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Staples Launches Online Backup, Security Service

The Thrive service offers backup, online security, virus and spyware protection, and remote help desk support to small and medium-sized businesses.

Office supply retailer Staples has cobbled together a group of online offerings and packaged them into sophisticated IT offerings for small and medium-sized businesses.

Based on Staples' Thrive Networks unit, the package features backup, online security, virus, and spyware protection, and remote help desk support. The most prominent feature -- online backup -- is provided by EMC unit Mozy.

The new Thrive offering signals a further broadening into IT services for the office supply chain, which began as an office superstore in 1986 and has been creeping into the IT arena in recent years.

"With the launch of Staples Network Services by Thrive, we allow people to focus on their business while we make sure their technology infrastructure is there to support them," said Candy Murphy, VP of Staples' contract technology solutions, in a statement.

The offering is centered on Mozy, which EMC has advanced after buying online backup technology from Berkeley Data Systems in 2007. Aimed at businesses with 10 to 250 employees, the online backup feature calls for customers to pay for the amount of data they store online.

The security features of the Thrive offering range from anti-spam, antivirus, and anti-spyware protection to patch management that aims to keep all customer systems in sync. Help desk support is provided along with systems and network monitoring. For larger, more sophisticated businesses, Staples provides cross-platform and open source support for Windows, Linux, and Apple operating systems.

Available now in the Boston and Atlanta metropolitan areas, the Thrive service will be deployed in additional markets in the future.

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