Staples Eyes Small Businesses With Technology Solutions Arm

By Leah Gabriel Nurik  |  Print this article Print


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Joining other retailers such as Best Buy and Verizon, Staples completes integration of four VAR acquisitions and eyes market for SMB tech services.

Staples today unveiled its new and improved technology reseller arm, Staples Technology Solutions. The office supply giant acquired two VARs over the past four years, and now rebranded its IT services offerings under the Staples Technology Solutions label to strengthen its play for the managed IT services and networking market.

Staples Technology Solutions is a division of Staples Advantage, the business arm of Staples, and will focus on the delivery of a slew of IT services, hardware and solutions for both small to medium sized business and Fortune 1000 companies.

The announcement marks the completion of the integration of the two acquisitions into the Staples brand and organizational structure and the formation of a separate business unit within the office giant’s structure. First, Staples acquired managed services and IT outsourcing company Thrive Networks in 2006. Then, in 2008, the company acquired Corporate Express.

"It is the combination of the integration of the two organizations under the umbrella Staples Technology Solutions," said Joe Kalinoski, vice president of finance for Staples Technology Solutions. "We are offering it to every customer segment and assimilating our acquisitions into a complete strategy."

The company packages a suite of networking, disaster recovery and data center products from Cisco, HP, and IBM. The company also provides IT services and printer management and maintenance services as well as accompanying hardware. In addition, Staples Technology Solutions resells everyday desktop technologies, like laptops, desktops, mice, and shredders.

"Staples is now a one-stop shop for any business technology need," said Kalinoski. "We are letting the customers know Staples is not just the worlds’ largest office supply, but we have a technology business as well."

Prior to the acquisitions and beginning in 2000, Staples was providing IT services and outsourcing to small and medium sized businesses, which the company describes as businesses ranging between 10 to 250 employees.

Jim Lippie, vice president for Staples Network Services, says Staples differentiates itself with products and services "designed around the psychology of the small business," pointing to a personalized call center experience and close customer relationships in the field. Today, Staples Technology Solutions boasts over 300 SMB customers, including the Boston Celtics.



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