Toshiba, Lexmark Push Managed Print Services Forward

Toshiba and Lexmark are partnering to nudge the managed print services market forward. Specifically, Toshiba Encompass managed print services now leverage Lexmark Fleet Manager 2.o software. As we've said before: A growing number of technology vendors are promoting managed print solutions... but only about 20 percent of MSPmentor 100 companies have embraced managed print services so far. Here's the update.

First, the nuts-and-bolts of the Toshiba-Lexmark relationship. Toshiba Encompass will gain five core capabilities from Lexmark Fleet Manager 2.0:

  1. Lexmark Fleet Tracker MSP (Managed Service Provider): Server-based, it gives the print services provider a platform to centrally manage and monitor thousands of devices in multiple locations.
  2. Lexmark Services Monitor: PC-based to provide the basic functions of discovery, meter collection and transmission, and alerts via email or XML, for a network environment of up to 500 devices. It also can roll-up to Fleet Tracker MSP.
  3. Embedded Lexmark Services Monitor (eLSM): Available to install on supported Lexmark MFPs, it will collect data on up to 100 devices.
  4. Lexmark Fleet Tracker (Enterprise): Server-based, it offers a similar level of functionality as MSP, but for a single site and with the ability to manage thousands of devices.
  5. Lexmark Local Tracker: An add-on module to Lexmark Fleet Tracker that can capture user and device information on networked and local attached devices.
Most of the major printer companies now promote managed print services to their enterprise customers. But a growing number of printer companies also promote managed print into the channel. In addition to the Toshiba-Lexmark relationship, we've been watching Xerox's eConcierge initiative, which allows VARs and MSPs to capture recurring revenues from paper and ink sales. Greg Mills, VP of eCommerce at Xerox, describes the eConcierge strategy in this FastChat video interview:


Challenges and Opportunities

Still, many MSPs have overlooked the managed print services opportunity. Only about 20 percent of MSPmentor 100 survey participants indicated that they have an active managed print focus. But we suspect that figure will gradually rise based on multiple trends, including:
  • Managed print services offer a reliable, perpetual revenue stream -- even as cloud computing disrupts other portions of the SMB market.
  • Most of the major printer vendors now promote managed print partner programs to VARs and MSPs.
  • Managed Print Services conferences, run by Photizo Group, continues to rally the managed print services market forward.
Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.
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