Best Buy purchases Speakeasy, WTF

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Best Buy has purchased speakeasy? What an odd marriage. Does this mean that when you call Speakeasy support you get the Geek Squad, ugh. I, like other nerds of my ilk, have long appreciated Speakeasy’s Terms of Service and knowledgeable approach. I hope they can stay independent enough to keep to their ideals.

Here is the press release that went out:

Dear Speakeasy Members,

Today is an historic and exciting day for Speakeasy.

I am pleased to announce that Speakeasy has been acquired by Best Buy, an innovative and growing Fortune 100 company and the top consumer electronics retailer in North America. This is a significant milestone for our company as our new relationship will help us realize our goals of becoming the No. 1 provider of voice and data solutions to small businesses. It is important to note that though Speakeasy will now be a wholly owned subsidiary of Best Buy, we will continue to operate as a standalone, independent operating division with headquarters in Seattle.

Speakeasy will be an important part of the Best Buy For Business service that delivers simple, reliable, and affordable technology solutions to small businesses. Speakeasy’s array of broadband voice, data and managed services offerings will be the focal point of the Best Buy For Business communications solutions.

This agreement is a major step forward for our company. While our business remains strong, our relationship with Best Buy provides us with additional resources and brand recognition, while opening new sales channels which will dramatically accelerate our growth.
Best Buy, like Speakeasy, is known for its high level of customer service. Our reputation as a trusted provider of voice and data services with stellar customer service will not change. Our values are similar too — Best Buy shares our customer passion, respect for individuals, and drive to do the right thing while achieving results.
All aspects of your service will continue to be managed by Speakeasy and the excellent service and support you expect will continue uninterrupted.
Best Regards,
Bruce Chatterley
President & CEO, Speakeasy, Inc.

GENERAL INFORMATION

What are Best Buy and Speakeasy announcing today?
Best Buy has agreed to acquire Speakeasy, a privately-held voice and data solutions company based in Seattle, WA. Speakeasy will be aligned under the Best Buy For Business (BBFB) unit, enhancing Best Buy’s technology portfolio and ability to help small businesses improve their productivity and cut costs.

Why is Best Buy purchasing Speakeasy?
Speakeasy is a highly regarded voice and data services provider with national coverage whose values align well with those of Best Buy. Best Buy is seeking to accelerate the growth of Best Buy For Business (BBFB) by providing core communications solutions for small businesses. Speakeasy’s array of products offer a simple, understandable value proposition to small business owners, and gives BBFB the opportunity to build and maintain a regular, recurring relationship with customers.

Who is Best Buy? Where are they located?
Best Buy Co., Inc (NYSE: BBY) is one of the nation?s leading retailers of technology and entertainment products and services. Their mission is to give customers great experiences – whether they are shopping for consumer electronics, home-office products, entertainment software and appliances, or using those products and related-services in their homes or offices.

Best Buy’s corporate campus is located in Richfield, Minnesota and it operates over 1,150 stores across the U.S., Canada, and China.

Why would a retailer buy a technology company?
One of Speakeasy’s core product offerings is Voice over IP (VoIP), which is becoming a popular choice for small businesses who seek efficient and cost-effective telecommunications services. Best Buy For Business’ mission is to deliver simple, reliable, and affordable technology solutions to small businesses. A product offering such as VoIP, which has immediate compelling appeal to most SBs based on cost savings and simplicity, is an attractive value proposition that allows Best Buy to round out its solutions menu for small businesses.

What is Best Buy for Business?
Best Buy for Business is an operating unit within Best Buy, which has the mission to deliver simple, reliable and affordable technology solutions to small businesses – a segment of the enterprise population which Best Buy feels has been traditionally underserved by providers. BBFB is meeting the technology needs of this underserved population, providing solutions through its retail store locations direct sales channels, and via the web at http://www.bbfb.com

Why did Best Buy create Best Buy For Business (BBFB)?
Best Buy started BBFB out of its customer centricity work, recognizing that while small business owners were shopping its retail stores as a general consumer, small businesses have different needs and deserve to be treated differently. For example, a small business may need business-grade technology such as a server or an IBM ThinkPad, and may require different pricing and payment options.

Will the Speakeasy brand be integrated into BBFB?
In the short term, the Speakeasy brand will remain unchanged. Speakeasy has earned its reputation in the market as an excellent provider of business-grade VoIP and data services, as well as its high-touch customer service.

What are details of the Best Buy and Speakeasy agreement?
Best Buy has agreed to acquire Speakeasy, a privately-held voice and data solutions company based in Seattle, WA. Speakeasy will be aligned under the Best Buy For Business unit. Speakeasy enhances the communications portfolio of Best Buy For Business with its voice and data services.

It is important to note that though Speakeasy will now be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Best Buy, we will continue to operate independently and the excellent service and support you expect will continue uninterrupted.

How will this change affect my service?
There will be no change or interruption to your existing service or level of customer support. All aspects of your service will continue to be managed by Speakeasy.

What is the benefit of this agreement?
The immediate advantages for Speakeasy and our customers is that we’re backed by an innovative and growing Fortune 100 company who shares our values and reputation for quality and customer service.

Best Buy For Business and Speakeasy will be able to provide more services and products to help grow your business and meet your needs. Best Buy For Business provides reliable and affordable technology solutions and the addition of Speakeasy will only help enhance this mission.

How will Speakeasy be managed?
Speakeasy will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Best Buy and will be aligned under the Best Buy for Business unit.

Speakeasy will continue to operate independently and our corporate offices, management, employees and customer operations will remain in Seattle. Speakeasy’s partner sales and support team will not change.

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