Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Managed Services: Competitive Opportunity

TMC has an article about the growth coming to managed services for small businesses (under 100 employees).

Between now and 2011, the number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) buying broadband access for the first time will fall year on year, as broadband penetration of SMEs approaches its limit. Growth in customer numbers will slow dramatically and competition will continue to drive prices down. As a result, the value of the SME market for broadband access will reach a peak, then start to shrink. At the same time, the increased broadband penetration in the SME market will fundamentally change the way companies buy telecoms and IT services. Given the rising costs and increasing complexity of managing IT services in house, SMEs are already becoming more open to buying a range of managed IT, software and communications services. An opportunity exists for broadband providers to drive new revenue growth through selling broadband managed services to SMEs. However, competition among providers of broadband managed services is increasing, customer requirements are exacting and establishing credibility can be a hurdle for providers to overcome.

Notice that BB connectivity is almost static and you are looking at declining revenue (and higher acquisition costs). The money is in managed services.

The SB market is the largest market. According to the Census:

  • 5.3 million business establishments have fewer than 10 employees in 2003.
  • Among these businesses, 3.9 million employed fewer than 5 people.
  • 796,000 businesses are in the retail trade industry in 2003 w/ fewer than 10 people.
  • 18.6 million nonemployer businesses in 2003 (those without paid employees).

It is also a price sensitive sector. (So you have to provide value). It is hard / expensive to serve because it is labor and time intensive. It is highly competitive. But it is a huge opportunity. The keys for your success are as follows:

  • design a plan
  • make the most of your strengths and skills
  • focus on a vertical or two
  • partner for additional services and skills
  • stay in front of your vertical market weekly
  • set aside marketing time weekly
  • only have 2 choices/plans

Any questions? Call me at 813-963-5884.

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