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Mobile telecoms for small business


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a must have survey highlighting the telecoms needs of small businesses

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Mobile telecoms for small business

  1. 1. Metro Research Summary Report Small business mobile telecoms
  2. 2. Contents Research Introduction 3 The things you need to know... 4 Research Sample 5 Summary Findings 2
  3. 3. Research Introduction Metro Research is a market research company consultancy with a specialist interest in B2B telecoms and technology research We ran this ‘living business’ survey to see what small companies (under 10 employees) think about some of the key aspects of mobile technology We focused on businesses of this size as they represent over 1 million UK enterprises, and are often under-served by technology suppliers The survey report is based on the views of 95 decision makers for small businesses around the UK. We believe it gives some helpful insights into how these businesses think. We hope this report sheds some light and gives you some valuable insight into technology, and how the needs of the small businesses of today are changing. If you would like to discuss the findings further, please get in touch Steve Morantz Managing Director Metro Research Ltd +44 788 756 6462 +44 870 241 Note that this is a small survey so findings are indicative; some bases sizes are small 3
  4. 4. 13 things you need to know... ... If you are a technology provider to small businesses 1. 9 out of 10 small businesses have with 3 out of 5 users downloading most employees who work outside the office apps from there. at least once a month. 9. Half of app users have paid for 2. Half of small businesses have apps, with 3 out of 5 paying between £1 employees who need remote access to and £3 for them. company files. 10. The top three areas in which small 3. Three quarters use mobile phones- businesses thought apps could make life 60% of which were smartphones. easier for them were: remote access to company files, time management and 4. However, only 25% of small navigation. businesses said they were considering purchasing, or using more smartphones 11. 3 out of 5 small businesses state in the next 12 months. recommendations from friends or family were the most trusted sources of 5. 1 in 7 small businesses are information about apps, with considering buying tablet PCs within the technology blogs second, whilst next 6 months. outdoor, newspaper and magazine adverts were least trusted. 6. 4 out of 5 small businesses say 12. The iPhone made up half of they are highly focused on finding new ways to maximise efficiency and use smartphones being used, the iPad was technology to do so. the main tablet PC being looking at. 7. 13. Apple appears to be seen as Nearly half of small businesses use mobile apps- the most commonly used technology company that most types were navigation, business apps, understands the needs of small news and travel updates. businesses. Note this question was asked ‘in general’, not just related to mobile technology, However, no clear 8. Over 50% of app users download leader emerges. apps from their smartphone’s app shop, 4
  5. 5. Research Sample Number of Employees Respondent Roles 37% 35% 5% 4% 2% Owner / managing director 20% IT Specialist 8% Other manager, not IT specialist 88% Other 1 2-4 5 5+ Everyone who responded was a Just over one third of companies decision maker in their company and an who responded to our survey invitation overall majority of survey respondents were were considered sole traders. the owner of the company, or the M.D. Business Sector ACCOMMODATION ACTIVITIES OF AND FOOD SERVICE REAL ESTATE EXTRATERRITORIAL ACTIVITIES, 1% ACTIVITIES, 2% ORGANISATIONS AND BODIES, 1% TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGE, 2% Here are the sectors MANUFACTURING, 2% the respondents work in. As HUMAN HEALTH AND SOCIAL WORK you can see they are very ACTIVITIES, 5% EDUCATION, diverse. 5% OTHER SERVICE, 32% Responses in the other CONSTRUCTION, 5% category included examples like importing, ARTS, ENTERTAINMENT AND photography, hair and RECREATION, 7% beauty, PR, recruitment, INFORMATION AND religion, publishing, FINANCIAL AND COMMUNICATION, 12% printing and driving INSURANCE PROFESSIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND instructor. ACTIVITIES, 7% TECHNICAL WHOLESALE AND ACTIVITIES, 11% RETAIL TRADE; REPAIR OF MOTOR VEHICLES AND MOTORCYCLES, 7% Base: Q3 How many employees work for your company? 95, Q4 Which of the following best describes your role? 95, Q5 What sector do you work in? 95 5
  6. 6. Summary Findings 46% 45% A very slim majority of respondents work in an office Type of Business Premises outside of their home, followed by home office workers in a close second. Most of these small businesses have the freedom to choose their communications and 5% infrastructure suppliers. 3% Office in business Office at home Office in business Other premises, WITH premises, WITHOUT freedom to choose freedom to choose telecoms and telecoms and internet connection internet connection suppliers suppliers Do you or any of your employees have to Nearly 9 out of 10 work from outside of the office base at any respondents have employees time? who work outside the office at some point. But nearly half of Every Day 23% all respondents have employees who work out of the office more than once a week on average. 2 or 3 times a week on average 26% 2 or 3 times a month on average Less than once a month on average 17% No, never 11% Base: Q6 What kind of business premises do you work from? 95, Q7 Do you or any of your employees have to work from outside of the office base at any time? 95 6
