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Worldwide focus on SMB and Channel Partners market research and industry analysis.

Techaisle study shows the Complex Reality of SMBs and Cybersecurity

SMB buyers are acutely aware of the threat cyber attacks pose to their businesses. The Techaisle SMB and Midmarket Security Adoption Trends survey of 2,035 IT and business decision-makers from SMB and upper midmarket firms found that nearly 30% of SMBs (1-999 employees) consider cyber attacks to be among the top three issues facing their business, with an additional 26% stating that it is the most pressing/critical IT issue facing their firms. However, less than half of the respondents were more optimistic, choosing one of three responses: “it is a critical issue, but we have established best practices to control cyber attacks,” “it is one of many different issues, and we are satisfied with our status,” or “cyber attacks are not a significant issue.”

Drilling down, we see that small businesses (1-99 employees) are less inclined to see cyber threats as a top-one IT issue or a top-three business issue; this likely arises from the fact that SMBs have less mature IT operations (meaning that many factors that are controlled in larger firms could represent top IT issues) and that they face a wide array of daily business challenges. The data showing that small businesses are likelier to have established best practices to control cyber attacks probably isn’t grounded in market reality: small businesses that handle security internally lack the resources needed to deploy optimal defenses.

However, those relying on a capable third party may reasonably claim to use best practices. Most worrying from this data, though, are the top two bars, indicating that 22% see cybersecurity as “one of many issues, and we are satisfied with our status,” with another 12% claiming that “cyber-attacks are not a significant issue.” There are small businesses – for example, individuals billing larger businesses for hourly labor – for whom cyber attacks wouldn’t represent a critical issue. However, the data shows that one-third of small businesses are unconcerned about cybersecurity. In contrast, independent studies show that most small businesses fail within six months of being breached. Techaisle thinks these businesses likely struggle to find financial justification for investments in meaningful cyber defense and instead persuade themselves that this is not a real business problem for them. Techaisle suspects that many of these firms are tuned into vulnerabilities associated with digital business practices and might be persuadable concerning the value of cybersecurity if issues and remedies were clearly and convincingly presented to them.

Core midmarket (100-999 employees) and upper midmarket (1000-4999 employees) businesses take a more proactive view of these issues. Approximately two-thirds of respondents in each group view cyber attacks as either their most critical IT issue or a top-three business issue, with the core midmarket group evenly split between these positions and the upper midmarket more likely to identify cyber as a top IT concern. More than 80% of these organizations are focused on establishing effective cyber defenses and should be viewed as prime candidates for effective solutions.

Should SMBs worry about cyber attacks?

The data above begs a related question: Is the lack of concern demonstrated by small businesses rooted in reality – is it the case that one-third of respondents don’t have much to fear from cyber-attacks?

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Mitel Unveils New DECT Phones and MiCollab Updates to Revolutionize Communication

Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) technology is a prime example of innovation and practicality in an era characterized by swift technological advancements. With its origins dating back to the latter half of the 20th century, DECT technology has evolved into a sophisticated communications network that redefines cordless phone communication standards. Mitel, a leading communication solutions provider, has been at the forefront of this evolution, offering DECT features such as over-the-air synchronization, enhanced signal strength, advanced security protocols, voice encryption, and reliable connectivity. The company’s commitment to innovation is further underscored by the impending launch of its 700d Series phones.

In addition to its DECT offerings, Mitel also provides the MiCollab app—a comprehensive communication solution designed to enhance collaboration. Among its many advanced features is Meetings—a multi-party video conferencing solution. The app’s most recent update (MiCollab 9.7 SP1) introduces several new features we will examine in detail.

Mitel: A Significant Player in the DECT Market

The global multicellular DECT market is fiercely competitive, with many companies competing for a share of the market. In 2022, Atos Utility and Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise held 18% and 15% of the market share, respectively. Companies such as Ascom Wireless, Yealink, Snom, and Avaya each had less than 10% of the market. Mitel stood out as the market leader, holding approximately one-fifth of the market share by consistently providing modern, comprehensive, and reliable solutions.

As the DECT market continues to evolve, competitors are focusing on differentiating their products by introducing solutions specific to various industries, improving audio quality, and adding mobile features to meet the diverse needs of their clients. Organizations are looking for solutions tailored to their unique requirements, and DECT players are responding by delivering innovative communication solutions that meet and exceed expectations and enhance connectivity.

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Zoho Books: Comprehensive Cloud Accounting Solution for Small and Midmarket Businesses

Spreadsheets and ledgers are essential tools for managing finances during the early stages of a business. However, as businesses grow and the number of customers and vendors they interact with increases, even basic tasks like tracking money coming in and going out can become tedious and time-consuming. Recording and analyzing financial data becomes more complex, requiring more than just sorting through spreadsheets and paperwork. This is where accounting software comes in handy. Instead of relying on manual processes, businesses can automate many tasks and streamline their operations.

One such cloud accounting platform is Zoho Books, which offers comprehensive features designed to simplify accounting processes and improve financial management. Zoho Books makes managing finances easy with intuitive invoicing, expense tracking, and bank reconciliation interfaces. It also automates tasks like creating recurring invoices, sending payment reminders, categorizing expenses, reducing errors, and ensuring timely transactions.

Since its launch in 2011, Zoho Books has become one of the top five products in the Zoho suite and has established itself as a significant player in the accounting software market.

zoho books logo

Zoho Books’ Competitive Edge

Zoho Books is known for its user-friendly design, featuring an intuitive interface that is accessible to both accounting professionals and business owners with limited financial knowledge. This allows users of all backgrounds and experience levels to manage their finances efficiently.

In addition to its user-friendly design, Zoho Books has a global focus, offering over 14 customized versions for different countries and an international edition. This enables businesses to effectively manage their financial operations while adapting to the unique characteristics of their local market.

Customization is another critical benefit of Zoho Books. Recognizing that every business has unique needs, the platform allows users to tailor their workflows, reports, and templates to fit their specific requirements. This enhances the user experience, improves efficiency, and streamlines business processes.

Zoho Books also offers value through its cost-effectiveness, with free plans for businesses with annual revenue of less than US$50,000 and six competitive pricing plans, making it an attractive solution for businesses of all sizes.

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Partner ecosystem - the winds of change: all thrust, no vector

The aviation phrase “all thrust, no vector” is sometimes used to describe individuals or initiatives that exhibit a great deal of energy (such as the power required for a plane to achieve liftoff) but no clear sense of direction. It is an apt description of the current state of the IT channel.

  • The IT channel is facing several challenges, including the need to deliver more business value, the shift to as-a-Service contracts, and the need for new skills.
  • There is no clear consensus on the best way to address these challenges.
  • Channel partners are struggling to find a balance between investing in new initiatives and maintaining their existing operations.

Consider the critical business issues identified by survey respondents in Techaisle’s survey as a starting point. Ten issues (from a list of 19 options) were identified as important by more than one-quarter of respondents, but not one was identified as important by more than half. Respondents are trying to reduce volatility in their businesses by managing uncertainty, reducing churn, and focusing on customer retention – and/or they are attempting to drive growth by improving speed to market, focusing on new markets, and increasing the number of offerings sold to each customer – and/or they are looking to shore up core operations through improving sales and marketing effectiveness, attracting and retaining employees, and increasing engagement with vendor partners.

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