IT and Support Services: SMBs Prefer Trusted Providers or One-Stop-Shop
When small businesses (SMBs) choose an IT and support service provider, the two most important considerations are the provider’s ability to include all of the company’s devices and provide a comprehensive IT service plan. Over one-half of small businesses that use professional IT services use two or more services. However, small businesses may have to rely on multiple vendors to address their IT needs, resulting in a highly fragmented IT and support services market.
Broadband service providers have been successful in providing services across multiple categories. They have achieved at least 13% market share across various IT services, a testament to the increased focus of many broadband providers to bundle IT services with broadband for small businesses. Local IT companies are also strong players across service categories. The preference among small businesses for familiar providers and service bundles gives strong competitive advantage to incumbent IT service providers. Broadband providers have an advantage over other vendor options as a result of their existing relationship with SMB clients; over 50% of SMBs in most industries subscribe to broadband services.
As telcos and cablecos that provide broadband services to small businesses assess opportunities to generate additional revenue, services that leverage the operator’s strengths in network and in data-oriented services are a natural addition. Over the past few years, most of the larger providers in the U.S. have embarked on designing IT and support service packages that appeal to SMBs.
The scope of service offerings differs among broadband providers; however, most providers offer some or all the following services:
In addition to listing the actual products and services on their websites, service providers may also provide a number of other resources for small businesses:
This article originally appeared in ECT News.
Patrice Samuels studies digital home technical support services across global markets, with a focus on market trends, business models, and provider strategies. In addition to exploring events and disruptions in the technical support space, she examines pay-TV and broadband services in North America and Europe, digital media, and digital music services.
Patrice earned her MBA from Texas A&M University at College Station and BSc. in Psychology from the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica.
Industry Expertise: Television Services, Broadband Services, Technical Support Services, International Markets, Digital Music