Small businesses (SMBs) are said to be facing many critical decisions in the currently tough economic climate. One of these include how to address computer needs. To better understand the environment, Techaisle recently conducted a study research that demonstrated how SMBs are responding to the economic meltdown and what factors are influencing their PC decision making.
The research study on SMBs was recently highlighted by executives from Intel, ASUSTek and Gigabyte during a webinar.
Speaking on the global economic impact on SMBs, Robert Crooke, GM and VP, Business Client Group, Intel Corp., said that the new study demonstrated significant issues for SMBs who are trying to extend their PC lives beyond three years.
According to the study, there have been 58 percent more virus attacks for desktop and notebook PCs; up to 38 percent more SMBs have been experiencing system failures; SMBs have had to shell out up to $709 as the average annual maintenance cost on older PCs.
He added that now, the payback for new PCs is approximately one year. In this regard, both ASUSTeK and Gigabyte have announced new SMB strategies.
The small businesses are optimistic about a recovery, however, there is no consensus on when that would happen! According to the study, 85 percent of small businesses expect an economic recovery!
However, Crooke added that holding refresh for recovery may not be the right strategy! IT budgets are still positive, although the SMBs are keeping their PCs for longer.
Net projected 2009 global SMB IT budget growth rate: 4.6 percent
o Net projected emerging market 2009 growth rate: 9 percent
o Net projected mature market 2009 growth rate: 3.4 percent
Source: Techaisle, 2009
Extending the replacement has been causing more security incidents! The older systems experience a higher frequency of virus attacks, and more incidents means more downtime. That further higher rates of system failure (see image). On the contrary, new systems can provide payback in as short as one year!Source: Intel
Crooke announced the Intel Core 2 Duo with Intel vPro technology-based system starting at $699 for desktops and $830 for notebooks. These would reduce maintenance cost and security risk.
Other aspects to consider for SMBs would be: up to 23 percent reduced downtime from viruses, improved energy efficiency, enhanced productivity -- average system downtime can be reduced 32 percent, and lower total cost of maintenance.
Intel also announced the Core 2 Duo systems starting at $540 for desktops and $700 for notebooks... Key aspects to consider for SMBs would include reduced maintenance cost and security risk, improved energy efficiency, and improved productivity.
Next, stressing Gigabyte's commitment to support SMBs, Tony Liao, Associate Vice President of Sales & Marketing, discussed the company's high quality motherboards for this market segment.
According to him, the key challenges facing SMBs include increasing security incidents, increasing maintenance costs and limited budgets.
However, there are future growth opportunities for SMBs, as they are helping lead the economic recovery. ALso, SMBs will enter a PC upgrade cycle starting this year.
Gigabyte is delivering SMB platforms to help them improve security and productivity, and reduce costs. These include:
o Intel vPro Technology, Intel Matrix Storage.
o Intel IT Director provides intuitive dashboard for small-business owners.
o Gigabyte unique technologies: Ultra Durable 3, Ultra TPM, DualBIOS, Dynamic Energy Saver.
Gigabyte has partnered with Intel to provide SMBs with tools to help them grow even during the economic uncertainty. The company is said to be leading the global channel MB business with quality, innovative products, stable supply and excellent service/support. It now provides a complete line of boards purpose-built for SMBs.
Liao said Gigabyte is offering a full range of motherboard solutions to meet different business needs, delivering best quality and technology innovations for added value. Up and down the SMB stack, the Intel IT Director provides a dashboard for SMB owners.
In terms of security leadership, the Gigabyte motherboards with DualBIOS provide the best protection from BIOS failures. A 100 percent of the company's motherboards are currently shipping with DualBIOS.
As for the network monitor dashboard, the company has bundled the Intel IT Director into its SMB line up. IT-D is an intuitive software tool that monitors networked PCs for potential IT problems. Run as an easy-to-use dashboard, the IT Director will check that the anti-virus and firewall applications are installed on each networked PC.
ASUS focusing on SMBs
ASUS also provided a brief on SMB solutions. Joe Hsieh, Corp. VP of Motherboard Business Unit, Sales & Marketing, said ASUS and Intel recognize the growth opportunities presented by channel SMB segments.
He said SMBs can respond quickly as business conditions change, and small and mid-size companies have an advantage in a volatile and uncertain economic climate. IT is firmly entrenched as a strategic asset among SMBs and will be viewed as a strategic asset, a cost cutter and a means of increasing employee productivity. Service and responsiveness are key to customer retention for SMBs.
ASUS has introduced a comprehensive range of SMB-ready motherboard solutions. It has a complete, purpose-built set of building blocks for system builders to target SMB customers.
ASUS offers a complete line up products for SMB, bundled with Intel IT Director -- an intuitive software tool that monitors networked PCs for potential IT problems.
The payback for new PCs can approach one year, following these fresh announcements of new SMB strategies from ASUSTek and Gigabyte.