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SMB Market is the Next Battleground, Says IDC

  • 28 September, 2006 13:08

<p>NORTH SYDNEY, 28th September 2006 - IDC's latest study of the competitive landscape in the SMB market reveals substantial changes in the Australian SMB market. The current stagnation of the hardware market combined with the saturation of the enterprise services market is forcing large ICT players to increasingly look at SMB services as the next space to conquer. This will happen possibly at the expense of smaller players who have been very active in filling the gap left by large companies, or on the contrary, smaller companies may benefit from this trend by partnering with large players and reselling their products and services instead.</p>
<p>"Major IT companies are slowly progressing in providing services to SMBs so midsize players are strengthening their positions in this space. Large players will have to present very convincing arguments, especially attractive pricing, to take business away from the more established midsize players. The wave of consolidations that occurred in the last two years (Telstra and KAZ, Optus and Alphawest) illustrates the convergence between IT and telecom and the opportunity for telecommunication companies to leverage their access to the SMB market and position their IT services offering," says Jean-Marc Annonier, IDC's Research Manager for SMB.</p>
<p>IDCs study, titled "Australia SMB Competitive Landscape, 2006: David or Goliath? Who Will Win the SMB Race?" includes IDC opinion about a number of ICT companies and their offerings to the SMB market. The companies in the study were selected on the basis of their current and future focus on the SMB space. Six large global players were selected: Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, HP, Telstra/KAZ and Optus/Alphawest. Two smaller Australia players represent the local IT industry, Brennan IT and TechOnline.</p>
<p>The Australia SMB Competitive Landscape, 2006: David or Goliath? study also found the following:</p>
<p># Hardware companies need to find new revenue sources. With the expected stagnation of the hardware market in the next three years, hardware companies are now looking at expending their service activities, including in the SMB space, notably in the managed service and support areas.
# IBM is ramping up its SMB activity. IBM is building up its SMB arsenal by frequently announcing new products designed for SMBs. However it is yet to be seen if the services giant will be able to overcome the "great but too expensive" perception by highly price-sensitive SMB managers and present an attractive services offering.
# Telstra is the strongest contender. The telecom company has unmatched access to the market, as potentially every single business in Australia is a Telstra customer. So offering IT services to SMBs would mean the perfect marriage between IT and telecom, as each product upsells another.</p>
<p>For press enquiries please contact:
Jean-Marc Annonier
Research Manager, IT Spending, Vertical Markets and SMEs
Phone: 61 2 9925 2221
<p>IDC research:</p>
<p>If you would like further information or to purchase IDC research, please contact Gary Clarke, IDC Associate VP of Sales via email or phone 02 9925 2226.</p>
<p>Click here to view the press release online:</p>
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