AMI News

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) On Path to Deliver $1 Trillion in IT Value

Technology Managed Services

October 18, 2017 – New York, NY
AMI-Partners’ 2017 annual worldwide tracking study of the global MSP market indicates MSPs are aggressively gaining share of small and medium businesses (SMBs) and large enterprise IT budgets by providing an ever-expanding portfolio of technology and business-related managed services.

This exceptionally comprehensive study – conducted with 950 MSPs across Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific – details how MSPs are transforming, managing, and growing their businesses, while delivering increasing value to their customers by partnering with a broad array of hardware, software, tools and services vendors. As a result, by 2021 MSPs are expected to deliver 25% of the $4 Trillion that SMBs and large enterprises will spend on IT products and services globally.

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Expanding Solutions and Vertical Industry Coverage

“MSPs have quickly evolved their offerings from simple storage, security, and computing power to higher margin and premium managed services that include e-discovery, business continuity, cybersecurity, applications management, analytics, IoT, big data, and artificial intelligence, among others,” said Deepinder Sahni, SVP AMI-Partners.

“Those MSPs winning and gaining share are more in tune with their customers’ business challenges, especially vertical industry-specific issues,” said Andy Bose, CEO AMI-Partners. “This is paramount, for highly regulated industries, such as Healthcare and Finance, where customers demand customized security, disaster recovery and compliance controls,” Bose continued.

Partnerships with Technology and Tool Vendors Key to Success

Despite rapid growth, MSPs operate a complex business model – one that relies on multiple IT solutions, platforms, and service delivery and management tools from a myriad of technology partners. This model requires constant new learning to stay abreast of the technology evolution. The typical MSP uses over 11 different tools to monitor and deliver managed services, and may partner with upwards of 15 individual technology and platform vendors to architect tailored solutions for their customers.

As a result, MSPs are highly selective and prefer working with technology and tool vendors that can meet their selection criteria. This includes a mix of product capabilities and marketing programs that can drive differentiation, business agility, and enhanced customer experiences.

Additional insights provided by AMI’s 2017 WW MSP Study highlight the VAR-to-MSP business transformation currently underway. Small and mid-sized VARs are in the midst of transforming their businesses into the MSP model. The study indicates that upon planning and launching managed services, it takes around 12 to 14 months on average to attain profitability.

MSPs and their technology partners can leverage the rich insights from this study to better position themselves for success in this quickly changing technology landscape. Key steps VARs need to systematically execute, along with various KPIs they need to watch in this business transformation, are highlighted in AMI playbooks based on insights from this study.

Moreover, AMI’s 2017 Worldwide MSP Study provides global, regional, and country-specific insights and analysis, including market sizing for a comprehensive set of managed services, broken out by vertical industry and employee size segments.A preview of this study, various deliverables and methodology can be downloaded here.

For more information about AMI, or our global SMB coverage, or to arrange a complimentary webinar call 212 944 5100 or e-mail ask_ami@ami-partners.com.

MSPs to Account for Quarter of IT Spend by 2021

AMI in the News Technology Managed Services

October 18, 2017 – New York, NY
The AMI-Partners study shows MSPs gaining a larger and larger foothold in the IT spending of SMBs and enterprises. The study forecasts businesses to spend $4 trillion on IT by 2021, with MSPs accounting for 24 percent of that.

Last year, the total IT spending number was about $2.5 trillion, with 18 percent of that going to MSPs. The managed-services strategy is growing in popularity as more and more value-added resellers (VARs) adopt its business model.

While MSPs have a lucrative future, complexity is also part of the equation. The study says the average MSP uses more than 11 monitoring and management tools to serve its clients, and works with more than 15 technology vendors. And profitability doesn’t occur immediately; the study says it often takes 12-14 months.

“Those MSPs winning and gaining share are more in tune with their customers’ business challenges, especially vertical industry-specific issues,” said Andy Bose, CEO of AMI-Partners. “This is paramount, for highly regulated industries, such as health care and finance, where customers demand customized security, disaster recovery and compliance controls.”

