Consultants and Industry Associations Act as Catalysts in Making Inroads Into SMB Clusters

Consultants and Industry Associations Act as Catalysts in Making Inroads Into SMB Clusters

Press Release ( - Bangalore, India - May 17, 2016 - ​Over two-thirds of India SMBs are influenced by external IT professionals and nearly half by recommendations from Industry Trade Associations, says AMI.

 According to AMI-Partners’ 2015-16 India SMB ICT & Cloud Services Tracker Overview, the influence of external IT consultants and industry trade associations on India small and medium businesses, (SMBs) is growing steadily. With resources and spends becoming dearer, SMBs would not like to take a wrong step on their journey of technology adoption. More and more emphasis is being given to due diligence, proof of concept, referrals, successful case studies, product demonstrations and trials among others. As SMBs take steps towards transformative IT adoption, such as cloud services and remote managed services, they are increasingly relying on inputs from these key personnel and industry experts.

“In terms of seeding ideas of new technology, we can see some significant changes. Influencers are shifting the dynamics.”

Rati Ghose, AVP-APAC, Market Insights at AMI-Partners

AMI-Partners’ SMB ICT study reveals that close to nine-in-ten medium businesses (MBs)  are influenced by recommendations of external IT professionals/consultants  and nearly three out of four  by that of industry trade association members. In the case of small businesses (SBs), these numbers read as more than two-third being influenced by recommendations of external IT professionals/consultants and nearly half by guidance from industry trade association members.

In many instances, SMBs would typically have an external IT consulting firm which takes care of all their IT needs. Hence, the conversation with the consultant becomes critical. In addition, what adds value is the conversation with specific focused subject matter experts or SMEs. The AMI study also delves into other key information sources for insights for marketeers detailing how social media, SEO, digital marketing and various elements are impacting buying behavior for SMBs

“In terms of seeding ideas of new technology, we can see some significant changes. Influencers are shifting the dynamics,” says Rati Ghose, AVP-APAC, Market Insights at AMI-Partners. “Once SMBs are attached to an industry association, they form a smaller community of similar users, share their learnings and reach out to technology experts and SMEs so that they do not have to reinvent the wheel,” added Ghose.  

In a related study of cloud based HR and payroll solutions, it was found that the ecosystem consists of the chartered accountant (CA) firms, HR consultants and payroll processors in addition to value added resellers (VARs) who have a wealth of information as well as experiences that would enable SMBs to onboard in a more painless manner. “Even in our industry cluster based studies, we have found the impact of a trickle down approach to be invaluable. Gradually, SMBs build smaller communities and an entirely new ecosystem develops. This ecosystem with their live experiences is a force to reckon with and is not being disregarded,” says Ghose.                                                                  

Given the opportunity that this new ecosystem offers, this has been noticed by vendors. Many are partnering with associations with industry specific bodies or generic ones such as CII. They are actively pursuing the external consultants, both the IT related personnel as well as industry associations members. The way they see it is that their reach increases manifold. It becomes an extension of the sales and marketing arm. The flipside is that some part of the profit margin gets distributed among the stakeholders, but eventually it is beneficial in the long term. There are several models of engagement. Vendors could either pay them a onetime fee for the lead and thereafter renewal could accrue to the vendor. In some instances the outsourcing of the renewals could remain with the consultants such as HR payroll processing forms.

Related Studies

AMI’s recently published 2015-16 India SMB ICT & Cloud Services Tracker Overview provides marketing and product executives the insights to effectively enhance/tweak their go-to-market approach within India SMBs for a greater bottom line impact. The study examines India SMBs’ business needs, including ICT priorities, purchase channel preferences and buying behavior at a granular level. The analysis also delves into numerous individual ICT categories (e.g. computing hardware & networking infrastructure, software, security, storage and internet/telecommunications) – both cloud and on-premise solutions. It further provides a clear sense of the overall market opportunity/outlook for each and the forces shaping that specific category. Shifts in the India SMB ICT landscape – including purchase channels – are highlighted and illustrate how vendors can best leverage those shifts to deliver solutions profitably.

For more information about this study, AMI, or our global SMB research, call 212 944 5100, e-mail or visit

About Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc.

AMI specializes in IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services strategy, venture capital, and actionable market intelligence — with a strong focus on global small and medium businesses (SMBs), and extending into large enterprises and home-based businesses. AMI-Partners’ mission is to empower clients for success with the highest quality data, business strategy perspectives and ―go-to-market solutions. Led by Andy Bose, the firm has built a world-class management team with deep experience cutting across IT, telecommunications and business services sectors in established and emerging markets.

AMI has helped shape the go-to-market SMB strategies of more than 150 leading IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services companies. The firm is well known for its IT and Internet adoption-based segmentation of the SMB markets; its annual retainership services based on global SMB tracking surveys in more than 25 countries; and its proprietary database of SMBs and SMB channel partners in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The firm invests significantly in collecting survey based information from several thousand SMBs annually, and is considered the premier source for global SMB trends and analysis.

Media Contacts:

Quoted Analyst:    Rati Ghose. Phone: (91) 80 4148 2661/62 ext 35. Email:

Media Relations:   In US (New York): Nancy Carty. Phone: (212) 944 5100 ext 581. Email:

                            In APAC (Singapore): Jackilyn Almazan. Phone: (65) 6521 3787 ext 115. Email:

                            In India (Kolkata): Jyoti Singh. Phone: (91) 33 4003 3093 ext 223. Email:

                            In India (Bangalore): Rati Ghose. Phone: (91) 80 4148 2661 ext 36. Email:

                            In India (Mumbai): Neha Jalan Goenka. Phone: (91) 98209 67614. Email:

Source : AMI-Partners
Business Info :

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