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February 03, 2010

ITEXPO Veteran Discusses SMB Market and the Economy: Interview


By SIP Trunking Report Editor



While attending the ITEXPO East in Miami from Jan. 20-22, as a TMC Web Editor, I had the lucky job of sitting down with leading executives from top companies in the telecom industry to discuss various trends in their business, as well as how the show was going for them, and what to expect in the upcoming year.

 
One of the individuals I was fortunate to discuss industry trends with was long time ITEXPO veteran, and esteemed industry executive, John McDonald, vice president of Sales and Marketing at Vocal IP Networx, who told me that, after seven TMC shows, this current one in Miami was quite fascinating for him.
 
“This year I have noticed that the level and core competency of not only the enterprise customer who is coming to our booth, but also the agents and resellers are coming to our booth, there’s much more opportunity being brought to our table as a network service provider,” McDonald said.
 
So, what makes this year different? I posed the question of how the economy plays in.
 
“Well, I think the economy has a lot to do with it,” he said. “As we all know, 2009 was very difficult for a lot of providers. What a lot of our, and enterprise, agents are looking for is what’s going to help create a sticking environment for their existing base and, more importantly, how are they going to attract the new customers into their core base of customers.”
 
And how, as a provider for this market, was the SMB space affected by this?
 
“I think it was affected on a couple of levels. As I mentioned earlier, while we certainly showed growth last year, some customers last year had some issues in terms of budgeting dollars,” McDonald said. “I think our efficiencies that we brought to the SMB market did create that stickiness and did increase our revenue.”
 
“And I think all the SMBs were all affected in terms of just holding on a little longer than normal to that budget string,” he added.

Kelly McGuire is a TMCnet Web editor, covering CRM and workforce technologies, and anchor of its daily TMC Newsroom video broadcast. Kelly also writes about eco-friendly 'green' technologies and smart grids, compiling TMCnet's weekly e-Newsletters on those topics, as well as the cable industry. To read more of Kelly's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire