By Ally Kutz, contributing writer
It could be extremely profitable to bring cloud computing to small and medium-sized businesses (SMB), according a report from BCSG, a cloud services marketplace supplier.
The report cited the 2014 McKinsey report Big business in small business cloud services for SMBs that reveals the SMB market for cloud-based software is estimated at $28 billion globally and growing at 20 percent each year.
BCSG research is aimed at providing advice to telecom providers; the report advises that 58 percent of SMBs would switch operators to have access to a broader range of technology and services. The study also showed 43 percent of SMBs would purchase cloud services from their telecom providers, but that 42 percent of SMBs surveyed said they receive no additional help or specialist advice from their telecom providers.
In the Business Solutions article “If You Don't Sell UC Solutions To Your SMB Customers, Someone Else Will,” Alan Rihm, CEO of CoreDial provides insights that support these findings. He says research shows there is an opportunity — about 80 to 85 percent of the SMB market does not yet use cloud services — but, perhaps, more importantly, they are interested in using cloud services. “It’s all about how to make things easier and accessible to the SMB,” he says. “They want tech to run the business — and they need someone to make it easy for them.”
He adds that SMBs often prefer to work with one partner for IT — telecom providers who don’t add cloud services to their portfolios could lose that client to a managed services provider (MSP) — likewise, an MSP could lose clients to telecom providers that expand to cloud if they don’t offer unified communication and collaboration (UCC) solutions.
If you have resolved to be a total solutions provider, the BSM article “Take The Fast Track To UCC Sales Dominance,” includes advice from the cofounders of iQ Solutions Group (iQSG), an MSP and cloud services provider (CSP). Tom Richardson, of iQSG says, “We feel that it’s shortsighted to only sell a small component of what a customer needs. It’s not unusual to find, for example, an IP telephony provider that only sells VoIP phone systems, and they lack experience and knowledge of their customer’s network environments. The LAN, WAN, and WLAN play key roles in the overall quality of a VoIP phone system. Our networking expertise helps us discover, for instance, that a customer may need to upgrade its network to ensure quality calls during peak network usage periods.”
“We always complement our UCC sales with a managed services offer,” adds Mark Nield, of iQSG. “We can remotely monitor and manage our customers’ phone systems the same way we do with computers and servers. In fact, we’ll oftentimes discover and repair issues before they’re even aware there was a problem.”
“When we sell a UCC solution, it is critical to fully understand the customers’ business and goals. We often uncover other problems contributing to the issue at hand. Because we offer cross-platform solutions, we can improve our position, remain competitive, and provide a better overall experience for our customers,” says Richardson.