PrintIT Reseller talks to Danny Molhoek about Lexmark’s new brand identity and what it represents

Posted on May 19 2015 - 9:35am by John Peters
RATING

Lexmark has changed its logo for the first time in many years, replacing its grey and red diamond with a square aperture in shades of green and rotating the x in the company name.It has also consolidated all acquisitions,

Danny Molhoek, Managing Director & Country General Manager, Lexmark UK and Ireland

Danny Molhoek, Managing Director & Country General Manager, Lexmark UK and Ireland

including Perceptive Software, under the Lexmark brand for the first time. The Perceptive name will now only be used in product names, such as Perceptive Content, Perceptive Intelligent Capture and Perceptive Search.

The new brand identity, including the tagline ‘Open the possibilities’, is designed to reflect Lexmark’s broader offering as it continues to evolve from print specialist to software solutions and services provider. Since 2010, Lexmark has made a series of strategic acquisitions, gaining expertise in intelligent capture, enterprise content management, healthcare content management, financial process automation and enterprise search.

Following the unveiling of the new logo, PrintIT Reseller Editor James Goulding spoke to Danny Molhoek, Managing Director & Country General Manager for Lexmark in the UK and Ireland, about the company’s new brand and strategic direction.

PrintIT Reseller: What is the thinking behind the new brand identity?

Danny Molhoek: We have a new logo and a nice new colour to go with it, but the bigger message is that we are now positioning ourselves in the marketplace as one big brand that incorporates everything we offer. Previously we kept Perceptive Software as a global brand, but we feel now is the time to change that and make it clear to the market that there’s one Lexmark and one brand.

From now on, everything that is under the flag of Lexmark is going to be named Lexmark, including future acquisitions – we are incorporating Readsoft now and have made a bid for Kofax. All software brands are going to be part of the Lexmark enterprise software division. But we are not going to throw away the Perceptive name completely; it will still be used in several product names like Perceptive Content, Perceptive Intelligent Capture and Perceptive Search.

Perceptive has been part of Lexmark for five years. It is time to make this change.

PrintIT Reseller: Why didn’t you do it before?

Danny Molhoek: It’s something that’s been on our minds for a while, but there were benefits in keeping the Perceptive name, especially in the US where it’s a very, very strong brand. Also, buying an organisation the size of Perceptive is something that we needed to learn lessons from. In the last 12 months we have become much more agile and quicker about these kinds of things. We have learnt from our experience with Perceptive Software and will use that wisdom going forward by incorporating the other companies.

PrintIT Reseller: Do you think that before there might have been a stigma about being a hardware company but now you are far enough down the line as a solutions provider for that no longer to be the case?

Danny Molhoek: I joined Lexmark at the end of the ’90s and even in those days I never regarded Lexmark as a typical print company. We always positioned ourselves as a company that would tie everything together from a network point of view, and we were very early with managed print services (MPS) and the software and support services that we’ve always brought to market. So, I don’t see it like that. But from a marketing perspective, I can understand why people might say ‘You are comfortable now because 30% of your revenue on a worldwide basis is tied up with software services and managed print services, so that part of your company is big enough to make the change’. There probably is some truth in that.

PrintIT Reseller: With all your acquisitions, it’s surprising that still only 30% of your revenue comes from software and services.

Danny Molhoek: I would beg to differ. It comes down to how you classify things. A click contract for us is not MPS. All our straight-out click contracts – and we do a lot here in the UK through the channel – are not classified by us internally as MPS. For us, MPS means the worldwide accounts that we handle ourselves.

PrintIT Reseller: Are you finding it difficult to expand your MPS business because the customer base is limited? You are not going to turn the whole market over to MPS.

Danny Molhoek: Lexmark divides MPS into four different levels: you have standard device consolidation, fleet optimisation and some reporting. In our view, this is a kind of click contract. The MPS we provide are levels 3 and 4, where you identify opportunities to improve customers’ business processes. That’s where our whole software strategy fits in perfectly; it enables us to deliver a much stronger value proposition to customers.

