Lexmark has announced a strategic partnership with Nuance to sell and distribute its Document Imaging solutions worldwide, including AutoStore, Equitrac Office/Express and SafeCom.
News of the announcement comes at a time when Lexmark is reversing its previous strategy to become a solutions leader through the acquisition of software companies, focusing on developing partnerships with software leaders instead.
In May, the company’s new owners Apex Technology Co Ltd, PAG Asia Capital and Legend Capital Management Co, LTD signalled this by selling Lexmark’s Enterprise Software business (Kofax, ReadSoft and Perceptive Software) to private equity firm Thoma Bravo.
Just before that announcement sister publication PrintIT Reseller caught up with Danny Molhoek, Lexmark General Manager for North West Europe.
When asked about the company’s future growth strategy, Molhoek said: “I don’t believe we’re going to acquire any additional software companies in the near term. We have gained a lot of knowledge and a lot of capabilities with our software products, but we also see that there are some excellent companies out there, providing some very good products. Sometimes it’s better to have this knowledge in-house; sometimes it’s better to join a partnership. Software is absolutely a key item going forward, but I don’t expect us to acquire new companies in the near term.”
He added: “Software has been a key part of our strategy for the last 20 years. From when we announced Markvision, we’ve always been developing those kind of tools and products. What we have done over the past few years is to strengthen that proposition with software that you can’t develop from scratch. In certain cases you need to work together with other companies and in others it makes sense to buy these companies. In the last couple of years, the tendency has been more towards acquisition; I think the tendency today is to look for partnerships.”
Molhoek suggested that there would be much more focus on hardware sales in the future, as Lexmark started to address opportunities in the Chinese market and took advantage of Apex Technology’s manufacturing capabilities to bring new products to market more quickly.
This summer, Lexmark unveiled a 23-strong range of B&W and colour laser printers for small and medium-sized businesses, from entry-level mono printers to workgroup MFPs. All come with a four-year guarantee, which includes free 24-hour online support and access to technical support over the phone during work hours.
It also announced a new generation of A3 colour laser printers and MFPs, the Lexmark CS920 and CX920 series.
The nine new products – Lexmark’s fastest colour models to date – have print speeds of up to 65ppm, scan speeds of up to 80ppm, a maximum paper capacity of 6,650 sheets and monthly duty cycles ranging between 200,000 and 275,000 pages.
Allen Waugerman, Lexmark’s senior vice president and chief technology officer, said: “The Lexmark CS920 Series and the Lexmark CX920 Series were designed for high usage, demanding workgroups that require fast, efficient and intuitive devices. These new devices marry high-end large workgroup colour A3 with all the features and functionality of our colour A4 device line-up, complementing our award-winning colour portfolio of laser print devices.”
These include a 10-inch colour touchscreen featuring Lexmark’s icon-driven e-Task interface; Lexmark’s Print Release and Mobile Print apps; fleet management, proactive diagnostics and remote firmware upgradeability; built-in security; and compatibility with Lexmark Managed Print Services.