Samsung Tries Its Hand at SMB Marketplaces with AppStack

Everyone and their mother seems to be trying to get into the SMB App world. Case in point — Samsung. We came across this announcement from the company that it will stand up a cloud-services marketplace called AppStack to help accelerate the digitization of SMBs. 

Samsung cites data showing that 56% of SMBs having spent up to $600,000 per year on the public cloud. That number may appeal to App developers, but we doubt many SMBs invest at the top of that spending range. Still, Samsung is trying to pry its way into a space that we’ve been covering for some time now — SMB adoption of apps to run their businesses.

COVID-19 has accelerated the development of a market that was already gaining traction. As SMBs compete for market share among their customers, they have to upgrade the customer experiences they deliver. One way to do this is to leverage technology appropriate for their business. 

And there is a ton of technology out there built (or at least marketed) to serve the needs of SMBs. Go to any research site (e.g., G2) and you’ll find countless cloud solutions to help SMBs run their businesses.

An Ambitious Enterprise

Samsung is sticking its toe in the water to see if it can bring its seemingly large SMB user base into AppStack by the end of this summer.

Here’s what Taher Behbehani, Head of the Mobile B2B Division, SVP and General Manager, Samsung Electronics America, had to say in the release:

“Today, SMBs are navigating a new business landscape that has been completely upended. Many see this as an opportunity to adapt their business, and business software will play an integral role in continuous transformation. The launch of AppStack is just the beginning, as we look to enable companies with limited IT resources to modernize quickly so they can focus on what matters most– their business.” 

As analysts, we’re always curious to learn more. So we went to the Samsung site to see what else we could learn. Here’s some of the copy from the website. 

Samsung’s business customers use our devices to operate their businesses, whether it be for sales, marketing, communication, management, or virtually any other aspect of a business that requires software.

Given our deep and constant relationship with our customers, we’re going a step further to provide them with a curated collection of software that will cover both general horizontal solutions and highly specialized, vertical focused solutions.

 You can also register on the site to be part of the marketplace. Here are the criteria Samsung lays out. 

AppStack Selection Criteria
  • Software solutions suitable to SMBs (100 or fewer employees)
  • Pricing model includes standardized published pricing for licensing
  • Accounts are provisioning online via a self-service interface
  • Interested in a reseller relationship with Samsung Electronics America

After you register, you get taken to a page that says this:

Thank you for registering to become an AppStack Partner. As a global leader in enterprise mobility and information technology, Samsung provides enterprise products and services that help customers realize the promise of digital business.”

We deliberately bolded the references to “enterprise”. We’re sure Samsung has been a competitive player in the enterprise space. But at the moment we question whether Samsung will have a viable and valuable role in the SMB space. After all, if you can’t even revise the copy for a post-registration page, it speaks volumes of your actual intent. 

Not that we don’t think they can, they just don’t seem to be there yet. 

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