and better serve its customers.
In the following blog post, Lexmark’s Clay how Lexmark is using the Microsoft cloud platform to take its IoT printers to the next level:
This is a fascinating time to be talking about the printer industry. It’s no surprise that the digitization of business contributed to a decline in traditional printing. However, most people don’t know that in the last 10 years, Lexmark reinvented itself as a tech-enabled company to achieve what we call our “digital thread strategy.” Even back then, we saw the printer less as a standalone device and more of an Internet of Things (IoT)–
But as customers’ expectations for capability and service at the individual printer level—
As we expand our existing IoT expertise and drive the printer industry into the digital age, we’re innovating and using the Microsoft cloud platform to solve our customers’ problems in amazing new ways. Our Connected Field Service takes data from our Lexmark IoT Hub, augmented by Azure Machine Learning, and feeds information into Dynamics 365, so we can make predictive diagnostics for individual machines and alert service technicians to be ready. We just launched Lexmark Cloud Print Infrastructure as a Service, which also works off the Microsoft cloud platform. This provides access to a modern, secure cloud-based print environment via a subscription service. Customers pay only for print capacity, rather than owning and managing their printers.
A year ago, we had no relationship with Microsoft. We used other providers for email, teleconferencing, collaboration, security, digital workplace, customer relationship management, and business intelligence. We were looking at the future of connected print service when our architecture team laid out the value of the Microsoft cloud ecosystem. It was easy to see the rationale of moving away from a best-in-class approach to technology.
A key component of our transformation plays out in the workplace, where we use Microsoft 365 to enable highly secure global collaboration at an unprecedented level. Across the business, we use Microsoft Teams for morning checkpoints, video calls, documentation authoring, file sharing, and persistent chat. Ubiquitous and contextual collaboration drives organizational agility and accelerates the business. It was a major driver behind adopting Teams and the move to Microsoft.
Empowering employees fosters innovation, and here, the digital transformation at Lexmark delivers another benefit. Tools like Teams contribute to a culture of empowerment, where employees don’t have to rely on IT to start the next great project or to work together on the next innovation for Lexmark customers. With these products and services being designed to take advantage of Azure and Dynamics 365 for Sales, it’s easy to see the value of an end-to-end Microsoft cloud computing platform.
Under our Global Optimization 365 (GO365) program, we completely retooled the business in less than a year, retiring 13 legacy solutions. Thanks to cloud computing, we’ve reduced our IT spend year over year by 25 percent, and our partnership with Microsoft heavily enabled that. As we take advantage of the integrated security tools that are built into the Microsoft cloud platform, we’re seeing alerts and events communicated behind the scenes, in a consistent way, providing insights into the threat landscape and helping meet our security requirements—
As we build on the promise of the cloud in the world of printers, we’re looking forward to working with Microsoft all the way.”
For more information on Lexmark printers and the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, visit Lexmark here.
- July 2019: New Lexmark Go Printers and MFPs Provide Enterprise-Level Performance
- May 2019: New Lexmark Cloud Print Infrastructure as a Service
- November 2018: Lexmark: How Lexmark Cloud-Based Fleet-Management Can Help Partners
- November 2018: Lexmark Named a Leader in Managed Print Services Market
- October 2018: New Lexmark Cloud Services for More Efficient Print-Infrastructure Management