GTSI sale could be chance to rebrand, former CEO says

Wednesday - 5/9/2012, 9:46am EDT

This week's sale of GTSI to Unicom for $76 million could be an opportunity for GTSI to rebrand itself.

Although GTSI has an "awesome" brand name in the federal IT marketplace, GTSI's name was "sullied" after the Small Business Administration suspended the firm in October 2010, said Dendy Young, CEO of GTSI from 1996 to 2006.

The suspension was lifted a few weeks later.

"Nonetheless, people remember the challenge, not the substance," Young said in an interview with The Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp.

Whatever Unicom does with preserving or changing GTSI's name, Young said it is important for the firm to continue a strategy he implemented at GTSI of adding value through services and support. Right now, he said, "it's a difficult time for hardware-only suppliers."

This wasn't always the case for GTSI, which was really the only hardware-supplier in the federal marketplace in the 1980s.

"If you needed a PC, you went to GTSI," Young said of those early years.

As computers have become more and more ubiquitous, the products are increasing in value but the pricing is the same or going down, he said. GTSI's role as a distributor will still have a place, though, because customers will always need to have hardware that ties in with networks and their software, he said.

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