LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - Dec 19, 2012) - j2 Global, Inc. (NASDAQ: JCOM), cloud services provider for small businesses, including leading brands eVoice, eFax and Campaigner, today announced key trends and predictions that will impact small-to medium-sized businesses in the coming year. Mobility, expansion of the cloud, and integration of business services are the three key trends that SMBs must be ready for in 2013. See an infographic showing the three key trends here.
1. Mobilization of the Workforce Drives Productivity Gains
In 2011 we reached a new milestone with the number of smartphones sold exceeding the number of PCs sold. In a recent press release summarizing its 2011 country-level estimates, Canalys estimated that vendors shipped nearly 488 million smart phones to clients in 2011, compared to an estimated 414.6 million PCs.1 This trend suggests a continuing mass mobilization of the global workforce.
Smartphones and tablets become ubiquitous. In 2013, companies will get smarter about how they use mobile devices. These tools are becoming ubiquitous, spanning industries, generations and job types. Smartphones and tablets will be leveraged more heavily as businesses move beyond using them just for simple communications. Business systems, such as CRM, will go mobile enabling teams to input and access sales information on-the-go, driving higher levels of communication and productivity. Collaboration tools that were previously office-bound -- like conference calling and web conferencing -- will be liberated to facilitate faster and more strategic responses to real-time business needs.
Mobile apps are where it's at. SMBs have already adopted smartphones and tablets for email and web browsing but will now add a broader array of mobile apps for their businesses to be even more connected, more available, and more able to productively use those moments of time that are otherwise lost. Through the adoption of workflow apps like mobile faxing and communication apps for VoIP calling, SMBs can maximize productivity on the go and better manage and even co-mingle the dual demands of business and personal life.
2. SMBs Get Their Heads in the Cloud
In 2013, SMBs will fully embrace the cloud as they tap into the advantages of faster deployment and lower cost of ownership. SMBs had been slower to adopt the cloud, but that will change as they leverage the lower cost of delivery and mobility afforded by cloud based technology.
Cost and competition drive at least 2 in 3 SMBs to the cloud in 2013. With even more pressure from competition and the economy alike, SMBs and micro businesses will look to the cloud to grow their top and bottom lines. SMBs will find competitive advantages to using more cloud-based technology solutions from business communication services like phone, fax and web conferencing to hiring and payroll. Traditional consumer-facing cloud services are pivoting toward a business service model offering cost-effective and efficient solutions for SMBs from accounting to legal counsel. As this nascent market evolves SMBs will adopt at a faster rate putting at least 2 in 3 SMBs in the cloud in 2013.
Smarter, more agile solutions prevail. Small businesses will increase their technology IQ as cloud computing and anything-as-a-service (XaaS) become the default choice for how SMBs leverage technology. Over the next few years, SMBs and micro businesses will reconsider purchases for telephony (phone and fax), web and mail servers, and data backup. They will opt for the lower barrier to entry, flexibility and virtual/remote capabilities of cloud options over the space and location restrictions of premise-based solutions.
3. SMBs Will Work Smarter, Not Harder, with Integrated Systems
Integration will become the new black as businesses seek to gain efficiency with unified tools and systems that work collaboratively to drive results.
Bridging Marketing & Sales Technologies to Boost Revenue. Disconnected systems will be replaced by fully integrated business solutions. For example, email marketing will become one of the first applications for full integration with CRM services. This will allow sales and marketing organizations to easily execute campaigns and track the results, all within a single application.
Social Capabilities Become Integrated. Social is no longer the new and shiny platform on the block. In 2013 we will see a tighter integration of social tools into business platforms and processes. Social media will be integrated into core CRM solutions driving a faster sales cycle and lower cost of acquisition. This integration will make it easier to manage social media campaigns from within your CRM service. It will also offer points of contact to interact and strengthen relationships with customers and prospects in a more social environment.
See an infographic showing the three key trends here. For more information about j2 Global brands, visit www.j2.com. Or visit the eFax blog at http://blog.efax.com or the eVoice blog at http://blog.evoice.com.
About j2 Global
j2 Global (NASDAQ: JCOM) provides cloud services for business, offering Internet fax, virtual phone, hosted email, email marketing, online backup, unified communications, and CRM solutions. Founded in 1995, the company's messaging network spans more than 49 countries on six continents. j2 Global markets its services principally under the brand names eFax®, eVoice®, FuseMail®, Campaigner®, KeepItSafe®, and Onebox®. As of December 31, 2011, j2 Global had achieved 16 consecutive fiscal years of revenue growth. For more information about j2 Global, please visit www.j2global.com. To learn more about j2 Global® cloud services brands, visit www.j2.com.
1 To view the full press release, go to: http://www.canalys.com/newsroom/smart-phones-overtake-client-pcs-2011