The first in a series of six road shows provided dealers with a first-look at a series of new products and offered the company an opportunity to build on its existing relationships.
(Pictured above: Lexmark executives (left to right) Clark Bugg, director, North American Channel Sales; Sammy Kinlaw, vice president, Worldwide Channel and OEM Sales; Phil Boatman, business alliances; and Greg Chavers, vice president, North American Channel Sales, in Lexington, stand in front of a screen hiding the company’s products, which remain under NDA until June 19, at the first of six Lexmark road shows.)
Lexmark executives didn’t have far to travel to host the first of six road shows highlighting the company’s new products, solutions, and sales strategies. The first location was Lexmark’s headquarters in Lexington, KY. Subsequent locations include Las Vegas, Orlando, Montreal, Chicago, and Boston. The Cannata Report team is covering three of the six locations—Lexington, Montreal, and Boston.
The Lexington event, April 24-25, had more than 60 dealers in attendance, representing over 30 dealerships. The program was jam packed with lively presentations about the new products and solutions along with a first-hand look at some of the new devices. Besides providing dealers with an update on the company’s latest initiatives, the road shows were designed to strengthen existing relationships. As Greg Chavers, vice president, North American Channel Sales, told dealers during his opening remarks, “You are the growth engine for the North American BSD channel.
Clark Bugg, director, North American Channel Sales, followed Chavers, noting that the BSD channel is expected to represent 56% of Lexmark’s business in 2018 while enterprise encompasses the remaining 44%. That’s a change from 2017 when the mix was 47% BSD and 53% enterprise. Bugg also reported that Lexmark experienced 10% year over year growth last year, including 31% growth in the BSD channel. The mid-market is a big emphasis for Lexmark and Bugg revealed that the company is winning in the mid-enterprise space—organizations with more than 750 employees.
Lexmark is on a mission to expand dealer participation in color and after experiencing color growth of 64% year over year in 2017, the company has a strong foundation to build from as it prepares to officially announce some new products in that category next month.
Phil Boatman, business alliances, unveiled the new Lexmark product line, including the top-secret introductions slated for June release. He was followed by Arnie Kirby, enterprise solutions, North America, who presented an overview of the company’s solutions, including its new Cloud Connect platform as well as the Lexmark security features included in all of its devices.
The second day of the road show offered a deep dive into vertical solutions featuring Lexmark personnel who shared case studies and personal insights as to how to best approach vertical markets. While some of the material on the second day brought the discussion deep down into the weeds, at least from an analysts’ perspective, the dealers at my table and surrounding tables seemed captivated by the information shared by the presenters.
The challenge of covering the first five Lexmark Road Shows is that much of the information discussed and the new products shown remain under NDA until June 19, 2018. Lexmark had a lot to share and show, including some exciting new products. We will provide more detailed information on those new products later in June. What we can report is that Lexmark continues to invest in its Business Solutions Dealer (BSD) program, is refreshing its BSD monochrome product line, is expanding the number of SKU’s in its entry level MPS product categories, will be making further inroads in color.
One of the more interesting discussions and one that seemed to resonate with the dealers attending the Lexington road show was the Lexmark Cloud Connector, which will be integrated on all new Lexmark devices. This serves as an organization’s Lexmark-device-based interface to the cloud, connecting users in what Lexmark says is an effortless and secure way to their files. It also places Lexmark customers in control of when and where they access, store, and print their files and scans. What’s particularly interesting about this, is that there’s no need for a smartphone, computer or tablet, just an e-Task equipped Lexmark MFP or printer. More detailed information on Cloud Connector will be featured in an Out of the Box article in the July/August issue of The Cannata Report.
Just when you thought that Lexmark might have been on the ropes, along comes the Lexmark Road Shows and an impressive array of new products and initiatives that reveal that the company is being anything but complacent. A 100% refresh of the product line is an amazing step forward as is expanding its entry level MPS product offerings so that dealers can expand their own MPS opportunities. While Lexmark no longer has a software division after unloading it last year, some of the solutions available to complement their MFPs are impressive and will provide their dealers with a valuable asset for expanding their A4 and MPS footprints within their customer’s organizations.
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