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Top 10 Reasons Customers Choose Us!

We understand the amount of choices available on the market today for Enterprise Business Software, but we also understand where we stand as well! You may have heard it numerous times from us…we are PROUDLY partnered with SAP. And today you are in luck, we are going to show the top 10 reasons customers continue to choose us throughout the years.

SAP Top 10 Reasons Customers Choose Us

Here is a quick insight to our “Top 10” –

  1. Leadership
    • SAP has expert solutions for companies of all sizes, Zerion360 provides a solution to the Small & Midsize companies.  (Beating out Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM)
  2. Innovation
    • SAP is known to innovate without disruption, which means everyday business continues while implementation of the software system occurs in a parallel form. (Our integrated solutions ensure innovative results)
  3. Focus
    • Our customers benefit from comprehensive industry expertise with software design and the alignment of Business Processes, for all departments. (Multi-industry support on a single platform) 
  4. Analytics
    • SAP is the industry leader in business analytics, helping companies transition to becoming a Data-Driven company, no matter what industry! (Recognized by Gartner as a leader in BI Platforms, Corporate Performance Suites, Data Integration Tools, Data Quality Tools)
  5. Mobility
    • We have the best-selling mobile enterprise application platform among enterprise application providers, so business can continue no matter where you are. (Market-leading mobile solutions will unwire your enterprise)
  6. Real Time
    • We deliver the “real” real-time enterprise through the most advanced in-memory technology – meaning all departments are always on the same page, at all times. (Empowering organizations to review segmentations, merchandising, inventory management, and forecasting information at the speed of thought)
  7. Value
    • SAP’s value management program is the most advanced effort of its kind… offer[ing] advanced business solutions along with dee–domain expertise and insights. (Value management helps companies run 2x more on time, 1.9x more on budget, and 1.6x more on value)
  8. Cost
    • We help to reduce your total IT cost so you can increase spending on innovation, not allowing IT operational costs consume the majority of company resources. (We help by having a 23% lower implementation service cost than our leading competitor)
  9. Support
    • Our SAP Enterprise Support brings a peace of mind to the business by offering 24×7 Service License Agreements, Fixed-Price Commitment, and End-To-End Support. (The full range of support options is tailored to allow business to run at any time of day or night, because we understand the importance)
  10. Choice
    • Finding the best fit software for your business is our sole focus, and we are the only provider that can deliver the highly specialized solutions you need… with the build-in versatility you want. (Zerion360 delivers even more choice – helping to get the complete software and business needs taken care of)

 

Make sure to download our info-graphic PDF for some great visuals below –

 

SAP Top 10 Reasons Customers Choose Us


How The Internet of Things (IoT) Promotes Business Model Innovation

How The Internet of Things (IoT) Promotes Business Model Innovation

Over the last few years, the discussion of the Internet of Things (IoT) has become an increasing topic in the business world. The Internet of Things is a concept in which all electronic devices are given a network signal to seamlessly connect and communicate with each other to simultaneously perform tasks. For example, when you wake up for work, your alarm clock buzzer could set off your coffee maker to begin your morning brew before you even make it out of bed.

This new idea could drastically change the way modern businesses operate, market, track metrics, manufacture products, and more. Globalization is another trend that, with the combination of IoT, could innovate business processes. Globalization is the unity of business, government, and populations across the world’s nations.

 

IoT Promotes Business Model Innovation

If you want to succeed in this new digital age, it’s crucial to start plans for implementing the IoT concept in your organization for the future. You’ll need an entirely different mindset on business model innovation, as products are no longer one and done. Value creation plays an important role in business model innovation.

 Traditionally, a company launches a product, shows its value, and customers purchase the product depending on their need. With the rise of a more connected world and IoT, businesses need to constantly evolve to keep the product value in line with market desires. For example, Apple releases iPhones almost every year to its millions of customers. To stay relevant and connected, the company offers free software updates with new features on a regular basis to the same phone.

