What is the mid-market? I define it as somewhere between 10,000 and 25,000 employees. Some organizations go as low as 1,000 employees. Certainly there’s a disparity in the definition, but the employee count is not nearly as important as some other attributes.
I’ve seen organizations as small as 1,000 employees trying to get a grip of their HR processes and technologies in a way that larger organizations do. Often, these are high profile companies that you’d have heard of, but their market penetration is much greater than their actual size. Additionally we’ve all seen large manufacturing organizations that don’t have the same attention to HR and technology because of the type of work they do. Josh Greenbaum notes that there are really only two types of market segments as relates to buyers:
Here’s my simple market taxonomy, which I believe pretty much spells out the death of the mythical mid-market company.
Market segment #1 consists of buyers for whom IT is a utility, much like electricity and water, that is a basic commodity but has little if any role in defining strategic advantage. IT keeps the lights on, but it is really secondary to the task at hand.
Market segment #2 consists of buyers for whom IT is a major strategic differentiator, one of the things that drives competitiveness and supports innovation. These buyers also use IT to keep the lights on, but the real reason they buy technology is to deploy it at the cutting edges of their industry. ((Attributed to Josh Greenbaum. Frank Scavo, May 15, 2007. “No such thing as a mid-market company.” Retrieved from The Enterprise System Spectator.))
While at the core, I’m not sure the above definitions are good enough, I think there’s some good truth to it. You can either be strategic or not. If I were a vendor, I wouldn’t buy this at all. You do need to target the appropriate audiences and provide technology and functionality addressing varying degrees of requirements. But I like the thought, and agree that size does not matter.