Lexmark plans new software platforms for health care and other verticals centered on business process management.
Printer manufacturer Lexmark is branching out to create new
business process management (BPM) software for health care and other industry
verticals, such as education, financial services, government and retail.
The company plans to leverage
the enterprise content management (ECM) capabilities of its stand-alone
Perceptive Software unit and the BPM tools of Netherlands-based Pallas Athena
to manage content throughout a hospital's workflow.
"We're expanding the array of
technologies and solutions that we bring to bear for our customers and help
them manage all this unstructured content and processes that are in hospitals
today-in the front line and back office," Lexmark CEO Paul Rooke told eWEEK
a press briefing on Nov. 2. "They could use some help, particularly because
they're trying to digitize and become more electronic."
Lexmark announced its acquisition of Pallas Athena on Oct. 18.
It will integrate the company with its Perceptive Software unit.
particularly hospitals, are dealing with information silos in which data is
locked into a combination of paper and computerized forms, as well as
databases, John Moore, an analyst at Chilmark Research, told eWEEK.
Consequently, health care facilities need tools such as BPM to
keep track of all their data-whether it's from the emergency room or the
"How to tie all of those
silos together and how to facilitate and automate various processes across the
organization-that's where BPM comes in, and it's going to be increasingly
critical," Moore pointed out.
Other hardware vendors in the printer business, such as Dell
and Hewlett-Packard, have found success on the software side by focusing on
services rather than traditional software, according to Moore. "I have not seen
many cases where a hardware-centric company has made the successful transition
to owning, investing in and selling software," he noted. "In the market today,
it's very hard to find many examples where they've been able to do both very
For Lexmark to make a successful transition in health care, it
will need to allow Perceptive Software to continue to run independently, he