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CUSTOMER STORY

Connecting devices to elevate business efficiency

6x

ROI for clients

30%

Lower support call
time for clients

50%

Lower device
downtime for clients

Lexmark
INDUSTRY: Manufacturing
SOLUTION: IoT
PLATFORM USE CASE: Data Streaming
CLOUD: Azure

“The Optra Data Accelerator has transformed the way our global customers can realize the potential of their IoT solutions. Databricks has played a crucial role in the development of the ODA, making it possible to decrease IT costs while increasing data availability and boosting customer satisfaction.”

— Vishal Gupta, CTA and CIO, SVP Connected Technology, Lexmark

Lexmark, a global leader in imaging and connected printing solutions, set out to revolutionize the printing industry with data and analytics. However, with massive volumes of IoT data generated by their ecosystem of connected devices, extracting value from that data and operationalizing it for their clients was a daunting task. Lexmark turned to Databricks, utilizing the Data Intelligence Platform to power the Optra Data Accelerator (ODA) — their connected products strategy — and scale performance for internal users and customers. The impact was significant as Lexmark's Managed Print Services business achieved enhanced data governance and 100% uptime, while easily ingesting 250+ million records to feed their Annuities Reporting Dashboard. Lexmark's collaborative efforts with Databricks also benefited their customers, with a major dental imaging company seeing a substantial reduction in support call time and an increase in device reliability — contributing to a 6x increase in ROI. Lexmark's transformation not only elevated their own business but also catalyzed transformation in their customers' businesses.

Disparate data sources slow down IT transformation

When it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), data is everything. You need your connected devices to be able to send the right data to trigger the right actions; meanwhile, the companies behind the products need to be able to analyze that data to continuously improve. But when data is siloed across various disjointed sources, that’s when companies run into issues with managing data and experience slower IT transformation.

That’s the challenge that Lexmark wanted to address with their Optra IoT Platform. “The IoT journey can be incredibly complex and costly,” says Sudhir Mehta, the Global Vice President at Lexmark. “Being able to unify data is key in driving successful business value with IoT.” Unfortunately, with sensor data being generated by thousands of IoT devices, the burden to operationalize their data was too great for their legacy infrastructure.

To make their Optra IoT Platform work effectively, Lexmark knew it needed to modernize their approach to data with an architecture that was more efficient and performant at scale — which is where Databricks came in.

Accelerating digital transformation with Databricks

Databricks Data Intelligence Platform became Lexmark’s foundational infrastructure to power their Optra Data Accelerator (ODA). The ODA uses a product digital thread and the Optra IoT Common Data Model to allow manufacturers to quickly adopt a connected products strategy without having to deal with the usual IT complexities.

And Lexmark has put these solutions into practice internally. The combination of Databricks and the ODA has helped Lexmark bolster various aspects of their operations, including the Managed Print Services (MPS) arm of their business. Thanks to the unifying nature of the lakehouse architecture, Lexmark can now quickly and easily gather data from over 260,000 connected print devices — and use components of the Data Intelligence Platform including Delta Lake and Unity Catalog — to improve data governance, gain insights into end-to-end lineage and improve data traceability, all without fear of pipeline disruption or downtime.

On the supply chain side, Databricks Data Intelligence Platform helps Lexmark extract valuable insights generated by their IoT network of devices to forecast component demand, mitigate potential supply chain constraints and identify opportunities to improve operational efficiency through automation. And with the newfound ability to process and analyze enormous amounts of IoT data, various internal teams are able to ingest millions of records (250 million in the case of Lexmark’s Annuities team) to feed reporting dashboards that offer detailed business insights like consumption per country, vertical market, and by account.

“Databricks has been key to progressing our journey to hyperautomation and digital transformation,” says Mehta. “We’re now able to work in sync more effectively to analyze and act on our data.”

Optimizing IoT data to create exceptional customer experiences

The benefits of the Databricks Platform aren’t limited to Lexmark’s internal operations. With the help of Databricks and the ODA, the company is helping manufacturers with digital transformation. For example, a medical device company with a wide array of diagnostic imaging products wanted to provide peace of mind for doctors looking to invest in cutting-edge medical equipment. With the Databricks Data Intelligence Platform, Lexmark is now able to provide predictive services and advanced data analytics — helping the customer to optimize service operations — from delivery and sales to engineering and product management — and improve the overall customer experience.

As a result, this med tech customer has achieved impressive results: a 30% reduction in the need for onsite equipment service, a 30% decrease in support call times and a remarkable 50% reduction in device downtime. These combined advantages have translated into an outstanding 6-fold return on investment (ROI) for the customer, and similar positive outcomes can be anticipated for Lexmark's other clients.

“IT transformations are only possible through good data management,” says Mehta. “And we’re only able to make the strides we’ve made at Lexmark because of Databricks.”