Looking for an IT services provider? SMBs may just find one at the same place they buy their PCs, ink cartridges and other office gear.
Best Buy, home of the Geek Squad, is trying to beef up its one-stop shop approach to business IT. To that end, it is paying $97 million for Speakeasy, a Seattle-based provider of broadband voice, data and IT services with an existing customer base of 40,000.
In a press release heavy on the hyperbole, Speakeasy's CEO is quoted: "We aim to become the champion for small business IT and communications solutions, simplifying technology, making it accessible, and improving business performance."
Seems like a smart move for Best Buy, especially considering the exploding popularity of VoIP for businesses of all sizes and SMBs in particular.
Best Buy rival CompUSA has made several recent plays for SMB business, most notably partnership deals with Microsoft that will refer CompUSA customers to members of the software giant's Small Business Specialist Community and allow the retailer to offer a special deal on Vista licenses at its stores.