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IT Forum in city on the Neva

IT-forum (called ‘IT Forum 2005: The Russian Market of Information Technology’) was first held in the North-West region.

In addition, 3 master classes were conducted in the course of St. Petersburg IT Forum. Two of them (‘Personnel Motivation. How to Hold the Best People in the Company?’ and ‘Relations of the IT Companies with the Press. How to Build?’) were conducted by CEO of the LiCO company Maxim Kikot, and one master class (titled "How to Bring Up ‘a Good Leader’ from a Good Deller”) was conducted by the LiCO professional consultant, Oleg Shcheglov.

The overall result of the St. Petersburg IT Forum, organized by the Center for Business activities Business eXchange (BeX, a division of the publishing house "SK Press"), with the support of the Association of Computer and Information Technology (AP KIT)

What is an SMB?

Almost all the round tables, held during the St. Petersburg IT Forum, somehow revolved around the concept of "Small and Middle-Sized Enterprises' (SMBs). This is not surprising, because this conference is designed for companies that work with SMB enterprises, unlike conferences held under the name of "IT Summit" (one of which recently passed still in St. Petersburg, see PC Week/RE, 13/2005, p. 1) and focused primarily on suppliers of solutions to large corporations.

But what is interesting: it seems not and can not be consensus about what is the SMB. It all depends on perspective. If the fiscal authorities are not interested in the level of IT equipment capability of potential taxpayers, the system integrator, seeking for prospective clients, cares very much how many computerized workplaces exist (or can be installed) in a particular customer. It is also very important to him to know if the company has an IT department (led by all-knowing CIO, endowed with certain powers), or it is a supply manager barely distinguishing license software from counterfeit one and not seeing the difference between genuine and counterfeit consumables, who is responsible for all of the procurement of computer equipment.

Consulting companies include to big business those corporations managed by the board of directors and to the SMBs - structures controlled individually and based on the so-called family capital. There is also the opinion that large companies are those that are members of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs led by Arkady Volsky.

It is the company "SAP in CIS countries and Baltic States") demonstrates a constructive approach to the concept of SMB. Recently the company held its first Russian conference of the SMB partners. SAP Business One solution promotion manager Schuch Margarita Schuch notes that today there are more than 78 million small businesses with a turnover of 1 to 10 million euros and 614 thousand medium-sized enterprises (10 to 100 million euros). Referring to the research carried out by Market-Visio/Gartner, it states that in Russia there are actually more than 19,000 medium-sized businesses, and over 65% of them do not have automated control systems. This ‘encouraging’ fact evidences that ERP-solutions providers the SMB sector in our country will not remain in the foreseeable future without a piece of bread (probably not only with butter, but also with caviar). Similarly to suppliers of all kinds of software and "hardware".

Maxim Kikot, CEO of the LiCO company, engaged in managerial and HR consulting, believes that in Russia of 2005 Type we should consider as small businesses those with an annual turnover of less than $ 1 million, as middle-sized ones - the companies that make $ 100 million per year. Everything over this turnover should be considered as a big business. According to him, there is also minor, like family-run retail business. Its ceiling value is 100 thousand dollars a year.