Deepinder Sahni, senior vice president of AMI-Partners, tells Channel Partners that the growing importance of technology in everyday business changes the role MSPs play. They need to consider how digital, business, branding and customer experience are intertwined, Sahni said.

“As more of the business environment becomes digitally transformed, MSPs that succeed and stand out will be the ones that are ‘strategically partnered’ with their customers,” he said. “Besides delivering vertical industry-specific technology solutions as a core service, successful MSPs will also be conversant and loosely coupled with their clients’ broader branding, supply chain and customer experience (CX) imperatives, since much of the brand, operations and CX will operate digitally going forward. We already see evidence of this where top MSPs have taken upon themselves to deliver vertical industry-specific compliance solutions as part of their value proposition.”>/

Click here to view the article on channelpartnersonline.com

For more information about AMI, or our global SMB coverage, or to arrange a complimentary webinar call 212 944 5100 or e-mail ask_ami@ami-partners.com.

BREXIT puts $7billion in UK SMB ICT spending at risk

Technology Security BREXIT

July 20, 2016 – New York, NY
According to AMI’s Global Market Model (GM), based on extensive annual tracking of UK’s small and medium sized businesses (SMBs), these businesses were projected to spend $61 billion on ICT products and services by 2020, up from $45 billion in 2015, a 6% CAGR. As these businesses navigate Brexit, our initial analysis suggests up to $7 billion (or 5%) of total ICT spending slated to occur during the 2015-20 time-span could be wiped out. Security-related spending - $1.8 billion in 2015 and $2.0 billion in 2016 – is expected to hold steady as businesses ensure – with help from their channel partners – that all data assets are fully secure and compliant during this transition.

2016 and 2017 will see close to flat year-over-year growth in SMB ICT spending, which will pick up later half of 2018 as businesses work through the full cycle of this event.

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Datacenter Infrastructure Market in the Bull’s Eye

Brexit will cause disruption across a broad spectrum of ICT categories as UK SMBs take pause, but the following will be key areas of impact:

1.Datacenter-related spending will likely slow down as the financial services sector – the biggest customer for UK data centers – undergoes geographic reorganization. A fair amount of financial services businesses will likely relocate to mainland Europe. Per AMI’s GM, there are close to 50,000 SMBs in the financial services sector, and account for $3.5 billion in annual ICT spending. Further, EU businesses in other vertical industries will now move their data to local datacenters, further impacting the UK based infrastructure market.

2.Any hiring freezes will negatively impact cloud-related spending, as businesses wait to subscribe to more SaaS/IaaS seats. AMI’s 2015 SMB survey showed over 45% planned to hire in the next 12 months, but we now expected no more than 15-20% to follow through on their intentions. Over 0.5 million UK SMBs are presently using cloud based e-mail, another 165,000+ using productivity, and almost 200,000 firms using CRM, for example. Total SMB cloud related spending stood at $8.3 billion in 2015, and was projected to more than double by 2020. Post-Brexit, we may expect total cloud spending within reaching distance of $15 billion by 2020.

3.The automotive sector could see a significant slow down – the UK exports over $45 billion of autos to the EU and imports about the same amount from the EU annually. Auto and parts dealerships will likely experience job losses while tariffs and related rules and regulations are worked out. Consumer could delay purchasing new cars as questions regarding parts and service availability bubble to the top, not to mention skilled auto mechanics that are not UK citizens will likely need to relocate as well.

Yet some sectors and ICT categories will continue to hold up in the midst of this storm, said Deepinder Sahni, Sr. VP at AMI-Partners.

