Small to midsized businesses (SMBs) are the bedrock of the global economy, representing 99 percent of all businesses worldwide and generating approximately 70 percent of the global gross domestic product. While they are often the most vulnerable in times of economic uncertainty, most remain committed to making judicious technology investments that build long-term business resilience.
Collectively, SMBs worldwide are expected to spend nearly $1.5 trillion on business technology enhancements this year, according to new figures from the tech research firm Analysys Mason. That represents a 6 percent growth from last year and continues a three-year trend of increased SMB investment in technology modernization efforts.
That’s not to say tech spending patterns won’t change. Most SMBs are likely to pare back spending on PCs and commodity hardware while shifting dollars to strategic technologies likely to deliver more immediate value. Security, connectivity, network optimization, cloud services and analytics are among the top priorities.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to SMB technology decisions, however. From accountants and auto mechanics to restaurants and real estate brokers, small businesses have unique characteristics and distinctive technology needs. Although most SMB owners ultimately make their own purchasing decisions, few have deep technology expertise. That’s why most lean heavily on trusted advisors to help them evaluate, procure and implement IT solutions.
Technology resellers can play a critical role in helping small businesses make informed technology decisions. In addition to leveraging their vendor relationships to negotiate a good deal for their SMB customers, resellers can create value by providing expertise, product knowledge, technical support and training.
Resellers are in the technology business, so they are well-positioned to help SMBs evaluate their current technology environment and identify areas where improvements and investments are most likely to advance operational goals. For example, they can conduct network assessments to evaluate the existing hardware and software portfolio, service levels, device configurations, bandwidth and power levels.
With in-depth knowledge of various products and solutions available in the market, resellers can help SMB teams understand the features, benefits and limitations of different products and recommend the ones most suitable for their business. The reseller’s engineering and technical support teams can also help you know what to expect from specific solutions based on their real-world implementation experience.
Focus on Relationships
Another important benefit of working with a trusted reseller is access to their vendor relationships. Leading providers cultivate close relationships with established vendors who can provide support and direction. In addition, vendors often give their reseller partners access to product discounts, bulk licensing, expedited order fulfillment, enhanced support options and other services that aren’t offered directly to businesses. Equally important, resellers can serve as the liaison between the business and vendors to ensure clear communication and timely resolution of issues.
Technical support and maintenance services are also key benefits for SMBs that don’t have their own IT department. For instance, organizations looking to roll out new applications and services to support digital transformation initiatives frequently report they lack the manpower and resources necessary. Day-to-day tasks often overwhelm in-house IT staff, preventing businesses from adequately linking their IT operations with business processes.
A customer-focused reseller will take the time to learn about your business instead of presenting cookie-cutter solutions. They will work closely with key stakeholders to learn about challenges the company is eager to address, and they’ll maintain ongoing communications to ensure customer satisfaction.
Verteks understands that in the face of economic volatility, small businesses can’t afford to make mistakes with their critical technology investments. We work closely with our customers to provide recommendations and strategies on cost-efficiently utilizing technology to achieve key business goals. Contact us to set up a complimentary consultation.