IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Are Big-Box Managed Services for Real?

Recent moves by retail giant Best Buy have MSPs looking over their shoulders, wondering if big-box stores have staying power in the channel. By Geoffrey Oldmixon

Where there's a profit, there’s a big-box chain -- at least, that seems to be the case. Late last month, Best Buy subsidiary and IT services provider mindSHIFT acquired Texas-based managed services provider (MSP) White Glove Technologies LLC in an effort to strengthen its foothold in the cloud services industry.

Even mainstream business publications like Forbes Magazine have taken notice of Best Buy’s recent foray into cloud-based managed services. In its June 29 piece “Best Buy Digs Out of Its Hole By Investing in Big Trends,” Forbes writers say Best Buy is working to overcome its reputation as being “a little slow in responding to intensifying competition and shifting consumer trends.”

“Best Buy recently acquired White Glove Technologies … in an effort to strengthen its presence in the cloud services industry and expand its managed IT services in Texas,” Forbes reports.

Indeed, a mindSHIFT press release submitted to Channel Pro-SMB confirms Forbes’ analysis. “The transaction accelerates mindSHIFT’s U.S. growth strategy by adding in-market managed IT services capabilities for small-to-mid-size businesses in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio,” states the release.

“This acquisition enables us to join a proven leader and contribute to mindSHIFT’s continuing growth and evolution in the MSP space,” says White Glove Technologies president and co-founder Carey Balzer.

What Does It Mean for Other MSPs?

For now, Best Buy’s acquisition promises fairly limited ramifications. First, the acquisition was made through mindSHIFT, not Best Buy itself. Second, mindSHIFT itself points out, White Glove is focused on the major markets of Texas.

Seeing a big-box giant like Best Buy make moves inside the SMB managed services space is nevertheless noteworthy. It suggests the corporation is interested in diversifying its portfolio, readying itself for tech trend developments growing in popularity among small  to midsize businesses.

“Combining the expertise of White Glove Technologies with our existing capabilities further extends mindSHIFT’s reach within the $40 billion small and mid-sized business market,” says mindSHIFT CEO Paul Chisholm. “White Glove’s IT services team brings the essential experience, talent, and resources to the capabilities we have been building over the past decade.”

About the Author

Geoffrey Oldmixon is a freelance writer based in Western Massachusetts.

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