Ralabs vs. IBM

When partnering with a smaller tech company makes sense
Stanislava-Mariia Yasynyshyn

Stanislava-Mariia Yasynyshyn

November 6, 2023


Size matters. It certainly does when choosing a software partner to develop your product. Can you achieve your goals with a smaller firm rather than going with a big household name? Do you need a long-term partner, or will a one-time fling be enough?

This article will help you make that choice whether you’re at the ideation phase, approaching pre-seed, or getting ready to scale up.

While both options have their merits, we’ll focus on the pros of working with a smaller-sized service provider. Why? Because Ralabs is a small software company, and this blog is based on our real-world experience.

Let’s jump right in and see what a mid-sized tech company can offer your growing business.


Personalized approach

When dealing with a well-established tech giant, it’s often difficult to get the level of personal attention your project needs. Will they help me validate my idea before we get the project going? Who do I talk to about a particular issue? How do I get through to senior executives or tech leads?
With a smaller firm, answering these questions is easy.
Here’s why:

  • Everyone’s within reach: owners, project managers, and senior developers. Direct communication helps address existing issues and prevent new ones.
  • With fewer clients to care for, each gets the attention they deserve. To a smaller business, you’re not just another account but a valued client whose needs are a top priority.
  • Teams are more invested in the project’s success and have a more in-depth understanding of your goals. Failure is not an option, and every achievement is perceived as personal.

Smaller-sized tech companies punch above their weight when it comes to quality of service. What they may lack in resources, they make up by being light on their feet.



Large software firms spend years creating complex systems of governance that protect them from disruptions. At the same time, the rigid structuring of processes slows them down when the moment to innovate and transform comes. Getting all the approvals, changing regulations — it takes time for a large company to reorient itself.
There are several reasons why smaller-sized providers are more agile than tech giants:

  • They’re more willing to take reasonable risks and try new approaches to meet client needs.
  • They have a more compact team and a simpler structure, which means fewer moving parts.
  • They’re not as bogged down by red tape and internal rules.
  • They respond faster to new market trends and demands.

Smaller companies are flexible and can embrace change quickly. But more importantly, these firms live by the entrepreneurial spirit, which is a big part of the startup ethos.


Quick decision-making


Cost efficiency


Relevant experience and tech expertise

Specialization is the key to success for a small tech firm. Rather than being a jack of all trades, smaller-sized software companies pick a niche and work hard to be the best in it.

Not every task requires knowledge of every programming tool there is. Specialized expertise and hands-on experience with similar projects — that’s what you expect from your tech partner.

And smaller companies offer exactly that:

  • Deep specialization in their chosen niche: awareness of the latest trends, ability to select the most fitting approaches, and understanding market demands.
  • Proficiency with industry-standard tools and technologies created for very specific tasks.
  • Quick on-demand access to external talent pools if there’s a gap in expertise.
  • Proven track record of delivering projects in their area of specialization: client testimonials, ratings by top agencies, and more.

To survive and thrive, small service providers have to constantly stay ahead of the curve, and time is always in short supply.


Fast time-to-market


Partnership vs. sales of services

Why does interacting with a big software vendor sometimes lack a personal touch? And why does working with a smaller firm often grow into a true partnership?

We’ve built quite a few lasting relationships with our customers, and here’s our guess:

  • Small teams help create a less formal environment with open and meaningful interactions. At Ralabs, many of our clients have become part of our growing family over the years.
  • With a smaller firm, senior execs and owners are more likely to listen to your ideas and concerns than those at a multi-million dollar giant. Our partners always have a direct line to the decision-makers.
  • Working so closely with the product, the team becomes deeply invested in its success. Ralabs celebrates our clients’ achievements as if they were our own.

How do you know you’ve found your one and only tech partner? It’s when you hear that barely audible click that tells you: we share the same values.

Have a concept or facing a tech hurdle?

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