SMB-focused resellers and systems integrators will have new business opportunities within the applications space in the year ahead, a new report from IDC has claimed.
The survey of 250 SMBs found increasing interest in process optimisation and enterprise applications, IDC software market analyst, Chris Chong, said.
"There are currently SMB systems that were installed pre-millennium," he said. "When they are refreshed, a lot of SMBs will be considering enterprise applications."
Chong said the general perception of enterprise applications had improved within the SMB market, with HR, ERP and hosted CRM applications leading the way. This would see vendors placing more resources and interest in the channel.
"You can expect vendors to be more channel friendly: even those which haven't embraced the channel in the past around the SMB space like Oracle and SAP," he said.
The IDC research also revealed an SMB market more likely to spend money, with most citing the establishment of business-wide IT strategies as their biggest challenge. This ranked higher than budget constraints.
To take advantage of the emerging market, Chong said some form of specialisation was a must.
"If I was an SMB reseller I would focus on vertical expertise driven by industry needs," he said. "I would also use the Web and e-marketing; the Internet is the main channel for SMBs looking for a solution."