Leader of the Pack
Thursday, July 07, 2016
by Brent Black
Expectations are always high when you are the leader in any market segment. Leaders create a vision and roadmap for all of the market to follow —both customers and competitors. No business earns and keeps the pole position without doing something right… consistently. The market is a fierce and uncompromising judge of quality and value, and what was in style yesterday is forgotten tomorrow. To survive and thrive over a long period of time, a business must constantly adapt and change tactics to address major market trends.
IDC recently published a report on the worldwide output management market, “Worldwide Output Management Software Market Shares, 2015: Cloud and Mobile Technologies Stabilize Growth” (May 2016). In the report, available via this link, IDC included the following paragraphs in their executive summary:
“Output management software utilization to support mobile workforce environments continued to be a stabilizing factor as enterprises increasingly seek solutions that allow for the efficient and secure delivery of corporate information across varying device types.
Likewise, the output management software market continues to be impacted by the growing acceptance and rapid proliferation of mobile and cloud technologies in the enterprise. These advanced technologies are increasingly being leveraged by business users to create and view information from multiple channels and on multiple device types in real time, regardless of location. In addition, automated online document delivery stands to enable IT organizations to create environments where enterprises can achieve significant operational savings, increase worker productivity, improve customer experience, and significantly reduce their carbon footprint. Therefore, although printing volume in the enterprise is trending down, the need for efficient, reliable, and cost-effective document delivery continues to grow.
Vendors such as Levi, Ray & Shoup (LRS) that have strengths in these growth areas experienced increases in demand and share, while geopolitical and currency headwinds slowed some vendors, particularly those with strength in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Western Europe.”
Did LRS also experience some of the same geopolitical and currency headwinds as our competitors? Absolutely. The key difference is that we were simply better positioned to offer customers more business value with our products and services. This is all a successful business can do when faced with market challenges that cannot be controlled.
Further down in the report, IDC wrote about the vendors that shaped the year. They commented:
“In 2015, Levi, Ray & Shoup (LRS) grew 4.2% and was the overall output management software market share leader with 12.2% share. LRS benefited from the capabilities added to its LRS Enterprise Output Server VPSX software in order to support output management functions from varying applications or platforms, including legacy mainframe applications, healthcare EMR systems, SAP application environments, and Microsoft Office applications. Likewise, Mobile Connector and VPSX Print for iOS were brought to market to enable printing from mobile devices. What's more, newly added Virtual Session Printer Agent (VSPA) for VPSX delivers capabilities aimed at reducing the complexity of printing within virtual desktop infrastructure environments while also increasing the security, flexibility, and control of shared documents.”
This pretty much sums up why LRS has been a strong player in this niche market for over three decades: new products and solutions that address new market problems. It’s “marketing 101” with the product development chops to back it up.
Competition, emerging trends, disruptive technologies and geopolitical uncertainties are all potential threats, no doubt. However, complacency is a greater threat because it starts and grows within, often with little notice. You must always stay hungry and avoid getting too comfortable with the current situation because things can and do change quickly. Easier said than done, but we’ve been doing it for a long time. We’re in it for the long run. Game on.