If you even had the impulse to grab a seat at a workstation in the Office Depot furniture department and just start working as if you were in your own office, that rather strange fantasy can now come true, in a fashion. Office Depot revealed this week that it will begin offering co-working space as an expansion of its Workonony suite of IT and business services for SMBs, start-ups and SOHOs.
The co-working experiment will take place at Office Depot’s new store in Los Gatos, California, called Workonomy Hub.
Office Depot’s recent moves reflect an ongoing transformation of the company from a office products retailer (not a business any of us would start today) to a business services platform with a focus on serving small businesses. It’s a logical strategy to follow in a world where retail is on the wane but companies providing cloud services for SMBs are being showered with funding.
The Tech Adoption Index program is measuring small business adoption of cloud services as well as their appetite for working with different partners to help them adopt new technology. Our data shows that more than half of SMBs would like to get all or most of the technology they use in a single integrated suite. And the data also shows a preference for tech-oriented partners to offer them new technologies, vs. media-related partners.
Earlier this year, Office Depot unveiled a reseller program aimed at attracting companies that resell IT services to small-businesses to become Office Depot partners. This channel, comprised mostly of small “tech agencies” that help SMBs set up their tech platform — wifi, business software, network security — is of growing interest to companies selling everything from small business cloud point solutions to marketing automation platforms.