A new ecommerce service claims to have solved the problem that has baffled IT vendors for nearly a decade: how to sell to the small to medium sized enterprise (SME) market.
SearchandMatch.com, a search engine and online software directory launched last week, promises to give SMEs the confidence to invest in technology at levels in line with the rest of the UK's industrial sectors.
This contentious claim is based on the findings of the latest report from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, which concluded that SMEs lack both the "human and financial resources to appraise IT decisions".
Phil Hamlin, managing director of SearchandMatch.com, argued that cataloguing suppliers from vendors to resellers will make the appraisal process easy enough to inspire confidence and encourage widespread IT investment by SMEs. "This will kick start the dormant SME market," he said.
SearchandMatch.com has poured £4m into the system, employing 25 researchers who spent 250,000 man hours looking at the software market. The search engine involved another 400,000 man hours of development. The system boasts 7500 UK suppliers, who offer 100,000 products applicable to 340 business sectors.
Initially, eight vertical markets are listed on the service, including banking, manufacturing and software. The service will be free to resellers who want to include it in their own websites.
The service also carries a link to Dun & Bradstreet Confidence Reports, and resellers will benefit from being listed on the system as accredited suppliers of the software.
First published in Computer Reseller News
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