Small Businesses Want Mobile Apps
Earlier this year, Frost & Sullivan surveyed mobile and wireless purchase decision-makers in the North American small and mid-sized business (SMB) segment. A number of interesting findings surfaced, with all of them pointing to high SMB interest in mobile applications for their remote workers.
The value proposition around mobile enterprise applications is being successfully communicated to today’s small and mid-sized businesses. In addition, the substantial level of interest in mobility management platform products indicates an increasing level of mobile sophistication in the small and medium business (SMB) sector.
Current mobile application users are very satisfied and represent a significant incremental sales opportunity, with half of current users planning to expand their deployments. Meanwhile, one quarter of SMBs do not currently use, but are planning to introduce, one or more mobile enterprise applications during the 2011-2013 time period. This “Planner” segment is convinced of the benefits of mobile solutions, and now needs to be actively motivated to actually make the purchase.
The wireless carrier reigns as the preferred mobile applications partner with the SMB sector. This is not surprising given the high-touch relationship carriers maintain with SMBs.
Out-of-box deployments are enjoyed by 24 percent to 35 percent of current users. When faced with a need to customize some aspect of their mobile solution, smaller businesses are more likely to handle this job in-house, rather than employ a third party.
Hard-dollar return on investment metrics are noted by current application users. Reduced paperwork and increased worker productivity are cited most frequently.
Lastly, SMBs have strong brand preferences in each application category: BlackBerry for mobile office, AT&T and Oracle for mobile sales force automation (SFA), and AT&T for mobile workforce management.
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