Soho and SME Services

The Market Challenge

For digital service providers, reaching the small business universe presents unique challenges: they often look like mass market customers, but have more complex needs. Their technology requirements vary by industry but their internal IT is often under-skilled or absent. They crave support, but don’t have the customer lifetime value to justify a dedicated account manager.

Most irritating, these realities add up to a customer that – for now at least – won’t usually self serve.

Cracking this profit conundrum demands the right channel mix, a value proposition calibrated to the right buyer persona and a pitch with a light industry-specific veneer.

How Ovum Helps You

Empower – identify compelling, profitable digital services that help smaller businesses thrive.

Simplify – craft integrated propositions that overcome digital service providers’ internal silos to address customers’ validated needs.

Engage – determine the correct blend of physical and virtual channels to engage different buyer personas.

Support – help bridge the digital skills gap between small and large businesses, and accelerate transformation.

“Nine of 10 SMEs believe digital services can improve their business – but half say they are digitally illiterate”

Key Deliverables

SoHo and SMEs Insights – digital demand perspectives across developed and growth economies.

Profiles and case studies – highlighting success and key learnings in addressing the small business universe.

Telecom Cloud Monitor – tracking key cloud-related activities among 400 CSPs around the world.

Forecasts across major B2B services – consistent segmentation for SoHo and SMEs across core cloud, UC, broadband services.

Rapid analysis – the implications of key market happenings.

Themes for 2018

Virtualizing the SME
Small businesses are increasingly dependent on the capex light, as-a-service model. But deploying the right blend of digital services remains a challenge for buyers and sellers alike. Ovum continues to deliver pragmatic guidance which match service bundles – such as cloud apps, collaboration tools, security, SD WAN, etc – to the right customer through ongoing end-user research and supply side analysis.


Superfast SMEs
New superfast services based on G.Fast, FTTP, dark fiber unbundling – and not least 5G – should transform small businesses productivity. Through end-user research and market benchmarking, Ovum will help service providers develop compelling value propositions that go beyond high speed and low prices in order to capture attention and loyalty.


Architecting the B2B channel
Sales through partner channels are rising, but so is competition to sign up the best partner. Service providers must identify the best fit of partner to complement their portfolio and deliver the client intimacy that small businesses demand. Not least, they must also develop value propositions, tools and systems to make their channels loyal and productive. Ovum assesses partners and partner programs focusing on the small business universe.


Digital engagement with small businesses
Nine out of 10 service providers identify delivering a personalized customer experience as a top business challenge. Extending this aim to the small business segment – a difficult hybrid of consumer and business needs – presents special problems. Ovum can guide on best practice based on end-user research and case studies addressing key themes in digital engagement, online reputation building and self service.


Monetizing the informal economy
The informal economy of traders, craftsmen and other unconventional entrepreneurs is a potentially vast opportunity for service providers in emerging markets. Based on field research and benchmarking, Ovum offers practical approaches to mining this shadowy segment.

What’s New

Channel programs – identifying the right partner, comparing approaches to boosting productivity and loyalty.

Global B2B Demographics Tool – a Rosetta Stone to the global B2B universe to support targeting and opportunity sizing – will be upgraded with additional countries, and estimates on the informal economy.

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