Suppose someone came in to your business and told you, regardless of its nature and size, that they were going to sell you a particular product or service. There are 25 of you on the premises and they're selling something originally designed for upwards of 10,000 people but it's OK, it's been scaled down to cater for companies as small as 250-strong. You get the feeling math isn't their strongest point.
Annoyed yet? You should be, yet it's the way many suppliers approach what they describe as the "small to medium business market" - or SME, sometimes SMB. This covers - and definitions from the Government, Europe and others back this up - businesses from two to 250 employees.
So far so good if you're a statistics fan. But what if you're not - and what if you suspect the 25-person company actually shares nothing in common with one ten times its size? So many software and services companies have built their offerings around substantial enterprises and are now coming down to SMB level or even worked something up for consumers and are trying to turn it into a business-grade offering.
This is why finding a service company that offers a tailored service, not something based on their own preconceptions, for your business is so important. This doesn't mean cut down and it doesn't mean scaled up - it means designed for the sort of company you manage or own. This is vital when it concerns security software like that provided by AVG - the sort that will keep your company running when there's a crisis.
No business needs something that's been tailored for someone radically different. It needs some sort of service that will scale up as it grows and scale down if it needs to, without disrupting the core business whenever there's a change.
The modern economy makes this ability to adapt more important than ever. Long term jobs exist but they are now accompanied by a more flexible project-driven approach. It's entirely legitimate and conceivably part of the business plan that you may require extra personnel behaving as if they were full time for a period of months; you don't need to be buying new PCs and licensing software for them all the time.
A solution that scales down and up when you need it and costs only per use is vastly better. "We're supplying your services based on your size" might sound appropriate in some cases but what company stays the same size year on year these days?
So the idea of the tailored service for your company can change, but there's more to it. Remember many companies scale down their enterprise-style offering and sell it to the SME market, as we've established. This tends to mean - in most cases - that you get the unwanted side effect of paying for a load of functions you're never going to use. For example - consider how your smartphone works for a second; you download the apps you want and you don't pay for the rest. You need security software and services you can buy in the same way - picking the elements you need and paying for those alone.
You need suppliers who will take a partnership approach, who specialize in taking your business' size as a starting point. There are software and service organizations out there who believe small business is a good idea, keeps the economy running, and understand that it has its own particular needs. These vendors as a result build their solution from the point of view of the smaller business rather than take something bigger or smaller and scaling it up or down.
SMB needs would include taking account of the fact that few small companies will have dedicated IT support; that growth should ideally not increase overhead, but that they need security just as much as the biggest enterprise or most vulnerable individual. The SMB therefore needs an easy to use software system that allows them to pay only for what they'll use, and which won't be complex. IT should help them, not hinder them with unwanted complexity.
We don't believe other people should decide what your organization looks like and therefore what products should go into it. You can self-manage or we can help you contact a full-blown managed service provider. You can have a load of services or very few - we wouldn't dream of telling you what you're going to want based on our own preconceptions.