Best Buy-Geek Squad, Verizon Pursue Small Business Help Desks

Best Buy-Geek Squad, Verizon Pursue Small Business Help Desks

While Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) continues to face corporate controversy, the company's Geek Squad arm and Verizon are partnering on small business IT help desk services. And there are signs mindSHIFT (Best Buy's managed services business) remains on the acquisition trail. Here's the upshot for managed services providers (MSPs) that are tracking Best Buy's moves closely.

According to a joint Geek Squad-Verizon statement:

"All Help Desk levels of service include 24/7 phone and online support, where Geek Squad Agents can be engaged for services such as wireless connectivity, virus definition updates, malware removal and software updates. Advanced support adds services for mobilizing a workforce with tablets and smartphones, and virtual private network connectivity and support. Premier goes even further, with proactive support such as device monitoring and system maintenance in addition to application maintenance. Onsite dispatch is also available if the issue cannot be resolved via phone or online assistance."

Classic Managed Services

Verizon is also pushing into more traditional managed services -- such as managing user rights and access; remote monitoring of routers, switches and firewalls; server management and monitoring; and, most up-to-date security protection.

The Verizon IT Help Desk service with Geek Squad surfaces during continued turbulence at Best Buy. The big box retailer has been laying off some Geek Squad team members while also replenishing the Geek Squad team with new talent. At the same time, Best Buy corporate has undergone executive transitions -- and the company could ultimately face a power struggle with founder Richard Schultze. Plus, a compensation expert recently quit Best Buy because he did not agree with some of the company's compensation strategies.

The Big Box Challenge

Overall, Best Buy is struggling to remain relevant as consumers increasingly use the big box retailer as a "showroom" for selecting and purchasing digital products from online rivals like

To compensate, Best Buy has been launching smaller, more targeted stores with overhauled Geek Squad support desks (similar to Apple Genius Bars).

Also, Best Buy's mindSHIFT division apparently remains on the acquisition trail. The large managed services provider recently purchased White Glove Technologies -- one of Texas's largest MSPs. Plus, mindSHIFT has approached several MSPmentor 100 companies to explore potential M&A opportunities in recent months, we have heard.
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