Back to the Future: Opportunities for Service Providers within the SMB Market
Author: Rosa Lear, Sr. Marketing Manager at Edgewater Networks
As Edgewater Networks’ VP Marketing John Macario took his seat on the Spotlight Stage at this year’s TC3 Summit, he also took a walk down memory lane with those watching his presentation. [Click here to view the full interview.]
During his Fireside chat with Blue Field Strategies’ Jon Metzler, John explained that before he joined the team at Edgewater Networks, he had worked for a small consulting firm with offices in both London and New York. Servers that kept all of the data the company needed were located in London. There was no VPN access between the London and New York offices. When it was time to move everything into the cloud, John’s firm paid a low, fixed dollar amount per worker. Services were quickly and easily provided, but what happened when they needed to scale?
John explained that smaller consulting firms and companies don’t need much support once they have decided to go with a particular service provider. The decision making process is relatively short since most small companies don’t have a dedicated “IT person” calling the shots when it comes to IT-related decisions and the implementation of new technologies. As a result, such decisions are made more quickly with the hopes that the implementation would not cost too much.
John clarified that today, smaller firms that fall under the “SMB” umbrella are the primary recipients of new services that were, at one time only available to enterprises. These new offerings are due to deviations in the market and the changing needs of the client (i.e., moving files and systems to the cloud and the increasing popularity and convenience of Hosted PBX). In this same vein, John mentioned that 20 years ago, provisioning of services was not as complicated because all tools and services were found and utilized while on premises. Now that 40% of SMBs with 100 employees or less have 25% of their team working remotely, moving applications safely and securely to the cloud isn’t as much of a convenience as it is a necessity. Scaling can be done more easily as more services are offered, but service providers must be prepared to show how this saves time and money, even if the decision maker isn’t a dedicated IT guy.
John stated that, in the long run, service providers are slow adapters when it comes to implementing new technologies. However, the opportunities for them to move faster by reaching out to the SMB market are noteworthy especially if they pay heed to the needs of their potential clients in terms of expertise, price point, and the client’s physical location (on site/off site).
Watch John’s talk here: Back to the Future: A Spotlight on Managed Services