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Are you mobile ready?

Selling solutions can increase your profit margins

Lexmark discusses why European resellers need change their sales techniques in the transition from hardware to solutions

A stagnant economy, combined with continuous technological innovation, makes this a particularly challenging time for the channel. The traditional foundation of hardware still remains.

Increasingly however, customers want more than a simple nuts and bolts operation. It must also incorporate their BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) strategy. Alongside the printers, scanners and MFPs, enterprises now require end-to-end to solutions to manage the content that flows through their organisations with seamless interoperability and smart mobile technology.

In the past, resellers have dealt primarily with hardware.

The sale of a printer-copier would be followed up by the supply of toner and paper, with the manufacturer providing maintenance when required. But the days of making profit on hardware alone are drawing to a close. Devices will continue to be sold, but the growth (and the margins!) will be found helping customers to efficiently and effectively work smarter, facilitated by new technologies to capture, manage and access information from both smart multifunction and mobile devices.

The financial health of the channel will depend on its ability to adapt to these changes.


With the transition to mobile continuously gathering pace, BYOD is becoming common practice in the workplace. Now that 4 out of 5 companies allow employees to use their personal mobile devices on the job, Lexmark Mobile Capture makes it easy to take advantage of this computing power.

The app allows you to jump-start workflows instantly by capturing, retrieving and sending critical data from wherever you go.

Workflows to optimise paper or electronic movement and management of data can be quickly designed for smart phones, tablets and also leveraging the smart touch screen interface of multifunction products.

Little to no programming skills are needed and solutions can be developed for customers in a matter of days compared to weeks or months. Everyday operational tasks like insurance claims processing, retail store incident reporting or new client account opening processes can be streamlined by leveraging the latest technologies available for smart mobile and MFPs. Innovations such as this indicate where the future lies, and the channel has a major role in helping the customer embrace this future.

To help the channel adapt to these innovations, Lexmark has recently announced the advent of its training academy and new print services programmes.

As part of our ongoing commitment to the channel, Lexmark has launched the Lexmark Advantage Academy, which involves a series of workshops and webinars designed to encourage resellers to sell its complete offering. Its aim is both to inform resellers of the new range of services and solutions on offer, and to equip the channel with the skills it needs to sell these value-add solutions to end-users. Technology workshops are already underway to demonstrate and train partners on how to design Lexmark Mobile Solutions.

Additionally, a new Basic Print Service (BPS) programme that we are offering is a perfect introductory product for resellers to get to grips with the new challenges of the evolving marketplace.

Under this BPS programme, our channel partners go and secure a contract with the customer. Lexmark then pays the reseller its estimated share of the contract consumables revenue up front. So rather than receiving money for securing a five-year contact over five years, the VAR gets its full share of the estimated cash up front. No other vendor is doing this, and it demonstrates our commitment to our channel partners and our desire to strengthen our links with the reseller network.

In fact, we are aggressively recruiting more channel partners as part of our shift towards a solutions-based business model. By working in tandem with resellers, we can ensure the best possible service for our clients, and a bright future for both the channel and Lexmark.