Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Janakiram MSV, Yeshim Deniz, David H Deans, Andreas Grabner, Stackify Blog

News Feed Item

Out with the new in with the old: Canadian SBOs say innovation for existing products is top priority

With willingness to take a risk at the lowest level in almost two years, SBOs are focused on improving their current product line instead of developing net new products.

MARKHAM, ON, Dec. 10, 2012 /CNW/ - In an economy where business is a rapidly changing environment, gaining a sustainable edge has become top of mind and more important than ever for small business owners (SBOs).However, as small business owners look to a variety of sources for innovative ideas, they are reserving their efforts to further expand their current product offerings.

The quarterly American Express Small Business Monitor revealed small business owners continue to experience a negative outlook on their business' potential. However, they recognize the longevity of their company's success hinges on their current products or services.  While innovation remains a priority, improving their current product line (43%) is emphasized as the most important factor to the future success of their company. SBOs understand that while bringing new products to the market is important; but delivering fresh thinking to their current offerings is key. This takes greater precedence over creating new products (31%).

Small business owners show a willingness to invest in research and development, yet a knowledge gap exists for available resources

It is evident SBOs value research and development as they spent an average of 11% of their total revenue on this in the last year. SBOs also reported they plan to increase this budget to 12.7% in the next year. However, SBOs are neglecting to explore the full extent of government resources specifically designed to alleviate their investment.

The survey revealed while Canadian SBOs are eligible for the Scientific Research and Experimental Development  (SR&ED) tax credit, more than half (58%) of businesses have never heard of it. Furthermore, over one fourth (28%) have heard about the SR&ED tax credit, but don't apply. Canadian SBOs are missing the opportunity to gain valuable resources and funds as the average grant for the SR&ED tax credit is $67,832.

"While it is positive to see SBOs investing largely in research and development, it is surprising to see the data reveal the complacence when it comes to taking advantage of financial breaks," says Athena Varmazis, Vice President and General Manager, Small Business Services, American Express Canada. "As a result, they are missing out on robust government resources that can help their businesses thrive."

SBOs rely on their instincts yet welcome feedback from their employees and clients

The Monitor revealed over half (61%) of SBOs identify sales, marketing and branding as an area where innovation is most required, yet they continue to recognize the need for further investment in customer service (56%).

For that reason, 66% of SBOs report they have implemented ideas in the past two years focused on improving their existing products and services. Over half (63%) of Canada's SBOs rely on their instincts when testing the effectiveness of a new product or service.

While SBOs most often place serious consideration on their own ideas (42%) for new products/services, they acknowledge the insight their employees and current clients offer their business.  Nearly half (47%) of SBOs report customer suggestions as the source that provides the best ideas for improving products and services.

Entrepreneurs are also acknowledging their employees in relation to internal business processes. Over one fourth (34%) of SBOs report employees provide the best suggestions for improving how the company operates day to day from accounting to administration practices.

"It is refreshing to see SBOs embracing the feedback from both their clients and employees alike," says Varmazis.  "This allows them to not only inherit valuable insight into their business strategy, customer service model and their internal operations, but presents the opportunity for them to successfully evolve."

Optimism about the financial state of their business continues to decline amongst SBOs leading into the last quarter of the year

In terms of the quarterly index portion of the survey, the Monitor reveals there is a continued decline in SBOs optimism levels. While over half (52%) of SBOs remain hopeful about their future financial position, this is down 5 points from last quarter (57%).

Although over four in five (81%) SBOs remain confident their business will grow over the next six months, there continues to be a decline from last quarter in the overall perception of their business' financial state. Thirty-eight per cent of SBOs report their business' current financial position is improving, down 8 points since last quarter (46%) and down 11 points since November 2011 (49%).

About the American Express Small Business Monitor
From October 26th and November 6th, 2012, Rogers Connect Market Research conducted an online survey on behalf of American Express Small Business Services with a sample of 535 Canadian small business owners each employing between 2 and 100 people. The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 4.2%, 19 times out of 20. In order to ensure the results are representative of the entire population of small business owners in Canada, the data have been statistically weighted for small business by region according to Statistics Canada. Respondents were located across Canada and came from a variety of industries, including health, social services, education, tech, sales and skilled trades. Due to rounding, some results may add to over 100 per cent.

About American Express Small Business Services
American Express Small Business Services (SBS) is dedicated exclusively to the success of small business owners and their companies. SBS supports business owners with exceptional service. We offer tailored products and services that deliver purchasing power, flexibility, control and rewards to help customers run their business. Specifically, business owners can leverage an enhanced set of products, tools, services and savings, including charge and credit cards, robust online account management capabilities and savings on business services from an expanded line-up of partners. To obtain more information about SBS, visit www.amexforbusiness.ca or www.facebook.com/AmexforBusiness


SOURCE American Express

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp emp...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant th...
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, will discuss how given the magnitude of today's applicati...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...