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2 minutes reading time (481 words)

SMB Cloud starts with established global vendors

Techaisle’s recently completed study 2015 SMB Cloud Computing Adoption Trends shows that SMB cloud buyers look first to large, established vendors for cloud solutions, but their sourcing preferences diverge from there, with small businesses most likely to trust product vendors and midmarket firms willing to investigate a wide range of specialist providers.

Over 30% of current small and midmarket cloud users report that they turned to a large IT vendor (including Amazon in this group) for in-use cloud solution. Small businesses were also very likely to have acquired cloud from a specialized vendor selling security, storage, virtualization or a similar offering. Small businesses also frequently rely on software vendors like Salesforce.com or their telecom service provider for cloud, and are somewhat likely to acquire solutions from SIs, consultants or outsourcing companies.

The midmarket results are fascinating.

The generally higher response rates for various supply options indicate that there is substantially more cloud deployed in midmarket enterprises than within small businesses. These midmarket firms are also much more likely to turn to IT services providers (SIs, consultants, outsourcers) and/or channel partners (distributors, MSPs, VARs) to obtain cloud. Techaisle believes that midmarket findings indicate where tomorrow’s small businesses will source cloud solutions. In the future, Techaisle expects to see greater presence of services firms and channel partners as small businesses move beyond cloud as an infrastructure source to cloud as a source of applications/process support addressing business priorities.

In the present, though, most SMB cloud needs are satisfied by companies with a reputation for effective support of infrastructure requirements. Survey data demonstrates the extent to which major IT vendors dominate SMB perspectives of cloud positioning. IBM is rated as being “best positioned to deliver cloud infrastructure solutions” by 24% of small businesses, and 23% of midmarket firms. Microsoft is similarly entrenched, seen as best-positioned by 21% of companies with 1-99 employees and 34% of midsized enterprises.

Surprisingly, given that the company is stronger in larger accounts than in the small business market, Cisco is the third-ranked cloud infrastructure vendor in the small business segment. Clearly, Cisco’s brand equity is helping to support its position in a market where it has sparse actual presence.

How can other vendors build awareness of their offerings – and/or for that matter, how can the firms expand their presence within the SMB segment? One popular approach has been to launch Cloud marketplaces through which SMB users can source a variety of first and third-party products. A quick search on “cloud marketplace” illustrates the breadth of choices available to SMBs: IBM, Salesforce.com, Oracle, Dell, Rackspace, HP, Verizon, TIBCO, SAP and Cisco (plus third parties like AppDirect and open software options like OpenStack and CloudForge) all have cloud marketplaces offering cloud options to buyers. But is anyone in the SMB market listening? More on SMB Cloud marketplace adoption and detail adoption trends in 2015 SMB Cloud Computing Adoption Trends report.

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