Professional and ICT-Related Services and Security Solutions Stay Resilient

“SMBs in the business of helping clients navigate and transition through the Brexit uncertainty will do well – professional and personal business services, including law and tax firms, real estate, ICT services, and IT security/compliance vendors”, said Mr. Sahni. Businesses across the board will need a wide range of services – from relocating offices to checking the validity of their trademarks and contractual terms across borders. There are over 600,000 SMBs in the UK services sector and collectively account for over $20 billion in annual ICT spending. We expect these businesses to hold up even as they have to navigate the larger macro effects of Brexit.

IT services in high demand will be tied to establishing compliance around data residency, securing IT equipment and data assets in a fluid environment, ensuring cloud service provider datacenters are legally compliant, software licensing terms are valid in the country the software is being used, among others. ERP software vendors will need to ensure cross-border documentation and rules are modified and communicated out to their UK/EU SMB customers. Clearly, this is a high cost for businesses to pay, but channel partners providing such services will be extremely busy over the entire duration of this transition. IT service and support consumed by UK SMBs in 2015 amounted to $11.5 billion, growing at a CAGR of 5% to 2020.

ICT Vendors Can Leverage This “Moment of Truth”

It is imperative IT vendors quickly develop their playbooks and put them into action via their channel partners. SMBs will be looking for answers on the ICT front and calling their channel partners for advice. According to Mr. Sahni, “Channel partners will need clear guidance from vendors on communicating and executing transition roadmaps for their customers. While nettlesome, Brexit provides a “moment of truth” in the customer journey – an opportunity for ICT brands to show their customers that they care and are up to the challenge.”

AMI is updating the Global Market Model (GM) to break out the impact of Brexit across 100+ individual ICT categories. This impact will be further delineated across individual EU countries, 19 vertical industries and 8 employee size bands encompassing all small and medium sized businesses. AMI Trackers will further actionable go-to-market insights.

For more information about AMI, or our global SMB research, call 212 944 5100 or e-mail ask_ami@ami-partners.com.

4.5 MILLION ADDRESSABLE INDIA SMB UNIVERSE OFFERS PC VENDORS SIGNIFICANT OPPORTUINITES, SAYS AMI

Small & Medium Business India PC

June 08, 2016 – Kolkata, India
The acceptance of multiple screens, coupled with the availability of new platform technologies, has created a market where endpoint devices span a wide range of categories. As revealed by a recent study done by AMI-Partners exploring the device market among India SMBs across 90 cities, the PC market constitutes a significant opportunity for vendors. PC penetration is likely to grow due to the “Digital India” initiative. This initiative is a campaign launched by the India Government to ensure that government services are made available to citizens electronically by improving online infrastructure and by increasing internet connectivity. “We need to focus on the addressable SMB Universe which is estimated at 4.5 million and we currently see considerable untapped opportunity”, said Partha Sarathi Sengupta, AVP at AMI-Partners.

The study reveals that SMB spend on PCs (desktop, laptop and tablet) stands at $3.2 billion which is poised to grow at a CAGR of 10% over the next three years. Over 35% of this market opportunity lies beyond metro cities. Small cities like Tripur, Rajkot, Raipur and Ranchi are anticipated to display good traction. Notebooks have a higher share among PC spend by SMBs (over 60%). This spending is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12% for the next three years. In addition India SMBs spend over $ 1 billion on smartphone devices.

There has been a phenomenal increase in the mobile workforce among India SMBs in the last four years. As a result the needs for working anywhere on any PC, collaborating on smart devices and accessing and sharing on any device via the cloud have grown manifold. While SMBs are looking to migrate various workloads from PC to mobile devices, around 45% of SMBs have expressed their interest in procuring hosted solutions bundled with PC. Tablets will witness the highest growth though high end smartphones will offer stiff competition. 4G-compatible tablets may see a spurt in usage with greater 4G adoption.

SMBs have started equipping employees with company provided mobile devices. “PC density among India SMBs is changing with the increase in work after business hours. The new form factors are evolving and growing in each of these 90 cities,” commented Sengupta.

