Study: SMB Satisfaction with Cloud Providers is Down; Cancellations are Up
A growing number of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are becoming disenchanted with their cloud service providers and some are even going back to on-premise solutions. This is according to a recent report by AMI Research, which says that while cloud adoption continues to accelerate, a substantial percentage of SMBs are not satisfied, and are already making changes.
AMI’s most recent ICT Cloud Services study reports that 52% of small businesses and 46% of medium businesses are less than satisfied with their cloud solution providers. This is a significant shift from 2014 when only 30% of small businesses and 32% of medium businesses reported they were less than satisfied.
“The reason for the rise in cancellations is because cloud solution providers are not successfully aligning their offerings with the needs of small and medium businesses,” said Andy Bose, CEO at AMI.
This increasing dissatisfaction is translating into lost business for cloud solution providers. While in 2014 only 3% of small businesses and 5% of medium businesses cancelled their cloud services contracts in the previous 12 months these numbers jumped significantly in 2015. In the past year 11% of small businesses and 14% of medium businesses have cancelled these types of services. Roughly half of those that cancelled cloud services then rejected the cloud model and returned to on-prem solutions, according to the report.
The cloud is a one-to-many model by its very nature. On one hand, the massive volume of SMBs can make it appear that a one-to-many model would be quite suitable. But partners would be hard-pressed to find an SMB executive who says his company is just like everyone else’s company. Customization is key, but many of the prospects lack the scale necessary for partners to accomplish this economically. The next step towards partner satisfaction may translate to extensive market segmentation to ensure that the business needs mentioned in the report are properly covered by the services rendered.
Impartner Upgrades Portal for Greater Ease of Use
Impartner, a global SaaS Partner Relationship Management (PRM) vendor, has announced an upgrade to its portal offering that enables content creators to edit and maintain the portal without assistance from the IT department. The Utah-based company’s new Content Management Solution (CMS) uses an inline WYSIWG editor that is designed to make editing text and positioning portal content as simple as a standard word processing program. The platform also includes new template language intended to help creators deliver a more personalized experience for their partners.
“Customers have come to expect that the websites they visit know them, know their likes and what they’re interested in, and have fresh, relevant content,” said Dave R Taylor, chief marketing officer of Impartner. “The power of Impartner CMS is that the communications team for the first time has in their hands the tools to continually update portal content without the struggle of having to go through IT. Plus, because EVERY field can be a variable, the partner experience can be personalized at a very granular level, all of which provides a differentiating customer experience.”
Impartner was formerly known as “TreeHouse Interactive.”
As portals become an increasingly important means of communicating with partners, and as IT teams become increasingly busy, the ability to place ongoing management of content within the hands of marketers will translate to a useful and time-saving enabler.
Breach Secure Now! Rolls Out a White Labeled Security Training Program for MSPs
Breach Secure Now! has introduced “Unlimited Clients Employee Security Training” that MSPs can offer to SMB clients for free or for a minimal fee.
According to various studies, many SMBs incorrectly believe that basic security mechanisms are more than sufficient for protecting their data, due to the small size of their organizations. But cyber criminals often target smaller organizations because they are frequently easier to penetrate.
The company is now offering a security training subscription that can be delivered under the MSPs own label through a secure portal. The training can also be bundled with anti-virus protection, firewalls and security patch management services already provided.
MSPs have long struggled to talk to their clients about security,” said Art Gross, CEO of Breach Secure Now! “Now they can say, ‘I’m an MSP who worries about security and I’m worried about your security so I’m giving you this training for free.'”
The 90-minute training course, which starts at less than $50 per month for MSPs, helps end users to become more proficient in identifying phishing scams, protecting proprietary data stored on mobile devices and more. The portal can also be used to promote additional offerings such as security risk assessments, PII (personal identifiable information) scanning, security policies and breach response procedures.
Our training program is the MSP’s Trojan Horse,” Gross said. “Once inside the portal clients will naturally explore the other security services we offer. This paves the way for MSPs to have meaningful conversations about security and thereby sell additional services.”
One of the most difficult aspects of maintaining a secure environment is the fact that users are often tricked into revealing sensitive information. Helping end users to better understand the risks, as well as the tactics used by cyber-criminals, can go a long way towards keeping the customer safe.