The current economic downturn has forced European SMBs to scrutinize every aspect of their spending. Much has been made about how strained financial circumstances are making the predictable, regular opex outlay of “in-the-cloud” IT services propositions more attractive to SMB decision-makers. Certainly AMI is seeing this reflected in the uptake of Remote Managed IT Services (RMITS), which has experienced a spurt in growth during the last few months (see AMI’s recently published report on The Emerging SMB Managed Services Market Opportunity & Ecosystem in EMEA, August 2009).
In response to this opportunity, AMI has been seeing a range of players enter the market, each vying for their piece of the pie.
Many smaller local channel partners, who deliver a substantial proportion of IT services to Europe’s 12 million plus small and medium businesses (1-1,000 employees), have evolved remote monitoring and management capabilities. For many this has become an important means of delivering higher quality customer service more cost-efficiently. SMB customers are increasingly demanding better standards of service at reduced cost – so having some form of proactive, remote monitoring is becoming a must to stay competitive.
An increasing number of small, start-up, “pure play” managed service providers have also spotted the opportunity to use remote monitoring platforms to deliver differentiated service levels and to undercut traditional reactive, break-fix service providers.
Large telecom service providers have also been developing their services portfolio. Their approach to smaller businesses in particular has been to package simple, standard voice, internet, applications and IT services bundles posing as a “one-stop-solution” for a range of SMB business needs. Due to their dominance in their local markets, European fixed line telcos will always be in a strong position to make headway in the new market, with the potential to fundamentally change its dynamics.
Of greatest significance in recent months have been the announcements that leading IT brands like Dell and Gateway (Acer) and distributors are entering the market with services offered both directly to end users and to IT channel partners to offer to their customers. This is a clear sign that the market for remote managed services among SMBs has come of age.
Given the experimental nature of this market and types of providers coming to play, the spending structure of SMB MITS will undergo substantial change and reallocation. Who are the current winners? What does it take to win in this race?
Why not join our webinar on the EMEA IT Managed Services Market on 22 October at 15.00 UK/16.00 CET/11.00 US Eastern to learn more about our analyst’s opinion? Registration is required as webinar seating is limited. Reserve your spot for the webinar today by contacting email@example.com
Hugh Gibbs is Vice President of Research & Consulting for the EMEA region. He can be reached at:firstname.lastname@example.org