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Related Study

AMI’s report concerning the India SMB Device market, an extensive study across 90 cities, provides marketing and product executives the insights to effectively enhance/tweak their go-to-market approach within India SMBs for a greater bottom line impact. The study examines India SMBs’ business needs, including ICT priorities, purchase channel preferences and buying behavior for hardware devices at a granular level. The analysis also delves into various hardware categories – specifically desktops, notebooks, tablets a smartphones. It further provides a clear sense of the overall market opportunity/outlook for each within these 90 cities and the forces shaping that specific category. Shifts in the India SMB ICT landscape – including purchase channels – are highlighted and illustrate how vendors can best leverage those shifts to deliver solutions profitably.

For more information about AMI, or our global SMB research, call 212 944 5100 or e-mail ask_ami@ami-partners.com.

CONSULTANTS AND INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS ACT AS CATALYSTS IN MAKING INROADS INTO SMB CLUSTERS

Small & Medium Business India Influencers

May 17, 2016 – Bangalore, India
According to AMI-Partners’ 2015-16 India SMB ICT & Cloud Services Tracker Overview, the influence of external IT consultants and industry trade associations on India small and medium businesses, (SMBs) is growing steadily. With resources and spends becoming dearer, SMBs would not like to take a wrong step on their journey of technology adoption. More and more emphasis is being given to due diligence, proof of concept, referrals, successful case studies, product demonstrations and trials among others. As SMBs take steps towards transformative IT adoption, such as cloud services and remote managed services, they are increasingly relying on inputs from these key personnel and industry experts.

AMI-Partners’ SMB ICT study reveals that close to nine-in-ten medium businesses (MBs) are influenced by recommendations of external IT professionals/consultants and nearly three out of four by that of industry trade association members. In the case of small businesses (SBs), these numbers read as more than two-third being influenced by recommendations of external IT professionals/consultants and nearly half by guidance from industry trade association members.

In many instances, SMBs would typically have an external IT consulting firm which takes care of all their IT needs. Hence, the conversation with the consultant becomes critical. In addition, what adds value is the conversation with specific focused subject matter experts or SMEs. The AMI study also delves into other key information sources for insights for marketeers detailing how social media, SEO, digital marketing and various elements are impacting buying behavior for SMBs.

“In terms of seeding ideas of new technology, we can see some significant changes. Influencers are shifting the dynamics,” says Rati Ghose, AVP-APAC, Market Insights at AMI-Partners. “Once SMBs are attached to an industry association, they form a smaller community of similar users, share their learnings and reach out to technology experts and SMEs so that they do not have to reinvent the wheel,” added Ghose.

In a related study of cloud based HR and payroll solutions, it was found that the ecosystem consists of the chartered accountant (CA) firms, HR consultants and payroll processors in addition to value added resellers (VARs) who have a wealth of information as well as experiences that would enable SMBs to onboard in a more painless manner. “Even in our industry cluster based studies, we have found the impact of a trickle down approach to be invaluable. Gradually, SMBs build smaller communities and an entirely new ecosystem develops. This ecosystem with their live experiences is a force to reckon with and is not being disregarded,” says Ghose.

Given the opportunity that this new ecosystem offers, this has been noticed by vendors. Many are partnering with associations with industry specific bodies or generic ones such as CII. They are actively pursuing the external consultants, both the IT related personnel as well as industry associations members. The way they see it is that their reach increases manifold. It becomes an extension of the sales and marketing arm. The flipside is that some part of the profit margin gets distributed among the stakeholders, but eventually it is beneficial in the long term. There are several models of engagement. Vendors could either pay them a onetime fee for the lead and thereafter renewal could accrue to the vendor. In some instances the outsourcing of the renewals could remain with the consultants such as HR payroll processing firms.

