Customer Experience Holds Key to SME Growth, Study Shows

  Customer Experience Holds Key to SME Growth, Study Shows

Global SMEs Adopting New Technologies and a Customer-Centric Approach to Fuel
              Recovery and Growth; Security Remains Top Priority

Progress Exchange 2013

Business Wire

BEDFORD, Mass. -- October 8, 2013

Providing a positive customer experience using transformative cloud
technologies is the number one key to driving economic growth for small and
medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) according to new research conducted by
independent market research firm IDG Research Services. The study sponsored by
Progress, a global software company, polled 300 key decision-makers across the
US and Europe about their biggest business challenges and key goals.

SMEs are businesses with less than 249 employees (Europe) and between 50 and
999 employees (US). The survey found that most are improving the customer
experience through value added services and business applications and that
cloud services are helping these organizations to deliver on customer demands.

Customer-centric approach driving growth

Often applauded for a more personalized, customer-centric approach than larger
enterprises, the study found that SMEs are continuing to focus on this area,
with 74% looking to achieve growth through an improved customer experience and
the delivery of value added services. Further, 60% said they plan to adjust
business models over the next 18 months to better meet customer demands and
stay ahead of the competition. Nearly half (48%) reported that ensuring
security for their key applications was their highest priority.

In a competitive business environment, businesses also are increasingly
looking for new applications that can help improve efficiency and boost
productivity. More than half are focusing on application initiatives that
deliver agile, responsive business environments, with 54% planning to deploy
new business applications to increase productivity within the next 18 months.

In line with the maturity of the market, SMEs in the US were found to be
slightly ahead of their European counterparts with a greater focus on
implementing Big Data initiatives (48% US v 33% Europe). Showing the need for
more agility, 47% will be focusing on increasing collaboration between IT and
business organizations to build better business applications faster over the
next 18 months.

Cloud services and business applications delivering on customer demands

To meet fast-changing customer demands and deliver tailored applications,
nearly two thirds (61%) of US businesses surveyed have implemented or plan to
implement cloud infrastructure/services in the near term. As with Big Data
initiatives, European organizations are lagging behind the US in terms of
cloud adoption, however 39% of European SMEs plan to implement cloud
infrastructure/services within the next year.

Executive Quote:

“Global economic data shows a correlation between a steady SME market and a
stable or recovering economy – we believe this is because SMEs combine many of
the best traits from their large enterprise and start-up counterparts,
offering a mix of reliability, innovation and flexibility which is best suited
for quick growth,” said Karen Tegan Padir, chief technology officer at

The IDG Research Services study, conducted between August and September 2013
surveyed 300 decision makers involved in setting business and IT strategy at
SMEs in the US, UK, Germany, France and Benelux.

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About Progress Software Corporation

Progress Software Corporation(NASDAQ:PRGS) is a global software company that
simplifies the development, deployment and management of business applications
on-premise or in the cloud, on any platform or device,to any data
source,with enhanced performance, minimal IT complexity and low total cost of
ownership. Progress Software can be reached or

Progress and Pacific are trademarks or registered trademarks of Progress
Software Corporation or one of its subsidiaries or affiliates in the U.S. and
other countries. Any other names contained herein may be trademarks of their
respective owners.


Progress Software
Rachel Godwin, +44 (0)1344 386 387
Jon Brigden, +44 (0) 207 802 2626
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