• Service providers are taking advantage of the rise in cloud services to create managed service bundles, providing small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) with a one-stop shop for solutions delivered at a single monthly rate.
• SMBs have an increasing array of options to support a move away from capital investment to an operational expense model, managed service bundles offer the potential to reduce complexity and manage costs.
SMBs, defined by Current Analysis as those with 20 to 500 employees, represent a sizable segment of communications users. Tier 1 providers such as AT&T, CenturyLink and Verizon have typically served this segment with business bundles that package business lines and Internet service under a single monthly fee for very small businesses, and PRIs and network-hosted VoIP for larger SMBs. Over the last several years, and coincident with the rise of new competitors in the form of cable operators such as Comcast Business and Time Warner Cable Business and over-the-top providers such as 8×8, major service providers have reinforced their focus on the SMB segment, reshaping partner strategies, adding tools and portals, and expanding VoIP and UC solutions to include managed bundle offers that frees SMBs from the task of managing communications services.