Mega-merger opens 8000 new Aussie clients to Ricoh IT

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Mega-merger opens 8000 new Aussie clients to Ricoh IT
Ricoh IT's Matt Dixon

Ricoh's ambitions as a major player in the IT services space got a shot in the arm with news it will integrate Lanier across Australia.

The news comes 13 years after Ricoh acquired Lanier globally, with Australia one of the last territories to bring the two brand together.

The deal will see Ricoh IT brought together with Lanier IT Services (ITS) to create a services provider with more than 100 staff and a strong footprint in NSW as well as operations in Perth.

Ricoh IT was formed through its October 2012 acquisition of IMC Communications, while Lanier ITS was similarly created with the buyout of Inspire IT in April 2013.

Les Richardson, managing director of Ricoh Australia, told CRN: "We will have more than 100 people in our IT service business… when you consider we had almost none 18 months ago."

[Related: Ricoh IT wins "very large"  MSP accounts]

He said the chance to combine the former IMC and Inspire businesses into a single IT company was a big driver in the timing of the Lanier merger.

"One of the reason behind this integration is both Ricoh and Lanier have started to invest in some of the new technology, [such as] workflow solutions and managed document solutions. We will be able to combine those resources. We will be able to take those service offerings to our dealer channel, which gives us a strong offering.

"It is a nice fit. IMC was focused on the mid to large part of the market while Inspire IT was focused on on the SMB. There wasn't much overlap at all," added Richardson.

Ricoh IT's vendor credentials include Cisco Silver Partner, Citrix Gold Solutions Advisor, NetApp Silver Partner and Microsoft Gold Server Platform.

Lanier ITS's offerings include Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange, Webguard security and cloud hosting on IBM Enterprise Hardware platform with Cisco core network.

The combined IT services business will be headed up by Matt Dixon, who has been with IMC then Ricoh since 1994.

Richardson said he also hoped that Inspire IT founder Alan Burt, now CTO of Lanier ITS, would have "a big part in the business".

The two teams will be brought together over the next two months, said Richardson. "Our IMC business has facilities in Homebush in ANZ stadium; that's where our data centre is. We also have one in Eastern Creek for DR, and the main office in North Sydney.

"Lanier have located their NOC [network operations centre] at Lane Cove. Right now we are working on where the best location will be. We haven't made any final decision. Today is just the acquisition of the shares."

Richardson added that the company had "quite a strong footprint in Perth" and a presence in Melbourne.

He said Ricoh had been "stalling our recruitment" over recent months to prepare for the merger, and while there was some duplication in back-office functions, redundancies should be kept to a minimum.

Lanier adds 8,000 customers to Ricoh's existing customer base, which already numbers in the tens of thousands.

The strategy for both print service firms to push into IT is clear. "We see the business in transition from print to workflow solutions and document management," said Richardson. "The investment in IT services will give us platform to host a lot of those services. The investments in IT services allows us to not only provide solution but host them in our Ricoh cloud."

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