Big names drive Internet for SMBs

Big names drive Internet for SMBs

Well-known technology providers are favoured

As more and more small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) take advantage of the Internet to improve internal efficiency and external reach, a number of technology providers have been refining their offerings to help them to get online, sell online, and market online, as well as manage and monitor online business activity.

Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! are the leading companies that SMBs turn to for Internet resources, with more variation in SMB preferences by vertical industry than by company size, a new IDC report has found. These technology providers are appealing to SMBs in different ways with different offerings.

Other findings from the IDC SMB survey include the following:

  • SMB use of different Internet resource providers varies significantly across different attitude clusters, with different providers having a different mix of SMB customers.

  • SMBs that use Microsoft for Internet resources tend to be larger, while firms citing Yahoo! tend to be smaller.

  • SMBs using Microsoft spend more on an average for Internet resources, but this is not necessarily because of their larger size. In contrast, firms that use AOL spent the least.

    "The opportunity for providers of online capabilities to SMB companies worldwide will continue to grow in the years ahead, despite apparent industry consolidation," said Merle Sandler, research manager for IDC's SMB group. "Alliances and relationships will be increasingly important, moving forward, and industry players will have to enhance their value propositions continually."

    Len Rust is publisher of The Rust Report

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