IBM Canada sold the assets of its document management services division to better serve its customers, according to one Big Blue executive.

Toronto-headquartered Moore Corp. Ltd. bought the assets for an undisclosed price late last week. The deal includes almost 200 employees across Canada, physical assets and real estate in Montreal, Mississauga, Ont., Toronto and Edmonton.

Nathalie Le Prohon, client operations executive for Global Services, says the company still wants to do end-to-end outsourcing services, but was looking for a first-rate partner to take over the printing aspect.

“(We) wanted to find a best-of-breed print and mail service provider — somebody to whom these were core services — that would be making the required investments to continue to be in the future a best-of-breed service provider,” she says.

“This business demands very specific skills and investments and automation and processes which are really not at the core of where IBM is investing itself. But we do continue to need to offer these services so our clients have end-to-end capabilities from IBM.”

Le Prohon says while IBM is getting out of the document management services business, it is not abandoning it entirely. The companies have entered into a marketing agreement and Moore is the preferred partner for all print services in Canada.

Executives from Moore did not respond to interview requests at press time.

According to Duncan Card, print outsourcing is a growing area and one where companies could save money.

“When companies have internal publishing and a lot of print, copying and document management needs internally, the numbers are quite large and can have a huge impact on the bottom line of a company,” says the partner and senior member of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP‘s technology, e-commerce and communications law group in Toronto.

“I think companies across the board in every vertical sector are stepping back and looking at all non-core competency functions that can be performed and this is one of them.”

Card says pressure is on companies in every vertical to squeeze out costs and focus on core competencies. The end result, he says, is farming tasks out.

“Everyone wants to be best-of-breed, but you can’t do everything yourself.”

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