 

Leveraging Networks

Leveraging networks is important to achieve operational effectiveness, which is mandatory for having an edge over the competition. To successfully leverage networks, you’ll need to stay up to date with the latest technologies, machinery, and IT solutions. Smart, connected products are taking over the market and defining new standards for leveraging networks and operational effectiveness.


6 Ways The Digital Economy Is Reshaping The Future Of Work!

6 Ways The Digital Economy Is Reshaping The Future Of Work!

Hyperconnectivity has led us to a new era, in which the “knowledge worker” has come to an end and the “digital worker” now needs to step up and create instant value from a vast array of real-time data. As technology continues to increase computing power and data analysis speed to real time, today’s companies and employees are called to adapt to the reality of automated and instantly available data.

The speed of information and data is driving such significant change in how and where we work that the digital worker is becoming a critical resource in decision-making, learning, productivity, and overall business management. How we adapt to these changes when we learn, interact, motivate, engage, connect, and create value for ourselves and our society will make the difference between being successful and being left behind.

How everything we know about work is being redefined

The opportunity ahead is to allow the digital worker and the future of work to serve as a platform for innovation and business transformation – enabling higher levels of engagement, passion, creativity, and productivity. Here are 6 main areas where the future of work and digital workers are key to business success in the digital economy:

1. Leadership involves everyone

In a workplace marked by instability and decreasing security, leadership is increasingly focused on building cohesive and well-functioning teams by tapping into a demographically diverse pool of often short-term employees or contractors. As digital workers are mindfully incorporated into this continuously changing workplace, management must juggle a distributed workforce that requires real-time analysis, prognosis, and decision-making. At the same time, they must develop the next generation of leaders who will actively take responsibility for innovation and engagement.

2. Engagement and the ability to make an impact

While 38% of millennials in developed markets still aspire to become leaders within their organization, the opportunity to take on personally meaningful work drives productivity and success. In fact, 53% of millennials would work harder if their organization actively made a difference to others. Thanks to the rise of the digital worker, new levels of transparency, and the ability to instantly measure the outcome of assets, tactics, and strategies, Generation Z has the potential to realize personal goals and improve engagement across the board.

3. Benefiting from technology means being more human

The importance of real engagement is not limited to employees; it also applies to interactions with vendors, partners, and customers. The rise of the social enterprise is a great example of how companies are starting to use technology to enable collaboration with employees, partners, and vendors. All the while, these same businesses are incorporating customer feedback into a single platform to increase customer satisfaction, business insight, and employee retention.

4. Workplace simplicity drives productivity

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, 55% of executives believe that their organizational structure is extremely or very complex – even to the point where their profits are negatively impacted. Even more astonishing is the loss of 45 minutes of productive time per day for U.S. executives.

To reduce complexity and increase productivity, management must drive a culture of collaboration and clearly measurable outcomes. And if done properly, the reward is significant: 76% of executives cite that if they could cut complexity down by half, their company would be at least 11% more productive overall – a massive improvement that any company could use.

5. A new workforce in a new job market

Both millennials and Generation Z are facing a new environment where job security is a thing of the past. This high-risk reality, combined with the desire for more work/life flexibility and control as well as job satisfaction, has driven the freelance economy to new heights – soaring as high as 45% of the workforce by 2017.

Companies need to reconfigure and adjust their physical locations to adapt to an ever-changing, digital workforce that is engaged in multiple projects for potentially various employers, located anywhere in the world, and comfortable with a virtual work style. To answer the needs of this growing segment of workers, organizations must quickly ramp up employees on any given project, enable collaboration, and foster team spirit for very diverse teams.

6. Leading in the future means a new perspective on learning

With a much more distributed and highly contingent digital workforce, managerial requirements are finding new ways to create cohesive, innovative, and well-functioning teams. However, team building is not the only focus – it’s also about delivering a comprehensive approach to reducing complexity, leading by example, and training the next generation of managers to be true leaders in the digital economy. For employees and freelancers alike, the digital economy creates an opportunity for providing continuous learning that is more active and self-directed.

