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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.

Zoho Workplace may well be the employee experience platform we have been missing

On February 8th, 2023, Zoho unveiled its unified communications platform, Trident, a Zoho Workplace that offers businesses easier ways to communicate across channels, improve employee experience, enhance organizational productivity, and accelerate business transformation by combining collaboration, productivity, and communication tools. “Distributed,” “remote,” and “hybrid” – these are the realities of today’s workforce. Businesses are increasingly using technology to provide cohesion within the workforce. Businesses that have adopted unified workspace technology believe strongly that it contributes to productivity by providing a single workspace, delivering better access to applications and resources from which employees can accomplish most of their daily work. The Zoho Workplace, five years in development before employee experience became imperative, is one solution that can replace multiple products such as Slack, Trello, Zoom, Monday, DocuSign, Grammarly, and even M365/Google Workspace. Techaisle’s analysis of current and planned cloud workloads underscores the importance of contextual, collaborative capabilities within business applications. Each product mentioned addresses a specific business requirement but is not seamlessly interconnected to provide a cohesive experience without customization and integration overheads.

In the wake of great resignation, robust job market, and paucity of skill sets, businesses are prioritizing employee experience. For example, Techaisle’s latest research shows that deploying employee experience solutions is a priority for 60% of small businesses, 88% of core midmarket, and 96% of upper midmarket firms. These firms are using digitalization initiatives for employee empowerment and are digitally transforming to support employees. Many factors drive productivity, including management approaches, processes and practices, and collaboration/synergy across activities and functions. But technology is a pivotal contributor to productivity – directly and through its ability to positively affect processes and collaboration. This is the target market that Zoho is addressing. Zoho Workplace has more than 16 million users and is growing at 30%+ year-on-year.

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Eight Key SMB and Midmarket Trends

97% of SMBs and midmarket firms consider technology important and integral to business success. As we enter 2023, IT product and service suppliers are looking to create a context for understanding the range of outcomes that the new year may bring. Techaisle has launched its "2023 in Focus" research series to support that effort, which illuminates issues and requirements in the vast SMB, core-midmarket, and upper-midmarket segments. After surveying thousands of SMBs and midmarket firms and having hundreds of depth calls, we see key trends that revolve around:

  • Enabling a connected business and business process automation
  • Converging on long-term growth, profitability, and innovation
  • Prioritizing cloud cost management and security
  • Hybrid work but challenges are overwhelming
  • Sharpening focus on IT spend for time to value, agility
  • As-a-service technology acquisition gaining momentum

techaisle 8 key smb trends

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SMBs, core midmarket and upper midmarket firms are adopting RPA and how Xerox is a great match

Current trends show that Robotic Process Automation (RPA) adoption rates have risen significantly, with many businesses wanting to automate processes to increase efficiency. RPA is a non-invasive technology for making daily operations more efficient, allowing for increased productivity. While larger organizations have started early, smaller businesses have also begun to adopt RPA increasingly. While there is still some misconception that RPA is not so relevant for SMBs. The rise in adoption can be attributed to the fact that RPA technology helps boost productivity, enhance customer and employee satisfaction, improve cash flow, support audit and compliance requirements, and gain a competitive advantage. SMBs rely on efficient workflows and effective systems throughout all processes, and in the SMB space, efficiency is often a critical competitive advantage.

Importance of RPA to SMBs and midmarket firms

SMBs have constraints, such as limited resources and budgets, that demand flexibility. However, because SMBs are agile, they can quickly adopt new technologies with less friction. Large enterprises are generally burdened with complexity and red tape, but SMBs can embrace change and gain immensely by implementing RPA.

1. Technological competitive advantage: SMBs can improve productivity to gain a competitive advantage by automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks traditionally associated with back-end office functions.
2. Real-time tracking: RPA systems can track, analyze, and estimate an organization’s data in real time. Based on the estimates, SMBs can focus on improving their shortcomings and building their strengths. In addition, the data can be accessed anytime when required.
3. Cost reduction: SMBs often have limited resources and are highly cautious about direct and indirect costs. Hiring more personnel increases business costs, but by adopting RPA, SMBs can handle daily operations with lesser dependency on the human workforce.

techaisle smb key rpa trends

RPA Use Cases for SMBs

As RPA technology continues to evolve, its applicability across industries, functions, and systems also expands. Here are some of its SMB use cases.

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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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