Best Buy Geek SquadBest Buy's Geek Squad is trying to move beyond VW Beetles and reactive on-premise IT support. The retail giant has launched U.S. television advertisements promoting proactive remote support -- no car ride required. Should managed service providers be worried about so-called Geek Squad Virtual Agents?

Actually, no. I believe Geek Squad Virtual Agents are going to help educate small office and home office users about remote support. For starters, Best Buy is promoting simple tasks like remote printer set-up. The TV ads feature a help desk administrator remotely assisting a Windows customer. Not exactly rocket science ... but the TV ads could help managed services go mainstream.

And that means opportunity for MSPs, which can certainly differentiate from Best Buy's Geek Squad. Remember: People buy from people. And retailers -- even Best Buy, I suspect -- have higher staff turnover rates than MSPs.

To get a feel for where Best Buy is heading, rewind a bit and check out this comprehensive article from Redmond Channel Partner. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at Best Buy's business motives, culture and longer-term SMB strategy.

As we grow our own business, we carefully consider who is allowed to access our back-end systems. I don't expect that list to ever include the Geek Squad.