U.S. SMB Channel Preferences by Company Size, Industry, and Attitude Segments: Changing Service Provider Role
This IDC study examines SMBs' recent use and plans to use different channels for advanced technology solutions. Small businesses are divided into five size categories: <5 employees, 5–9, 10–19, 20–49, and 50–99 employee firms. Midsize businesses are divided into three size categories: 100–249, 250–499, and 500–999 employee firms. SMB channel preferences are also examined across 17 industries: agriculture/mining/construction, manufacturing, transportation/warehousing/utilities, communications, banking/finance, insurance, real estate, architecture/engineering, legal services, other professional/scientific/technical services, healthcare/social assistance, education (private sector), wholesale, retail, other business services, other consumer services/arts/accommodation/food services, and accounting. In addition, SMB channel use and plans are compared across five attitude segments: SMB 2.0, SMB 1.5 fast followers, pragmatic hands on, middle-of-road worriers, and IT indifferent."Designing an effective channel strategy to reach the SMB market is a major challenge for technology providers," said Ray Boggs, VP SMB research at IDC. "Over the past two years, we've seen both small and medium-sized businesses increase the number of sources they use to acquire advanced technology solutions." Boggs noted that while sophisticated SMBs continue to make use of VARs and ISVs, they are also dramatically increasing their use of service providers to get access to cloud and hosted solutions.
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