Mid Market Becomes More Mainstream
Posted on 14/08/2014
Today’s scalable systems continue to blur the line between SMB and mid-market, opening the door to a wider world of sales success and increased competition between resellers, says Paul Burn from Nimans.
“One of the main changes in recent years is how many products are available in the mid- market space,” he explained. “It used to be limited to a certain number of players, with SMB a clearly defined separate space. But today’s SMB systems can easily be extended to 300-400 extensions therefore the choice of systems is greater so there are more resellers operating, which in turn increases the competition. I suppose it depends just where you classify mid-market. Many analysts would say 250 and above. For me it’s a very blurred line now. Some systems may have a sweet spot of 200 extensions but they can be seamlessly networked together which then equates to 600 users.”
Burn added: “In a way this scalability creates more flexibility and greater sales potential for resellers, rather than them being ‘badged’ SMB or mid-market. Some platforms are better than others so it’s important for resellers to make the right choice, depending on the priorities for their business.”
Burn says mid-market is an applications driven arena. “You have got to prove that a particular solution is going to save your customer some money by making their business perform better. Contact centre, presence and tools such as video conferencing are very strong. Some of the more advanced applications make the sale more engaging. For a reseller their IT skills become much more prevalent. In many ways the higher up the ladder you go the ROI gets easier because it’s easier to prove an ROI on 300 people than it is just three!”
Burn believes resellers need to have a comprehensive support structure to operate on a bigger stage – although it doesn’t all have to be in-house.
“Mid-market generally requires more IT skills and you also need the scale of capacity to compete. That doesn’t necessarily mean all in-house; it’s about forging the right partnerships. For example we offer an independent in-site installation and maintenance service which means some very small resellers have some very big customers.”
Burn concluded: “Hosted is gaining a much stronger foothold and this is another area resellers should be aware of. An OPEX model especially for a larger business is a very interesting proposition. For me the mid-market is all about the apps.”