Telecoms New Opportunity
A study commissioned by cloud services marketplaces provider BCSG has implied that telecoms operators could benefit greatly from differentiating into cloud provisioning for both small and medium-sized enterprises; the size of such opportunity is quantified at about $22 billion for operators in the United Kingdom and the United States. The SME sector is generally underserved and therefore has much room for expansion under telecom.
While BT Global Services have already carved out a lucrative cloud business among enterprise customers, and many other telecoms also offer assistance in the areas of hosting and business applications for SMEs, the potential for telecoms operators to become the suppliers of cloud computing services to small businesses has generally not been taken advantage of, according to BCSG.
These comments originate from a study conducted by BCSG of SME’s in both the United Kingdom and the United States. During the study, it was discovered that there were high levels of confusion pertaining to cloud services and technologies that were appropriate for the businesses. Just under half of those surveyed claimed they would be willing to purchase cloud services from their telecoms supplier, while only 40% said they were willing to buy software and other tools from operators to help grow their business.
With only 31% of SMEs surveyed saying they had a cloud migration strategy in place, BCSG predicted that the firm intent from SMEs could be worth upwards of $22 billion .
“Not only is the SME market a potential goldmine for operators looking to add greater value to customers through service diversification, they also present a captive and willing audience,” said BCSG commercial director Tom Platt. “It is vital that operators seize the initiative by helping their SME customers realize the value of cloud services and business applications.”
More than half claimed they would contemplate switching operators in two years, and 58% said that they would switch operators if a broader range of technology and services was offered. “Long tenure from SME customers does not imply loyalty – and operators can’t afford to be complacent. These results demonstrate the value of operators broadening their service offering to SMEs,” said Platt.