Optimism and a newer outlook has pushed Indian SMBs onto a fast growth track. Business expansion is on the rise with 15% of SBs and 22% of MBs planning to add new branches – thus driving the need for greater collaboration and hence, voice and data communications. 24×7 connectivity has become a top priority component for Indian SMBs in order to gain efficiency and broader reach. They need to provide on-the-move employees the benefits of anytime, anywhere access.
Positive attitude towards communication is the key driver for growth in the voice and data industry. Close to three-fourths of Indian SMBs rate improving bandwidth to be a key strategic concern. This has resulted in their moving away from basic dial-ups towards wired broadband services, and deploying wireless broadband for mobile employees. A gradual shift from standalone basic phone services (voice and web conferencing) towards data (internet access and UCs) has been noticed. A significant number of SMBs are considering moving to VOIP and video communications to further efficient collaboration.
The SMB Internet market has shown more than 10% growth, which is slightly higher than the telecom services market. The introduction of broadband services at affordable prices has resulted in the bulk of Indian SMBs moving to broadband connectivity – that is, speeds higher than 256kbps. DSL, cable and wireless broadband adoption are also growing rapidly. Though instant messaging (IM) is contributing very little towards total telecom revenues, it has a significant role to play towards growth in overall communication revenue.
SMBs have already realized the benefits of the various applications offered on Smartphones. Benefits of smartphones and the rollout of multiple competitively-prices plans catering to different ranges of users has helped the smart phone market to grow at a faster pace. This, on the other hand, has triggered growth of internet access through mobile.
According to Somnath Das, Kolkata-based Analyst at AMI-Partners, “Looking at the current trend of voice and data adoption among SMBs there is immense opportunity for telcos to market integrated voice and data mobility solutions. Entry level voice and data solutions can definitely increase productivity and responsiveness in smaller organizations.”