#17 Newsmaker: Bill Hishon of IDS Canada

This year was the first that the Canadian channel community had heard of Intelligent Data Systems Canada, or IDS, a company created after the acquisition of five print businesses from Quebec in 2011.

The company was created with the help of private equity funding and the merging of IDS Ricoh and DCI Services, both of Montreal, and La Vie au Bureau, EBQM and VOB Technologies, all of Quebec City – all under the leadership of CEO Bill Hishon.

“When you take a look at where the market is going with the copier and printer business converging into managed print services, the equipment’s all digital and connected to a network. So you have to have depth of IT capabilities and by combining copier with networking and managed print we can get a foothold in the market,” Hishon said.

“We build our management team through acquisitions and what we found is that this model allows entrepreneurs to take money off the table and still participate in our company. All of them are shareholders in the (IDS Canada) company. This is not a buy and thank you very much deal,” Hishon said.

Later this past summer, IDS acquired Quebec City-based Maison LaCouline Inc.’s printer and copier business. This year, the company has also been working on acquisitions in the Greater Toronto Area, where entering the playing field is admittedly more challenging. “I think the independents don’t have the same level of market share,” Hishon told CDN.

The company’s overall portfolio now includes copiers, printers, and other technology products as well as equipment maintenance services, managed print services and related consulting. It’s the largest managed print services business in Eastern Canada with 4000 customers and offices in Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City. In 2012, that expansion plan will extend to Central and Western Canada and eventually, into the U.S.

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