Lexmark has teamed up with SignIQ in an effort to make its offerings more attractive to retailers.
The deal will see Lexmark provide its networked colour laser printers with SignIQ's signage software for a combined design and printing package that shop owners can use to create in-store marketing.
It was one of several Lexmark has signed recently and typical of the sorts of alliances vendors needed to differentiate themselves in today's market, Lexmark A/NZ head of marketing for enterprise, corporate and government, Roy Brady, said.
"In the retail area we have made some advances to do with our ability to handle different media like vinyl and plastic," he said. "When you add partnerships with software companies like SignIQ we have the capability of interacting with customer's stock lists, for example, and using that information to print specific signage for in-store use."
In pursuing a strategy of partnering with other businesses, Lexmark has also signed on with NZ company, Pharos, to target the education and government sectors with a charge card system for photocopier use.
It has also teamed up with Brisbane-based expense management company, Softlog, through which it will target the legal and financial sectors with a charge logging system for the costs of printing, copying, scanning, faxing for clients.
To promote the latest deal, Lexmark and Sign IQ had carried out a number of joint retail roundtables with a cross section of branded retailers, Brady said. The vendor had also reassessed the role of its channel in its business partnership strategy.
"In many instances channel partners will install these new hardware bundles, but we will also allow them to independently form relationships with a software house or business partner to create new solutions," he said.
"We have introduced an easier pricing regime and probably doubled our number of channel sales development reps. We will also involve the channel in the reselling of some of our break-fix services, which we will develop into a wholesale managed print service by early next year."
The success of the new partnership and others like it would be driven by the lure of cost savings of on-the-spot printing and the move from mono to colour printing, Brady said.
"The big driver is that people are better understanding the interface between paper and their normal business processes," he said. "People want to better manage their output environment, move paper based information electronically and print only as required, and we are trying to help them do that."