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Central Office Systems Acquires Attivo Technologies

Central Office Systems (COS), a Wisconsin-based printing solutions provider and the region’s largest Konica Minolta dealer, has acquired Attivo Technologies for an undisclosed sum.

With Milwaukee-based Attivo adding its IT managed services capabilities and five employees to Central Offices ranks, the combined company will now have between 40 and 50 workers. Attivo is closing its Milwaukee office and will set up in Central Office’s Waukesha corporate office and distribution center.

Central Office Systems began supplying office typewriters and copiers in 1973. Over the years it evolved into a printer sales, rental, and service provider under the leadership of Christopher Rosecky and Art Flater. In addition to its Waukesha operations, the company has offices in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Attivo opened its doors in 2011 with Christian Kerhin at the helm. Kerhin will remain as vice president of information technology services, the company said.

Addressing Printer Security Needs

According to the company, by providing IT services alongside COS’ core printer-copier business, it will be able to implement broad cybersecurity measures.

Indeed, printers are often a gateway for cyber attacks of computer networks. One Spiceworks white paper showed that only 16 percent of IT industry respondents believe printers are at risk of a security breach.

“Enterprise-class printers have evolved into powerful, networked devices with the same vulnerabilities as any other endpoint on your network,” the study’s authors wrote. “These typically unsecured entry points offer the very real possibility of cyber attacks; they can also offer access to your company’s financial and private data, leading to very real business consequences.”

With considerations like that combined with the addition of Attivo’s capabilities, COS is planning to grow employment in its IT business by another 10 to 15 percent over the next year.

MPS M&A

There’s been a lot of M&A movement surrounding managed print service companies in recent months. Big names like HP Inc. and Xerox getting involved in the action. The former recently bought European office equipment dealer Apogee for around US$500 million. Xerox, meanwhile, has had its GIS division buying up various partners to fill gaps in its sales and coverage portfolio.

On the regional front, we’ve covered a number of deals, including:

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