Office Depot Launches MSP As A Service For SMBs

Office Depot is launching a new product called Managed IT As A Service, which takes dead aim at MSPs operating in the SMB space.

Using its CompuCom acquisition, Office Depot is rolling out full MSP services to those customers with between 10 and 250 employees, and it says it is doing so through the channel.

“We’re using that extensive managed services experience we have, and we’ve created an SMB expertise that we’re able to offer 24/7 IT support, monitoring, security, all at a monthly price,” said Janet Schijns, EVP, Chief Services and Solution Officer at Office Depot. “I think the big news is that we’ve launched a channel partner program. So we are bringing in master agents like Microcorp, and TBI has joined the program and are selling our managed service, but we also can partner with managed service providers to help them.”

Schijns said where a consumer-facing company may fail, Office Depot with its better understanding of SMB pain points, will not.

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“They came from guys who hang TVs and fix consumer equipment and tried to stretch up to B2B, which is very different,” she said. “CompuCom has always been a B2B business, and Office Depot has always been a B2B business. So both of us bring a unique set of packages and an understanding how to work with these customers and we understand those relationships. That’s why we have local, virtual CIOs that we’ve hired and put in place in our key markets, and also we have local partners.”

Schijns said the virtual CIOs can partner with local MSPs to define what the operating model is, what is the customer’s infrastructure look like, and give customer access to 200,000 certifications across 6,000 CompuCom technicians.

“We are coming at it from a B2B standpoint, so I hope that can reassure the partners that we’re very different than what they’ve seen,” she said. “Before they just dismiss someone like CompuCom coming into the marketplace, perhaps think about how we could partner to help their customers as they grow, because we are in a growth environment right now, and we’d love to talk to them about it, and help them grow their business, because the channel is absolutely the lifeblood of the technology economy and we truly want to be channel-centric and work with them.”