  7. 7. Summary Findings 77% Remote Working Systems 67% 22% 17% 14% 9% 10% 6% Laptops or Smartphones Mobile dongles VOIP telephony VPN access iPads or other Cloud Other notebooks with internet (for mobile tablets computing (given by the and email access broadband software company) connectivity) The most common single piece of kit that employers are giving to their employees in order to work outside of the office are laptops, with smartphones not far behind. Furthering this connectivity are mobile internet dongles in third place, with one in five small businesses using them. Do employees require access to How do employees access company servers / databases? company servers / databases? Nearly half of small businesses have employees who need access to servers etc. when they are outside VPN connection 47% of the office. If you look the chart on the right, 47% No Yes of those use a VPN network Application on connection to get access. 15% 51% 49% Some of the ‘Other’ mobile phones responses include using remote access software via the internet, like remote Other 38% desktop systems etc. Base: Q8 What systems do you have in place for remote working when outside the office? 69, Q9 When working from outside the office, do any of your employees need to access documents or folders stored on the companys server or databases? 69, Q10 How do your employees access documents or folders stored on the companys server or database, when working outside the office? 34 7
  8. 8. Summary Findings 92% Office Equipment Used 74% 44% 31% 17% 11% 7% 6% 4% Landlines Mobile Mobile Smartphones VOIP Cloud Mobile Tablets Other phones Hotspot via WIFI telephony Computing Dongles / Device Software Data Cards 9 out of 10 small businesses have landlines, and three quarters use mobile phones. Not all companies have landlines as standard office equipment. Type of Mobile Phones Used 60% of the small businesses we spoke to already use smartphones. Although there is still a big untapped market (40%) Phones 40% Smart- phones 60% Base: Q11 Which of the following equipment do you use when working in the office? 95, Q12 You use Tablets and/or Cloud Computing Software in the office, could you tell us what you use? 13, Q13 Which best describes the majority of mobile phones you are using in the company? 95 8
  9. 9. Summary Findings Samsung 9% Smartphones Used Other 4% LG 2% HTC 12% Nokia 18% BlackBerry 28% iPhone 49% Nearly half of small business smartphone users are using the iPhone. BlackBerry came in second and accounts for just over a quarter of smartphones used, with Nokia making up nearly one fifth of smartphones used by small businesses. Considering purchasing smartphones / increasing number of smartphones Yes, in 6 – 12 months time 7% Yes, in 3 – 6 months time 5% Yes, in 3 months time 3% Yes, in less than 3 months 9% No 75% A quarter of small businesses looking at purchasing or increasing current numbers within the next year. Base: Q14 Which smartphone make are you using? 57, Q15 Are you considering purchasing smartphones OR increasing the number of smartphones at any point in the near future? 95, Q16 What best describes your main reason for this purchase or increase in the number of smartphones? 24 9
  10. 10. Summary Findings Buying a tablet in the next 6 16% of small businesses were considering months? buying a tablet PC in the next 6 months. Those who were looking stated the Apple iPad and the Yes Samsung Galaxy tab as the ones they were 16% considering. No 84% Some of the reasons for buying a tablet were as follows: • Presenting to clients and demonstrating proposals to customers in a neat and compact way • Easy access to the internet and other information sources • Great for exhibitions • Light, portable and easy to use • Fun and cutting edge Drivers for choosing a particular device were as • Price • Efficacy • Familiarity with Operating System • The look and feel of them • Most likely to be deployed by customers • Reliable and smoothness of OS • Versatility and mobility Base: Q17 Are you actively considering purchasing a TABLET computer in the next 6 months? 95, Q18 What is your main reason for buying tablets? 15, Q19 Which devices are you considering (if known)? 15, Q20 What is the main reason for considering the specific device(s) that you mentioned? 15 10
  11. 11. Summary Findings Of those who don’t use a solution, but Do employees need ‘collaborative need one, are they actively looking for a working’ solutions? solution in the next 6 months? No 71% Yes 20% No Yes 29% 80% 30% of small businesses believe their employees need a collaborative working solution. Of those who don’t use, 20% are actively looking within the next 6 months for a solution! 70% of those who need a solution, are not using one currently. Of those who need a solution, do you currently USE any ‘collaborative working’ solutions? Yes 29% No Base: Q21 Do your employees need to share documents or work together on a document when they are not working on the same local network i.e. in the same or permanently connected offices(collaborative working)? 95, Q22 Do you use any particular collaborative working software to allow your employees to share documents or work together on a document when not in the same location? 28, Q23 Are you actively looking for a collaborative working software solution in the next 6 months? 20 11