The future of work is the future of the enterprise

Because the rise of the digital worker dramatically impacts the way we work, learn, hire, retain, manage, and make decisions, the future of work is intrinsically linked to the future of the enterprise. It transforms the way we deal with customers, vendors, employees, partners, and competitors.

By connecting the four areas of digital disruption (workforce, suppliers, assets, and customers), the digital core becomes the platform for future business innovation. Fluid, nimble, real-time digital business – this is the future of work.

 

**Taken From SAP’s Digitalist Magazine, Authored by Michael Rander**


Sophistication Meets Practicality in One Solution

blackheelDear SAP,

I want to give my business every advantage it can possibly get. Unfortunately, my CFO won’t give me a blank check to do it with. So in addition to sophistication, I’m looking for practicality. Does this option even exist?

– Stuck

 

Dear Stuck,

“Sophisticated” and “practical” don’t have to clash. Take SAP Business One Cloud, version for SAP HANA, for example.

This game changing in-memory computing platform is thousands of times faster than anything you’ve ever experienced before. With real-time visibility into your operations, you can better anticipate your needs and make better decisions. There’s simply no better way to drive innovation and get to market faster.

And it’s practical. This cloud-based solution delivers a lower TCO by eliminating the time, cost, and resources needed to host and maintain the software.

Best of all, you can be up and running in just two to eight weeks.* So even if you don’t get a blank check from your CFO, you’ll probably notice a blank stare when he or she sees how well this solution performs.

– SAP

 

*All implementation results are for informational purposes only and the examples provided while based on actual SAP customers’ experiences do not represent commitments or guarantees by SAP and/or its partners. Actual pricing, costs, and implementation results may vary, based on customer-specific requirements and needs. The only warranties for SAP products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services, if any. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty.

 


Dear SAP – Combing Through Data is Dragging Us Down

DVP0111811Dear SAP,

My teams are cautious.They don’t want to make a decision unless they’ve combed through every last piece of data. I appreciate their attention to detail, but I don’t want to miss opportunities either. Is there a way to get the answers I need faster, without sacrificing precision?

– Dragging

Dear Dragging,

If you’re looking to shave time from your processes, consider looking at ramping up the speed of your business management software.

SAP Business One is designed to support all your critical business functions – from sales and customers to accounting and finance. It also has add-ons built for your industry-specific needs.

And when powered by SAP HANA, SAP Business One can process and analyze vast quantities of data up to 100,000 times faster than traditional relational data base systems.

As a result, your teams can base their decisions on real-time data – not stale spreadsheets. Plus they can quickly generate all the reports they need without IT support. Which means you can spend more time benefitting from your insights – and less time waiting for them.

– SAP

 


Is SAP Too Big for Small Business?

People working at casual office210,000 SAP SME Customers Can’t All Be Wrong.

Historically, much has been said and written about SAP being too big to care, too difficult to install and only appropriate for the largest companies. That was the mantra of its competitors’ in the past and was built upon the perception of SAP 20 years ago. Times change, however, and SAP changed with the times. It recognized that it could and would create great software for companies of ANY size. The company that was once the mainstay of mega-caps is now the preferred path to Running Better for over 210,000 SME companies. Those who are informed and knowledgeable now recognize that the phrase “SAP is too large” is antiquated.

Today, 80% of SAP’s customers are small and mid-size enterprises. Its platform was specifically designed to enable these businesses to adapt required technology to their specific business model. SAP recognized the need for speed and built full ERP platforms that can be installed and running in as little as a single day with the modular Business One solution, and 2 days to 2 weeks with other ERP solutions. In addition, the development team created a large menu of Rapid Deployment Solutions for specific requirements that can be available in as little as 9 days. Too long to deploy … I don’t think so.

