Best Buy to hire 500 new Geek Squad staffers; teams with Verizon to offer IT support to businesses

New York -- Best Buy plans to hire 500 new Geek Squad staffers. The move comes some two weeks after the retailer said it would lay off 600 existing workers in the tech support arm of its business as it looked to focus the group less on basic installation services and more on remote tech consulting. It also comes as Verizon announced it was partnering with Geek Squad to offer services to meet the information technology requirements of small and mid-size businesses across the country.

Verizon said it designed the new solution, IT Help Desk, to help the companies, which often cannot support in-house staffing resources, keep the focus on their business by leaving technology challenges and opportunities to a dedicated team of specialists.

Best Buy said the new hires will be divided between the Geek Squad's online tech support and in Best Buy stores nationally. Hiring will take place throughout the fiscal year.  Best Buy spokeswoman Paula Baldwin said the new jobs will focus less on basic installation services for individual products, and more on complex installations and on delivering online support, according to the Associated Press.

Under the new Verizon offering, Geek Squad Agents are available round-the-clock to assist with implementing new technologies or trouble-shooting any end-user issues that may arise. Examples include assisting a medical practice with maintaining the connectivity of its tablets so it can quickly and securely transmit medical records for quality patient care; working with a local retailer in need of malware removal and up to date security patches; or helping a business that needs to synch files from various devices to keep the most up to date customer database.

“Technology innovation continues to unlock value and create revenue opportunities for small and medium businesses, which are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy,” said Janet Schijns, VP vertical solutions and channels for Verizon Enterprise Solutions. “Our new offering allows business owners to 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.”

The new program adds Geek Squad support to Verizon's leading IT platforms such as mobility and security to give customers the tools they need to enable the most up-to-date technology to compete and grow their businesses. 

“The relationship we’ve established with Verizon 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 VP Best Buy Services. “Verizon will use Geek Squad's expanding remote support capability along with our other support channels to ensure that customers receive trusted IT guidance whenever and wherever they need it.”

All Help Desk levels of service include 24/7 phone and online support, where Geek Squad Agents can be engaged for services such as wireless connectivity, virus definition updates,  malware removal and software updates. Advanced support adds services for mobilizing a workforce with tablets and smartphones, and virtual private network connectivity and support. Premier goes even further, with proactive support such as device monitoring and system maintenance in addition to application maintenance. Onsite dispatch is also available if the issue cannot be resolved via phone or online assistance.

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