IBM: Security, Cloud and VDI Hot in Midmarket for 2011By Jennifer Lawinski | Print
VARs that are able to provide customers with virtualization, cloud computing and security solutions will be able to reap rewards and develop long-term relationships with midmarket customers in 2011, IBM's general manager for its global midmarket team told Channel Insider.
Solution providers looking to grow their business with midmarket customers will have plenty of opportunity in 2011.
And VARs that are able to provide customers with virtualization, cloud computing and security solutions will be able to reap rewards and develop long-term relationships with midmarket customers, Andrew Monshaw, general manager of IBM’s global midmarket team, told Channel Insider.
"What I see is a migration from feeling relegated to very basic things to understanding that you can model your business capabilities the same as companies much larger," Monshaw said. "Small companies can compete with big companies on a very-very level playing field now."
Midmarket companies will have spent about $156 billion on IT in 2010, he said, and the midmarket segment is growing roughly two times faster than the general IT market.
"There’s plenty of business to be had. Who’s winning in this marketplace? The ones who are emphasized on solutions," Monshaw said. "In the midmarket, it’s more about solutions and the applications that matter to that business."
And right now, customers are interested in the virtual desktop, cloud computing and security, he said.
"If you look at the studies you see virtualization being a hot topic in this space, and virtual desktop is the offering that is seeing traction fast. Why is it seeing traction fast? The user experience is there," Monshaw said.
Midmarket companies will also be looking to move IT processes like virus protection and encryption—which cost money but add little to the business’s bottom line—to the cloud. Cloud-based services allow midmarket businesses to save money on hardware and software while providing solution providers with a steady revenue stream.
Security will also be a growing concern as more workers go mobile and carry sensitive business data around on portable devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones. "More and more, this mobility of data inside of a PC is becoming more and more worrisome if you’re building a business and have business-critical data or customer data," he said.
The key to tapping into the lucrative midmarket, Monshaw said, is nurturing the trusted adviser relationship with customers.
"This market segment doesn’t necessarily always have IT budgets. A lot of times, [their IT purchases] are opportunistic buying. They don’t always know what they want," he said. "Interestingly their needs and requirements are exactly the same as large companies, but I’d say that they’re sort of half a generation behind in realizing that they can leverage it."