Industry News Desk
Staples Moves from Paper Clips to Maybe the Cloud
It’s considering putting cloud computing on the menu
By: Maureen O'Gara
Feb. 17, 2010 06:00 PM
Staples, the big office supplies outlet, is going to start offering "enterprise-class" tech support to SMBs through to Fortune 1000s.
It's even considering putting cloud computing on the menu.
According to Jim Lippie, VP of the company's network services, IT accounts for the SMBs' second-largest fixed cost after people. Staples thinks it can be a low-cost provider. It figures it can run an SMB's entire IT operation, if it likes.
The newfangled Staples Technology Solutions will offer consulting and hardware; managed services like onsite and remote server and desktop support for Macs, Windows and Linux platforms as well as Cisco and Citrix widgetry; printer fleet management; data center assessments and solutions including 24/7 disaster recovery; and network services.
It claims to be tight with Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Sun though it's never trafficked in Sun machines.
The expertise may not all be Staples' own but comes from folks like OnForce.
The new unit is a combination of Staples 2006 acquisition of Thrive Networks, a managed services provider concentrated on networking, and its 2008 acquisition of Corporate Express, a supplier of imaging and computer graphics products to businesses and institutions.
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