This is not something we have been doing only in the last four or five years. We’ve been talking about streamlining loan applications with big banks for 10 years or even longer.

The customer environment is changing so fast it’s unbelievable. Take retail; it’s a completely different landscape today than it was three or four years ago. You need to make sure that as an organisation you are ready to help customers go to the future. What are driving a lot of these things today are obviously cost savings, but also making sure we print less, making sure we look at the environment, making sure that we streamline business processes etc..

One of the companies we have acquired is AccessVia, which specialises in retail digital signage. Using functionality we gained with AccessVia, we recently introduced the mySignShop app for creating printed signage on demand. This is a product we have built specifically for channel partners so they can expand their portfolio and enhance their MPS contracts. A big part of our focus around the world is on enterprise business and the companies we buy develop enterprise products. One of the strengths we have is that some of these products, perhaps not in the same shape or form, can be leveraged within the channel.

Obviously, you have to make a product that is easier to sell. For instance, if you sell a capture product into a large bank, you are talking about a potential order of several million pounds. If you go to the channel and say ‘I have a great product for your SMB customers and it costs a couple of million pounds’, it’s not going to fly. But if you take some key elements of that product, box it up, make it simpler and offer it to the channel for a couple of hundred quid, then that’s a different story. That’s very powerful.

We presented mySignShop to the channel, and also Automate Accuread, a capture tool that I am very excited about. We demonstrated them to our partners and they were very, very excited. If you make something easier to sell and you box it, it becomes something sales people love because it helps their customers and at the end of the day they can enhance their profit margin.

PrintIT Reseller:Are you surprised at how resilient printing has been? People still print a lot of paper and the volumes haven’t gone done by as much as one might have expected.

Danny Molhoek: Yes and no. I was recently at an event where IDC said that everyone has been expecting the number of pages to decline much faster than we are seeing in reality and that it almost looks as though things are stabilising. In a way, I am surprised – I would have expected volumes to go down faster. On the other hand, I see so many business processes involving so much paper that require major changes, and in some cases legislation, to improve that I am not surprised things are moving slowly. Even so, page volumes are dropping and will go on dropping. I think we can all agree on that. Just not as fast as everyone expected.

PrintIT Reseller: What are some of the pain points customers speak to you about? What are the problems they experience in their processes?

Danny Molhoek: There’s a wide variety. We are organised in verticals and each vertical has unique challenges, but some things that are more or less the same in every vertical concern back office processes and sometimes HR processes like onboarding. A generic example from the back office is that people want to organise the whole capture bit, for invoices etc. This has to be quicker and better.

Then in the specific verticals it differs. During the life of a contract, we hold quarterly business reviews with customers where we learn more and more about their business and what they are doing specifically. We use those meetings to suggest changes within their organisation. Sometimes we hit the nail on the head and they say ‘This is a really big issue, here’s the budget’. Sometimes they say ‘OK, we understand but it’s not a priority for us now’.

Vertical by vertical you see different situations. One of the things that’s quite hot in the retail space is HR on-boarding. If you take a look at the legal sector, it remains very, very paper-intensive. And we are doing some very interesting banking projects at the moment that have a lot to do with capture and search. And there are still processes like loan applications that could be improved. There is a lot of work still out there.

PrintIT Reseller: What attracted Lexmark to Kofax (a capture and process management specialist, currently the target of a bid from Lexmark)?

Danny Molhoek: If you take a look at how we are trying to position ourselves and take a look at the leaders in the market, you will hear names like Brainware, Readsoft and Kofax. They all fit nicely in the whole transformation story we want to put out there. The products, the R&D and the technology that they have all tie in together. Every single brand has some very unique features at various stages of these business processes. What we try to do is tie them all together. To that extent Kofax will be a brilliant addition to the Lexmark family.