Parks Associates: U.S. SMBs interested in new support services from broadband service providers, ele

New "Small/Medium Business: Tech Support Opportunities" Research Project Analyzes SMB Tech Support Market

New small/medium business (SMB) research from Parks Associates finds 55-65% of U.S. SMBs prefer phone and email tech support options over face-to-face service. According to Small/Medium Business: Tech Support Opportunities, 54% of SMBs prefer electronics retailers as a tech support provider and 51% prefer CE manufacturers, with 45% highly likely to use a broadband service provider.

"Fifty-five percent of SMBs have experienced computer problems over the past 12 months, mainly viruses, spyware, or slow performance," said Brett Sappington, director, research, Parks Associates. "SMBs expect CE makers to support their products, often at no additional cost. Because retailers sell the devices and have a physical storefront, they are also seen as a leading source for support. However, SMBs prefer e-mail and voice support, in part because it can be delivered quickly. Broadband providers are particularly well suited to this type of support given their existing call center and support mechanisms."

Over one-third of SMBs are "highly interested" in several tech support offerings:

 Protect against viruses and malware: 38%
 Replace or repair nonfunctioning devices: 34%
 Replace a lost or stolen device: 33%

"Cloning," where a service backs up all of the software and data stored on a company's device, drew limited interest from small SMBs, but interest increases to 41% of SMBs with 5-10 employees, although at no more than $9.99 per month.

"Nearly 60% of U.S. SMBs are interested in new support services," Sappington said. "That's an excellent opportunity for broadband service providers, which already are providing a service to them, to further bolster that relationship."

Small/Medium Business: Tech Support Opportunities looks at the potential for technical support in businesses ranging in size from SOHO to 99 employees. The survey interviewed 500 U.S. businesses on their tech support services and needs, their organization, and support preferences.

About Parks Associates

Parks Associates is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates creates research capital through market reports, primary studies, consumer research, custom research, workshops, executive conferences, and annual service subscriptions.

Each year, Parks Associates hosts industry webcasts, the CONNECTIONS™ Conference Series, and Smart Energy Summit.

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