OTT Providers Embrace SME Opportunity: What About Telcos?
According to a recent article in the FT , social media and internet companies such as Facebook and Google are increasingly targeting small businesses. Realising that SMEs represent a significant opportunity, Google and its peers are broadening their focus to include offers that match the needs and capabilities of smaller businesses.
For SMEs involved in retail, leisure, and other verticals, the advantages of online presence haven't always been obvious. Now, Google has even developed a marketing kit for small and local business, as it has become clear that they have both an appetite for new services and a willingness to spend. This is a significant shift: SMEs are often the backbone of local and national economies and if even OTT providers are waking up to this, something must be going on.
That's why telcos and service providers cannot ignore this opportunity for much longer. SMEs have a willingness to pay for services that add value to their business: either through increased marketing visibility or through increased operational efficiency. Communications is an essential part of this mix. IP or Mobile Centrex delivers significant benefits to SMEs – it doesn't matter how small the business is, enhanced communications services improve reachability, improve efficiency and ensure that vital business calls are dealt with and opportunities are not lost.
Telcos need to act fast to emphasise the value of their solutions for the SME market – if Google can deliver dedicated solutions and marketing assistance, there's no reason why telcos should not only launch services, but tweak the messaging to ensure that it's meaningful, relevant and sharp enough to convey their value propositions.