Parallels Report: U.S. SMBs Rapidly Driving Cloud Adoption
Following up on a similar report on the cloud service provider market opportunity in the Netherlands, Parallels has announced its findings on the U.S. cloud marketplace. And it’s good news for the cloud channel: Parallels claims that SMBs are the foundation of the domestic marketplace, with 95 percent of all American small businesses accounting for more 80 percent of all cloud spending.
Even better — while Parallels estimated the Netherlands cloud market at a respectable $200 million in 2010, American SMBs hit $8.6 billion in spending over the same period across such categories as hosted infrastructure, web hosting and hosted messaging and collaboration, according to the report. Something I should note: In this study Parallels is qualifying an SMB as any organization with between one and 999 seats.
Better yet for cloud service providers, Parallels only sees spending increase over the short-term by as much as another $12 billion, specifically $7 billion in hosted infrastructure, $700 million in web hosting, $400 million in hosted messaging and $3.9 billion in hosted PBX. In short, SMBs are looking for services, not servers, according to Parallels, and the channel is in a prime position to reap the benefits.
And to reap those benefits, Parallels suggested two major courses of action: convert existing customers to the cloud, especially when dealing with the ultra-small businesses that probably don’t need their own Microsoft Exchange or web server; and aggressively promote new services such as hosted PBX and other applications to customers — they may not know what they can afford thanks to the benefits of this decentralized model.
I do have to add that Parallels’ advice to Netherlands cloud VARs holds just as true in the United States, too: Know your customers and what they need. Aggressive promotion won’t get you anywhere if it’s something the customer just doesn’t want.