PC Connection Beefs Up Services

Robert Wilkins, executive vice president of Merrimack, N.H.-based PC Connection, said the deal to acquire the assets of its financially troubled former crosstown rival reshapes the competitive landscape by giving PC Connection a new customer base, federal services muscle and significant additional services capabilities. Amherst brings with it new product certifications from the likes of Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard and IBM. “This definitely changes the [solution provider] landscape,” Wilkins said.

PC Connection outbid rivals EPlus and PC Mall for the Amherst assets after a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved a motion that converted Amherst&'s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing to a Chapter 7 liquidation.

Wilkins said PC Connection, which closed the deal last Monday, has already inked deals with more than 80 percent of the sales reps and engineers on the Amherst payroll. He said that PC Connection will not be bringing on board the back-end personnel from Amherst serving in areas such as finance. Wilkins declined to break down exactly how many of Amherst&'s 200 employees would be joining PC Connection.

Wilkins said the deal represents a turning point for PC Connection as the direct marketer ramps up its ServiceConnection business, which is aimed at providing services to small businesses by partnering with solution providers. “Our message to VARs is we want to partner with you,” Wilkins said. “We have a great offering. We have a great brand. We have the ability to bring them leads.”

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Most of the acquired Amherst assets will be combined with the PC Connection subsidiary MoreDirect to expand its reach into the midsize-to-large corporate customer segments. The remaining assets will be combined with either the PC Connection Sales subsidiary, which sells to the small- and midsize-business market, or Merrimack Services (PC Connection Services), which provides back-end services to all sales subsidiaries.