Why the SMB is the driving force behind communications technology – Answer by Unify
When looking at potential customer segments for communication technology it’s tempting as vendor to just focus on creating solutions for the enterprise market. After all, those “big” contracts bring credibility, influential references and a predictable revenue source.
So where’s the downside?
The sales cycle to these big corporate organizations is (usually!) long and intensive. Some also come with the baggage of years of previous technology investments (and dare I say it mistakes) to contend with. The enterprise is also not a place that you would typically find the deployment of the very latest technology. Of course, there are exceptions, but generally speaking with any technology purchase there is a change management programme and adoption plan. There may be pockets of use but company-wide adoption could take a lot of time.
Let’s compare this to a smaller, growing organization – typically with fewer than 500 employees. Unify’s recent “Way We Work Study” shows that growing businesses (60%) use on-demand tools (technology that is internet or cloud based) in their professional work. This is higher than companies of over 500 employees where just over half are using newer tools at their work.
We therefore can’t simply focus on the enterprise for our communications technology – if we did, we’d quickly fall behind the curve. The SMBs, are in a lot of ways, testing and using the best modern technology can offer ahead of enterprises.
We can also say that SMBs are embracing the freelancing and on-demand economy more than their larger counterparts with over a quarter of respondents stating they were currently contracting and a further 56% considering moving to this type of work.
Perhaps one of the biggest differences is that 61% of SMB knowledge workers use their own devices compared to just under half 47% of larger, enterprise organizations. This statistic should not surprise us, as devices are a big cost consideration for any business, but it is quite telling and is a key consideration when proposing solutions to SMBs.
We know that not all SMBs are the same. Individually small, but collectively they are the largest customer segment. Their diversity and willingness to take risks means they are perfect testing grounds for new technology and they do have strong networks with other organizations so there is big opportunity for word of mouth marketing – you can go viral with SMBs in a way you just can’t with the enterprise.
So what kind of communications solution would benefit and be right for a progressive SMB?
Answer for today: A cloud based communications application that could work on multiple devices/ browsers and would enable productive and effective interactions in with customers and in the growing freelance economy.
That answer will change over the years – but we’re here to learn and develop with SMBs, so business is done better across the world.
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