A headline this morning was that small businesses in emerging markets are using smartphones for business purposes. Dahhhhhh!!!. Small businesses, regardless of region,have been the most aggressive in using mobile technologies purchased from their mobile operator for business use. Before smartphones, it was voice and text messaging. When IM services became more widely available - small businesses were using it. Blackberry BBM allows keeping a record of conversations.
The difference now is that smartphones offer more capabilities primarily through downloadable apps. My plumber in 2009 was using an iPhone app to invoice me for services. For developed regions, small businesses were also the most progressive with adopting mobile broadband services because they could just go out and buy it and not wait for IT to approve.
The difference now is that there is a huge opportunityto sell tosmall businessesthe apps and services that have traditionally been the domain ofthe large business.Cloud computing is enablingthis opportunity andcomes in the form ofMicrosoft 365,Google Apps,mobile app development, content management, mobile device management, andFMC (ex: Vodafone'sOne Net Express).Operators are in agreat positionto capitalize on the SMB market butexpect everyone to try to gain a piece of this pie