Four master agents keen to add field services to their portfolios have signed with Geek Squad, Best Buys tech support division.
Network Solutions Provider, Carrier Access Inc., Access Media 3 and MACH 4 all have joined the new program, which launched at the Spring 2012 Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. Geek Squad is recruiting master agents, network and cabling experts, and IP telephony systems resellers to sell its phone, online and on-site IT help desk support, except for hardware repair, to SMBs around the country. Geek Squad employees do the actual work, a model that appeals to partners.
“Working with Geek Squad will help our clients reduce customer downtime, save money and help create a better customer experience,” said Phillip Walker, CEO of Network Solutions Provider.
Each of the newly signed master agents will offer Geek Squad Office Support, which means Geek Squad agents are available around-the-clock via phone, online chat, remote help and with an option for on-site support. The agencies also will sell PC, mobile, networking and infrastructure support services. Those plans cover diagnostics and repair, client and server administration, network integration including network, firewall, VPN and server support and data backup and transfers. Ideal end users have one to 20 computers in their offices and cannot afford a full-time IT expert. The standard Geek Squad package, billed at a per-seat price each month, encompasses network integration, client and server administration, and diagnostics and repair. The advanced package comes with those same services, but costs more because it also includes unlimited on-site diagnostics and repair.
But Geek Squad targets residential customers, too, through channel partners one of which now is Access Media 3. The company sells broadband, television and voice services to consumers; adding Geek Squads troubleshooting expertise for PCs, email, MP3s, software and printers strengthens Access Media 3s value, an executive said.
It’s like having a concierge on call for a resident’s network and connected devices,” said Eric Welles, senior vice president of business development at Access Media 3.
For Geek Squads parent company, Best Buy, opening itself to the indirect channel means reach into new clientele.
By teaming up with these well-established partners, we’re able to continue to expand our footprint in to the SMB space and help provide enterprise-level services at price points that SMBs can afford,” said Brian Hutto, vice president of Best Buy Services.
Partner support includes interactive, Web-based training, as well as a portal with co-branded sales and marketing materials. The company also employs a dedicated channel accounts team, led by AJ McDougall, senior director of strategic partnerships, and Al Afflitto, partnerships manager.
Further, Geek Squad pays one-time and residual compensation. Partners will earn a lump sum that equals the amount of the first month’s revenue for example, if an end user commits to the minimum 12-month contract for $500 per month, the partner receives a one-time $500 payout as well as residual commissions based on volume. Geek Squad declined to disclose its recurring commission rates, but said they are in the double digits.