Tech giants like Microsoft and Oracle realize the power of strong partnerships when wooing SMBs. More so than their larger counterparts, SMBs tend to look to trusted advisors to help with their technology deployments.
A lack of such partnerships may be a sticking point for SMBs evaluating software-as-a-service solutions. Jeff Kaplan, one of the authors of a recent study that indicates that levels of satisfaction with SaaS solutions dropped somewhat from an earlier survey, told us a couple months ago:
First, a lot of people are jumping on board, maybe with not the same level of expectation or education about what they should be looking for. At the same time, there are a lot more SaaS providers jumping into the game. Not all of them can offer the same level of quality.
Partners could seemingly help address both of these issues. They could play a key role in educating SMBs about SaaS, thus bringing their expectations more in line with reality. And SMBs would be more inclined to work with a company they know and trust, rather than taking a chance on an untested new provider.
Perhaps ushering in a new trend, telecommunications provider XO Communications plans to offer a suite of SaaS applications to SMBs via a platform provided by Jamcracker, a wholesaler of SaaS products, reports ComputerWeekly.com.
Several experts interviewed in the article, including Kaplan and analysts from IDC and Saugatuck Technology, predict more partnerships of this type, noting they provide the proverbial win-win for all of the involved parties.
Perhaps most tellingly, the VP of small business services at XO Communications says, "I do think this is where the market is going."