xPrintServer: On the Road, Online, On TV, and In Print

Launching a new product is never easy, and it can even be more challenging when the product is one of a kind. It takes creativity, out of the box thinking, lots of elbow grease, a little bit of luck and persistence.

Little more than a year after its launch, you’d be hard pressed to find an iPad or iPhone enthusiast who has not heard about xPrintServer. While this product line – and the market opportunity for networked mobile printing– is in many ways still in its infancy, xPrintServer is well positioned to capitalize on the need for a cost-effective and easy to deploy networked mobile printing solution as more and more businesses adopt iPads in the workplace.

Our latest marketing blitz hit the market back in early November 2012, in preparation for holiday gift guides and promotions.

Lantronix and the xPrintServer were featured in more than a dozen national morning show segments on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNBC and more – thanks to Steve Greenberg, author of Gadget Nation and host of the TV show “Invention Hunters.”  From Chicago, Minneapolis, and Washington, to New York, Seattle, and Houston, the gadget-shows were seen by mobile Apple device users nationwide!

Blog 1 Greenberg and xPS xPrintServer: On the Road, Online, On TV, and In Print

Key to holiday marketing success are “holiday gift guides” – and xPrintServer proved to be a popular stocking stuffer this year.  From British Airways in-flight magazine (Business Life) to Electronic House’s Back to School Cool list to Cult of Mac’s iPad Lover’s Gift Guides, we appeared in more than a dozen magazine and online guides. The result was that in the December quarter, Lantronix recorded increased sales in our device management product category – most of the growth in sales due to the xPrintServer product’s growing popularity.

BLog 2 Gift Guides xPrintServer: On the Road, Online, On TV, and In Print

Following our success formula from last year, we once again leveraged CES and MacWorld as platforms for launching and promoting the xPrintServer.  Prior to the events, we demonstrated the xPrintServer (Office and Home editions) to more than 1,000 members of the U.S. and EMEA press.   To complement the resulting hundreds of pieces of press coverage and product reviews, we also hit the market with print and online ads, building momentum for the live events.   MacWorld, iPhoneLife, MacDirectory, iBusiness Magazine, Network World,  and more all featured one to two page print ads – distributed and mailed to more than 2 million iPad and iPhone enthusiasts – from on-site distribution at CES and MacWorld, to newsstands, airports and electronics stores nationwide.  Not to be outdone by the xPrintServer, our president and CEO Kurt Busch and the Lantronix M2M story made the cover and feature story in EEWeb’s latest Pulse Magazine.

BLog 3 Mag covers1 xPrintServer: On the Road, Online, On TV, and In Print

To complement the on and off line print ads, the Lantronix xPrintServer took to social media.  Our award-winning “I Can Print!” commercials have been aired on CNBC and Google’s online network of video sites, on YouTube, and even made it to a premier showing during Fashion Week in Toronto.  To further capture gadget and trend influencers, xPrintServer is being featured on the new OraTV channel – exposing the brand to more than 1 million viewers in March and April of 2013.   No online or social media effort would be complete without the endorsement of technology guru Leo Laporte (go to minute marker 16.00) and his team’s support of the xPrintServer, which was highlighted on several dozen TWiT.TV podcasts over the past six months.

Blog 4 OraTV and Leo xPrintServer: On the Road, Online, On TV, and In Print

The marketing campaigns laid the groundwork for MacWorld – which many show registrants and exhibitors said should be called “Lantronix World”!   We were the official mobile print sponsor – you couldn’t enter or exit the show without seeing or hearing about the xPrintServer, thanks to some aggressive field sales and marketing, complete with Lantronix-branded “I Can Print!” gear.

Blog 5 MacWorld shots xPrintServer: On the Road, Online, On TV, and In Print

In addition to winning “Editor’s Choice” by The Mac Observer for the second year in a row, one of the most exciting aspects of MacWorld this year was the emphasis on Apple products serving the B2B market.  Our own chief technology architect, Dave Wagstaff, presented “Best Practices for Deploying Mobile Print Solutions in the Enterprise” to an audience of nearly 100 IT executives.

