Geeks to the Rescue: Best Buy Bolsters Its Field Technicians and Business Consultants With Microsoft Solutions

REDMOND, Wash. — Dec. 18, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Best Buy Co. Inc., a leading specialty retailer of consumer electronics, computers and applications, has selected multiple Microsoft® technologies to help its field technicians and consultants increase productivity, better understand and serve consumers and small businesses, and develop stronger relationships with its customers.

The retailer’s Geek Squad service team, a group of more than 11,000 specially trained Agents who solve computer problems for customers by visiting their homes and small businesses, is now using 3,000 Windows Mobile®-powered Smartphones to schedule and route customer service calls, to improve communication and collaboration capabilities, and to easily access Internet-based technical content. In addition, Best Buy For Business — a growing unit of more than 1,000 consultants who sell, implement and support solutions for small-business customers — is now using Microsoft Dynamics™ CRM 3.0 in-house as part of a comprehensive solution for supporting its complex sales cycle.

“Microsoft technologies such as Windows Mobile are playing a key role in enabling Geek Squad to deliver on its fundamental commitment: to give the customer a superior service experience,” said Rich Christensen, vice president and business information officer at Best Buy. “It provides our field personnel with rapid and constant access to comprehensive real-time customer information, an obvious competitive advantage over businesses that don’t.”

“Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides tremendous insight into the most effective way to manage our outside sales force, as well as complete visibility into what our consultants are doing,” said Jay Devers, director of technology solutions for Best Buy For Business. “Today we have a comprehensive sales force automation tool in place that salespeople can use every day as a part of their regular business rhythm to maximize their customer relationships.”

Familiarity with other Microsoft technologies and the ability to utilize existing IT investments played a key role in Best Buy’s decisions. For Geek Squad, Best Buy preferred Windows Mobile’s easy collaboration with its current installation of Microsoft server technology, its native support for mobile messaging through Exchange Server 2003, and its ability to take advantage of emerging Exchange Server capabilities for direct push technology, security and management. In addition, with Windows Mobile-powered Smartphones, Geek Squad Agents have access to technical content when and where they need it and can easily communicate and collaborate with their peers.

For the retailer’s Best Buy For Business unit, feature-rich Microsoft Dynamics CRM was chosen for its native Microsoft Office Outlook® experience and the ability to implement it quickly and easily. Microsoft Dynamics CRM serves as a centralized repository of customer data that integrates with Microsoft Office applications which employees use every day, such as the Office Outlook messaging and collaboration client. Within the same familiar Office Outlook interface, employees can now access Microsoft Dynamics CRM sales, marketing and customer service modules to make sales decisions, market products, solve problems and obtain strategic views of their business.

“Best Buy is extremely focused on providing the best service and support for its customers, and recognizes how important its people are to that success,” said David Gruehn, industry solutions director for the U.S. Retail and Hospitality Industry Group at Microsoft. “We are pleased with Best Buy’s success using Microsoft software and solutions to help empower its employees to develop and strengthen customer relationships, respond decisively, and drive the business forward.”

Best Buy also recently decided to add Microsoft Dynamics CRM to its own IT services and solutions offerings. This will enable Best Buy For Business customers to benefit from the same features and functionality within the product that the major retailer uses in managing its customer relationships. Best Buy also offers Microsoft Dynamics – Point of Sale, an easy-to-use, affordable single-store application that enables small retailers to track and manage sales, inventory and customer information. Microsoft Dynamics – Point of Sale 2.0 will be demonstrated in select Best Buy For Business stores.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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