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Lexmark Unlocks AI-Enabled Edge Applications for Organizations of All Sizes

Lexmark Unlocks AI-Enabled Edge Applications for Organizations of All Sizes

Lexmark has announced the latest addition to its Optra IoT Solutions portfolio. Lexmark Optra Edge executes AI applications closer to the point of data generation at the edge without necessitating the transfer of data to the cloud — providing organizations with speedy AI insights to increase efficiency, safety and sustainability.

Optra Edge allows organizations to sense, analyze and act on real-time digital and physical data generated by IoT devices such as cameras. This results in cost savings, increased productivity and competitive advantage. The launch of Optra Edge comes as spending on edge is forecast to reach nearly $274 billion in 2025, according to IDC.  
"While the convergence of 5G and IoT is creating greater demand for computing power at the edge to fuel business transformation, it is also exponentially multiplying the amount of data available," said Vishal Gupta, senior vice president of connected technology and CITO, Lexmark. "We've designed Optra Edge so our customers can run innovative AI applications on the edge while still enjoying enterprise-grade management, holistic security, open standards and the ability to leverage their existing infrastructure."

Optra Edge can limit or eliminate latency for data processing and accelerates AI-driven insights from IoT devices. To that point, AI and machine learning (ML) applications deployed on Optra Edge devices analyze sensory data such as sight, sound, vibration and temperature and enable real-time decisions, without delay.

To protect sensitive information, the solution keeps data local and takes advantage of containerized applications. In addition, it uses secure-by-design techniques that protect millions of Lexmark print devices globally.

Key benefits of Optra Edge include:

  • AI/ML Skills: Turn data into action, right at the point of need, with ready-made AI/ML skills, built by Lexmark or developed by customers or partners.
  • Vertical Integration: Optra Edge is a unified hardware, software and device management solution for industries like manufacturing, retail, health care and transportation — which avoids the need for multiple technology vendors.
  • Low-Code/No-Code Simplicity: The solution is easy to set up and intuitive. AI applications are quickly deployed across multiple devices through a user-friendly portal.
  • Open Standards: Operating across customers' existing platforms and connecting to cameras from any provider, Optra Edge reduces the need for costly upgrades and maximizes existing technology investments.
  • Microsoft Azure Certification: Optra Edge devices are Level 1 Azure certified — the highest level possible. Preinstalled, certified software allows users to immediately connect the device to Azure simply by adding provisioning details.
  • Privacy and Security: Optra Edge incorporates Lexmark's award-winning security with embedded system development, which is secure-by-design and incorporates elements like secure boot.
  • Data Computation: Powerful local computation ability enables privacy, security and the ability to process data on premise.
  • Protocol Conversion: Acting as a translator between devices, Optra Edge gives non-smart devices "smart" capabilities. Optra Edge can connect native and non-native devices to the IoT platform directly, without cloud or Internet connectivity.

"Lexmark's own success in identifying real-time insights at the edge through advanced analytics and anomaly detection for our core business served as the catalyst and inspiration for Optra Edge," said Sudhir Mehta, global vice president for Optra engineering and product management, Lexmark. "We can share and relate our own experiences, as we aid other organizations with their edge AI strategy."

Manufacturers, in particular, stand to benefit because they often face human or machine errors — leading to critical parts being misplaced or out-of-spec parts making it through the production line.

"The Optra Edge vision solution vastly enhances quality control on the manufacturing shop floor," Mehta said, while describing it as a "gamechanger" that will mitigate business challenges and secure financial goals.

Lexmark Optra Edge is available in the United States and Canada.

In other news, Lexmark has been named a leader in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Cloud MPS Hardcopy 2022 Vendor Assessment (Doc # US47337721, January 2022).

This IDC MarketScape report assesses the market for cloud-based managed print services (MPS) as well as other cloud-based contractual print service models for both enterprise and SMB. Analysts considered the quantitative and qualitative characteristics that position vendors for success in this market, noting the growing demand for hybrid work that has increased the need for usage monitoring, security and remote access to printing and document services.

"Lexmark's recognition as a Leader in the IDC MarketScape for Cloud MPS validates our ongoing commitment to providing industry-leading cloud and IoT solutions that help customers adapt to the rapidly evolving workplace, including our comprehensive MPS infrastructure, global services delivery platform, and large portfolio of cloud solutions and services," said Brock Saladin, senior vice president and chief commercial officer, Lexmark.

The IDC MarketScape Vendor Assessment recognized the following strengths for Lexmark:

  • Application of Innovative Technologies: According to the report, "Lexmark continues to drive innovation within its overall approach to MPS, with a focus on simplifying all aspects of the print experience. When Lexmark launched its Cloud Print Infrastructure (CPI) as-a-service offering in 2019, it stressed the foundational pillars for a simplified infrastructure for print acquisition, IT management and user support. With the introduction of its Cloud Bridge platform, Lexmark can now deliver the full range of its managed service offerings in essentially any environment, bringing the value proposition of MPS to a broader range of customers from SMB to enterprise."
  • Cloud-Based Solutions: According to the report, "Lexmark is in a strong position to deliver on the promise of the cloud as organizations look to leverage technology to improve print-related business outcomes and reduce on-premises infrastructure. Those elements that make Lexmark a leader in the MPS space, such as investments in IoT printing hardware, security expertise, and a global service delivery platform, all play an important role in the firm's ability to lead the markets' transition to print as a service."
  • Vertical-Specific Expertise: As cited in the report, "Lexmark's verticalized approach to the market has helped establish the firm as a strong contender for any program where deep integration with existing business systems and applications is important."
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