`SMB sector's IT spend set to rise sharply'

L.N. Revathy

Coimbatore, Dec. 26

Industry observers point out that when small and medium business (SMB) units had started to incorporate IT solutions, say, five years back, the promoters of these units were only looking for solutions that met their immediate requirements. Now, they are being IT-driven. This can be inferred if one looked at the business card bearing the domain name of the unit, not just a yahoo or gmail id for that matter.

Commenting on the development, the Vice President of Sify's Enterprise Application Services, Mr Biju Zachariah, told

Business Line

that his division, which is the corporate services arm of Sify, is in the process of enhancing its offerings to include shared functionalities such as calendars and folders, hosting a Web site or setting up a data centre for these units.

"We are targeting the SMB sector. It is a large and growing market. Their annual spend on IT is showing phenomenal increase. A study by the New York-based AMI Partners has estimated the SMBs in India to spend $7.7 billion in 2006 towards augmenting their IT infrastructure and solutions, which is 26 per cent higher compared to the earlier fiscal," Mr Zachariah said.

The company is in the process of strengthening its team around SMB-centric regions of Pune and Coimbatore.

As part of its enterprise solutions, Sify has varied solutions portfolio, each targeted at different set of customer requirements. These include enterprise solution, e-learning for corporates, hosting and network services, application services, security services etc.

"SMBs have started to envision software as a services model. They are at present seeking our service for mailing and such other `perimeter services' (like anti-virus and anti-spam services) associated with it, for hosting the SMB Web site to enable them to showcase their product offerings and in document management," he said.

Sify developed and hosted low budget sites for its clientele.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 27, 2006)
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