Helping To Seal The Deal In SMBs

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By John Roberts – CRN

New York, NY (December 13, 2004) CRN expects SMBs to lead the way to higher technology spending in 2005, and two recent developments should help open new opportunities for the channel in this market.”

The first is an accelerating adoption of technologies by SMBs normally associated with the enterprise market. For example, solution providers anecdotally report growing interest in disaster-recovery solutions among midsize companies. The same is true for server virtualization, managed services, CRM and secure remote access.

Alex Solomon, co-founder of Net at Work, a solution provider in New York, links this trend to a number of factors. In the case of disaster recovery, he cites a growing realization among midsize-company executives of the threats to their IT systems and the costs that would be involved should a disaster strike.

Moreover, greater processing power is making server virtualization more practical and cost-effective, helping solution providers’ sales arguments, Solomon said. Add to these dynamics the momentum created by the omnibus spending bill Congress passed last month, which contains provisions designed to help small businesses.

The maximum federal guarantee for individual loans to small-business owners under the Small Business Administration 7(a) loan program has been increased by 50 percent to $1.5 million. And the credit limit for the SBA’s Express loan program has been raised $100,000 to $350,000.

Funding for the entire SBA loan program is expected to be more robust in 2005, reaching a total of $16 billion. Coupled, these factors are helping fuel solution providers’ ability to seal the deal in the SMB market, all the more reason to be optimistic about prospects for 2005.