SAP also recognized that it could leverage its unique global expertise to more effectively meet local business requirements. SME solutions now deliver products that deliver these valuable insights in 80 countries in 30 languages, Additionally, hundreds of applications from SAP partners around the world are also available to the most remote outposts such as Alice Springs, Australia to major cities in any region. SAP leveraged its knowledge and experience as the global software leader and specifically designed and built their SME solutions as only the #1 software provider in the world could. Living in the past is not an option at SAP. Leading their customers into the future is.

This future is obviously built around the Cloud and SAP has declared that it is and will continue to be the Cloud company based upon HANA. This statement is not to be taken lightly as it clearly spells out how SAP will continue to evolve. SAP has over 38 million Cloud users today. That is more than any other enterprise vendor. The SAP Business One Cloud on HANA solution includes that same functionality and available add-ons as their on-premises solution. This affordable alternative allows SMEs to free up capital for other uses and also delivers the added assurance that their data is protected in the most secure data centers. This real-time, in-memory platform is currently the operating system of choice for over 1,500 startups. They know that the choice of software at the beginning stages of their growth curve will affect their performance as they grow. That is why SAP was their obvious choice.

Today, when I hear someone trot out the old, stale “SAP is too big and unwieldy” claim, I look at the facts. Almost a quarter million SMEs choose SAP to run simpler and to run better. Installs occur in days or just a few weeks. Access to global expertise at the local level provides advantages only SAP can offer. Cloud-centric designs and implementation mean low cost alternatives and rapid time to use as a standard. It means that SMEs have a menu of choices that can be tailored to ANY size business. Why would they not look at SAP?

 By Bruce Mihok

This post originally appeared on the SAP Community Network website. The original post can be found here


The Future of Work: The Looming Talent Crisis

The Looming Talent Crisis: Research Shows Companies Unprepared for Future of Work

LAS VEGAS — Businesses are facing the most diverse work environment that the world has ever seen with five different generations working together, across geographies — each with different skills, experiences and work habits. More of these workers will be freelancers and long-term contractors. All of this represents a major opportunity for productivity, talent development and employee engagement, but according to new wide-scale research from Oxford Economics, most companies are unprepared to capitalize on it.

As revealed in Workforce 2020, an independent, global study by Oxford Economics with support from SAP SE, most companies recognize the importance of managing an increasingly international, diverse and mobile workforce. However, the majority lack the strategy, culture and solutions to do so. Oxford Economics surveyed more than 5,400 employees and executives and interviewed 29 executives in 27 countries, finding that two-thirds of businesses have not made significant progress toward building a workforce that will meet their future business objectives. The announcement was made at SuccessConnect 2014, being held September 9-11 in Las Vegas.

“To gain advantage in the future, businesses must understand the workforce of tomorrow and its importance to bottom-line success — today,” said Edward Cone, managing editor of Thought Leadership at Oxford Economics. “Our research shows that the C-suite is out of touch with HR on business strategy and priorities, and workers are not getting what they want from their employers in terms of incentives, benefits and training.”

Top Six Workforce Issues Facing Companies

The study’s findings challenge the prevailing wisdom and highlight the most critical issues facing HR professionals. At the top of the list:

1. Compensation Matters Most

According to Workforce 2020, competitive compensation is the most important attribute of a job to two-thirds of respondents — 20 percent higher than the next highest benefit. Retirement plans, flexibility and time-off rank well ahead of amenities such as fitness centers, daycare and subsidized food.

If compensation is what motivates employees, what they are most afraid of is being left behind as a result of insufficient skills and inability to keep up with the latest technologies. “Becoming obsolete” is the biggest concern for today’s worker, twice as concerning as being laid off.

2. Millennials are Misunderstood

Although 51 percent of executives say that millennials entering the workforce greatly impacts their workforce strategy, fewer than one-third say they are giving special attention to millennials’ particular wants and needs — primarily because executives do not understand how they think. Much has been written about how millennials are different in their use of technology and their attitudes toward work than past generations of workers; however, the Workforce 2020 study shows that they are surprisingly similar to their non-millennial coworkers when it comes to workplace priorities:

  • Millennials and non-millennials alike cite compensation as the most important benefit. Additionally, 41 percent of millennials and 38 percent of non-millennials say higher compensation would increase their loyalty and engagement with the company.
  • Contrary to popular thinking, millennials are no more likely than non-millennials to leave their jobs in the next six months.
  • Millennials and non-millennials have similar priorities in areas such as meeting career and income goals and meeting goals for advancement. The two groups have similar views on the importance of corporate values and achieving work/life balance.

