SMEs – key to NESSI’s future
Today, European SMEs employ more than 74 million people while at the same time generating the majority of radical innovations and technological breakthroughs. As such, SMEs constitute one of the pillars for economic and social development in Europe. In January 2007, NESSI’s Steering Committee continued its road to the future of services by highlighting the need to ensure that SMEs become actively involved in the definition, evolution and implementation of NESSI.
A Strategy dedicated to ICT SMEs
A large proportion of European SMEs are ICT stakeholders, delivering ICT solutions. Therefore, full participation of these ICT SMEs is key for NESSI and NESSI has drafted a strategy to reach out to ICT SMEs.
Though SMEs using services are equally important to NESSI, a clear separation is made between the two different roles of providing services versus using them, and therefore a separate community dedicated to user needs has also been foreseen in NESSI. This SME strategy focuses on the ICT SME stakeholders who deliver ICT solutions.
A channel to activity
Recognising that one barrier to SME participation is the cost and time involved in attending physical meetings, the Working Group’s aim is to implement the SME strategy while at the same time setting up an environment that will foster remote collaboration, active participation and limit the need to participate to different meetings.
This approach complements the existing activities of NESSI. The NESSI SME Group will not focus on domain specific issues but on the contrary will highlight the cross-cutting issues that directly relate to SMEs, independently of a specific application domain.
A step by step strategy
The strategy calls for different themes:
- Assessment of the SME Community in NESSI. This task has been defined to profile the existing NESSI SME constituency more precisely in terms of sector, interests, size, knowledge/implementation of software and services
- Enlargement of the SME Community in NESSI. As mentioned earlier, the current constituency should be increased to ensure full relevance of SME views.
- Support of the SME Community within NESSI. This task aims to detail the interaction between SMEs and the NESSI bodies.
- Engagement of SMEs within the environment of NESSI. The goal of this task is to elaborate and convey the SMEs point of view to the NESSI entities.
- Engagement of SMEs beyond the environment of NESSI. This aims to link and coordinate, when relevant, the activities of the SME Community Group with respect to related initiatives in other ETPs or at national level.
How to Participate
We know that time and financial resources are very tight for SMEs, especially for more senior strategic and technical resources typically participating in NESSI. Thus we know from practice that participating in meetings, and even regular telecoms, can be very difficult for our community thus we focus community effort around the NESSI SME Group Linked-in forum. Please join us.