Winning with SMBs

The home and SMB networking sector is thriving, and as more networking products hit the shelves, the choice is becoming increasingly vast

Tags: CyberoamWestern Digital Corporation
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Winning with SMBs Pundits say the SMB segment of the channel is more demanding and rewarding in the Middle East.
By  Clayton Vallabhan Published  December 5, 2012

The home and SMB networking sector is thriving, and as more networking products hit the shelves, the choice is becoming increasingly vast. Along with this growth also comes an increased need to secure these networks, more so as bring your own device (BYOD) continues to be widely adopted by organisations across the region.

The SMB networking market in the Middle East has continued to boom with vendors increasing their focus in this segment. For resellers, this is a sector that offers solid margins.

With the market ripe for ample competitiveness, it’s essential that the channel prioritise products that the market is looking for, and ensure availability at all times. Vendors also have to be careful to ensure that there is a lot more value in their offerings and that they are positioned at a reasonable price for the ‘hungry’ SMB target audience.

“Global SMB IT spending crossed the half-trillion-dollar threshold in 2011 as companies stepped up technology spending to stay competitive,” said Raymond Boggs, vice president of SMB Research at analyst and research firm IDC. “Technology spending will continue to vary by company size, geography, and IT category, with PCs and servers setting the stage for advanced solutions across regions.” Boggs also noted that SMB IT spending will approach $700 billion in 2016.

Pradeesh VS, regional sales manager at Cyberoam Netgenie, a network security solutions vendor, said he considers home and small businesses two of the fastest-growing market segments for everything digital, many of them Internet enabled. He thinks that internet users are increasingly becoming aware of cyber threats and the need to secure themselves online.

“SOHO users are fast realising that no organisation is insignificant for hackers and other cyber miscreants. The overwhelming fact is that once you connect your private network to the Internet you become available to over 50,000 unknown networks and their users. It drives home the point that parents need to control Internet surfing by their children while SOHO users need controls to ensure security and employee productivity. Moreover, the constant publicity of news about data thefts, viruses and online scams is also driving home the point that if trouble hits, it will be serious. Thus, home users are looking for a product that ensures safe Internet experience in home networks while the SOHO segment is increasingly looking for security that is affordable, easy to use and has integrated multiple security features to counter the rising threats,” said Pradeesh.

He also added that more IT security players who were into the SMB and Enterprise space are beginning to focus on the SOHO segment as well. This is an area where established security players will have an advantage, but in the long run, only vendors providing granular, affordable and easy-to-manage plug and play security will move forward.

Commenting on the state of the SMB networking channel, Khwaja Saiffudin, senior sales director – Middle East, India and Turkey, Western Digital said: “The SMB segment of the channel is more demanding and more rewarding when compared to the consumer segment. The SMB segment is currently enjoying good growth due to a number of factors including the setup of new businesses in the region. This segment is always active owing to new product introductions and if you look at all the segments of the channel, the SMB segment has been least affected by external pressures.”

Pradeesh echoed these sentiments and said that the channel is eagerly adopting online security products for home and SOHO users in their product portfolio. He also said the security industry is steadily reaching out to these segments in recognition of the potential of this market.

Pushing the right products in the market is more important than ever, and WD knows this well. Saiffudin said In the home and SMB networking space, WD has a range of different products to suit almost every user’s needs.

The home network users can choose from the My Book Live network attached storage (NAS) range, the recently launched My Net router series, and the WD TV media player products.

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