Parallels Summit 2012: It’s Still About SMB and the Cloud
The VAR Guy is overwhelmed with SMB love at Parallels Summit 2012. After a cursory look at Parallels’ SMB study, our resident blogger was inundated with even more information on how SMBs are consuming cloud solutions during the day’s keynotes and breakout sessions. Here’s the highlight reel on CEO Birger Steen, Gartner brass Tiffani Bova and another look at SMB trends …
Steen offered up some interesting factoids about where where SMBs are headed, and where Parallels sits in the cloud and virtualization world. For example, he noted 12 of the top 30 worldwide telecom providers now leverage Parallels, and more than a million SMBs have added Parallels solutions in 2011. That should come as no surprise, considering SMBs with fewer than 20 employees is the fastest growing segment of the market. Steen said the uptick in cloud adoption is due in part to a mix between the proliferation of cloud services and that the shift to hosted cloud services, which has streamlined the distribution channel. It’s now easier than ever for vendors to reach the SMB with advanced technology through products such as the ones Parallels offers hosting providers. It’s all done in the cloud. And for Steen, the bottom line is exactly that: the bottom line — Steen sees the SMB as a trillion-dollar industry.
Meanwhile, Gartner’s Bova offered a similar story to the one she presented at Symantec Partner Engage 2011. Gartner research shows that cloud services and hype is at its peak, but she offered a sober warning: “The next thing that’s going to happen is the trough of disillusionment.” Bova referenced a chart showing the cloud bubble could burst and everyone could view the cloud as overhyped. Should that happen, she said, eventually that will subside and cloud technology will continue to grow and mature into the “slope of enlightenment.” But Bova stressed the real point is “cloud is the platform, not the endgame,” and hosting providers can continue to profit as long as they understand the way SMBs continue to consume and leverage emerging technologies in the cloud.
Finally, The VAR Guy popped into a deep dive on the Parallels SMB Cloud Insights report. Some tasty SMB tidbits include:
- Parallels’ survey covered an impressive 5,200 SMBs across 13 countries.
- Micro-SMBs (1-19 employees) are most likely to leap into the cloud, which could mean VARs can profit quickly from SMBs that are bursting at the seams to grow their business.
- Medium-sized SMBs (100-1,000 employees) are adopting premium hosted e-mail services, which jumped 110 percent in 2011.
- Hosted PBX grew 75 percent in 2011, most of which was driven by micro-SMBs seeking enterprise-level features.
- Don’t underestimate e-mail: According to Parallels, “POP mail has zero commercial value,” so hosts may want to offer something more robust that includes antivirus, spam filters and even group calendars.
Want some more juicy for more details? Download the extensive (and well-illustrated) Parallels SMB Cloud Insights report here. Check back in tomorrow for Parallels Summit 2012 Day 2 keynote highlights, which will focus on security and the evolving Parallels ecosystem.