Blog 6 Kurt and Dave xPrintServer: On the Road, Online, On TV, and In Print

As we move into 2013 and beyond, more of our focus will be on leveraging the brand awareness we’ve built to drive enterprise adoption of the xPrintServer family.   The upcoming iBusiness Magazine road shows  should prove to drive awareness and sales into the small business market.  iBusiness has been a big supporter of the xPrintServer, and given the excitement and interest from their audience, our new xPrintServer Office Edition was featured on the magazine’s holiday edition cover — with more than 500,000 copies distriuted at CES and MacWorld.   We will also be partnering with targeting publications such as CIO Magazine, Network World, InfoWorld, Control Design, and more, to continue direct marketing to key decision makers and influencers for all of Lantronix’ M2M products, services and solutions.

For real-time updates on what Lantronix is up and where we’ll be, please check back regularly, and if you haven’t already done so, sign up to receive our newsletters, tweets, and more.

Students Across the Country: “We Can Print!”

Since the launch of xPrintServer-Network Edition back in December, we’ve seen tremendous demand from educational institutions, school districts, students, parents, and educators themselves.  The rapid pace of iPad deployment in schools – from kindergarten (yes, kindergarten) through college and graduate school – has only been outstripped by the students’ ability to embrace any piece of new technology, especially the iPad.   [The Cult of Mac recently posted a great article about how iPads are transforming the classroom.]

MD 1 Students Across the Country: “We Can Print!”

Lantronix’ Dean Lazzara demos the xPrintServer during Mater Dei’s back-to-school week.

The Lantronix team has been actively working with schools to print-enable their campuses, in preparation for back-to-school initiatives.  Probably the most interesting insight we’ve gleaned so far is that these schools are a near perfect microcosm of large enterprises.  They boast a wide variety of user types (students, teachers, administrators, visitors) – some of who are friendly, some are hostile/hackers. But in the end, every student and parent with whom we’ve spoken has said the same thing – “Thank you for helping us print!”  Clearly the market is now catching up to the pain-point we’ve solved with the xPrintServer.

One of the schools with which we’ve most recently been working is Mater Dei High School in Orange County, California.  Last year, this leading national high school rolled out more than 2,000 iPads to the student body – one of the first schools in the country to build out a curriculum leveraging the iPad platform.  In addition to working to print-enable their campus for the coming school year, they’ve also been part of our new back-to-school marketing promotion – the goal of which is simple: Get the xPrintServer into the hands of students – one of the most coveted segments, given their powerful word-of-mouth opportunities and profile of being early adopters.

Whether schools use the iPad for engaging students, conducting online classes, or simply as replacements for text books, the fact is, iPads are changing the way we educate our children, and what better validation for our xPrintServer than to hear a student say, “My Dad just bought one of those for us so we can print, and it’s so cool!”

Lights, Camera, xPrintServer!

On Monday, March 19th, xPrintServer made its television debut – and we’re happy to report, the audience loved it.  Even the anchor and technology reporter cheered as the xPrintServer did exactly what it’s supposed to do – PRINT!

Earlier this year at CES, we had the pleasure of meeting Bruce Pechman, “The Muscleman of Technology.”  For anyone who hasn’t met or seen Bruce, he’s an incredibly enthusiastic, seasoned on-air talent with over 300 live TV appearances reviewing technology and healthcare products.  He appears regularly on Los Angeles superstation KTLA (10 million household reach) and “Good Morning San Diego.”  After providing a live demo of our xPrintServer for Bruce at CES, he invited us down for an on-air product review.

The day started early – 3am to be exact.  By 5:30am, we were ready for our close-up.  San Diego-based KUSI-TV was already in full swing, reporting the morning news, and Bruce was wide awake and ready to go (I don’t think this guy sleeps!).   Check out the entire video for Bruce’s review of the new iPad and the xPrintServer. (Click on “Bruce appears on KUSI-TV: The new Apple iPad” video 3/19/12)

kusi p1 kusi studios Lights, Camera, xPrintServer!

The KUSI-TV studios in San Diego, CA.

kusi p2 bruce pechman Lights, Camera, xPrintServer!

