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I am often asked in press and analyst meetings about why I started Egnyte. My answer is quite simple. We wanted to provide an infrastructure solution for SME’s that currently, only larger companies with larger budgets could afford. Frankly, I did not even realize that we were building a “cloud” solution. The capital infrastructure needs can now be supplanted with a monthly operational expense of the Egnyte subscription service. I strongly believe that we are helping the David’s compete with the Goliath’s.

Corporate America seems to be doing well based on improved earnings and the stock prices. But the picture is dismal for SME’s. They are fighting rising costs, lack of credit, and economic uncertainty. As a result they are not hiring and shelving or delaying any major capital expenditure. Indeed this presents an opportunity for Egnyte, and we are definitely seeing a growth in demand. However, what concerns me most is that SME’s form the backbone of the economy and until they start experiencing growth, the sluggishness in the US economy is here to stay. Being in Silicon Valley, especially in these heady bubble-like times, it can feel that life is all wonderful and the word ‘recession’ seems so foreign. However, leave aside tech and you will find that people in other walks of life don’t have the same exuberance. Without needing to venture too far out, I can cite an example of one of my neighbors who has struggled to find a job in the last 2 years, and therefore is surviving on odd jobs and savings.

All of this concerns me, since I really believe that for the US to get back on to the path of sustained growth, small businesses are central to economic recovery. We at Egnyte are doing our bit to help the SME’s grow. They no longer need to buy the physical file server, VPN and backup, and consequently ┬ádo not incur maintenance costs. We want to be their partner not only in today’s tough times but also grow with them when the economic gloom fades away, hopefully in the not too distant future.

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