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Techaisle Blog

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.
Anurag Agrawal

Xero is innovating its small business cloud accounting software through integration and ecosystem

The vision of Xero, a cloud accounting software firm for small businesses and their advisors, is to be the most trusted and insightful small business platform. Its objective is to improve life for people in small businesses, their advisors, and communities worldwide. The adoration of customers and partners was visible during the two days of Xerocon New Orleans 2022, Xero’s flagship event attended by over 1000 accounting and bookkeeping partners, exhibitors, and speakers. The pace of innovation, increasing dedication to small business success, and promise to promote diversity were evident. In its founding stages, Xero was built to empower collaboration between small businesses and their accountants and bookkeepers. From its inception, the heart of Xero has been to make the complex simple. The ethos continues today as Xero is evolving to be different, dynamic, unique, and memorable. Xero’s long-term plans for North America are centered around augmenting, harnessing partnerships, and tapping into the broader small business ecosystem.

Ecosystem vision progress

Xero has a very sound strategy and is flexible in its approach to small business customer needs. It has created an ecosystem (with over 1000 apps that integrate with Xero) that includes applications that extend how customers digitally transform their organizations with adjacent and complementary solutions to the accounting software. Xero has adopted API standards that facilitate integration across these complementary offerings. In other areas, Xero is establishing alliances that help position integrations as part of a strategy aligned with a digitally transforming small business segment. Xero recognizes that pursuing the ecosystem business approach requires success in other areas, including go-to-market strategy and the ability to integrate around data. So far, Xero has transformed in step with the transformation of its customers and accelerated its integrated offerings to meet rapidly evolving customer expectations/requirements.

Anurag Agrawal

Mitel evolves its UC growth strategy and gains momentum with RingCentral UCaaS

Mitel’s overall philosophy for unified communications (UC) is enabling customers with broad flexibility to deploy what they want and purchase solutions how they want. A key differentiator of Mitel’s has been its belief that one size does not fit all. That belief is supported by a recent Techaisle global study revealing that 44% of firms use multiple communication platforms. On-prem unified UC solutions dominate in 88% of firms, but in 56% on-prem capabilities co-exist with cloud solutions. All these options are choices that Mitel supports with its Customer Lifecycle Management approach, recently bolstered by its exclusive UCaaS partnership with RingCentral.

Mitel - RingCentral UCaaS momentum - “A Differentiated and Evolved Partnership”

Mitel is not just partnering with RingCentral but doing even more by optimizing the complete migration experience through collaborative processes, migration tooling, device transfers, and exclusive incentives providing Mitel customers a world-class UCaaS solution and a clear, flexible path toward the future. Mitel is actively integrating numerous capabilities with the RingCentral MVP (Messaging, Voice, Phone) platform to enhance the whole experience for customers. The first example of this broad integration was evident just five months following the RingCentral partnership when Mitel launched its first set of certified devices – the 6900 series phones – which work seamlessly with RingCentral MVP. Customer choice and experience extend into a well-thought-through onboarding process, enhanced by Mitel’s Migration Assist Package, which introduces automation and accuracy while migrating customers 75% faster than industry standards. Customers migrating to less than a hundred seats can take advantage of these free implementation services. The free service is very generous as it includes access to an Implementation Advisor who also schedules discovery and training sessions and unlimited access via toll-free number for follow-up questions and assistance on system setup. Mitel partners or RingCentral provide professional services for customers with more than a hundred seats.

Mitel’s partnership with RingCentral has seen significant momentum, migrating over 100,000 seats in the first six months of the exclusive relationship.

The RingCentral – Mitel partnership is highly differentiated from others in the market, including RingCentral’s relationship with Avaya. From the outset, Mitel has distinguished itself from Avaya and others with superior pricing and purchase flexibility, ease of deployment and migration, professional services, and training. Although Avaya is widely considered to have a composable CPaaS offering, Mitel’s CloudLink technology with APIs and integration capabilities are yet to be fully utilized by developers and partners. Additionally, the compensation received from RingCentral fuels investments in core Mitel unified communications R&D and innovation and potential future merger and acquisition activities.

