Wireless 2.0: Are You Overlooking the SME Market Opportunity?

The SME market is primed for wireless LAN expansion—and the customer base needs help.

October 29, 2014

2 Min Read
Opportunity Billboard

By Karl Soderlund 1

One of the leading industry research firms, Dell’Oro Group, sized the U.S. wireless LAN opportunity at approximately $1.3 billion within the small-to-midsized enterprise (SME) segment, defined as 50-250 employees or users. With such a strong market opportunity, why is there not more focus by solution providers? Is it not profitable enough? Do they not have the resources to properly cover it? Is there not a need for incremental professional services? I've been asking myself these questions lately, surprised by the channel's perception that it's a "tough market segment" to enter.

Let's compare it to other growing WLAN segments. Is SME tougher to break into than state, local or education, with the constant asks for RFPs and bids from multiple providers? Is it tougher than selling into large enterprises, where there is always a risk of a competitor taking the deal at razor-thin margins and cutting you out after you did all the heavy lifting?

It is my opinion that the SME market is primed for wireless LAN expansion—and the customer base needs help. For the SME customer, the initial wireless boom consisted of a trip down to Office Depot and buying an inexpensive commercial grade Wi-Fi access point to put into their conference room. They then could say proudly, "Of course we have wireless!" A lot has changed in few years. Today, the same mobility needs exist across market segments. Is security a concern? Is performance a concern? Would you like to provide guest access? How about BYOD? Most small customers will answer "yes" to the above, but they don't have the time or expertise to deploy the solution. This is where you the service provider can come to the rescue. I am here to tell you this is a profitable market segment, and there is surprisingly much less competition for hardware and associated services as you go downmarket. 

My ask for all of you is to spend some time researching the wireless LAN SME market in your particular geography. You'll be surprised at the opportunity and profitability that awaits you!

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