Staples is ready to make a big push into the business-to-business services market.
The Framingham, Mass.-based company has launched Staples Technology Solutions, a portfolio of data center, print and managed services for small businesses up to the enterprise, according to Joe Kalinoski, vice president of finance for Staples Technology Solutions.
Combined with an enhanced IT products catalog, Staples Technology Solutions is hoping its services initiative will win the hearts of the same business customers that solution providers target.
"I think VARs that read this will be a little envious of what we have to offer here. With Staples, we have a Fortune 100 organization, great relationships on the product side, and we can offer very competitive pricing and a great services story for customers as well," said Kalinoski. Offerings under Staples Technology Solutions include access to certified specialists for Cisco Systems, Citrix, Linux and other areas; onsite and remote server and desktop support for Apple Mac, Windows and Linux platforms; printer fleet management; and data center assessments and other services ranging from sub-floor cleaning and 24x7 data center emergency supplies.
Staples Technology Solutions operates under Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples. The division was developed in large part from Staples' acquisitions of Corporate Express last year and Thrive Networks in 2006, said Kalinoski.
"By combining these two entities we have a one-source supplier of office products, print solutions and managed print IT services," he said. "It was a logical evolution to get into the technology space. It was a natural that we were answering our customer calls for not only office products but also technology products. We think we can be one of the lowest-cost providers," he said.
Staples Technology Solutions will house operations in Massachusetts and Florida but have badged associates in Staples Advantages offices around the country, he said.
Staples Technology Solutions doesn't carry enterprise-class servers or storage products, but can provide enough infrastructure to run a data center, including racks, cooling, heating and power, said Thad Coming, regional sales director, Staples Technology Solutions.
Next: Staples Offers SMBs A Fully Managed Outsourced IT Department