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United Stationers, a wholesale distributor of office products, is transforming itself into a provider of broader, revenue-generating services, such as online marketing and technology, to resellers.
The company provides a range of services to help 25,000 resellers with e-commerce, including cross-media content for print, the Web and e-mail. Its search engine is embedded in hundreds of reseller Web sites.
Increasingly, United Stationers also is selling technology. It offers resellers a wholesale distribution software suite that they can customize. And it recently acquired MBS Dev, a software and services provider to resellers, so it can provide more services, including integration of e-commerce and other business functions, such as customer service, purchasing, finance, credit and collections, and analytics.
Next, United Stationers plans to create a development laboratory for online marketing and merchandising techniques for office products. It's also planning a private cloud that will provide a revenue-generating ERP and e-commerce offering to resellers.
The Business of Going DigitalDigital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.