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Related Study

AMI’s recently published 2015-16 India SMB ICT & Cloud Services Tracker Overview provides marketing and product executives the insights to effectively enhance/tweak their go-to-market approach within India SMBs for a greater bottom line impact. The study examines India SMBs’ business needs, including ICT priorities, purchase channel preferences and buying behavior at a granular level. The analysis also delves into numerous individual ICT categories (e.g. computing hardware & networking infrastructure, software, security, storage and internet/telecommunications) – both cloud and on-premise solutions. It further provides a clear sense of the overall market opportunity/outlook for each and the forces shaping that specific category. Shifts in the India SMB ICT landscape – including purchase channels – are highlighted and illustrate how vendors can best leverage those shifts to deliver solutions profitably.

For more information about AMI, or our global SMB research, call 212 944 5100 or e-mail ask_ami@ami-partners.com.

INDIA SMB’s SPEND ON REMOTE MANAGED IT SERVICES TO TOP US$ 1.6B IN 2016

Small & Medium Business India Managed IT Services

April 05, 2016 – Kolkata, India
According to AMI-Partners’ recently published 2015-16 India SMB ICT & Cloud Services Tracker Overview, SMB expenditure on Remote Managed IT Services (RMITS) is likely to exceed US $1.6B in 2016.The study found that India SMBs have been adopting RMITS at an increasing pace and channel partners are gearing up to meet the expanding requirements of their SMB customers. Clearly, SMBs can be considered the driving force behind RMITS spending growth in India since larger enterprises still depend more on a fixed model of on-site services.

AMI’s findings reveal that at present RMITS comprises more than 30% of the India SMB IT services spending pie and the potential for additional RMITS spending remains high. “Spending on RMITS is forecasted to grow, in overall terms, at a rate of 34% CAGR over the next 3 years. In addition, the RMITS proportion within the IT services pie is likely to escalate over the next few years, somewhat at the expense of on-premise spending”, says Dev Chakravarty, Senior Manager, Research at AMI.

AMI has also examined the potential uptake for RMITS solutions within non-users. Interestingly, a high proportion of SMB non-users have expressed considerable levels of interest in online monitoring and remotely managing their IT infrastructure in the near future. High levels of interest have been observed for areas such as PCs, e-mail security & PBX, and mobile device management. However, actual adoption levels for these services are currently at an embryonic stage within PC-owning firms - mostly in single digits. “The RMITS adoption level for India SMBs is likely to gain a major fillip if even a small percentage of these ‘interested’ SMBs are converted to users. This latent opportunity is enormous,” stated Mr. Chakravarty. “However, the onus is on the managed service providers and channel partners who will need to take giant steps forward in initiating a focused campaign aimed at increasing awareness and knowledge regarding RMITS adoption and its inherent benefits,” continued Chakravarty.

AMI also obtained a supply-side perspective which indicates that many partners are incorporating remote IT management capabilities as an integral part of their product portfolio. Clearly, providing RMITS is technology driven and a number of tools are available in the market for providing these services. Multiple OEMs like Zohocorp, Microsoft, LANDesk, and IBM provide remote management tools that are utilized by a plethora of both big and small channel partners in India.

Who decides the RMITS tools that channel partners use? Is it the partner or the end-user? Discussions with partners indicate that often it’s the call of the partner and the decision depends on circumstances. While discussing this question with various channel partners Mr. Chakravarty was told by one that if the customer already has a MS Select or EA license then it makes sense to use Microsoft tools since the licensing costs are taken care of. If the customer has a global mandate for IBM then the can use the same accordingly.

Currently, the RMITS market in India is somewhat fragmented with multiple stakeholders. However, AMI’s study indicates that at present, no single product is able to meet all technology requirements and there exists an inherent SMB requirement for a versatile RMITS product with multiple functionalities. This presents a strong opportunity for OEMs who wish to carve out a niche for themselves within this fragmented market to gain a strong foothold with an all-in-one remote management product.

