National

‘Cost-effective cloud services still untapped by MSMEs’

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on November 23, 2017

Perennially short-staffed and grappling with capital expenditure issues, small industries in the State have an opportunity in online media to advertise themselves and set up an engagement with their customers.





Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Tamil Nadu should not shy away from going online, for it offers a sophisticated and cost-effective window to prospective customers, said social media consultants and cloud service providers at the Tamil Nadu MSME summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry here today.

Perennially short-staffed and grappling with capital expenditure issues, small industries in the State have an opportunity in online media to advertise themselves and set up an engagement with their customers.

Microsoft Corporation India Pvt Ltd, which is undertaking a project in the State to understand the challenges small firms face in having a sustained online presence, says the cost-effective cloud services are still untapped by the sector.

Narayanan S. Srinivasan, Partner Channel Development Manager at Microsoft, says moving to cloud-based delivery can cut computer administration costs by a third. Lync, a video-conferencing facility from Microsoft, similar to Skype but used chiefly for official exchanges, comes at $2 per user for a month, he said, adding that, a multi-user option comes at $5.5.

“But many small firms do not buy these products because many are not aware of their utility.”

The move by Microsoft to adopt the operational expenditure model – where small firms can pay an annual subscription fee for the company’s products, instead of a prohibitively high-priced upfront fee (capital expenditure model) – is another feature that is still largely untapped by small firms, he said.

He said intermittent internet is not much of a hurdle – “Most of Microsoft’s services like Office 365 can operate at 256 kilo bytes a second,” he said.

Target audience

Apart from cutting down on expenditure related to online operations, small firms should also look at building their brand on the web. Sorav Jain, a digital marketing consultant who heads Chennai-based online marketing firm EchoVME, says social media allows a company to choose its target audience.

He cited the example of apparel company Kay Fashions, which modelled its Facebook profile with an intention to attract women buyers. “With 93,000 women fans, the company literally chose whom it is speaking to.”

Having an online presence just takes $17 a month, said Venkatesh Rajeswaran, Head-Strategic Business unit, Redington (India) Ltd. Singapore-based telecom service provider SingTel and Canadian-company Shopify tied up in June to bring their go-online solution to India, he said, saying small firms should take advantage of such initiatives.

> bharani.v@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 08, 2014

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