In the latest strategic investment to expand and deepen its services portfolio, printing and document management specialist Ricoh announced an agreement to buy mindShift Technologies, a provider of managed IT, cloud, data center and professional services to small and midsize businesses (SMBs), from big box retailer Best Buy.
Ricoh tapped the company for its experience in the general business market, in addition to legal, health care, financial services, associations and non-profits, and education markets.
The acquisition is expected to close in February, at which time the company will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ricoh.
As part of the agreement, mindShift will continue to operate under its current name, management team and capabilities, which currently include 650 employees at offices across the country.
"With the addition of these highly skilled engineering and customer-facing resources to our existing services organization, Ricoh can now offer a greatly enhanced range of services for its customers," Martin Brodigan, chairman and CEO of Ricoh Americas, said in a statement. "We are very much looking forward to working with our small and medium-sized customers to maximize these combined capabilities to their greatest benefit."
The company’s IT services capabilities and managed services offerings will allow Ricoh to expanded its services offerings as well as support Ricoh’s evolution as a provider of IT services.
"With Ricoh’s keen focus on business customers, their leadership position in the SMB space and our common philosophy in delivering innovative ways to solve technology challenges, we believe we can deliver even more value to customers together," Mona Abutaleb, president and CEO of mindShift, said in a statement. "We’re excited about what this acquisition means to our customers; the impact of having a well-respected brand like Ricoh tied to our market leadership will bring great benefits to current and new customers around the country."
Earlier this month Ricoh commissioned a study that found nearly one in four managers (23 percent) said poor document services support was a major limitation slowing the effectiveness of customer-facing employees in their organizations. More than one-quarter (26 percent) cited poor information access as a major limitation.
The survey found 36 percent of respondents find their organizations struggle to have the newest technologies, and 27 percent of managers said said there's a growing gap between their customers' use of technology and what their customer-facing workers are equipped with.
Companies that invest in collaboration, instant messaging, mobile solutions and flexible workplaces make customer-facing workers more efficient and free up more time for them to provide the missing personalized service, according to the study.