Thought Leadership

The story of Lexmark Optra IoT Solutions began with printers

| By Allen Waugerman, President and CEO, Lexmark

Years of honing and perfecting an IoT platform to run our managed print services business has led to an expansion of our company

Long exposure of traffic

TAGS: Internet of Things , Managed Print Services (MPS), Thought Leadership

Digital transformation is disruptive to business by design. It requires confident leadership, careful strategy, deep understanding of the organization, and an extraordinary amount of fortitude and follow-through.

Yet as challenging as it is, companies across industries choose to undergo digital transformation because the promise is so compelling. Bigger than process improvements or efficiency gains, harnessing your data can unlock insights and ideas that take your business to new and unexpected places.

Lexmark is a case in point.

Today, I have the honor of announcing Lexmark’s expansion beyond printing and imaging with the launch of Lexmark Optra IoT Solutions, a suite of IoT offerings that takes our business in a new and natural direction. The story of how we got here starts, as you might expect, with printers.

Like many companies, Lexmark began our digital transformation journey years ago, but it was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As workplaces changed dramatically, it became a natural time to explore our customers’ changing needs and Lexmark’s role in their day-to-day work.

As a result, our journey led us deeper into the world of IoT. For years, our printers have been loaded with sensors that continuously monitor hundreds of data points including alerts, internal diagnostics and the device’s inner workings. Over the years, we have optimized the performance of our printer ecosystem and achieved incredible results for our customers and ourselves, including resolving 70% of customer device support issues remotely; increasing profitability by 25% via optimized utilization; and improving engineering efficiency by 30%. This focus also enabled us to add new as-a-service offerings to achieve a 40% in contractual or recurring revenue.

These outcomes have been critical to our business performance. In fact, we soon learned that our success in leveraging IoT to drive business outcomes stood out from the pack, as 84% of companies working on IoT are stuck in pilot mode, according to McKinsey.

After achieving success using IoT to drive our own business outcomes and transformation, we can’t wait to share our solution with others through the launch the Lexmark Optra IoT Platform. It’s a ready-made and proven IoT solution that helps customers jumpstart their transformations using our advanced technology capabilities in cloud, IoT and data analytics.

Through the solution, we can get customers out of the pilot phase and begin realizing business outcomes more quickly. This will help customers reach the data insights they need to create predictive, automated processes; drive asset optimization; design better-performing products; and offer new as-a-service business models — just as we did.

With print representing a $60 billion market, printers remain core to our business. We have a solid strategy to continue winning and innovating in printing and imaging with our technology and partnerships.

As we look forward to the future of Lexmark and our expansion in IoT, we are excited to help other companies open the floodgates to their own IoT-driven digital transformations so that success stories like ours can stop being the exception and instead become the mainstream.

Read more about Lexmark Optra IoT Platform here.

Allen Waugerman is president and chief executive officer of Lexmark International. He was named to this position in May 2019, after holding positions including senior vice president and chief technology officer, vice president and general manager of global supplies sales and marketing, and general manager of small workgroup laser products. Waugerman has been with Lexmark since its inception in 1991. Waugerman holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kentucky.