Hoping to gain more traction in the lucrative small and medium business (SMB) sector, Verizon launched the Verizon Small Business Center, a suite of web based services for SMBs. They include a collaboration engine which is powered through Cisco’s WebEx platform, as well as a ‘professional networking’ tool which allows users to connect with others and network with each other. The Verizon Small Business Center also offers some business applications including on-line storage and an Internet security suite. “What we’ve created with the new Verizon Small Business Center is similar to what an information technology department would build for a large corporation, but at a fraction of the price,” said Monte Beck, Verizon’s vice president for small-business products and services in a company statement.
Verizon joins a litany of other companies, all chasing the small business market. Cable competitors see the SMB market as a potential growth engine as well. Comcast partnered with Microsoft for a similar product suite targeting SMBs, Microsoft Communication Services from Comcast. Future opportunities look bright as well, with services like managed IT and cloud computing just getting a foothold in the SMB sector. Indeed, the battle for the billions at stake with the SMB market will be one to watch.