Mid-Market – The Land of Opportunity

Dean Jones, UK Channel Manager at Enterasys Networks says resellers can stand up to the competition.

“Don’t be fooled by their size. Mid market companies have IT needs that are just as sophisticated as enterprises. But there are some differences. They covet products that are simple to install, use and maintain. What is more, they will typically turn to the channel to achieve all three. With that in mind, vendors are rushing to deliver products that do right by mid market customers and partners. The mid-market has become a fiercely competitive place to do business. With so many vendors interested in the prospect of engaging in business in this area, the environment for sales teams is more involved – and more intense – than ever before. But it is not all doom and gloom for the reseller or VAR.

One method of achieving success in driving sales is to implement highly focused channel programs, based on vertical markets – perhaps health, education and government – or concentrating on a specific geography. Then it is possible to align those partners or resellers who may specialise in these particular segments. Nothing is more compelling than historical proof of a string of previous successes in resolving a company’s specific problem, in similar circumstances, for a similar organisation. Evidently, case studies and references have a significant role to play here.

Mid-market companies have relatively small numbers of IT personnel tasked with multiple roles – including IT support, networking, security and application support – providing a sharp contrast to the dedicated units or specialist teams that a larger organisation may have available to lean on.

The total cost of ownership, likely return on investment and service quality are key drivers for mid-market companies when evaluating and selecting resellers – and also vendors. If a reseller or VAR is able to demonstrate these capabilities, its chances of building and maintaining success in the mid-market will be strengthened greatly.

The fact that voice over IP is sending ancient PBX phone systems to the land of the dinosaurs is well documented – but this observation applies not only to the enterprise level. As more mid-size businesses look to implement the technology, the demand for products that fit more neatly into this space should put chassis-based products out of the running. The mid-market should find the stackable switch, with the benefits of in-built Power over Ethernet capabilities, to be infinitely more appealing. These are the opportunities that resellers should be looking out for.

The UK’s medium-sized enterprises are moving surprisingly rapidly to fully converged voice and data networks. According to new research from BT, 37% have migrated to fully converged voice and data networks – almost two-thirds making the switch in the past 12 months. At the same time, a quarter of those that have yet to migrate stated that they intended to do so within the next two years. In terms of payback, half of these adopters reported significantly reduced infrastructure costs, 52% confirmed they have seen productivity increases and 39% recorded improved organisational agility. These figures alone demonstrate why so many are keen to target these companies with their products and services, and stake their claim for a slice of the pie.

Medium-sized organisations are in a position to make those all-important vital technical and purchasing decisions rapidly. Fewer individuals are involved in the decision-making process, so they can reach their final conclusions without the requirement for multiple meetings. When resellers have a strong business case and their foot is in the door, there should be no turning back.”