  12. 12. Summary Findings “We are a company highly focused on finding new ways to maximise our work efficiency and we generally use technology to do so” Strongly 23% Agree Agree 57% Slightly Disagree 14% Slightly Strongly 6% Disagree 80% of small businesses believe they are focused on discovering ways of maximising work efficiency by using technology- nearly a quarter of them strongly agreed! One of the most recent- and important- additions to this list would be the mobile application.... Do you use mobile applications? Yes, on mobile phone ....and nearly half of small businesses use mobile applications, 41% Yes, on tablet or ‘apps’, either on phones, tablets or device both. 53% Yes, on both phone and tablet 4% Not at all 2% Base: Q24 Thinking about how your business works, how strongly do you agree with the following statement: “We are a company highly focused on finding new ways to maximise our work efficiency and we generally use technology to do so” 95, Q25 Do you or any of your colleagues use any mobile applications on your mobile phone or tablet device, in the course of their work? 95, 12
  13. 13. Summary Findings Apps used most frequently for personal and work purposes Navigation 62% 60% Apps for business/professional life 53% 49% News & current affairs 47% 38% 3 out of 5 app business users use Travel alerts & updates 33% 42% navigation or mapping apps Practical apps & tools 33% 20% Business apps were being used 29% Social Networking 24% by half of app users Places of interest 27% 20% News and current affairs are Music & radio 22% important to small businesses 11% Fun, quirky apps to entertain 18% 4% Travel updates, practical apps and social networking are closely Books, newspapers & publications 18% 20% ranked together 16% Online shopping 9% Apps for personal use are also Games 16% 2% frequently used by these business Ringtones & wallpapers 7% Apps used most frequently people 4% for personal purposes TV and film 4% 4% Apps used for work 4% purposes Sports 2% Other 9% 4% None 0% Base: Q26 Overall which types of applications would you say you use most frequently? 45, Q31 Which of the following categories of mobile apps do you use, if any, for work purposes? 45 13
  14. 14. Summary Findings Apps are most likely to have been downloaded from the app store that comes on the device, however, websites are still an important source 62% Where have you downloaded apps from? & 58% Where have you downloaded THE MOST apps from? Where have you downloaded apps from? Where have you downloaded THE MOST apps from? 31% 18% 16% 11% 11% 11% 11% 7% 7% 4% Handset application Website provided by Free app sharing sites Network operator’s Network operators Other store or “app shop” handset or operating on the internet app shop on the website system maker handset The left-hand chart shows Have you ever paid On average, how much have you paid that just over half of small for most of the apps you have bought? for an app? business app consumers have 63% 53% paid for apps. Whilst the right- hand chart indicates average price paid has been between £1 to £3, nearly two 47% thirds have paid between those 29% amounts. 8% Yes No Less than £1 £1 - £3 More than £3 Base: Q27 Which of the following have you downloaded apps from, to your mobile phone? 45, Q28 Which of the following have you downloaded THE MOST apps from? 45, Q29 Have you ever paid for an app? 45, Q30 On average, how much have you paid for most of the apps you have bought? 24 14
  15. 15. Summary Findings Are there areas of your business where an app could make your job easier / more efficient? When we asked if there were Yes any areas in your business that an 42% app could make one’s life easier, 2 out of 5 of small businesses said No 58% yes. Which areas could be made easier? Of those who said yes, when we asked Accessing files from them what areas might be made easier by 48% company network using an app, nearly half of them stated that Time management 38% accessing company files from the network would be the biggest help. Navigation 35% Time management came second, where scheduling tasks and appointments can be Document 35% easily done these days, especially with mailbox management integration etc. Business & finance 33% Navigation and document management were joint third- again it’s trying to get to that Project 30% meeting on time, whilst looking at a document management along the way. Travel alerts & 28% Business and finance was fourth, updates reviewing a small company’s finances is always Document storage 28% important and it’s nice to be able to do this on the move as time is money, and you might not Places of interest 15% have the time to spend in front of your News & current computer checking this. 10% The ‘Real Business’ apps, such as Books, newspapers accessing files from a network, time 10% & publications management and document management were the biggest area that small businesses Social Networking 8% thought would help make business life easier. Online shopping 3% Other 15% Base: Q32 Are there any areas of your business where an application could make your job easier / more efficient? 95, Q33 Which areas could an application make your job easier / more efficient? 40 15
