HANNOVER: Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) should look to social networking sites to reduce costs and create new routes to market, according to Dell's president of SMEs.
Stephen Felice said at CeBIT today that the use of sites like Twitter and Facebook gives SMEs the ability to greatly reduce costs for advertising and marketing, and could help find new avenues of business across the globe.
Citing Dell's own experiences, Felice claimed that the company had made $9m (£6m) in direct sales through social networking sites last year, and bemoaned some SMEs' reluctance to take advantage of this channel.
"Many businesses remain skittish about the use of social media, but it is a really powerful tool for SMEs. It gives them a chance to reduce advertising revenues and still reach new customers, as well as giving existing customers new and easily accessible touch points," he said.
Felice also said that the steady growth in cloud computing allows SMEs to be more flexible with software purchasing, and that, while security remains a key issue for many, the technology is now proven.
"Cloud computing and social media are ready for primetime uptake. They are past the testing stage and ready to be embraced. The issue now is to get the best use from them to connect with customers and grow businesses," he said.
However, Felice believes that SMEs continue to lead the way in technology innovation, often being far more willing to move on to new and innovative ways of doing business with technology than large Fortune 1000 enterprises.
"There are 27 million SMEs in the US and 20 million in the EU, making up some 99 per cent of all businesses," he said.
"They continue to make use of new technology, and we believe the optimism we are seeing from them indicates that the industry is heading out of recession."
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