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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.

Cisco’s Master Plan for Seizing the SMB Market Opportunity

According to data from Techaisle, it is projected that the global IT expenditure of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will escalate to a staggering US$1.35 trillion by 2024. Furthermore, this spending is anticipated to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.7%, extending through 2028. Cisco is making a significant push into the SMB market, a segment where it has enjoyed steady growth. In fiscal year 2023, which concluded in July, the SMB segment was Cisco’s top-performing customer category for a third consecutive year. Cisco sees this segment as a $25 billion addressable market opportunity, captured with mid to high-tier SMBs transitioning to cloud and SaaS solutions. Notably, about 20% of Cisco’s SMB business comes from new customers every year, underscoring this segment's critical role in expanding Cisco’s reach and reflecting on the growing demand for technology amongst SMBs.

Cisco’s go-to-market in the SMB segment is partner-led, catalyzed with continuous partner-focused programs, initiatives, and marketing investments to foster robust relationships. According to the latest research by Techaisle, a significant majority of SMBs, 87%, depend on their partners for technology solutions. Furthermore, these SMBs channel nearly 89% of their IT expenditure through these partners. Cisco is, therefore, continuously enhancing its engagement with partners, revamping its marketing strategies, and adapting to the changing needs of its customers. A vital part of this strategy is the focus on the new “Scale” go-to-market initiative, aligned to engaging SMB customers and Partners in this space, as unveiled at the company’s sales kickoff meeting in August. This model offers partners and customers enhanced sales and marketing support, ensuring that SMBs receive expert advice in crucial care-about areas such as cybersecurity or hybrid work.

The concept of “digital transformation” has become a staple in corporate discussions over the years. While some may write it off as a fad, many, particularly SMBs, understand its importance. For these businesses, digital transformation involves adopting digital technologies to streamline operations, improve customer relationships, and position themselves as agile and innovative entities in their respective fields. Techaisle data reveals that 71% of SMBs are investing in digital transformation, and 37% have a holistic digital strategy. SMBs, once perceived as technologically behind, are actively embracing cloud solutions to meet their IT requirements. These technologies have become crucial to their digital transformation journey, enabling them to automate various operational aspects and gain a competitive advantage through essential business process automation tools, orchestration, and integration or advanced offerings like custom AI and analytics applications hosted on cloud platforms.

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Techaisle study reveals that the Cloud is closing the gap between strategy and execution for SMBs and Midmarket firms

In a genuine sense, the discussion of “the cloud” is similar in scope to the discussion of “IT.” In both cases, use is a given, but the scope and impact of that use are critical to the operational effectiveness and competitiveness.

In today’s world, there is little distinction between “business infrastructure” and “digital business infrastructure;” in recent SMB survey research, Techaisle found that executives from nearly all upper midmarket firms (1000-4999 employees) agree that we have reached a “post-digital” state where all business strategy discussions include digital considerations.

Cloud is the linchpin for these strategies. A Techaisle survey of more than 2,000 firms, segmented into small business (1-99 employees), core midmarket (100-999), and upper midmarket (1000-4999), found that across this broad spectrum, SMBs universally see cloud as a way to reduce IT and operational costs, increase operational agility, and support improved business processes that drive increased efficiency and profitability.

Cloud in an SMB Business Context

For more than a decade, the cloud has been touted as a means of enabling SMBs to capture IT benefits that were previously the sole province of large enterprises: the ability to achieve both IT cost-efficiency and the competitive edge arising from ubiquitous automation that accelerates processes and unlocks the potential of new relationships, offerings, and markets. Today, SMBs and midmarket firms are seeking a zero-friction future: a state in which businesses can seamlessly deploy and integrate capabilities across multiple business areas, creating fluid systems linking core functions to new approaches to engagement, insight, and innovation.

Since 2014, the path forward has proved to be more fractious than the vision. In most SMBs, the cloud itself advanced in fits and starts, with early attempts at hosted private cloud and use of public cloud to support business-critical workloads snagging on unclear platform standards, a lack of experienced talent, economic worries, and a delivery horizon which remained stubbornly beyond practical experience. But in time, knowledge and improved technologies have addressed the rough edges.

Cloud is increasingly able to deliver real benefits to SMBs: it is both a priority and a current reality, providing business infrastructure that connects strategy and execution, responding to changing business requirements, changing customer and supplier expectations, volatile competitive pressures, and new opportunities for automation of both systems and system-dependent processes and workflows.

Six truths about cloud in the SMB

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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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