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Related Study

AMI’s recently published 2015-16 India SMB ICT & Cloud Services Tracker Overview provides marketing and product executives the insights to effectively enhance/tweak their go-to-market approach within India SMBs for a greater bottom line impact. The study examines India SMBs’ business needs, including ICT priorities, purchase channel preferences and buying behaviour at a granular level. The analysis also delves into numerous individual ICT categories (e.g. computing hardware & networking infrastructure, software, security, storage and internet/telecommunications) – both cloud and on-premise solutions. It further provides a clear sense of the overall market opportunity/outlook for each and the forces shaping that specific category. Shifts in the India SMB ICT landscape – including purchase channels – are highlighted and illustrate how vendors can best leverage those shifts to deliver solutions profitably.

For more information about AMI, or our global SMB research, call 212 944 5100 or e-mail ask_ami@ami-partners.com.

INDIA SMB’s HOPE THE TECH-HEAVY BUDGET WILL HELP OVERCOME THEIR BUSINESS CHALLENGES, SAYS AMI

Small & Medium Business India

March 09, 2016 – Bangalore/Kolkata, India
Small and medium businesses (defined as having between 1-999 employees) have been central to the success of most major IT vendors in India and are a key target segment. Businesses within this segment - feel the need to keep up with the technological progress in their industry to adhere to global standards. However, these SMBs are unable to bear the financial burden of additional investments in technology. AMI-Partners’ India Small and Medium Business ICT & Cloud Services Tracker Overview shows restricted cash flow, tightened credit lines and lower revenues are the major business challenges faced by India SMBs today.

The Government of India’s Union Budget 2016 has offered tax exemptions for small business units with a turnover of up to Rs 2 crore (up from the earlier exemption limit of 1 crore), which will act as a stimulus for these units to expand their business. In addition, to boost economic growth and employment a 100% deduction of profits for 3 out of 5 years for start-ups, for the period from April 2016 to March 2019 has also been announced. “This has created a positive impact. Close to 60% of SMBs report anticipating an increase in their IT spending up to 9% in the coming quarters.” commented Partha Sarathi Sengupta, AVP at AMI-Partners.

Spurred by the ‘Digital India’ revolution, the SMB sector is poised to act as a catalyst to bring about socio-economic transformation. “It is significant that most start ups are digital-based and usage of social media is rapidly on the rise among SMBs” added Sengupta.

Encouragement by the Union Government in terms of initiatives such as the presumption taxation scheme, skilling India, MUDRA scheme and service tax exemptions combined with initiatives taken by corporates to boost digitization, can be a game changer.

The 2016 budget will help the government implement its flagship "Digital India" program thus benefitting India IT companies. The initiative will pave the way for IT giants to work with both the government and private sector.

Related Study

AMI’s recently published “2015-16 India SMB ICT & Cloud Services Tracker Overview” provides marketing and product executives the insights to effectively enhance/tweak their go-to-market approach within India SMBs for a greater bottom line impact. The study examines India SMBs’ business needs, including ICT priorities, purchase channel preferences and buying behavior at a granular level. The analysis also delves into numerous individual ICT categories (e.g. computing hardware & networking infrastructure, software, security, storage and internet/telecommunications) – both cloud and on-premise solutions. It further provides a clear sense of the overall market opportunity/outlook for each and the forces shaping that specific category. Shifts in the India SMB ICT landscape – including purchase channels – are highlighted and illustrate how vendors can best leverage those shifts to deliver solutions profitably.

For more information about AMI, or our global SMB research, call 212 944 5100 or e-mail ask_ami@ami-partners.com.

THE TABLET STORY UNFOLDS AMONG INDIA SMBS - A BITTER PILL?

Small & Medium Business India Tablet

February 23, 2016 – Bangalore, India
According to AMI-Partners’ “2015-16 India SMB ICT & Cloud Services Tracker Overview”, tablets and tablet-related plans make up close to 8% of the total SMB mobility related expenditures. Mobile devices have already overtaken PCs in shipments. Due to this shift in device usage this gap is likely to widen substantially by 2019 as per AMI’s Global Market Forecast Model.

