Printing in the cloud—Lexmark digitizes its future with a modern workplace and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Lexmark International Reimagines Its IT With End-to-End Cloud Services

Lexmark International Inc. needs no introduction as one of the most recognizable names in global printer manufacturing. Over the past 10 years, Lexmark has worked to re-invent itself through a “digital thread strategy” that leverages device-specific internet-of-things (IoT) sensors and cloud-based Microsoft services.

Lexmark recognized their printers’ potential as IoT devices, so they’re now equipped with more than 120 sensors that feed data back to the company to support R&D and customer service. All of this data is stored in a single, globally-managed print services platform that services millions of devices across 170 countries.

This coordination was made possible through Microsoft Dynamics, Dynamics 365, Microsoft Azure, and other tools that allowed Lexmark to transition away from a best-in-class technology approach to an end-to-end cloud computing solution.

(Read the full story on Microsoft’s website.)

The Value of Platform Cohesion and Organizational Buy-in

The fact that Lexmark leveraged a cohesive, user-friendly suite of services is key to this story. Research indicates that the average enterprise uses over 364 software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications to manage business functions, yet average application engagement over 60 days is a mere 45%. In other words, fewer than half of licensed users don’t bother to use the applications available to them.

In our experience, there are numerous culprits behind this problem. Users may get frustrated trying to find critical data among disjointed systems that force them to undergo rigorous manual searches.

They may also struggle to utilize different systems for team communication, teleconferencing, security, and so on. Every new platform creates new requirements that team members must master.

In other cases, companies may take on a platform with good intentions only to find that they didn’t undergo a thorough-enough needs assessment to determine whether users would actually use the solution.

This is what makes the Microsoft Dynamics service suite so appealing from both an efficiency and usability standpoint. Lexmark notes that Microsoft offers a “complete, inter-operable suite” of cloud services that form the basis of their digital transformation. Lexmark retired 13 legacy solutions and reduced IT spend year over year by 25% through this transformation. These improvements were possible only through complete buy-in at every level of the enterprise.

The Critical Role of User Adoption in Digital Transformation

Having a single platform to tie things together supports efficiency, data visibility, and a more cohesive IT system. Users spend less time coordinating platforms and more time focusing on key business processes. Aside from the obvious benefits to efficiency, this end-to-end simplicity supports a system that users will actually use long-term.

We recommend that companies consider their own strategies for user adoption, particularly with regard to customer relationship management (CRM), and ask themselves these questions:

  • Are the key leaders in your organization using CRM daily? (CRM adoption starts at the top!)
  • Are you holding your team accountable for using CRM?
  • Are users invited to submit ideas to improve CRM?
  • Do some departments like to “do things their own way”?

You’ll notice a trend here: User adoption in CRM isn’t a monolithic decision. Giving the platform’s end users a voice creates necessary feedback that must be factored into CRM selection. There’s no other way to get the buy-in you need to support a cohesive CRM strategy.

This is a common challenge for enterprises, but there are solutions—provided you have the right strategy behind you. Empellor CRM addresses this issue and others in our checklist to self-assess your CRM process and strategy. If you’re struggling to get the results you expected from your CRM, this is a great place to start.

[Download the guide here.]