Resellers still have a huge role to play in helping SMEs to overcome the IT language barrier, according to a report which claimed that more than half of SMEs find it difficult to understand different vendors' broadband offerings.
The survey, commissioned by Tiscali, questioned 250 SMEs with up to 50 employees, and found that 67 per cent have difficulty in distinguishing between varied ISP broadband packages. A further 51 per cent of respondents said they are also confused by IT terminology, especially acronyms.
As a result, 52 per cent of respondents are uncertain of their ability to pick the most cost-effective broadband solution for their business, although 37 per cent still believe broadband is vital to their success.
Nathan Francis, general manager at Tiscali business services, said: "Contention rates proved difficult to understand for SMEs. Many have a consumer-level understanding of technical terms, and purchases are often based on the knowledge of a single person in the company.
"Many SMEs require only 512Kbps but want wrap-around business services such as domain names too. The service they get may not always be quite right for their business model."
Francis added that to help SMEs understand broadband services and improve applicability, ISPs should run a two-tier strategy in which resellers educate the end-user.
"The key is education and explanation of terminology in a business-focused way," he said.
Matthew Ball, an analyst at Canalys, agreed with Francis's views.
"Other ISPs and their resellers could also help by developing leaflets explaining the terminology, perhaps incorporating them into targeted marketing campaigns," he said.
"SMEs with up to 50 employees tend to rely on resellers because they have the ability to go into businesses and give one-to-one advice."
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