However, we can see some changes in the tablet space. Tablets which at one stage were thought to replace laptops and notebooks, have not really substituted that form factor. In fact, tablet shipments dipped in the last quarter of 2015 and several reasons maybe attributed to this dip. Rati Ghose, AVP-APAC, Market Insights at AMI-Partners, stated that “High-end smartphones have attracted the attention of users, tablets are not preferred for serious corporate work and the novelty value has worn off to some extent. In many cases we hear users opining that tablets are good to have as add-on devices rather than as full service devices for serious business.”

For medium businesses (MBs) tablet adoption has reached saturation, with businesses having at least one device per firm. Even so, there is still significant potential for additional new devices. Amongst small businesses (SBs), considerable potential yet exists for tablet adoption. Almost half of SBs are planning to deploy tablets in the near future. “But this is just penetration – when we speak of mass scale adoption, the potential is immense. The fillip for the adoption of tablets will come primarily from the increasing adoption of applications by India SMBs in order to enable and empower their mobile workforce as they expand their footprint to reach untapped and underserved markets in non-urban India,” added Ghose.

AMI’s “2015-16 India SMB ICT & Cloud Services Tracker Overview” study reveals that 55% of small businesses and 54% of medium businesses view migrating business applications such as online storage & document sharing, business analytics and CRM, to tablets and mobile devices to be a strategic priority. More than half of India SMBs are looking at the adoption of security solutions. “We find SMBs are looking to migrate discrete workloads from PCs to mobile devices. As SMBs purchase more hybrid devices such as tablets to deliver business applications or ensure seamless exchange of information, documents etc, it will involve implementing security solutions and backup solutions. This is expected to give rise to an entirely different set of needs,” mentioned Ghose. According to AMI’s latest findings, 52% of SBs and half of all MBs are focused on implementing security for company-owned mobile devices.

“One of the key mobility-related strategic issues for SMBs is to get their mobile workforce engaged to the business in a more cohesive manner. SMBs are gradually equipping employees with company-provided mobile devices and migrating more business applications to the cloud. Cloud based solutions such as ERP, CRM, social media and company-wide collaboration solutions are underway. However, this transition period has caused some uncertainties in the overall tablet market. Partners we meet hesitate to look at the crystal ball for tablet shipments within SMBs. They feel it is very volatile where some big deal may change the numbers significantly and become a game changer. Rather than viewing this as a bitter pill, they are optimistic in their outlook and recognize it is a volume game. They see immense potential in tablet uptake as and when these applications gain momentum. Tablet adoption amongst ground staff in verticals such as healthcare and microfinance has changed the way people engage and work on a day to day basis and SMBs will certainly reap the benefits from this increased reach,” stated Ghose.

There is growing acceptance of tablets in the price range of Rs 6000-8000 within the Indian market. “While brands such as Apple and Samsung hold sway, there is a need for low range tablets with less focus on warranty, servicing etc but that fulfill the basic mobility requirements – SMBs are open to sturdy and inexpensive ‘use and throw’ models which they can give their field staff without much worry. With the availability of a variety of models laden with features, brands such as Micromax, iBall and Datawind are doing well in upcountry areas. The need of the hour is to offer products that are affordable, sturdy and capable of delivering core business applications – and tie in to overall business strategies of expansion, growth and reach,” opines Ms. Ghose

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Related Study

AMI’s recently published “2015-16 India SMB ICT & Cloud Services Tracker Overview” provides marketing and product executives the insights to effectively enhance/tweak their go-to-market approach within India SMBs for a greater bottom line impact. The study examines India SMBs’ business needs, including ICT priorities, purchase channel preferences and buying behavior at a granular level. The analysis also delves into numerous individual ICT categories (e.g. computing hardware & networking infrastructure, software, security, storage and internet/telecommunications) – both cloud and on-premise solutions. It further provides a clear sense of the overall market opportunity/outlook for each and the forces shaping that specific category. Shifts in the India SMB ICT landscape – including purchase channels – are highlighted and illustrate how vendors can best leverage those shifts to deliver solutions profitably.

