SMBs Crave Mobile Phone and Smartphone Tech Support

Within the SMB market, basic IT help desk and service desk support is evolving to include smartphone tech support, according to a new study from Parks Associates. Combine smartphone support with traditional PC, server and network support, and you've got a $20 billion IT support opportunity across the U.S. by 2015, according to the research firm. Here's where managed services providers fit in vs. big telecom providers.

That $20 billion IT support opportunity also includes such such areas as cloud, virtualization, and remote access issues. For example, the study finds SMBs lose approximately 3.2 hours per month troubleshooting mobile phone and smartphone issues, while they lose 3.4 hours to server issues. As a result, more than 30% of SMBs desire remote technical support for their company mobile phones.

And it’s not just the fancy new mobile and cloud technologies that are giving SMBs maintenance and support fits, either. Parks Associates' research found that more than 35% of SMBs have used professional technical support for server issues, which remains the most problematic area for SMBs.

MSPs Should Not Be Surprised

Are you surprised to hear that the SMB tech support market is expected to reach this size? You shouldn’t be. Mobile technologies such as smartphones and tablets, as well as infrastructures that are partly or wholly cloud-based, are becoming part of the SMB technology landscape in an irreversible way. As a result, SMB support requirements have changed remarkably from just a year or two ago, as Parks Associates research indicates.

MSPs are already well aware that for the most part, SMBs lack the internal resources to implement or integrate mobile and/or cloud technology into their infrastructures. So why, once those technologies are installed, would they be able to support and upgrade those systems as needed without some outside assistance?

Don’t Cede Market to National Service Providers

The Parks Associates report is actually aimed at national brands, such as AT&T, which the company says are in “prime position” to seize due to their footprint. There is truth in this statement, but that hardly means MSPs can’t fight for and win a sizeable chunk of the SMB tech support market. Unlike national providers, MSPs can easily offer personalized, individual services at a scale and cost SMBs can afford.

In contrast, national brands have most of their attention focused on larger clients and offer SMBs cookie-cutter services. Often, those services are essentially designed for larger companies, but downscaled a bit, with far less flexibility in pricing and scope. Don’t let the big boys scare you from this opportunity, it’s too good to pass up
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