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GoodSuite CEO On StrataIT Deal: ‘Like Going From Triple-A To The Major League’

Joseph F. Kovar

GoodSuite’s acquition of StrataIT brings the copier and printer dealer into the managed services space in a big way, Dan Strull, CEO of GoodSuite, tells CRN.

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GoodSuite CEO Dan Strull

GoodSuite, a solution provider with a history as a leading copier and printer dealer that also offers services, this month became a full-fledged MSP with the acquisition of Strata IT.

With the acquisition, GoodSuite has entered the world of managed services in a big way, said Dan Strull, CEO of the Woodland Hills, Calif.-based company.

“This is our sixth acquisition but our first in the IT space,” Strull told CRN. “It shows we’re serious in this business. We’ve been dabbling in it for the last six years.”

[Related: MSPs And Private Equity: What Makes An MSP Stand Out From The Pack?]

GoodSuite was founded in 1998 with a focus on the copier and printer business, including services, and then starting about six years ago slowly got into the IT business, Strull said.

“We realized we could bring our high-end-level boutique services from the copier business into IT,” he said. “We try to do everything we can to make lives easy for customers. But over time, customers asked us for more help in IT because they liked working with us. So we expanded slowly.”

Before the acquisition, GoodSuite had IT people with a lot of experience but didn’t have the kind of focus to be a serious provider of IT services, Strull said.

“Acquiring Strata IT was, for us, like going from the Triple-A league to the major league,” he said. “We brought in Strata, and they saw we were doing a lot of good stuff. But we offered this or that, or this and that. Strata told us, ‘No, just offer one of each.’ We had 15 different vendors in our stack but now we have just eight. And we now know that for every product we offer, we will be experts on it.”

Strull said his relationship with Strata started about 10 years ago when he started doing research on the IT business and met with the owners of five IT solution providers, including Pete Robbins, co-owner of Strata IT.

“I met with five different owners and then their salespeople,” he said. “Pete was 10 times more qualified than all the others. I told him I wanted to buy his company because of him. His partner Keith Stark was also incredibly skilled. I thought it was an impressive duo.”

Making the acquisition took 10 years, Strull said.

“We found we were both big USC fans and we started tailgating together,” he said. “We do every year. I asked him about acquiring his company every couple years, and he finally agreed.”

GoodSuite prior to acquiring Strata IT had about 55 employees, a number that jumped to 60 when the acquisition closed Sept. 1, Strull said.

Robbins is staying on in a leadership role in GoodSuite, but Stark for now plans to stay with the combined company for only a short time, Strull said. “I’m trying to brainwash him into staying,” he said.

Adding a complete managed services business complements GoodSuite’s copier and printer business, a business that Strull said is incredibly healthy and very much focused on recurring revenue.

“Ten years ago, people were predicting offices would go paperless and no one would know what a copier is,” he said. “But the paper business grew 10 times during that time as businesses brought their high-end printing in-house. It’s crazy. But during the pandemic, the print business took a 12 [percent] to 15 percent hit. But even now you’ll rarely find an office that doesn’t print on paper.”

GoodSuite plans to acquire more copier dealers and more MSPs but has no deals in the pipeline for now, Strull said.

“Our plan is to acquire a copier dealer and provide their customers IT services,” he said. “And we’ll acquire an MSP and provide their customers with copier services.”

Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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