“Millennials are a major challenge for companies. As the single largest and most tech-savvy workgroup, they also represent a significant opportunity,” said Mike Ettling, president, HR Line of Business, SAP/SuccessFactors. “Companies that can excite millennials about work, train them to fill in gaps on experience and adapt to their style of working can build a workforce that can successfully execute on the objectives of today and adapt to drive advantage for the business of tomorrow.”

3. The Talent Gap is Widening

Few companies, however, are properly supporting their workers, including millennials. Less than half of employees surveyed as part of Workforce 2020 say their company provides ample training on the technology they need, and less than one-third say their company makes the latest technology available to them.

The need for skills like analytics and programming/development will grow sizably over the next three years, but employees doubt the opportunity to gain proficiency in these areas. While executives cite a high level of education or institutional training as the most important employee attribute, only 23 percent say they offer development and training as a benefit. Incentives for pursuing educational opportunities are also uncommon.

4. Leadership is Lacking

Unfortunately, supporting growth among employees is creating a leadership void. Lack of adequate leadership is cited by executives as the number two impediment to achieving their goals of building a workforce to meet future business objectives. Almost half of those surveyed say their plans for growth are being hampered by lack of access to the right leaders within their organizations.

Only 31 percent of executives interviewed say that when a person with key skills leaves they fill the role from within the organization. Surprisingly, less than half indicate that their leadership team has the skills to effectively manage talent or inspire and empower employees.

5. The Workforce is Changing

As the economy evolves to a state where nearly everything can be delivered as a service, companies are increasingly tapping external expertise and resources they need — and on an as-needed basis — to fill skills and resource gaps and to accommodate rapidly changing business and customer demands. That means more temporary staff, more consultants and contract workers, and even “crowd-sourced” projects. In fact, of those companies surveyed as part of Workforce 2020, 83 percent of executives say they will be increasing the use of contingent, intermittent or consultant employees.

6. Compensation Models, Development and Technology Must Change

This changing nature of employment is affecting workforce strategies. Of the companies surveyed:

  • 46 percent say they will require changes in compensation plans
  • 45 percent say they will require increased investment in training
  • 39 percent say they will result in changes to technology policies to support mobility, bring your own device, etc.

Additionally, 41 percent say they will drive new investments in HR technology that can better support their changing strategies and needs. Investments in HR technology will move beyond traditional core HR systems designed to manage the employee record and drive compliance toward emerging technologies that support recruiting, talent and performance management, learning and enhanced employee engagement.

While more than half (53 percent) of executives say workforce development is a key differentiator for their firm, they do not have the tools and organization to back it up.

Just 38 percent say they have ample data about their workforce to understand their strengths and potential vulnerabilities from a skills perspective, and 39 percent say they use quantifiable metrics and benchmarking as part of their workforce development strategy.

Only 42 percent say they know how to extract meaningful insights from the data available to them.

“When it comes to preparing for the future of work, knowledge is power,” Ettling said. “Tomorrow’s workforce will be more diverse and work differently. Companies must understand this and develop new strategies that support diversity and foster a new level of employee engagement and collaboration — or they will ultimately remain stuck in the past.”

To learn more about the global results of Workforce 2020 and the future of work, visit http://www.successfactors.com/en_us/lp/oxford-economics-workforce-hub-pr.html. SAP will share more detailed views of the findings from a regional perspective and at the country level over the coming weeks. Follow the #futureofwork conversation on Twitter with @successfactors.

For more information, visit the SAP News Center. Follow SAP on Twitter at @sapnews.

