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Microsoft Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Jaynesh Shah, Carmen Gonzalez

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Changing Workplace Dynamics to Propel Double-Digit SMB Mobility Spending in North America

Faced with a slower than expected recovery from the 2008 recession, small (1-99 employees) and medium (100-999 employees) businesses (SMBs) in North America are increasingly looking to improve their bottom lines. According to AMI’s recently published 2013 North America SMB Mobility Landscape Report, improving customer retention and reducing OPEX are leading concerns for SMBs. Additionally, workforce mobility is accompanied by SMBs increasingly using their mobile devices for data-volume-intensive activities such as document viewing/sharing and “on-the-go” access to email and voice-based communication solutions. AMI predicts that North America SMB spend on mobility-related products and services is set to grow by an 18% CAGR over the next five years.

Increasingly, SMBs are also allowing employees to use their personally owned un-tethered devices in the workplace—as a way to enable mobility and enhance productivity. “BYOD among SMBs is becoming inevitable, which is why SMBs should look at ways to better address and leverage this trend,” states New York-based Senior Consultant Antara Jaitly. As a result, the workplace of SMBs is progressively being exposed to new BYOD use cases, productivity enhancing mobile applications, and wireless network solutions, which all aim at supporting a growing array of mobile device deployments.

Interestingly, AMI research reveals that SMBs that allow BYOD deployments are also typically more open to supporting “multi-platform” mobile device ecosystems. Currently, 27% of BYOD tablet firms and 51% of BYOD smartphone SMBs support multi-platform mobile ecosystems. These BYOD firms also exhibit stronger purchase intentions for non-Apple-branded mobile devices such as Microsoft, Samsung, and Sony. Furthermore, they also display significantly higher awareness of Windows 8 OS and Microsoft Surface tablets.

As a result, more North America SMBs are evaluating ways to support multiple mobile operating system environments. The need to manage and secure these varying mobile devices and applications is propelling SMBs to look for ways to accommodate their expanding “mobile appetite.” However, for many SMBs, IT management has not caught up with the speed of their BYOD deployments. AMI research shows that currently only about two thirds of BYOD SMBs have created policies to govern employee-owned mobile devices. It is not surprising that North America SMBs display strong purchase intentions for mobile device management (MDM), security, and wireless network management solutions.

The pace with which SMBs are embracing mobile technologies and the impact of BYOD is creating new opportunities along the SMB “mobile ecosystem” value chain. ICT vendors and solution and service providers who can adapt their marketing and routes-to-market strategies to better serve these newly evolving SMB needs will eventually be more successful in monetizing opportunities emerging from this mobility momentum.

Related Study

AMI’s recently published 2013 North America SMB Mobility Landscape Report provides marketing and product executives the insights to effectively enhance/tweak their go-to-market approach for greater bottom line impact. It also examines SMBs’ mobility needs, user profiles, brand usage and selection criteria, purchase channel preferences and buying behavior at a granular level. The analysis delves into both tablet and smartphone devices – and provides a clear sense of the overall market opportunity/outlook for each and the forces shaping that specific category.

For more information about this study, AMI-Partners, or our global SMB research, call 212-944-5100, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.ami-partners.com.

About Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc.

AMI-Partners specializes in IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services strategy, venture capital, and actionable market intelligence—with a strong focus on global small and medium businesses (SMBs), extending into large enterprises and home-based businesses. The AMI-Partners mission is to empower clients for success with the highest quality data, business strategy perspectives and go-to-market solutions. Led by Andy Bose, the firm has built a world-class management team with deep experience cutting across IT, telecommunications and business services sectors in established and emerging markets.

AMI has helped shape the go-to-market SMB strategies of more than 150 leading IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services companies. The firm is well known for its IT and Internet adoption-based segmentation of the SMB markets; its annual retainership services based on global SMB tracking surveys in more than 25 countries; and its proprietary database of SMBs and SMB channel partners in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The firm invests significantly in collecting survey-based information from several thousand SMBs annually, and is considered the premier source for global SMB trends and analysis.

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