According to a recent poll of senior IT and business decision makers by analyst firm Larato*, today, over 90% of UK small businesses are interested in taking more advantage of the cloud. Buyers are preparing to invest their existing, mainly static, budgets in different ways to achieve the business benefits on offer. As a result, the flow of cash between buyers and suppliers is shifting.
Against this backdrop hosted and cloud based unified communications firm HIPCOM has doubled its turnover between 2010 and 2012.
HIPCOM Chairman Allan Murdoch explains; “Moving away from traditional IT and Communications towards cloud services is a trend fuelling grass-roots change right across the supply chain.
Buying is changing. Customers require new services that they procure and consume in a radically different way from today. Over the next three years, some resellers will see revenues thrive. Others will all but disappear unless they adapt.”
HIPCOM provides an established, proven and reliable unified communications suite for business that is supplied through the cloud.
Murdoch continues, “We have been able to do this as a result of the strategic decision we made to acquire the rights to our OSS platform in 2011. This gave HIPCOM control over a component which is one of our key market differentiators. At the same time we doubled turnover we also doubled our headcount taking on sales staff, developers and technical experts to fuel future growth and development of services.”
HIPCOM’s decision to develop an integrated suite of unified communications products for their channel partners to provide to business customers is one that is supported by key analyst firm Larato who commented:
“In our recent survey we found that buyers want ‘Productivity Suites’. By this term they mean an integrated bundle that includes; cloud-based voice, video conferencing, worker mobility, email, document collaboration and applications that give their businesses a competitive edge. Small firms want to source these bundles from a reseller with specialist expertise in Voice over IP, data management, IT infrastructure management and the other Productivity Suite elements. Importantly, almost 60% want to buy from a local reseller who can contextualise the benefits for them.”
Allan Murdoch recognises that the buying process is changing too. “Customers want to purchase and manage their services online yet receive support from a real, not an automated, support representative. This combination of a high demand for specialisms, self-service consumption and ‘in person’ support puts pressure on the supply chain to change so it is vital that the UK resellers work with a supplier that can help them deliver what these customers want. Alliances between resellers and suppliers will be critical for future success.”
The Larato research found that 61% of small firms intend to change from their current provider to obtain a cloud-based productivity suite.
Murdoch concluded, “In the past smaller enterprises have only been able to access rigid IT and communications packages with limited functionality. The cloud changes this. For the first time, small firms can exploit the power of big company technology to compete.