IT Business Edge blogger Michael O'Neil recently wrote about the SAG -- Sophistication and Adoption Gap -- that prevents SMBs from adopting new technologies as quickly as their larger peers.
As O'Neil points out, while SMBs are comfortable with highly commoditized products such as low-end servers, client servers and standard infrastructure software, they often balk at more sophisticated products because they lack the necessary skills to deploy them.
He opines that few vendors seem to grasp this concept well enough to respond to it. O'Neil says that SMBs need new technologies to be "more refined and better packaged" -- and they need to be able to easily find labor resources to help deploy them. Dell, for instance, could help SMBs overcome the SAG effect by developing SANs that are as easy to buy and deploy as the PCs and peripherals that it currently sells.
With this post fresh in our minds, we saw some news that seems to indicate that old-kid-on-the-block Xerox not only "gets" SAG, but has developed an effective strategy to address it.
First, Xerox rolled out seven new printers geared toward the SMB, with prices starting at $499. It also debuted a consulting service featuring folks that come to your office and help you figure out how to improve your document management -- hopefully using Xerox products. The piece de resistance, announced at the same event: a new network of certified resellers equipped to sell both the new hardware and the consulting service.
Less than a week later, Xerox announced it was buying Global Imaging Systems, an integrator that caters to SMBs with lots of feet on the street, through 21 regional companies that sell and service document management systems, network integration services and electronic presentation systems.
Discussing the deal, the president of Xerox, North America said: "Large companies have a tendency to look at the market nationally in scope. What they need to deploy on large scale fights against what is needed locally. Global is locally relevant."
Yup, he gets it.