Conferencing Ripe for Growth in the SMB Space
More than half of current SMB users of videoconferencing plan on increasing their use of the tool in the coming year.
Frost & Sullivan recently completed research on the SMB market, and its changing technology buying decisions, especially in the conferencing and UC markets. Clients can access the complete study at www.frost.com. Here are some highlights:
* SMBs adopt collaboration tools to increase productivity; videoconferencing takes the spotlight, as audio conferencing matures and Web conferencing is slow to gain traction.
* Rising awareness of unified communications is driving the adoption of conferencing and collaboration services within the SMB space.
* Virtualization has become a top initiative for SMB decision makers; accelerated deployment of virtualized conferencing solutions is expected.
* Consumerization of IT, coupled with growing acceptance of mobile devices in the SMB workforce, is enabling ubiquitous access to conferencing solutions and applications.
* The CAGR for conferencing services over the next five-years for SMB revenue is 18.1 percent, versus 10.8 percent for enterprises.
Although SMBs appreciate the value of videoconferencing in enabling stronger relationships and building trust with external collaborators, most business-grade videoconferencing solutions have been out of reach for this price-conscious market. Now, an expanding array of video solutions (e.g., desktop video, mobile video) is helping drive videoconferencing penetration into the SMB market. In addition, declining prices are extending the reach of videoconferencing tools to new users within the SMB space. SMB adoption continues to grow at a much faster pace than adoption at large enterprises, reaching an estimated 27 percent in units shipped.
More than half of current SMB users of videoconferencing plan on increasing their use of the tool in the coming year. This finding is in line with the current trend of videoconferencing popularity in the SMB market. No users plan to discontinue their use of the tool.
SMBs tend to gravitate towards the unrestricted-usage pricing model. They prefer flat-rate pricing that includes audio, screen share and video. Within the SMB space, usage of all-inclusive bundles is rising. Many SMBs prefer purchasing from online portals rather than dealing directly with a sales team, splitting their purchases 50/50 between online purchases and sales channels.
SMBs are reporting increasing IT and communications budgets and are expanding their IT staff. At least two-thirds of the companies surveyed by Frost & Sullivan allocate up to a quarter of their budgets to IT, communications and collaboration, and new technologies.