Tuesday, June 25, 2024

    EDITORIAL Are you ready for an SME-powered VAS revolution?

    With Telemedia8.1 LIVE poised to take place in Barcelona next month, we find that the telemedia industry is set to benefit from the cost of living crisis to the tune of billions of dollars this year as small businesses invest in IT, cyber security and platforms as a service to try and make efficiency gains.

    And showcasing all that the telemedia industry can do at the 8.1 LIVE event – which runs alongside Mobile World Congress – will be key to getting all those CPaaS and other telemedia VAS services under the noses of the buyers from these businesses.

    According to data in Analysys Mason’s SME Technology Forecaster, which provides insights into SME spending in 132 technology categories in 52 countries, SME behaviour has shifted significantly, resulting in more demand for cloud-based and as-a-service solutions, which have become a key SME strategy.

    Why should you care? Because there are 145 million SMEs around the world and their shift in strategy to embrace telco, IT, cyber security and platform as a service offerings is adding some $1.45trn to the market. That’s a big slice of pie.

    The key is that these business are looking for efficiency gains to cope with rising costs and, like many large firms, are seeing that technology is likely to make that much more achievable for them. Yes, it is expensive, but the gains can be huge.

    And they are right. The platform as a service model, exemplified in the telemedia sector by CPaaS, which provides ‘plug and play’ access to a range of comms channels from SMS to WhatsApp and other OTT services has already proved its worth. For larger companies, it has enabled them to rapidly move to offer consumers the contact and engagement channels that they want. For SMEs the gains are even bigger. They can afford to add these as a packaged service, run in the cloud and managed by someone else, at a much more affordable price. In fact, most SMEs would never be able to add these services themselves, so the PaaS model is significant.

    For the CPaaS and allied providers across the telemedia sector it also allows for even greater ROI on their investment in creating and running these platforms. Already benefiting from working to supply a small number of multi-nationals, now they can, with a few tweaks, make their service something that many thousands of SMEs can also use,

    This levelling of the comms playing field is great news for consumers, great news for SMDEs and great news for telemedia.

    The same can be said for SMEs also looking to invest in cyber security. They realise that as they have become more digital they are perhaps more vulnerable to cyber crime and so fraud prevention, cyber protection and protecting payments is even more vital.

    This wave of interest in IT from SMEs is also going to impact payments, especially DCB and open banking. As more small businesses become ‘more digital’ and start to ramp up their digital engagement and ecommerce, so they will be looking for the most exciting and most efficient payment tools.

    Taken together, this puts the players in the telemedia space at a huge advantage. They themselves are mainly mid-sized businesses and they understand the transformative power of innovation. They live and breathe innovation. Now they can help share that with other SME businesses to create some truly amazing services.

    This is going to be the era of the agile, smaller, innovative business and the tech that will make that happen is in the hands of the telemedia sector. So, if you are heading to Mobile World Congress next month, take a detour to Telemedia8.1 LIVE where you can see the truly exciting stuff that the GSMA is to afraid to show you…

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