Microsoft has insisted that there is a huge opportunity for the SMB channel when it comes to big data tech and urged the industry not to dismiss the trend as enterprise-only.
In a blog posted to LinkedIn, Microsoft's global vice president for SMB Thomas Hansen said although the internet of things (IoT) and big data tech have enjoyed success with huge enterprises, there is a wealth of opportunities to be had among smaller firms too.
"Big data is often considered to be the realm of big business, but small businesses are increasingly realising they can use the data at their disposal to make more intelligent business decisions," he said. "In 2015 many small businesses will learn how to put their data to work for them, using it to identify business opportunities, drive internal efficiencies and more thoroughly understand their customers."
He added that the trend goes hand-in-hand with IoT and "machine learning" technology, which SMBs are also poised to cash in on.
"The benefits of machine learning and predictive analytics... are not just for big business anymore," he insisted. "Small businesses will also see ways that increasingly intelligent technologies can work for them and ultimately make them more successful in 2015."
He said the technology could be used, for example, among small retailers at point-of-sale terminals to increase opportunities to upsell or even within the store in the form of sensors which monitor the ways customers navigate their way around.
"People have been anticipating the day when virtually all electronics are connected to the web for years, and in 2015 the idea of IoT will become a tangible reality for businesses of all sizes," he said. "Many small businesses may feel overwhelmed by IoT, but they can succeed by starting small with a few changes that can make a big impact.
"The Internet of your Things, as we like to refer to it at Microsoft, is not about ripping and replacing technologies. It's about leveraging what companies already have and adding to their existing systems so everything works better together."
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