  16. 16. Summary Findings Would you consider paying for a Likelihood of actively searching for BUSINESS APP in future? business apps in future 1- Very Likely 7% No 2 12% 26% 37% 3 7% 4 12% Yes 63% 5 19% 6 23% 7- Not Likely At All 20% 63% of small businesses Over a quarter will be actively would consider paying for a seeking out new business apps business app in the Base: Q34 Would you consider paying for a BUSINESS app in the future, if you thought this could be potentially helpful for your business? 95, Q35 How likely are you to actively search for business-related mobile apps in the future? 95 16
  17. 17. Summary Findings Sources of information about apps and their trustworthiness 59% 55% These sources are most trusted for information about apps Seen or heard about apps from these sources 39% 29% 26% 25% 19% 20% 18% 16% 15% 9% 8% 0% Recommendations Computers / Online discussion Recommendations Recommendations Newspapers / Outdoor from friends / technology blogs forums from a handset from a mobile magazines advertising (in people you know / manufacturer telephony provider advertising train stations, other businesses tube, on the road) Another interesting finding is that small businesses see or hear about apps from people they know, and they trust this source the most- more than half of respondents put recommendations from friends and family as the most trusted source of information about apps. Computer and technology blogs and online forums were rated as more trustworthy than handset manufacturers or network providers recommendations! Even though traditional print media for advertising campaigns- magazines and newspapers- came second with 49% as a source for hearing about apps, it was second to last for being a trustworthy source with only 8%. Base: Q36 Can you tell us: a) If you have seen or heard about mobile applications from any of the following sources; and b) Which is the source that you would trust the most for information about mobile applications? 95 17
  18. 18. Summary Findings What is the most interesting recent development in the IT / mobile technology field, for your business? Wireless technology advances: e.g. 3G and WIFI Mobile technology advances: e.g. Smartphones like Android phones, BlackBerrys and iPhones, mobile applications, internet dongles Mobile computing advances: e.g. Touchscreen technology, netbooks, tablet PCs like the iPad, cloud computing systems Increasing use of social networking and blogging at home, in the office, or on the go- like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other chat services Ability to check emails, access calendars, browse the internet on the go / on your phone Mobile video streaming, allowing mobile video conference calling Multi-user remote access retrieval for data and documents from HQ or client servers Most people were positive about the changes and developments, mainly around the improvements in mobile phone and mobile computing technology, as well as on-the-go access to social networking sites and remote access to company servers. Why are these the most interesting recent developments in the IT / mobile technology field, for your business? Increased speed, efficiency and flexibility Mobile staff are better connected to head office Enables small businesses to maintain workflow (e.g. emails) out of office hours/when away from office They provide great marketing routes, and give access to varying customer bases I am always connected to what’s going on when out and about, and this hasn’t just changed business, but my life Reduces the need to travel with lots of Maintain better business relationships, e.g. via video conferencing, when it would be costly in time and monetary terms to be there in person Base: Q37 Which would you say is the most interesting recent development in the IT / mobile technology field, for your business? 95 Q38 Why are these the most interesting recent developments in the IT / mobile technology field, for your business? 95 18
  19. 19. Summary Findings Which is the technology company that best understands the needs of small businesses? # of Company Mentions Apple 11 Our last question asked which BlackBerry 5 technology company best understands Microsoft 4 the needs of small businesses, and BT 2 again we had a range of responses from hardware manufacturers, Google 2 software providers, telephony- mobile O2 2 and landline- providers, as well as Orange 2 some other service companies. Vodafone 2 Apple came out on top- small businesses felt that they understand Dell 1 their needs best. BlackBerry was second with Microsoft coming third HP 1 However, given there are nearly Mansys 1 100 respondents, there are no real winners in this ‘poll’ Nitro 1 Sage 1 Talk Talk 1 Yahoo 1 None, they are all obsessed 1 with big Base: Q39 Which is the technology company that best understands the needs of small businesses? 95 19
  20. 20. Metro Research Ltd Unit 118, The Chandlery 50 Westminster Bridge Road London SE1 7QY 0870 241 2401