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In the immediate future, India small and medium businesses1 indicate a rapid anticipated growth trend for tablet acquisition. A deep-dive analysis of the India SMB expenditure on these devices shows that small businesses are the major contributors to this accelerated spending, outpacing their medium business counterparts. Moreover, total tablet penetration is projected to increase dramatically within India SMBs over the next three years. Nearly two thirds of PC-owning SMBs in India have stated plans to purchase one or more tablets in the next 12 months. These are a few highlights emerging from the soon-to-be-published “2013 India SMB Mobility Landscape, Opportunity Assessment & Outlook study conducted by New York-based AMI-Partners.

India SMBs are indeed considering tablets an essential workplace companion. There are several components to the overall tablet spend. AMI research indicates that more than six in ten tablet-owning SMBs would like to utilize keyboards and other add-on devices. A similar proportion of these SMBs have realized the enhanced need for data security and access control. The need to access data while on the move is key for tablet users. Hence a large majority (over three quarters) of India SMBs connect to the internet via their tablets through either Wi-Fi or some kind of data plan such as 3G. In turn, spending on tablet data plans will display high double-digit growth rates in the near future.

There is no doubt that the need to access and work on files/documents on the move via cloud applications has been a significant growth driver for tablet usage. When considering key business applications, India SMBs tend to utilize tablets for productivity suite applications – viewing and editing documents on the go. Other oft-used applications are online file storage, CRM, completing finance/accounting-related tasks, e-mail, messaging and accessing calendar and contact information. On a personal level, tablets are used to connect to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. As expected, when comparing tablet applications usage by India SBs versus MBs, MBs are significantly greater users of these applications.

AMI has analyzed the distribution of tablet operating systems as a part of its study. “Research reveals that Android is the most dominant OS among India SMB tablets at present. Apple iOS and Blackberry OS follow far behind,” says Dev Chakravarty, Research Manager, AMI-Partners India. “Apple has been more consumer-centric in the India market, although it has shown an increased acceptance in its bid to become one of the market leaders. Over 40% of firms planning to purchase tablets are considering iPads next year,” Chakravarty continued.

Vendors would be interested to know what the key factors are that influence India SMBs prior to purchasing any type of tablet. “AMI research reveals the major factors that these companies consider before purchasing a tablet include: processor speed, high-speed wireless broadband capability, reliability of service and support, built-in security capabilities, extended battery life and overall brand image,” stated Mr. Chakravarty. “It is noted that for India SBs, where the major purchase decision makers are the owners/CEOs, more emphasis is placed on brand image and a larger screen size. For MBs, where internal IT personnel have greater input into decision making, processor speed is a key criterion. MBs also place a good deal of emphasis on the availability of memory expansion slots due to their higher data management needs,” explained Chakravarty.

When examining the channels India SMBs use for tablet purchases, local computer dealers/resellers are still preferred by a majority of SMBs due to their long-standing relationship with the companies, established trust, and reliability. Tablet vendors who are contemplating the ideal route-to-market to target India SMBs should definitely focus on this channel.

Related Study

AMI’s up and coming study, “2013 India SMB Mobility Landscape, Opportunity Assessment & Outlook, provides an in-depth assessment of the mobility transformation underway in the India SMB market. Mobile business applications usage, tablet adoption/plans, BYOD, MDM, smartphone and tablet brands, and mobile platforms (including Windows 8) are some of the key areas discussed. The study also addresses mobility opportunity assessment (market size and forecast for smartphone and tablet shipments and data plan spending) and purchase channels/routes-to-market usage preferences.

Tablet and smartphone vendors need to find a place within the consideration set of India SMBs that will allow them to become the selected brand. This requires carefully delivering a well-crafted customer message, experience and product. The study provides marketing and product executives the insights to effectively enhance their go-to-market approach for greater bottom line impact among India SMBs. Important information such as key factors considered by India SMBs before acquiring tablets and smartphones are also available in the study. These are powerful tools in the hands of vendors wishing to target India SMBs with their tablet and smartphone offerings.

For more information about this study, AMI-Partners, or our global SMB research, call 212 944 5100, e-mail [email protected] or visit our web site at www.ami-partners.com.

About Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc.

AMI-Partners specializes in IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services strategy, venture capital, and actionable market intelligence — with a strong focus on global small and medium business (SMB) enterprises, and extending into large enterprises and home-based businesses. The AMI-Partners mission is to empower clients for success with the highest quality data, business strategy perspectives and go-to-market solutions. Led by Andy Bose, the firm has built a world-class management team with deep experience cutting across IT, telecommunications and business services sectors in established and emerging markets.

AMI-Partners has helped shape the go-to-market SMB strategies of more than 150 leading IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services companies over the last seventeen years. The firm is well known for its IT and Internet adoption-based segmentation of the SMB markets, its annual retainership services based on global SMB tracking surveys in more than 25 countries, and its proprietary database of SMBs and SMB channel partners in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The firm invests significantly in collecting survey-based information from several thousand SMBs annually, and is considered the premier source for global SMB trends and analysis.

1 SMBs, companies with fewer than 999 employees; SBs, companies with fewer than 100 employees; MBs, companies with 100 to 999 employees

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