Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are the lifeblood of the global economy. Although large enterprises tend to grab most of the headlines in the media, growth is almost impossible without a network of smaller, thriving, creative companies.
In the EU alone, SMBs account for a massive 98 percent of the region’s business, and employ some 67 percent of the workforce. In the United States, meanwhile, they provide nearly half of all the money paid to employees – and have created more new jobs than large companies every year since 2009. The US government recognizes this, and has recently announced it will be providing some US$19 million to support SMB export growth.
There can be little wonder then that tech companies are now realizing the importance of creating innovative solutions that meet SMBs’ needs. Microsoft, for example, recently announced it would create SMB zones in its stores in North America and Australia.
Diverse Tech Needs
Tech providers are now starting to understand the importance of providing smaller companies with the kind of solutions they need to get ahead in business. They realize that the cycle is self-perpetuating – a healthy SMB-led economy means more SMBs spend money on tech. That is why IT providers simply cannot afford provide solutions that do not bring about further growth in this important sector.
For many SMBs, reducing expenditure and staying flexible is imperative. Instead of traditional web hosting services, many SMBs are taking to the cloud. A recent study found that 95 percent of SMBs are either currently using cloud options or are planning to migrate to the cloud in the near future.
Cloud printing too is on the rise, and print companies who have failed to recognize this intensifying need risk being left behind.
Samsung has actively looked to meet the needs of the SMB market with its printing operations since early 2014. Back then, Kiho Kim, President of Samsung Printing Solutions, announced, “We will strengthen our value proposition to our business customers by focusing on solutions that help small and medium-sized businesses.”
Kim was true to his word. As part of the company’s strategy, it launched the Samsung Cloud Print app, a boost for SMBs’ mobile and cloud printing needs. It also purchased PrinterOn, then an independent cloud and mobile printing specialist, as a means of diversifying its services.
Cloud and mobile solutions like those Samsung offers have allowed SMBs to get ahead in the tech race. Affordable tech – both software and hardware – is changing the game. Smaller companies can now use their size to their own advantage. Sudheesh Nair, a cloud-based IT infrastructure expert told media outlet TechTarget, “Small companies can make very quick decisions. Things are changing fast, and big companies aren’t built for that.”
In the print world, most people expect effective solutions to come in the form of hardware – better machines designed for ever-changing business environments. Indeed, Samsung last year released a range of cost-effective, affordable A4 devices tailor-made for the needs of SMBs, with multi-function printers (MFPs) that incorporate fax, copying and more powerful functionality.
However, when it comes to software, the company has torn up the rulebook – allowing for unprecedented customization, a massive boost for SMBs.
In the past, printers were a kind of black box, and the idea of upgrading them or adding additional software was alien. But Samsung’s Smart UX Center has changed all that. With an Android-based interface that allows customers to customize printers with downloadable apps and widgets, SMBs can now print just the way they want.
And as Samsung realizes that SMBs typically worry about cyber security – some 60 percent of IT admins at top UK, US and Australian companies say they think their companies are more prone to cyber-attacks than bigger enterprises – protection is built-in to Samsung devices, thanks to five powerful network security keys.
SMBs in the Future
The age of the SMB has already dawned. Even in emerging markets, business is booming for startups, with a 360 percent SMB growth rate in Nepal in the last decade, while Malaysia expects SMBs to account for 41 percent of the country’s GDP by 2020.
As SMBs continue to evolve, so too do their IT requirements. That is why – at every step of the journey – Samsung will be there to support their increasingly sophisticated needs.
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