Cloud-based Platforms Helping Indian SMBs to Increase its Revenues

by July 21, 2016 0 comments

According to a latest study by Zinnov, India has the largest number of SMBs globally numbering 48.8 million. The report highlighted that the Indian SMB space today is largely dominated by micro scale businesses, contributing 95 per cent of the SMB landscape, followed by small scale businesses contributing 4.8 per cent and the remaining 0.2 per cent by medium scale businesses.

We spoke to Sheela Nambiar, Director – IBM Digital Sales (India/South Asia) about how IBM is dealing with the challenges of the Indian SMBs and what are the various technology trends that can eradicate the pain points.

By Nijhum Rudra

The Challenge

SMBs are expected to be agile and provide tailor-made solutions for customers; however a majority of them do not have the big IT budgets of larger corporations. The challenge is that product localization is essential for expanding in emerging markets.  There is a need for support models to establish value and for customized pricing strategies to drive the adoption of such solutions. “While there are Cloud and Big Data products out there which SMBs can harness for their business objectives, they may not have the technical expertise required to choose the right ones,” said Sheela Nambiar, Director – IBM Digital Sales.

Zinnov’s research states that revenues from the SMB sector are expected to touch $25.8 billion in 2020. “SMBs are likely to spend on IT products that include mobility, analytics, social media and cloud in order to increase their customer reach, manage customer relationships better and ensure efficiency in operations,” added Sheela.

Eradicating the Hurdles

In September 2015, IBM expanded its portfolio of cloud industry platforms and solutions to deliver fast, simplified access to services that empowers clients to harness the opportunities of cloud and big data. “Our cloud-based industry platforms are equipped to streamline and fast-track our clients’ digital transformation journey with the assurance of predictable outcomes,” said Sheela.

Along with this initiative, IBM has also opened for the first time IBM Cloud Business Innovation Center in Bangalore. “At this center, our clients from world over can work together with IBM solution consultants, digital marketing, researchers and experience design experts to adapt the industry platforms to their specific needs,” added Sheela.

Solutions that can Meet the Needs of SMB Domains

IBM’s industry platform has been trying to bring together multiple cloud business solutions with in depth industry content for better business benefits and faster time to value. Each industry platform can give SMBs a set of standard assets that can be swiftly customized to deliver differentiated business solutions.

The first three industry platforms include:


  • Retail Consumer Experience – This is the consumer engagement platform through which SMB retailers can swiftly deploy sophisticated engagement competencies propelled by contextual, relevant, multi-channel, end-to-end personalization that offers consumers a “passion driven” experience.


  • Personalized Learning – This platform offers data driven personalized learning which enables educators to help students achieve their full potential and for SMBs to address the changing learning needs within their companies.


  • Insights for a Connected World – The insight platform has been created for industries who want to use big data for business powered by IoT. The platform converts massive volumes of data from numerous sources into insights that can be retailed to ecosystem partners or utilized to update new business models, better business operations and customer service.

The Goal

While SMBs are increasingly understanding the need and relevance of technology solutions, the problem is finding the solutions that are both value for money and customizable according to their requirements.

IBM is providing solutions to SMB customers both directly in packet-size offerings like Infrastructure as a Service, development platforms like BlueMix and a host of SaaS offerings which enhance business and IT productivity of its customers as well as through their broader ecosystem of partners.

“IBM will continue to bring solutions to SMBs either directly or through its various ecosystem partners that are based on our industry expertise, with cognitive capabilities which are flexible in terms of delivery/consumption models and priced for the Indian pocket,” concluded Sheela.


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