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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.

Business context driving analytics and Big Data solutions in the SMB market

It would be unusual to find a “Chief Strategy Officer” or an equivalent group dedicated solely to long-term planning within a small business, or even inside most midmarket enterprises. For the most part, a small team of executives shares responsibility for both charting the company’s direction and managing its daily operational activities. This can make it difficult for SMBs to separate the strategic from the tactical – but it has the advantage of ensuring that ‘big picture’ priorities are reflected in the day-to-day actions taken by the management team.

This direct, visceral link between business imperatives and daily activities has some interesting implications for IT suppliers. Because the business decision maker (BDM) is often responsible for IT-related decisions, the IT supplier needs to ensure that its messaging is relevant to BDM ‘care-abouts’ – and because the BDM is often the source of both strategic and tactical direction, it is important for the IT supplier to root marketing messages and activity in an understanding of how their offerings, and/or the solutions in which their offerings are positioned, address the high-level objectives of the SMB customer.

Why Analytics?

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Dell VDI chief strategist on SMB market penetration game plan

Candid conversation with Dell Cloud-Client Computing chief strategist

Jeff McNaught, Executive Director & Chief Strategy Officer, Dell Cloud Client-Computing and co-inventor of Wyse thin client had a candid conversation with Techaisle on his new product initiatives, focus on security, building solutions for small and medium businesses and renewed attention to channel partners. Jeff is deeply involved in software solutions which includes partner software - Citrix, Microsoft and VMware and is responsible for the cloud-client business which includes devices that Dell build’s exclusively for Citrix or VMware as well as new products and software security offerings. One of his major new initiatives includes simplifying and securing virtual workspaces better than anyone else.

Dell VDI converging on security, cost, complexity and channels

Based on extensive primary research with SMBs and the channel partners, Techaisle forecasts the US SMB VDI market to be US$13 billion in 2020 as VDI penetration increases to 34 percent from the current 26 percent and an increase in number of seats from users who have already deployed VDI. Most of the midmarket firms that have invested in VDI are still experimenting with the technology, and most small businesses are still several years away from even this level of preliminary adoption.

The allure of VDI is clear – but the technology itself and the path to realizing its benefits is still mysterious to many small and midmarket businesses. Techaisle research shows that there is a need for VDI vendors to embark on a messaging exercise that includes - real-world examples of successful deployment of VDI, ease of VDI implementation with the least pain for SMBs & simplification of understanding VDI technology by removing fear and complexity.

Over the last two years Dell has been trying to build a momentum to remove the mystery and reduce deployment complexity. Along the way it has had more successes than missteps and it seems that Dell has reached a stage where it reasonably understands the needs of the end-customers and how to work with channel partners to win business and deploy solutions. Dell has architected multiple VDI solution delivery models for SMBs of all sizes and levels of technology adoption.

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Microsoft Azure is becoming Cloud platform of choice

Techaisle’s detailed survey on Hybrid Cloud Adoption trends covering small, midmarket and enterprise firms shows that although Amazon AWS has established its initial presence within the US businesses, Microsoft Azure is quickly becoming the cloud platform of choice.

techaisle azure adoption blog resized

Microsoft Azure, a public cloud computing platform, is a growing collection of integrated cloud services that includes analytics, computing, database, mobile, networking, storage and web. Microsoft Azure initially focused strictly on PaaS but has now entered into IaaS market and launched a technical preview of Azure Stack, a platform designed to allow business to deploy an on-premise private cloud and manage a hybrid cloud environment. Microsoft Azure offers Hyper­-V-­virtualized multi-tenant compute with multi-tenant storage along with many additional IaaS and PaaS capabilities, including object storage and a CDN, Azure Marketplace which offers various third party software and services and Azure ExpressRoute that meets the colocation needs of various small and medium businesses.

The respondents for the survey were CIOs, CSOs, CTOs, VP of IT, Director of IT, Senior manager of IT as well as key business decision makers responsible or influential in adopting cloud platforms within their organizations.

Businesses cited many different reasons as to why Microsoft Azure is becoming a platform of choice.

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Scale Computing – Hyperconvergence for the SMBs

The rise in virtualization has been driving an accompanying demand for converged infrastructure or hyperconvergence: products that combine processing, storage and networking into a robust and scalable unit that can support and respond to the options inherent in virtualization. While the migration from separate server, storage and networking products to converged infrastructure is still in its early stages, the Techaisle SMB virtualization & converged infrastructure survey shows that it is beginning to gain traction, especially within more sophisticated SMB accounts.

Scale computing, launched in 2008, based out of Indianapolis with development in San Francisco bay area and offices in London, Paris, Toronto and Dubai made its SMB focused hyperconvergence launch at VMworld in 2012. Since then Scale Computing has implemented over 6,000 systems in a little over 1,600 customers.

As per Techaisle’s SMB virtualization and converged infrastructure survey, the key barriers to adopting hyperconvergence within SMBs are high cost of implementation, infrastructure disruption during roll-out, greater-than-anticipated time and resource investment, and the complexity of integrating new infrastructure units with existing infrastructure. For example, a pet peeve of SMBs when using VMware on HP Proliant DL380 G8 is their inability to use cloud migration to upgrade or add G8 or G9. These are the issues that Scale Computing is trying to address. In defense of VMware, although the initial code base of ESX was never built to be self-aware, VMware is working on it.

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