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The SMB Fallacy

Ongoing hype about small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) is not only annoying, it's misleading. That's what Arun Taneja, founder and president of the Taneja Group consultancy told me today.

"Whoever thought up that classification ought to be shot!" asserted the analyst. "They've done more disservice to the industry than it's possible to imagine."

What folk really mean by SMB, Taneja says, is either a really small business or a medium-sized one and the two are light years apart.

Indeed, on close scrutiny, the SMB moniker has so much give in it that it's bound to snap. In an interview last week, for instance, ExaGrid told me its target customer is an organization that hits the "mid-market to small enterprise," which it measures as having about 300 to 10,000 employees and roughly 500 Gbytes to 40 Tbytes of storage under management.

That's a big gap, but some folk might consider ExaGrid's sizing as a fit for the "M" part of the SMB space. Clearly, though, there's a big difference between the doctor's office down the street and a statewide insurance group.

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