For more information about AMI, or our global SMB research, call 212 944 5100 or e-mail ask_ami@ami-partners.com.

AMI’s Leading trends impacting India SMBs in 2016

Small & Medium Business India Trends

Januray 27, 2016 – Bangalore/Kolkata, India
The Indian economy is forecasted to show strong growth with SMBs being the key drivers of economic prosperity. The mood of the nation, and specifically that of SMBs, is relatively optimistic. There is a strong belief that things will get better and revenues will increase. This positive sentiment is expected to drive investment in operations, manpower and technology.

AMI-Partners examined some of the leading trends which will impact the India SMB universe in 2016, specifically:

Social E-Commerce

Online marketplaces have already revolutionized India’s retail and service sectors, expanding opportunities for SMBs’ to grow their customer base and scale of operations. Now social media platforms are getting in on the act, with online shopping on social media platforms gaining traction.

The growing presence of SMBs on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms has already created a fan following and a receptive audience for these businesses. Today, according to AMI’s India Small and Medium Business ICT & Cloud Services Tracker Overview, more than 60% of India SMBs use some form of social media. Now, with the social media presence well established for marketing and advertising purposes, online sellers are increasingly conducting various social selling experiments and some are even able to sell directly without requiring an online store anywhere else other than social media platforms.

On-Premise Infrastructure vs. the Cloud

India SMBs have already started transitioning to the cloud with interest in remote managed services and software-as-a-service remaining high. In 2016, AMI anticipates seeing a greater interest in cloud infrastructure as SMBs look for ways to quickly scale up infrastructure to keep pace with business growth while maintaining flexibility in terms of payments on an as-needed or monthly basis.

Additionally, more and more CIOs and IT Managers are focusing on preventing data loss, ensuring system backups and disaster recovery solutions as they realize the greater strategic importance these functions are for the organization. Cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions present an affordable, more easily manageable and flexible alternative to on-premise solutions.

Correlation & Integration between Devices and Teams

With the divide between personal and official devices long breached, SMBs now see employees accessing company data across a plethora of platforms – PCs, tablets, smartphones…..wearables may be next! This has increased the complexity for IT departments not only to ensure data security, back-up and regulated access across devices but also to ensure seamless operation across all devices and across all platforms.

With collaboration and coordination the norm in workplaces today, there is a greater need to ensure all devices and solutions “talk” across all platforms.

Business Intelligence and Analytics

“Analytics” has been a key buzzword in recent years yet its application is limited within India SMBs. However, with business goals showing greater alignment with technology, there is an underlying need for SMBs to systematically sift through and understand their data. Efficient and cohesive analysis of data can lead SMBs to understand customers, market trends and operational dynamics better and hence can be a source of key competitive advantage. In the competitive marketplace the 2016 promises to bring, SMBs can no longer ignore analysis and must aim to understand and glean insights for greater operational efficiencies and better customer/supplier management. According to AMI’s India Small and Medium Business ICT & Cloud Services Tracker Overview, 60%+ SMBs have mentioned that Big Data/Analytics is one of their key “Strategic Focus Areas” for the future.

Continued focus on Improving Broadband Infrastructure/Mobile Data Speeds

According to AMI’s previously mentioned India study, 88% of SBs and 56% of MBs access the internet with speeds less than 10 Mbps. Improving broadband connectivity has been an ongoing focus area for India SMBs and will continue to be a major concern. The Indian government is building an all-pervasive optical fiber network that aims to cover the entire country in 3 years – this will significantly boost connectivity. Furthermore, with the greater emergence of 4G connectivity by ISPs and mobile operators, both broadband connectivity and mobile data connectivity are likely to improve.

For more information about AMI, or our global SMB research, call 212 944 5100 or e-mail ask_ami@ami-partners.com.