About Oxford Economics

Oxford Economics is the world leader in global forecasting and quantitative analysis for business and government, and the most trusted resource for decision-makers seeking independent thinking and evidence-based research. Headquartered in Oxford, England, with offices in London, New York, and Singapore, and elsewhere around the globe, the firm employs more than 90 professional economists, industry experts and business editors—one of the largest teams of macroeconomists and thought leadership specialists.

– See more at: http://www.news-sap.com/workforce-2020-looming-talent-crisis-research-shows-companies-unprepared-future-work/#sthash.8GW1bB6x.dpuf

(This post originally appeared at http://www.news-sap.com/workforce-2020-looming-talent-crisis-research-shows-companies-unprepared-future-work/)


Taking a Bite out of Apple

Ashley Harvey | Marketing Manager | ZERION360

Car Speeding along Busy BridgeHow Resting on your Laurels as a Brand puts you Behind the Competition

Apple is expected to reveal the newest iPhone and iOS 8 to the public tomorrow. Apple stocks however didn’t seem to be on par with the rising anticipation – even with speculation that Apple will be revealing a smart watch and finally breaking into the wearable tech market. Apple stock started falling on Wednesday and has continued through the Monday before the event. Amid the excitement surrounding the hyped up event – there seems to be a growing sentiment that Apple has fallen behind the curve.

Google vs Apple: Apple, for the most part, relies heavily on the sale of one item as its major selling point: the iPhone. Google on the other hand, seems to have a presence in just about every tech outlet there is. And they rely heavily on the fact that their OS works across multiple platforms – not just one product. If Apple wants to maintain their position as one of THE tech companies, they need to expand their brand into other innovative branches. For instance, It would be nice to see Apple as a major player in home technology and showcase products and applications that create a fully automated home.

Apple has done an incredible job of branding – with a cult like following that permeated into the rest of society, Apple still represents innovation, creativity, and precision to many faithful followers. Even with Samsung and Google at their heels – Apple still stands on a pretty pedestal. Innovation within the brand though needs to happen – and happen fast. Pushing the envelope by bringing new technologies and innovations to the public first is essential. Apple has been making moves lately – they recently hired rockstar industrial designer Marc Newson and have invited many players from the fashion industry to their big event. Alluding that Apple is continuing to place the emphasis on design – which has worked for them in the past. The problem though – is with the smart phone and wearable tech sector booming with innovation – Apple needs to bring more to the table than flawless design. At tomorrow’s event they’ll undoubtedly bring the Apple style and flair that only Apple can bring – but without the combined power of innovative design and cutting edge tech Apple will fail to keep pace with its competition.

 


Why SMEs Need to be Early Adopters of Tomorrow’s Technology

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The previous blogs in this series focused on the impact of technology on how SMEs are changing. In this blog, we find out what’s in it for SMEs to be early adopters of future technologies.

Recent research by Oxford Economics entitled SMEs: Equipped to Compete, indicates a prolific adoption of game-changing technologies. For SMEs, foundational functionalities, such as business management software and business analytics, are now within their reach. The study  also sees mobile, social, and cloud technologies as just as crucial to the longevity and success of SMEs over the next three years.

The study indicates that more than one-third (35%) of SMEs say they are early adopters of this technology. This certainly defies the myth that the smaller the business, the slower the uptake of technology. In fact, a mere 13% say they are reluctant adopters who find it hard to quantify the benefits. The great majority feel that technologies are within reach. The only caveat is the difficulty expressed by some in determining the right mix of technology investments.

Few, if any, SMEs now feel that these technologies are too complex or expensive. Over half of respondents (52%) state that they will adopt new technologies when they see the potential for strong return on investment. Therefore, while they need convincing before investing, they can see the future advantages and immediate impact that mobile, social, and cloud technologies make – especially on their growth plans. The study indicates that mobile technology (42%) and social media (40%) will drive increased revenue over the next three years, a finding that’s relatively consistent across industries.

