New Hardware & Software Products from Lexmark Prove Complementary

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(From 1/25/16 issue)

NEW YORK, NY—Yes, there’s been a lot of talk in the past few months about Lexmark potentially splitting up its hardware and software businesses. That said, at a recent product launch held at the Convene Conference Center at Grand Central, Lexmark showed impressive integration between a new line of MFPs and its Enterprise Software offerings. “Smart MFPs are becoming the focal point in business environments,” said Lance Lucas, manager, hardware product marketing for Lexmark. “It’s no longer just about traditional scan and print speeds. It’s more about what an MFP can do to help you improve business processes.

This week, Lexmark announced a total of seven new color A4 workgroup printers and MFPs, ranging in estimated street price from $900 (lowest-end, print only) to $9,000 (highest-end MFP). They include advanced printing functionality like high-yield (55,000-page) toner cartridges and long life imaging components—designed to last up to 300,000 printed pages. The cartridges have also been moved to the side to decrease stress on the devices’ paper paths and help reduce jams. “Our monochrome A4 units are very well known for their reliability and infrequency of jams,” said Lucas. “These new color units are two times better in that area.”

The new MFP units also feature a 150-page ADF and single-pass duplex scanning speeds of 60 ppm/120 ipm. The devices include a completely re-designed color touchscreen built with an Android operating system. “The user experience is vastly important,” said Lucas. “What is easier for a user than working with a replication of the UI on the phone they use every day?”

One of the apps included with the new MFPs is a “Scan Center” that consolidates multiple scanning options into a single access point. Also included with the devices is embedded OCR, which enables users to create Office files and searchable PDFs from their scans. “In previous devices, OCR was available as an add-on, but it took some configuration,” explained Mark Vance, senior manager, product management, Lexmark. “These new devices include quad-core processors, which enables them to more efficiently execute a lot of software functionality.”

This includes Lexmark’s AccuRead Automate, an app that leverages Lexmark’s Brainware automated capture technology to basically allow users to do forms processing on an MFP device. Users can access the device through a Web interface and train AccuRead on document recognition. We were shown an example utilizing invoices, in which a trained version of AccuRead was able to automatically capture selected data fields from a batch of invoices. All the intelligence in AccuRead resides and runs on the MFP device.

Lexmark has also leveraged the document Filters technology it acquired with ISYS [see DIR 4/6/12] to enable its MFPs to more efficiently print different electronic file formats, including Office documents.

Lexmark makes an SDK available to enable third parties to integrate directly with its MFP touchscreens. Lexmark Enterprise Software has taken advantage of this capability, and at the product launch we saw a demo of the new Kofax Onboarding Agility application for retail banks integrated with Lexmark’s new MFPs.

Horizontal Onboarding Framework

Onboarding Agility is a “solution framework” built on top of Kofax TotalAgility. It incorporates multiple software components that Kofax developed and acquired over the years to fulfill its vision of addressing the First Mile of customer interaction. Onboarding Agility can leverage a combination of mobile and omnichannel capture, workflow, case management, customer communications management (CCM), and electronic signature technology. Potential use cases include student enrollment in the education market, citizen benefit enrollment for governments, HR onboarding, and new customer sign-ups in a number of markets.

At the product launch, Lexmark demoed a retail banking application that it has built and is planning on bringing to market itself—selling directly to financial institutions and through partners that service that space. Lexmark showed us a new account opening scenario utilizing a mobile app integrated with Onboarding Agility:

  • The customer initiates the application process by taking a picture of their driver’s license leveraging Kofax Mobile Capture technology. The image is sent to a server where automated data capture is applied. The bar code on the back of the driver’s license can be captured for data verification.
  • The customer manually enters information like their social security and phone numbers into the app, as well as their preferred channel of communication.
  • The data capture process is completed, and the customer is presented with a verification screen.
  • After the customer verifies their information, a case is created within TotalAgility. Various data look ups can be performed, either automatically or manually by a customer service rep. The demo we were given showed how an exception, such as an address discrepancy, would be handled.
  • Utilizing the CCM software Kofax acquired last year [see DIR 3/6/15], an e-mail or text can be sent to the customer requesting that they submit a document proving their current address. In the demo, the hypothetical customer brought a copy of a recent bill into a bank branch, which had an integrated MFP. Hitting the Onboarding Agility icon on the touchscreen launched a scanning process. All the recognition, along with adding the document to the correct case file, was done automatically on the server.
  • Once the customer’s address was confirmed, the CCM software automatically generated a form for signing up for the new account with all the fields pre-filled. In the demo, the form was e-mailed to them. Utilizing the SignDoc technology Kofax acquired with Softpro in 2014 [see DIR 9/12/14], the customer was able to apply an electronic signature to complete the sign-up process.
  • Finally, the customer completed the account opening process by utilizing Kofax Mobile Capture to submit an image of a check to fund their new account.

“Without the exception [the need for an address verification], this whole account opening process should take five minutes,” said Chris Edgington, global industry solutions, banking, for Lexmark Enterprise Software. “Millennials are really pushing to be able to do all their banking through their phones, and the studies we’ve seen show that only about 20% of banks currently offer mobile account opening—and, we think that most of that 20% could optimize their applications by leveraging Onboarding Agility.

“While we’ve already built a retail banking application, end users in other markets like government, insurance, and education, should be able to take the components of Onboarding Agility and build their own applications. It they don’t have the required expertise in house, they can leverage our professional services or support provided by our channel.”

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