According to IDC, Technology Suppliers May Be Missing The Mark When It Comes To SMB-Focused Partners

Framingham, MA, September 9, 2002 – Small and Medium Business (SMB) partners find working with vendors three times more difficult then working with distributors, according to a new report issued by IDC.
IDC’s Business Challenges Facing the SMB-Focused Partner Community report revealed that the cost of marketing initiatives, obtaining qualified leads, technology assessment and training, and infrastructure within the partner community are the principal challenges faced by SMB-focused partners.
“Suppliers need to be aware of the unique characteristics that define the SMB-focused partner community, as this
customer base represents a significant opportunity. Those that are able to best address these challenges are most
likely to realize success in gaining overall market share,” said Julie Gage, Manager Analytical Products for IDC’s
Software Channels and Alliances.
While most partners are optimistic about the future, large SMB partners are less bullish about the future. Only one third thought their revenue would increase, while one third believed it would decrease. “We found that the larger SMB- focused partner community face the greatest challenges. This segment appears to be under stress from increasing competition due to economic conditions, and from enterprise focused partners migrating some attention into the SMB market,” said Janet Waxman, Program Vice President for
IDC’s Hardware Channels and Alliances research.
IDC’s Business Challenges Facing the SMB-Focused Partner Community (IDC# 27608) study presents the finding from 240
interviews with organizations predominantly located in the United States that resell or recommend hardware or software
products. IDC segmented the survey respondents into unique groups that reflect their client focus, partner type, and
partner size (revenue). This report focuses on the significant differences found between enterprise- and SMB-focused partners.
My spin: This should come as no big surprise. As an example, while HP is moving towards a dual sales approach – channel AND direct it makes sense that their loyalties would be divided.