Study urges telcos to do better on cloud

Mobile bankingTelecoms operators are missing an open goal on cloud services, according to a report by cloud service market provider BCSG, writes While operators are perfectly placed to sell small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) the services they want, their indifference is actually driving customer away and they could miss a multi billion pound opportunity.

Its report SMB cloud services: the multi-billion dollar opportunity for telcosinterprets the data from an independent survey of 500 US and UK SMBs. The report argues that there is a strong demand for cloud computing services among medium sized businesses. However, the SMBs say their buying decisions are being delayed by confusion over which services will best suit their needs. While 43 per cent of the study group said they want to buy cloud services, only 31 per cent even had a cloud migration strategy in place.

Demand for cloud services is high and many want support in making the transition from their present on-premise computing model, says the report. However, telcos are ignoring this clear opportunity for consultancy, it argues.

Many SMBs complained that the indifference of their current supplier will make them look elsewhere. According to the report 42 per cent of SMBs receive ‘no help from their telecoms operators whatsoever’. This could possibly lead to mass defections, as 58 per cent of the sample of SMBs said they’d take their business to any service provider that shows them how to get access to a broader range of technology. As a result of the lack of interest shown by the telcos in their existing customers, 52 per cent of the SMBs said they will contemplate switching operators in the next two years.

With the potential UK/US SMB cloud computing services market quantified at $22 billion by PAC/Compass Intelligence studies, it’s vital that operators seize the initiative and address this clear and captive audience, said Tom Platt, commercial director at BCSG. “Operators have a unique opportunity to provide support and guidance to SMBs,” said Platt. If they don’t there could be consequences, Platt warned. “Long tenure from SMB customers does not imply loyalty.”