Verizon (NYSE: VZ) has turned to an unusual source for help meeting the "increasingly complex information technology requirements of small and mid-sized businesses across the country."
The carrier has called on Best Buy's (NYSE: BBY) Geek Squad, better known as the guys in the Volkswagens who help consumers put together their increasingly complex home networks and home entertainment centers, to help deal with the increasingly complex technology issues being faced by SMBs.
Verizon, in a news release, said the partnership will include working together on the Verizon IT Help Desk--an initiative designed to help SMBs "which cannot support in-house staffing resources keep the focus on their business by leaving technology challenges and opportunities to a dedicated team of specialists," the carrier said.
The partnership adds Geek Squad support to Verizon's IT platforms for mobility and security, the companies said in the news release. Geek Squad specialists will be made available to SMBs 24/7 to answer questions and help SMBs implementing new technologies and to troubleshoot end-user issues. Verizon sees demand coming from such sources as a medical practice that wants to maintain connectivity of its tablets for quality patient care to a local retailer needing malware removal. And what small business hasn't been there?
Advanced support will include "mobilizing workforce with tablets and smartphones and virtual private network connectivity and support," the two companies said. Premier support adds proactive device monitoring and system maintenance in addition to application maintenance. Onsite dispatch is available if the issue can't be resolved via phone or online.
Calling SMBs "the lifeblood of the U.S. economy," Jane Schijns, vice president of vertical solutions and channels for Verizon Enterprise Solutions said the new offering will help SMB owners "tap into today's sophisticated wireless and advanced technologies with the peace of mind that trusted tech support is readily available anytime the need arises."
For Best Buy, the relationship is "a good example of how Geek Squad is taking things deeper with customers and finding new ways to reach them," said George Sherman, senior vice president of Best Buy Services.
-see this Verizon release
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