Plenty of SMBs purchase their PCs at retail stores like Best Buy or CompUSA. And at least some of them likely take their PC support issues to the same stores.
But while in-store tech support may be fine for chores like applying software patches or ridding PCs of a virus, it may not be the best option for more complicated tasks like setting up a virtual private network or network attached storage.
CompUSA is trying to fill that gap and win a little customer love by partnering with Microsoft and its Small Business Specialist Community, comprised of 3,750 of Microsoft's channel partners.
This is not Microsoft's first deal with the retailer. Late last year, the software giant also began allowing SMBs to purchase licensing agreements to run Windows Vista Business and Microsoft Office Small Business 2007 at CompUSA.
Channel partners are often the conduit for big guys like Microsoft to reach SMBs. The CompUSA deal could give the partners a golden opportunity to cross-sell other products and services, such as ERP software, an initiative that recently picked up some steam with Microsoft's decision to offer highly affordable licensing for its Dynamics lineup.