Staples Casts an Eye on Cloud Computing

Michael Vizard

One of the lesser-known attributes of Staples is that the big box office supply retailer actually has an IT services arm.


Staples today announced that it is consolidating the various IT services offerings it makes available to corporate customers under a common Staples Technology Services group.


Led by Jim Lippie, vice president of Staples Network Services, the group is being formed by combining the Imaging and Computer Graphics Supplies business unit that Staples acquired from Corporate Express in 2008 with Thrive Networks, an IT services company specializing in networking technology that Staples acquired in 2006.


According to Lippie, the new Staples unit will concentrate on delivering enterprise-class IT services to small-to-medium business customers that typically appreciate the local touch that Staples can offer combined with the national reach of the chain.


Lippie said that as part of this effort his division is now studying whether Staples should include cloud computing services in this mix of offerings. He added that for most SMB organizations, IT is now their second-largest fixed cost after people, which makes the variable cost model of cloud computing attractive to this class of customers.


Lippie, however, said that Staples has no interest in engaging in an IT services price war to win business in this segment.

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