In a recent research, AMI- Partners has analyzed the SMB Unified Communications (News - Alert) (UC) market in North America and concluded that while there is a general reluctance toward deploying a full UC solutions theres still enthusiasm to adopt individual UC components.
This is borne out by the fact that more than half of small and medium business (SMBs) are using an individual UC component rather than a complete solution.
The resistance towards a complete solutions is rather hard to understand. According to Brian Galgay, Manager of Cloud Services at AMI, many SMBs are already paying for a number of individual components but have failed to realize this fact. As a result they reject a complete UC solution
Galgay believes that this an opportunity that shouldn't be passed up by North American service providers as the situation reflects the urgent need for a better segmented product bundle .SMBs needed to be coaxed and guided into moving from a “basic single-point solutions users to full UC solution customers and all segments in between”.
Most providers, according to Galgay, currently offer either a full UC suite or only operate in specialized areas of voice, conferencing, or messaging services. SMBs need several UC components on a daily basis but not all the elements of a whole UC solution. Hence they create a 'patchwork quilt' of fragmented offerings.
In spite of the adoption of single solutions continuing, Galgay paints a bright picture for the UC market over the next five years and predicts that the SMB opportunity for UC components in North America is expected to more than double.
With time, the number of SMBs using many individual UC components is expected to reach a 'tipping point' and it is at this juncture that service providers and vendors needed to step in and advocate a full UC solution.
This is easier said than done for according to Galgay, “vendors need to provide structure and guide these SMBs along the path from single components to a full UC solution.” However, this would be well worth the effort as the revenue opportunity in winning full UC SMB customers is large.
According to another AMI study, SMBs in India are becoming more interested in Infrastructure as a Service. Data storage/back up, servers and virus protection, spam filtering or other security solutions are the main focus of this increased interest.
Mini Swamy is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Chris DiMarco