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Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.

Techaisle survey shows US SMB PC-as-a-Service market needs serious attention

Techaisle’s survey of 1127 US SMBs, analyzed in the report US SMB & Midmarket PCaaS (PC-as-a-Service) Adoption Trends, shows that the market for PCaaS is currently at an early stage – but there is a market. The total proportion of PCs that are provisioned/delivered via PCaaS is still relatively small, but this is not a pure development market – an adoption beachhead has been established. Surevy shows that the ‘big three’ drivers of PCaaS for SMBs are cost 1/ predictability, 2/ a streamlined process for new asset procurement and 3/ the ability to accelerate PC refresh.

Roughly one-third of small (1-99 employees) businesses, and nearly 60% of midmarket (100-999 employees) firms, are aware of PCaaS as an option. This creates a sizeable potential market of potential buyers with at least some understanding of the offering. Most of these small businesses and about two-thirds of the midmarket organizations that are aware of PCaaS report plans to adopt the technology. Adoption intent increases with buyer sophistication.

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Dell XPS 13 made me a 2-in-1 convert

In 2013, during my presentation at an Intel offsite in Chandler, Arizona, one of the topics of discussion was 2-in-1, demand for which was tepid. Techaisle research had shown that PC OEMs marketers had done a good job of building initial awareness for the devices. With the notable exception of micro and very small businesses, awareness of 2-in-1s was relatively high. What was not high, was consideration and purchase preference for these devices. For two hours I presented arguments, supported by research and analysis as to why the 2-in-1 market demand was forecast to low for several years.

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US SMB PC purchases – 10 key trends

IT markets tend to be complex and fast-moving – but even by IT industry standards, the endpoint device market in 2017 is extremely complex, and subject to significant and abrupt changes, as shown in Techaisle’s US SMB & Midmarket PC Purchase trends survey. The acceptance of multiple screens, coupled with the availability of new platform technologies, has created a market where “endpoint devices” span a wide range of device categories: desktop PCs, notebook PCs, tablets and smartphones, as well as thin clients, All-in-Ones, and other device types. Consider the following trends – some of which have played out over several years, and some of which are scant months old – and how they might affect buyers and suppliers of client technology this year:

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Dell XPS 13 – Straight from the heart

Since the last 3 years I have been listening to Jeff Clarke, Dell’s vice-chairman of Operations and president of Client Solutions, and his team talk about innovation within Dell and how XPS-13, Dell’s flagship, initially consumer-focused and now business-ready notebook, is one of the most innovative laptops in the market. I must confess that after every meeting I walked away with a bit of cynicism. Every single time I had questions but no answers. Did a borderless InfinityEdge display define innovation? Did premium materials explain innovation? Did high-performance describe innovation? What about the issues that small businesses really cared about – improve productivity, provide security, easy manageability, exceptional support and low price? These would certainly count towards innovation. But then many of these improvements are usually driven by underlying software and not the hardware.

I have been a ThinkPad user for most of my working life – from my IDC days in Hong Kong to present time at Techaisle. Except for the time period when I was at Gartner. I am not a case of old-habits-die-hard but I have had a genuine admiration for the IBM & now Lenovo ThinkPad series. It never needed any support, except for that one occasion when I foolishly crushed it that cracked the screen. There was also a period as an analyst when I maintained three different brands. HP notebooks to bring to meetings with HP, IBM/Lenovo for their respective meetings, and Dell for meetings with Dell. However, I realized that a ThinkPad brand was one of the most non-controversial notebook to bring to meetings & presentations without evoking any sarcastic banter.

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