Canadian printing pioneer retires

Approximately 30 years ago no one in the IT channel, let alone the entire industry knew what managed print services or MPS was.

Chris Stoate put managed print services on the map in Canada and Stoate after founding LaserNetworks back in 1987 is retiring officially at the end of this month.

The perennial CDN Top 100 Solution Provider was responsible for developing solutions and programs that heralded the arrival of the MPS industry. After years of growth for the company in the U.S. and Canada, LaserNetworks was sold to Xerox in January 2012.

Mandy Shapansky, president & CEO, Xerox Canada, said she enjoyed working with Stoate over the past two years to transition the business in a seamless fashion.

“Chris has left us with the company’s traditions of innovation and customer service, and I know I join all my Xerox and LaserNetworks colleagues in wishing him well in his future endeavors,” Shapansky said.

Stoate said that the successful transition of LaserNetworks to Xerox has opened up opportunities to pursue new ventures.

Replacing Stoate is Mike Tulk, LaserNetworks’ vice president of sales, who has been named the new managing director responsible for all operational aspects of the business.

Stoate is considered to be the pioneer of MPS in Canada. He basically put it on the map. Some of his colleagues have said Stoate kept print relevant when no-one cared about it any more.

His company’s “Cost Per Page” program focuses on device tracking and centralized management, along with provisioning of printing supplies for a fixed fee. It also offered several software solutions for areas such as document capture and secure printing on shared devices.

LaserNetworks currently provides support services for more than 50,000 print-related devices and operates 13 locations across North America.  It had 2010 revenues of between $40 and $50 million, landing it the No. 31 rank on CDN‘s Top 100 Solution Providers list.

Tulk will lead the company with a senior leadership team consisting of Chris Pigott, chief operating officer, and Trevor Moses, vice president of operations.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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