Geek Squad Partners with Vendors to Serve Small Cos.

The Geek Squad Partner Program will offer managed services plans to small companies in partnership with vendors such as telecom and cable resellers.

Richfield-based electronics giant Best Buy Company announced Tuesday that its tech support division, Geek Squad, has launched a program that will target the small business market.

Through its Geek Squad Partner Program, the company will work with vendors, including telecom and cable resellers, that serve small businesses-those with one to 25 employees. These partners will offer Geek Squad's IT and tech support plans to their customers and, in turn, will receive the sales and marketing tools they need to grow their customer base, according to the program's website.

Best Buy said that the service plans offered through the partnership program are designed to help customers with diagnostics and repair, client and server administration, data backup and transfers, and network integration.

The two plans available through the partner program are the “Standard Plan,” which offers unlimited 24-7 phone and online support for $24.99 per month, and the “Advanced Plan,” which costs $49.99 per month and includes those same services, plus access to a Geek Squad agent on site if an issue can't be resolved online or by phone.

“Geek Squad was founded 17 years ago as a small business technology service and support task force,” George Sherman, senior vice president of services for Best Buy, said in a statement. “Today, our strategic priorities to grow our services business have set the stage to leverage its heritage as a small business resource. With our service offerings, the expertise of our Geek Squad agents nationwide, and our solid brand reputation, we believe Geek Squad is uniquely equipped to partner with the resellers community to meet the needs of small business customers today.”

News of this new offering comes a few weeks after Geek Squad founder Robert Stephens stepped down as chief technology officer of Best Buy. Stephens founded Geek Squad 18 years ago as a technology-repair company, and his start-up was acquired by Best Buy 10 years ago.

Best Buy's efforts to push into the small business-services market align with its November acquisition of Massachusetts-based Mindshift Technologies, a company that provides cloud services to small and mid-sized companies in the United States.

Best Buy is Minnesota's third-largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $50.3 billion for the fiscal year that ended in February 2011; financial results for the most recent fiscal year will be reported Thursday.

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