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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.

Webex By Cisco - Supporting Hybrid Work with New Capabilities

Hybrid work trends have emerged rapidly over the past year, changing how organizations approach collaboration. Not long ago, the hybrid mode of work was viewed as a luxury – a privilege only for employees who could manage their job from home on occasion. However, the pandemic compelled organizations to scramble for new ways to ensure business continuity, and Hybrid work transformed into a must-have from being a nice-to-have option. Organizations that fail to embrace this change and try to return to a 100-percent-office-based work strategy are at risk of falling short in productivity, talent retention, and much more. Amid the worldwide trend of ‘great resignations,’ organizations have been trying to find a balance between working from home and the office.

In a scenario where hybrid work is no longer a choice but a necessity, many organizations are already aware that they need to provide consistent technical support to employees across different locations to enable a hybrid work environment that is seamless, secure, and smart. Hybrid work requires more than just collaborative software; it requires advanced devices, robust security, dependable connection, and smooth networking—all of which must function in tandem. Furthermore, it requires a unified solution to avoid fragmented communication, additional IT administrative labor, and increased security concerns.

The Webex platform addresses all these essential aspects of hybrid work – where employees work and how they prefer to work. It offers several solutions that can be easily integrated with various pre-existing systems and ensure enterprise-grade security.

Read on learn about Webex, comparisons with Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet

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IBM launches Partner Plus experience designed to accelerate partner business velocity

Hybrid cloud is non-optional, security is a priority, automation is critical, and AI platform adoption is when not if. Cloud automation, hybrid cloud orchestration, and cloud cost management are imposing a daunting challenge on the channel. As the cloud adoption landscape continues to shift, each IT supplier has been evaluating and evolving its partner program to drive sales and profitability for its partners. IBM has been working on developing its program since May 2020, when it introduced Build, Sell, and Service tracks. However, the evolution took on urgency after Arvind Krishna, Chairman, and CEO, of IBM, declared the ecosystem as one of the company's key priorities. As a result, IBM has increased its specialized resources by 50 percent and technical resources by 30 percent to support the partner ecosystem. Recently, IBM announced its new program called Partner Plus. IBM PartnerWorld transitioned to IBM Partner Plus experience on January 4, 2023, with the new incentive program taking effect on April 1, 2023.

Enablement, empowerment, ecosystem, and experiences are the unwritten principles driving IBM Partner Plus in transforming the rules of partner engagement. Kate Woolley, General Manager of IBM Ecosystem, says, “A thriving ecosystem is critical to underpin the success of any technology company, and we believe the underpinnings of this must be an open and inclusive ecosystem. We can reach and do more through and with our ecosystem. As a result, we have put our partners at the center of IBM’s go-to-market strategy.”

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Partners prefer Mitel’s one-size-does-not-fit-all customer choice strategy

Techaisle’s latest commercial segment survey research data shows that for 92% of firms, customer experience solutions and employee experience platforms are a priority. In addition, 69% of mid-market firms are already planning investments in modernizing their customer-facing and employee productivity and communications solutions. Modern communication solutions are essential for 84% of firms, driving improved customer and employee engagement. Hence, 48% of these firms are either investing in or planning to invest in Unified Communications (UC) solutions. However, data also shows no one-size-fits-all approach to business communications solutions.

Partner commitment

We are hearing from partners that Mitel is firmly committed to supporting customers wherever they are in their communications journey with flexible, future-proofed solutions. Mitel’s portfolio of flexible, modern options is available any way that customers prefer to buy them: CAPEX options; subscription options; and a complete range of private, hybrid, and on-premises deployment options. Mitel’s UC Platform MiVoice Business improves the business experience by unifying all communication and collaboration needs into a single platform, providing greater deployment flexibility and superior customer lifecycle management. In addition to MiVoice Business’s private, public cloud, and on-premises deployment options, customers can choose a subscription model. Progressive and committed Mitel reseller partners are taking note of Mitel’s approach to solving a customer’s business communication requirements throughout their communications journey.

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Top 10 SMB and Midmarket business issues, IT priorities and challenges for 2023

They are here - Techaisle's annual SMB and Midmarket Top 10 IT Priorities, IT Challenges, and Business Issues infographics, 13th year of Techaisle tracking at a WW level, and is sought after by IT vendors, channel partners, and media. Techaisle surveyed over 5000 SMBs, quota sampled to ensure adequate coverage of four small businesses (1-9, 10-19, 20-49, and 50-99 employees), three midmarket (100-249, 250-499, and 500-999 employees) and two upper midmarket (1000-2499, 2500-4999) segments. As a result, the data represents a robust and reliable sampling of the market segment for IT products and services.

Significant changes in 2023 as compared to 2022 are:

  • Driving innovation and managing uncertainty, absent in 2022, are among the top 10 business issues in 2023.
  • Deploying customer experience solutions as an IT priority has moved to 4th place as compared to 9th in 2022. CCaaS is considered an integral component of customer experience solutions.
  • Implementing employee experience platforms and 5G-enabled devices/applications are new IT priorities within the top 10 list. UCaaS is one of the technology areas being investigated by SMBs.
  • Adopting collaboration technology solutions has move down from 3rd rank to 8th and hybrid workplace solutions as a priority ranks 10th as compared to 5th in 2022
  • Budget constraint has been a constant IT challenge fixture for over a decade. For 2023, it has been replaced by cloud cost management. Cloud optimization and cost management are the top IT challenges for SMBs, Core-Midmarket, and Upper Midmarket firms.
  • Preventing Cyberattacks, adopting Zero Trust, and moving to as-a-service technology acquisition for new IT challenges are among the top five.
  • Sustainability is increasingly becoming relevant and essential for the SMB segment, and there is no surprise that it is among the top challenges.
  • Integration, business process automation is now non-optional and a challenge, which is worsened because of the inability to find trained employees
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