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SMBs across Southeast Asia Set to Invest US $490 Million on Printers in 2006; That's an Increase of 6% over Last Year. And of the Total SMB Printer Spend, about 75% Comes from Small Businesses, Says AMI-Partners.

SINGAPORE -- Small and medium businesses (with 1-999 employees) across key countries in Southeast Asia are on track to invest more than US$490 million on printers this year. Southeast Asia includes Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines. Emerging markets in this region, especially Indonesia and Thailand, will account for more than half of the spending, according to the latest study by Access Markets International (AMI) Partners, Inc.

"To thrive in an increasingly competitive climate, SMBs need to choose systems that can deliver results efficiently at a low total cost of ownership (TCO)," says Cindy Tan, Singapore-based analyst at AMI-Partners. "With printer prices declining, the increase of color printer sales among SMBs is growing. Medium businesses (100-999 employees) are recording higher printer penetration than their small business (1-99 employees) counterparts."

Printers that SMBs buy include MFPs (multifunction printers), single-function laser printers, inkjet printers, and dot-matrix printers. MBs in Southeast Asia are opting more for MFPs and document management systems. "More than 50% of medium businesses in Singapore and Malaysia are using MFPs and document management systems that have networking, copier/printer with collating and stapling features," Ms. Tan says. "In addition, more than 75% of MBs in Singapore and Malaysia are using single-function color laser printers."

Of the total SMB printer spending, approximately 75% comes from small businesses. This is despite the fact that the average SB spending on printers is lower than that of medium or large businesses. SBs tend to purchase lower cost items such as inkjet printers or monochrome laser printers. "Many companies are also examining the feasibility of leasing options to manage capital costs, with a small percentage

looking at managed print services," Ms. Tan adds.

As managing the costs of consumables is also a key concern for SMBs, it was surprising that more than 66% of the SMBs in Southeast Asia use branded printer cartridges - as opposed to cheaper compatible printer cartridges. This can be attributed to the effectiveness of many vendors' "buy original" campaigns, as well as the lack of awareness regarding compatibles among most SMBs in the region

Resellers and retailers continue to play a significant key role in sourcing for printers, with more than 50% of SMBs in Southeast Asia purchasing printers through these channels. Strong partnerships with channels are definitely essential for vendors aiming to gain mind and market share.

About AMI-Partners

AMI-Partners specializes in IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services strategy, venture capital, and actionable market intelligence -- focusing on global small and medium business (SMB) enterprises. The AMI-Partners mission is to empower clients for success with the highest quality data, business planning and "go-to-market" solutions. AMI was founded in 1996 under the name of Access Media International (USA), Inc. by Andy Bose, formerly group vice president at IDC. Since its inception, the firm has built a world-class management team, each with ten to fifteen years' experience in IT, telecom, online communications or multimedia.

AMI-Partners has helped shape the go-to-market SMB strategies of more than 150 leading IT, Internet, telecommunications and business services companies over the last ten years. The firm is well known for its IT and Internet adoption-based segmentation of the SMB markets; its annual retainership services based on global SMB tracking surveys in more than 20 countries; and its proprietary database of SMBs and SMB channel partners in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The firm invests significantly in collecting survey-based information from several thousand SMBs annually, and is considered the premier source for global SMB trends and analysis.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 20, 2006
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