Now let's switch gears. The next day, I was learning more about how a few very large vendors are hoping to gain traction with small and midsize businesses. With fewer lucrative, large-scale, enterprise software projects getting the sign-off these days, companies such as IBM and SAP have their sights set squarely on the decision makers at small and midsize businesses. And like the big company betting on the small vendor, this, too, implies some risk. Can small companies afford products from companies used to selling to the biggest of the big? Will they get the attention and service levels they need? Is the software too complex?
While one big company, Microsoft, has made significant headway in this market over the years, others are racing to create products, strategies, services, and pricing to reach the hearts and minds of technology decision makers ("IBM Takes On Microsoft: Smaller Businesses Win"). Of course, as our profile on Fingerhut ("A New Legacy") shows, these small and midsize companies aren't afraid to build the software themselves if they don't like or can't afford what's out there.