It is fair to say then, that SMEs have recognized the competitive advantage that these new technologies can bring them. Of those that have adopted collaborative technologies, 31% of social media and 25% of mobile technology users state that they deliver dramatic improvements in customer service.

In fact, the study highlights a correlation between early adopters and an SME’s bottom line. The most profitable firms tend to be further along in the transformation process than their less-profitable peers. The findings in SMEs: Equipped to Compete show that firms that are 15% more profitable have a greater appetite for growth. They are 4% more likely to be driving innovation, cost reduction, and efficiency initiatives; over 9% more focused on customer relationships; and 6% more likely to be expanding globally.

Click here for access to the Oxford Economics research piece SMEs: Equipped to Compete.

Some barriers to using cloud computing that the research points to include security (38%), lack of understanding of the benefits of the technology (35%), lack of skills (34%), and determining ROI (31%). This broad range of concerns helps explain why the obvious benefits of cloud computing are further down the priority list for some SMEs.

While SMEs might not always be early adopters, they are showing increasing recognition that  technology can generate competitive insight and advantage and, ultimately, new revenue opportunities. Those that realize the potential today will be the early adopters of tomorrow’s technologies.


Technology at the Heart of Successful SME’s

In the last blog article, we looked at how SMEs see transformation as key to business success. This blog focuses on the growing role that technology is playing as SMEs reinvent business models and transform their products and services. Business transformation is imperative for growth-minded SMEs. According to the study, SMEs: Equipped to Compete,  conducted by Oxford Economics among 2,100 SMEs in 21 countries, almost two-thirds (64%) believe technology is central to their transformation initiatives.

They believe technology is critical to sustainable growth and long-term viability – in other words, it’s become a necessity in order to compete globally.  SMEs are also aware they must do things differently in order to compete with global rivals in the future. Over half (53%) say technology is rendering traditional business obsolete. This shift in attitude is leading SMEs to rethink business models and strategies, and adopt technologies that were once out of reach.

One of the biggest trends that SMEs know they need to respond to is the shift in customers’ wants and needs. Evolving customer expectations are seen as having the greatest impact in the retail (41%) and wholesale (34%) industries. Even for professional services (24%), where it is cited least, it still ranks it as the second-biggest trend.

Given this focus on the customer, it is not surprising that consumer products, retail, and wholesale companies are predicting the fastest growth in the use of analytics to help improve insight and meet dynamic customer demands. Alongside the power of analytics, today’s SMEs recognize that business management software can generate insight, revenue opportunities, and competitive advantage.

Increased access to technologies such as business management software and business analytics is helping SMEs operate in ways that are more sophisticated – and specific to their needs. For example, Michael Hecken, head of marketing and strategy for German bicycle-maker MIFA AG, foresees that technology will continue to transform his company for years to come. “I think there will be seamless integration of the whole value chain,” he says in the Oxford Economics research paper, Transformation and Technology. “That will mean more just-in-time delivery, where suppliers share systems to feed you information.”

At this level of sophistication, more SMEs are likely to feel that they are at no disadvantage in terms of technological capabilities – even when they consider the resources of global competitors.  Combined with newer tools such as mobile, social media, and cloud computing, SMEs are fully equipped to compete on the international stage. And as current technologies mature and newer ones are introduced, SMEs will have more tools to support their changing strategies.

Two in five respondents to the study believe that mobile technologies can help them deliver innovative products and services. It pays off in terms of better customer service (25%) and improved product and service development (23%). North American (22%) and Asia Pacific (23%) companies – to a greater degree than companies in other regions – emphasize the role of enterprise mobility in improving innovation. Mobile technology is viewed as transformational by the most profitable firms, suggesting a correlation between readiness to invest in technology and top-line performance.

In 40% of cases, the CEO or business owner is driving the change, indicating that transformation is a competitive consideration at board level. While management sponsorship increases the chances of success, the study emphasizes that, ultimately, performance will be determined by how readily and effectively a company adopts game-changing technologies.


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