Bruce Pechman and the xPrintServer

Of course, we’re thrilled about the brand awareness and extended publicity reach afforded to us by a live television spot, but something that never gets old is watching the reaction from customers and the press when they see the product work.  Responses typically begin with disbelief that the xPrintServer is plug-and-print… followed by near jubilation at the mere fact you can print from your iPad or iPhone.   And finally, a “Wow – it’s THAT simple?!”    This is either a referendum on how poorly most products are made today – or a testament to how important it is to create and market a product that delivers on what the customer wants.  In our case, we’re happy to report it’s the latter.

kusi p3 xprintserver spot Lights, Camera, xPrintServer!

xPrintServer: The pre-commercial teaser.

kusi p4 pechman and mark Lights, Camera, xPrintServer!

Bruce Pechman and Mark Tullio

Thanks again to Bruce and the KUSI-TV family for having invited Lantronix on the show, and look forward to working with them as we continue to build brand awareness for Lantronix, the xPrintServer, and other products to come.

Live from Macworld: Timing is Everything.

Coming to you live from the Macworld/MacIT show floor!  Last night more than 700 members of the press flooded the dedicated media event…. And our team must’ve done a demo for every one of them.  Some twice! (read article)   The reaction across the board has been remarkably consistent — the first response is “wow, it’s that easy!?”. Followed by “this is something every business needs…how could they not want an iOS network printing solution?”.

macworld 1 Live from Macworld: Timing is Everything.

Lantronix’ Dean Lazzara provides live demo to Mac Observer

macworld 2 Live from Macworld: Timing is Everything.

Lantronix’ Dean Lazzara and Dave Wagstaff during MacIT

Recent stories about Apple (read article), Boston Scientific (read article) and GE (read article) echo this sentiment — they’re deploying iPads at breakneck speed, but are feeling the pain of how to manage it, and more importantly how to manage and satisfy their internal users’ needs, including printing.

Time will tell just how successful the xPrintServer will be.  But one thing is for sure – we’ve taken a leadership position in creating category awareness of iOS printing in the enterprise, highlighted the user pain, established ourselves as a market leader and evangelized an elegant solution.  Now comes the exciting part – leveraging marketing, sales and distribution to meet demand.

If Macworld, CES, and feedback from the field are any indication of what’s to come, we’ve got the right product, at the right time, for the right audience.

Timing is everything.

Machine to Machine: You Don’t Need to Know M2M to Know You Want a Smart Meter

As an engineer, I admit, I tend to get caught up in the “How”. How things work, that is. And in the world of M2M, there’s a LOT of “how” to sink my teeth into. But there’s also quite a bit of “why.” And the more powerful the argument for “why”, the more likely a new technology is to be adopted in the general population.

A recent study by Market Strategies International found Americans are attracted to M2M concepts that seek to make their lives easier, safer, or help them save money.

Lantronix M2M Global Connectivity Machine to Machine: You Don’t Need to Know M2M to Know You Want a Smart MeterAmerican consumers found appeal in the primary M2M concepts
in this order:

  1. Home energy management
  2. Health monitoring
  3. Property security
  4. People/pet security
  5. Mobile banking/shopping

Despite the somewhat obvious nature of this information, it left me with that familiar question: “Why?” Why we do what we do at Lantronix, that is.

Over the last 12-18 months, we’ve focused heavily on the “whys” related to M2M. Because we’ve arrived at the conclusion that the “how” we do things (connecting machines) is simply a conduit for the reason WHY we do it: To make your life better by providing more information in context. To help you make smarter decisions with less time, less money, and less risk.

We’ve worked in the last 2 years with cities to improve traffic flow (which saves time and improves safety), we’ve worked with government contractors to use M2M to remove humans from dangerous flight missions—and every day, we’re working on concepts to make the average person’s life just that much easier. But there is so much more information, which if it could be “mined” or “harvested”, could fundamentally change the way companies and individuals conduct business; this is the basic promise of M2M – Getting the right information to the right people at the right time. The “why” is the opportunity which is very exciting, the ‘how’ is the hard part and the one Lantronix is attacking head-on.

M2M in 2011 is an exciting prospect—so stick around—because there’s a lot more answers to “why” coming your way…