This IDC Survey document examines the recent and future technology channel preferences of small businesses (SBs with 10–99 employees) and midsize firms (MBs with 100–999 employees) in seven countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, India, China, and Brazil. Recent use of 18 different channel categories are examined: manufacturer direct sales force, value-added computer reseller, VAR also offering hosted/managed services, independent software vendor/specialist (ISV), local computer specialist/dealer, computer discount superstore, office superstore storefront, office superstore online, consumer electronics superstore, direct response from manufacturer, direct from manufacturer "online store," direct market reseller (like CDW, PC connection), local telephone company (could be via online), cable TV service provider, internet service provider (ISP), cloud-based resource provider, managed service provider (MSP), and other online reseller.
Channel preferences of developed and developing countries are compared along with the total number of channels used, with country detail as well. The growing use of cloud service providers is compared for SBs and MBs as well as firms by country. Additional detail is provided on the use of self-provisioning, where firms acquire resources directly from an online provider. The document concludes with an examination of firms that use either service providers and self-provisioning compared with those using service providers or self-provisioning to understand the transition to alternative channels in SBs and MBs and in developed and developing countries.