The iSeries Blog

Jul 24 2008   8:23AM GMT

Define the midrange

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

That elusive term: the midrange. What does it mean? We in the IT journalism industry often refer to it without really defining it. I myself usually only use the actual term “midrange” when referring to the IBM i server platform, although there are presumable so-called “midrange” customers running Dell, HP, Sun and others. But for some reason, when referring to their push in the midmarket, or midrange if you will, I refer to the audience as SMB, short for small and medium businesses.

The prototypical midrange user I have in my head could be a fairly large business, but always has a relatively small IT staff where each member needs to take on a lot more tasks than at a huge Fortune 500 company where everything is segmented out.

Over at IT Jungle, Timothy Prickett Morgan gives his input on the matter and also gets takes from IBM’s and HP’s unofficial midrange representatives: Mark Shearer at IBM and Urs Renggli at HP. Their opinions on the midrange are pretty interesting. From Renngli’s point-of-view:

HP believes that looking at IT shop headcount and the level of expertise is a lot better an indicator of whether an IT organization is a small, midrange, or enterprise shop–a lot better, says Renggli, than looking at whether a company has from one to 99 employees (that would be small) or from 100 to 1,000 (that would be midrange).

And Shearer:

First, according to Shearer, is that they are decidedly different, which means the company owners and the employees have made a conscious choice to work for a small or medium business; they are often family owned businesses, and if they are not, they act like families just the same. Often times, the people who own and work at the company are the company brand, and they behave as such. They are independent, and they are just as inclined to act from their instincts as they are from deep analysis…Second, midrange companies are growing up. They have a growth attitude, and they want to invest in growth; they are looking at scale and efficiency to get there.

There is plenty more in the original article: “What the Heck is the Midrange, Anyway?”

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