iPod model expands into all aspects of Apple business strategy

“When I was selling Apple products to the Federal Government, I reaffirmed that it’s often difficult to get beyond the local heros who champion Apple products and get plugged into the business side of the customer. That’s because Microsoft understands how to cater to the entire spectrum of an organization’s needs. Of course, this was nothing new. I’ve been writing about that effect since 1998, but I bring it up to make a point,” John Martellaro writes for The Mac Observer.

“This broad spectrum of business needs is not something that’s understood by everyone. The home user, for example, has a rather limited system configuration. If she’s lucky, she has a firewall and a backup system. Some try to get along without even that,” Martellaro writes. “In contrast, corporations not only have a rich technical environment, with lots of things going on like Voice over IP, video conferencing, Exchange servers, SAN storage, Proxy servers, spam filtering, monitoring and security software, but also must comply with various regulations like “SOX,” the Sarbanes-Oxley act, and engage in various quality initiatives such as ‘Six Sigma.’ All this, of course, is what makes working in IT departments so miserable, but it also creates huge opportunities for Microsoft to succeed as a business partner.”

“So no matter how cool Apple products have been from a personal standpoint, there is always the IT department’s infamous list — the check boxes of features and functions that Apple products must comply with. If not all the boxes are checked, then Apple isn’t considered a full-fledged player in the enterprise. (Microsoft’s business products generally check all the boxes.) Along the way, learning from this stiff business competition, Apple learned something valuable about how to enter a market and maintain control,” Martellaro writes.

Full article, very interesting with much more, here.

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34 Comments

  1. As VHS .vs. Beta has shown, as Microsoft .vs. the worldhas shown and as HDDV .vs. BlureRay are about to reiterate, marketing savy has more to due with large market pentration and retention than the technology.

    When Apple chooses to market their technology into large enterprises vis-a-vie Microsoft, that will indeed be something to watch.

  2. If Macs ‘Just Work’ as Steve claims, please explain why there are, as of today, more than 35,000 problems being discussed on Apple’s iMovie forum; more than 32,000 problems being discussed on Apple’s iPhoto forum; and more than 22,000 problems being discussed on Apple’s iDVD forum.

    And, all these problems being discussed over just parts of Apple’s flagship iLife software.

    Macs don’t ‘Just Work’ and the IT guys are never going to say to the bosses they should switch to Apple. Apple refuses to fix the problems so why would anyone wade into that quagmier?

  3. Ah yes the IT checklist:

    1. Does the entire system, software monitor and all cost less than $300?
    2. Does it do all the IT things I was taught in school?
    3. Does it make me look like I fit in with global business machines?
    4. Is it as incompatible with everything that’s different as possible? (and still be legal?)
    5. Does the entire system cost less than $300/desktop?

  4. Yep, Apple is not an enterprise player. Not by a long shot.

    So the “Halo Effect” is supposed to be about getting an iPod in a users hands, influencing them to purchase another, more expensive item (a computer) from the same brand.

    Now compare that with the “Halo Effect” of Joe User working all day in corporate-land on a Windows box, and see what effect that has on his purchasing decision. With all that corporate IT support, Joe User thinks Windows works pretty well, and is not about to risk another platform. Which is why the vast majority of comsumer computers bought today are loaded with Windows.

    Even with Microsoft messing up so badly lately.

    This is why Jobs calls 5% market share a “glass ceiling.” And he’s right.

    Sad, but true…

  5. Apple Doesn’t Work:

    By that reasoning we really should no longer be using anything based on the Windows platform, in the work place, because of real-world, confirmed and documented, potential for very expensive and frequently repeated attacks by computer viruses in the work place. And we’re not talking vulnerabilities.

    Its always so logical that Macintosh desktops systems cannot work in a professional environment, but apply the same logic as to why we should stil be using Windows desktop, and networking systems, and no one wants to fess up.

    The real question is, why do we keep perpetuating Windows, because I honestly cannot come up with any real reasons. I can often come up with a book full of reasons to stop using and recommending Windows, however.

  6. Apple Doesn’t Work, a ton of those problems are user confusion (not real bugs). Also, the Intel transition caused a large spike in them… new software before expected release.

    I shudder to think what a corresponding Microsoft site would look like. Just think: even if every virus only got one mension (not going to happen) you’d be looking at 150K messages.

  7. Apple Doesn’t Work:

    I myself, have never had to use those discussion forums for a bug or other problem. Most of those “XXXXX thousands of issues” are people asking general questions, or people having “problems” because they are doing something blatently wrong. The articles about bugs (and yes, Apple software can have them too) are usually a whole bunch of people discussing the same few bugs. This is completely normal for any company with millions of customers.

    I worked for Apple support for a while, and a microsoft-apologist friend of mine once said to me “The fact that you have that job is proof that Macs suck.”

    That kind of mentality is going around right now all over the place, and it’s just plain stupid. If having support, be it online forums or telephone-based, means you have a horrible product that doesn’t work, then every major PC manufacturer falls into the same bucket.

    MW: “When” will you people start using common sense?

  8. Apple Doesn’t Work;
    Implying that each, individual log entry in a public forum qualifies as a unique “bug” is so disingenuous it makes me want to retch.
    Gee, how about I Google “Microsoft bugs”?
    Wow! Fifty One Million, Six Hundred Thousand entries!
    Man, if Microsoft doesn’t fix those problems, I guess no one will buy their products. Oh wait! An IT department would!
    Troll

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