Cloud a Major Factor: US SMB Spending on Unified Communications Solutions is expected to double by 2015, says AMI
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Enhancing employee productivity and responsiveness to markets has become the mantra for small and midsized businesses (SMBs, or companies with less than 1000 employees). In the face of an increasingly mobile and remote workforce and multiple company locations/branches, U.S. SMBs have focused on upgrading connectivity and communications capabilities as a way to achieve these goals. One offshoot of this mobile and distributed workforce has been the rising number of employees who access business information and communicate via multiple devices and platforms. Another has been the creation of virtual workspaces. Many U.S. SMBs are adopting collaboration, web conferencing and video conferencing solutions to reduce communication gaps and facilitate cost effective, real-time and face-to-face interactions. Increasingly these SMBs are also leveraging solutions to gain an equal footing with larger firms, thereby enhancing their competitiveness and customer outreach.
“By eliminating the need to manage multiple solutions and multiple IDs/passwords as well as enabling seamless communications from any location, these solutions are key to reducing wasted efforts and frustration arising from disparate collaboration and communication silos”
This change in SMB interactions and the proliferation of multiple devices in the workplace are making it increasingly relevant for SMBs to empower their workforce with technologies that enable quick and easy transitioning between conferencing and collaboration solutions. “In particular, Unified Communications that allow for interoperability between, and/or bundling of, a range of solutions such as email, instant messaging, presence and document sharing along with audio, web and video conferencing into an integrated interface are a natural fit,” stated Antara Jaitly Senior Consultant at AMI-Partners. “By eliminating the need to manage multiple solutions and multiple IDs/passwords as well as enabling seamless communications from any location, these solutions are key to reducing wasted efforts and frustration arising from disparate collaboration and communication silos,” Jalan continued.
According to AMI’s latest U.S. SMB Cloud Services study, a significant proportion of SMBs are looking to leverage collaboration and communication solutions to better connect with colleagues internally and with suppliers, channel partners and customers externally. AMI projects that U.S. SMB unified communication spending will grow by a CAGR of 16% through 2015, from its current total of about $1.8 billion. This presents IT / telecom vendors and partners with the opportunity to capitalize on this increasing demand, especially in these times of tightening budgets.
“IT / telecom vendors who best understand the communication complexities of U.S. SMBs and clearly convey the benefits of using Unified Communication solutions, especially with regards to cost savings and effective collaboration, are poised best to take advantage of this rising tide in communication technology,” says Jaitly. “They understand that Unified Communications is not just another technology platform but a launch-pad for U.S. SMBs to innovate how they communicate and collaborate internally and even more importantly, externally.”
AMI’s 2011 Worldwide SMB Cloud Service studies the SMB Cloud opportunity in 23 countries, including SMB preference for Cloud-based application bundle, price sensitivity and purchase channel preferences. These studies also provide comprehensive coverage of SMB adoption of Cloud-based applications, managed services, and supporting infrastructure, including platforms and devices. These studies will provide a roadmap for successful Cloud go-to-market strategies and tactics.