Solutions Providers Get Vertical Support For MFPs
(Lexington, KY) — Under the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) Act, schools are required to track the effectiveness of their K-12 curriculum and identify students who may be falling behind. Institutions that do not meet the NCLB requirements could see severe reductions in their federal funding, so most schools have increased the frequency of student assessments to adjust their educational plans accordingly. That's led to an increase in the number of forms processed in schools, and savvy VARs have developed solutions that help these institutions improve management of tests and scoring systems.
That's the type of situation Lexmark's new Education Station was developed to address. I recently had the opportunity to visit the company's headquarters and discuss the new product offering with Lexmark's channel executives. Part of the printer manufacturer's new VAR vertical market initiative, the Education Station is based on the company's X646dte MFP (multifunction peripheral) platform. The key to the Education Station is its color touch screen interface with icons to print bubble sheet tests and its ability to scan and tabulate those test results in a few minutes. The solution can also print an image of each student's test with the key showing which answers were incorrect, the student's grade, and an area for the teacher's comments.
Schools are important customers for many solutions providers, and the applications they develop for this market generate significant revenue. So why would they want to offer Lexmark's comprehensive solution? "The Education Station provides VARs the opportunity to install and configure the software, offer integration with student information systems, and provide consulting and professional services for the solution," said Sharon Brindley, VP of U.S. channels for Lexmark. "Solutions providers can select the software that best meets local schools' needs, and the interface can be customized to incorporate those applications."
Lexmark supports many vertical markets with its offerings (e.g. retail, manufacturing), but is developing more targeted solutions for the future. Earlier this year, Lexmark introduced Clinical Assistant to allow healthcare workers to securely route documents to the proper location, print forms on demand, and assign priorities to orders.