Philippines SMBs still behind in adopting convergence

While connectivity is increasing in the Philippines as a result of the wide availability of various Internet and mobile communication technologies, majority of small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) still lag in terms of converged technology adoption, causing them to be left behind by counterparts in Asia-Pacific.

'Local SMBs are still reluctant and conservative when it comes to acquiring new IT equipment that could perform multiple tasks or functions,' said Oscar Visaya, head of technical operations for Cisco Philippines.

Visaya added that the main factor contributing to the situation is the lack of knowledge among SMBs as well as their fear that it might equate to additional operational costs.

In Cisco's experience, technologies such as IP (Internet Protocol)-based equipment with multiple functions are relatively new and usually unheard of by the local SMB market. 'Many SMBs, even those that already have existing networks, are not yet interested in purchasing converged equipment mainly because of the cost it entails,' said Visaya.

However, he added that they foresee local SMBs eventually adopting converged equipment as they target bigger markets here and abroad, as well as increasing competition that will lower costs.

'Give them time and they will eventually find better reasons and value to purchase converged technology products that will meet both their voice and data requirements,' Visaya said.