Small to mid-size businesses (SMBs) need the full range of functionality offered by CRM and other enterprise software suites, according to a recent report from Aberdeen Group. What they do not need, said the authors, is the infrastructure and implementation complexity that come with large enterprise packages.
ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM vendors that historically have focused on large enterprises are going to face tough competition in the SMB space, Aberdeen research director Karen Smith told CRMDaily.com, although most are pursuing it aggressively.
The approach that big enterprise software vendors have taken to the SMB market — “skinnying down” the suites — fails to meet companies’ requirements, Smith said. SMBs do not need less functionality, because they have to perform all the same processes as their large-company counterparts. Thus, eliminating software features is not the answer.
“In many cases,” said Smith, “smaller companies are competing with larger ones for the same customers.”
The answer, according to Aberdeen, is to provide powerful functionality in packages that are easy to install and maintain and that require fewer resources from SMBs’ smaller IT groups.