London, UK and Waterloo, ON - Pan-European research launched today by Ipsos MORI and Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM: TSX: RIM) has revealed that SMEs (small and medium -sized enterprises) across Europe boost their chances of winning business on the move by using mobile technology, with 62% of European SME owners having won a piece of business because they were able to respond to prospects when on the move.
(PressZoom) - London, UK and Waterloo, ON - Pan-European research launched today by Ipsos MORI and Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM: TSX: RIM) has revealed that SMEs (small and medium -sized enterprises) across Europe boost their chances of winning business on the move by using mobile technology, with 62% of European SME owners having won a piece of business because they were able to respond to prospects when on the move.┬
The responses from 900 SME owners based in seven countries across Western Europe showed that reacting to customer queries (42%) and communicating regularly with existing customers (21%) are the two most critical capabilities for SMEs to maintain a good relationship with their existing customer base, and importantly survive and grow their businesses in the future. Considering 66% of those surveyed explained that they were on the move two or more times a week, the results illustrate that SMEs across Europe need to ensure that they can communicate with the people and access the information they want, regardless of where they are.
According to the European Union, there are around 23 million SMEs in Europe - approximately 99% of all enterprises. Providing over 100 million jobs across the region, SMEs account for a large proportion of Europe's economic and professional activity, and therefore the ability to introduce solutions such as mobility to improve the business process are vital in ensuring continued future growth.
Key challenges for SMEs varied from region to region, with key findings showing that:
86% of Spanish SMEs have won a piece of new business whilst on the move, the highest figure in Europe Five times as many SMEs in Europe cite office space as a wasteful investment compared to mobile technology German SMEs are the most likely to spend time away from their desk, with more than half explaining that most of their key stakeholders are located within a 10km radius. Conversely two-fifths of Italian SMEs (39%) will rarely or never work away from their place of work Italian SMEs are the biggest users of email in Europe (85%), whereas in Spain the majority prefers to make voice calls to contact stakeholders (91%) Technology in SMEs is most prevalent in the UK, where 79% felt technology had improved setting up their business Charmaine Eggberry, Vice President and Managing Director, EMEA at RIM commented, "It is clear that SMEs are only prepared to make reasonable and flexible investments that will scale up in line with how their business grows. The research shows that mobile solutions are key to the success of SMEs across Europe, so adopting the right tools and procedures from the beginning are key to long-term success."
When setting up their business, respondents of the survey proved shrewd in their investments with almost twice as many setting up at home rather than in a rented or purchased premises. This is particularly true in the UK (76%) and Germany respectively (67%), in contrast to Italian SMEs who prefer to establish a business in rented office space (52%).
The first asset SME owners would recommend a friend starting a business is 'technology' - with mobile technology coming second only to a computer. In the UK, more SMEs would recommend ensuring that a new start up has mobile technology at its disposal over office space.
Eggberry continued: "It is common place for SMEs to spend large amounts of time out of the office and multitasking is often a key trait of their business. However, like larger businesses, SMEs still need to be able to service their customers, win prospective business regardless of whether they are in the office or not. BlackBerry« smartphones are an ideal tool for these SMEs to stay productive on the move, and be successful in their business."
Gareth Deere, Research Director at Ipsos MORI added: "The research supports the notion that European SMEs operating in today's competitive environment can no longer be bound to their desks if they are to be successful. Interacting with different stakeholders when on the move, using the medium they prefer, can make a real difference in both the short and long term. Insight from the research shows that being connected when on the move can not only help SMEs win business, but crucially it can help SMEs nurture relationships with their customers."
Previous research undertaken by Ipsos Reid and Research In Motion shows that BlackBerry smartphone users can reclaim up to 60 minutes a day in lost productivity, meaning that SMEs can use make full use of their working day in order to maximise their free time.
About the research Research In Motion worked in conjunction with Ipsos MORI to undertake pan-European research into the current needs of small and medium -sized businesses - determined as companies with between 2-250 employees. A total sample of 900 respondents were questioned online, with quota samples of 150 respondents based in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and 150 from Belgium and The Netherlands combined. The research was undertaken in March 2008.
About Research In Motion Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including email, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications. RIM technology also enables a broad array of third party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services with wireless connectivity. RIM's portfolio of award-winning products, services and embedded technologies are used by thousands of organizations around the world and include the BlackBerry« wireless platform, the RIM Wireless Handheld(tm) product line, software development tools, radio-modems and software/hardware licensing agreements. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. RIM is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq: RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RIM). For more information, visit www.rim.com┬ or www.blackberry.com.
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