Anurag Agrawal

SMBs Make Cloud Calling and Collaboration a Priority – Webex Gets it

Historically, remote work solutions have been the domain of large enterprises equipped with processes and technology resources needed to support workers in the field. However, driven by short- and longer-term factors, flexible work options are now available to employees in businesses of all sizes. Moreover, as social distance health requirements forced the temporary closure of public office spaces, remote work became a matter of survival for many organizations. The pandemic has also crystalized recognition of the productivity benefits of technology-enabled remote work – measured in output rather than hours – which is sure to have a profound and durable impact on workplace behaviors. Today, working from anywhere is the new normal, enabled by powerful communication and collaboration tools, which draw together workers regardless of physical location and are becoming the catalyst for change in large and smaller businesses. What are the primary enablers of this flexible work trend? Data shows a growing commitment to leveraging the power of the cloud and adjacent technologies of mobility, cloud calling, and collaboration - technologies that allow workers and teams to connect, reflect, and share insights and output. Techaisle SMB and Midmarket Hybrid work and collaboration adoption survey, N=1810, shows that:

  • 93% of SMBs have prioritized remote and hybrid workplace technology solution adoption
  • 58% of employees in the SMB segment are likely to work remotely
  • 79% of SMBs are prioritizing cloud-based communication and collaboration solutions which show evolving recognition of the value of cloud calling and collaboration

The simultaneous commitment to cloud calling and collaboration solutions and future planning around a return to the office suggest that something deeper is at play in the SMB communications solution marketplace. Cloud calling and Collaboration are central components of virtually all SMB business activities. The need to communicate anywhere, anytime also means any type of communication and collaboration – synchronous/asynchronous, serendipitous/scheduled, on-the-go/fixed location, within a virtual workspace/within a specific app, with employees/partners/customers. As the lines of demarcation between tasks have been eroded by the increased pace and changing nature of business activities, SMBs have moved past linking discrete actions through linear, sequential processes. Instead, in today's business environment, SMBs interact at all points in the business cycle: in cross-functional planning and management, within a single co-created document, in the stages and connection points defined by their business processes, in delivering better customer experiences, and enabling improved employee productivity.

There is value in adopting unified cloud calling and collaboration. The use of traditional collaboration tools by SMBs is well-established. However, cloud calling solutions are rapidly gaining attention from SMBs. With nearly a hundred percent cloud priority, shifting from on-prem solutions (acquired through CAPEX budget) to cloud-based as-a-service offerings creates a sort of inflection point. As the name implies, cloud calling is cloud-based and available as a subscription. It supports remote work and mobility, provides cash flow predictability, easily integrates within the employees' workspace, and improves IT manageability and efficiency.

A significant collaboration technology shift is SMB's use of a cloud-based communications platform with integrated telephony (audio/video/web conferencing), IM/chat/presence, unified messaging, and mobility. Techaisle data shows that today, just under a third (27%) of SMBs are using integrated solutions, while over a third (35%) plan to adopt the platform in the coming year, a likely adoption growth of over 100%.

The Webex integrated collaboration platform

Anurag Agrawal

Worldwide Midmarket IT spending is forecast to reach USD993 billion in 2022

Techaisle's latest survey research forecasts worldwide midmarket (100-5000 employees) IT spend (excluding telecom services) will reach US$993 billion in 2022. Cloud-managed services are an integral component of IT services and are seeing accelerated spending. Overall IT services will grow by 7.2% from 2021. Midmarket firms are increasing IT spending for cloud optimization, application modernization and migration, and IT modernization. In addition, there is an increased demand for container deployment, microservices, open-source, API management, hybrid cloud workload management, and security and compliance management.

Increasing profitability, driving innovation, and improving the supply chain are the top three business challenges being addressed by midmarket firms. Within 85% of firms, IT is seen as a source of innovation, and 79% expect IT to deliver faster business outcomes. Over 20% of midmarket firms have internal teams dedicated to “finding ‘what’s next?’ technology-driven innovations,” and 40% “have IT budgets specifically for technology-driven innovation;” 11% report that they have embedded IT professionals within business units, charged with finding innovative technology solutions to achieve business objectives.

Research You Can Rely On | Analysis You Can Act Upon

Techaisle - TA