Australian ISPs are being urged to offer “end-to-end” cloud packages to take advantage of an untapped SME market.
The local SME market is a “significant” opportunity for ISPs, with cloud-based services like Saas, Paas and IaaS tipped to experience significant growth, according to a study by Ovum and commissioned by NBN Co.
ISPs’ existing relationships and trust with many SMEs makes them an attractive partner and channel for IT companies looking to deploy cloud services to SMEs, the report says.
The report urges them to build an SME cloud portfolio that turns product relationships into “more sophisticated solutions relationships”, including taking advantage of channel partners.
The authors argue ISPs’ control over network assets gives them a key advantage when it comes to performance and security, particularly when numerous suppliers are involved.
There are approximately 800,000 SMEs in Australia, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures cited by Ovum.
While Ovum reports that around 44 percent of SMEs actively use cloud services, many use “fairly simple” service like email and online storage.
Approximately 58 percent of small businesses were more likely to use free services such as web-based email like Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo!7 Mail, according to Australian Communications and Media Authority research published in March 2014.