“Apple Inc. is currently putting significant effort into gaining major penetration of the education market here in the UK, seeing it as obvious territory for its products. It has good case studies and reference sites, which testify to lower set-up and maintenance costs for deployments of Macs in schools. It provides training for teachers, and even has a section of its website dedicated to education (http://www.apple.com/uk/education). It is, however, finding it hard work because the big brands in UK education are RM (formerly known as Research Machines), which focuses on the education market, Cisco, which has its Networking Academy Program, and of course Microsoft,” Mike Davis writes for Enterprise Networks and Servers.
Davis writes, “Unfortunately, Apple is still perceived from its brand as ‘specialist IT’ and ‘consumerist.’ with its computers being favored by the media industry, and its impressive recent fortunes being delivered on the back of iPods and iTunes. This does not just apply in the education market but also in mainstream business, where I have often been told by Butler Group subscribers that they would not consider the 1u rack-mounted Xserve as a replacement for their Dell or IBM server, because Apple ‘are best at iPods and design’ and ‘are not a real computing company.’ Yes, it can be argued that Microsoft does well in both the business and consumer markets, but again, people buy an Xbox, not a Microsoft Xbox, and Microsoft software including Media Center is not deployed on Microsoft-branded hardware.”
“Brand is a lot more than a logo, as Apple Inc. knows from its recent challenge in court from Apple Corp. regarding the distribution of music through iTunes. The company [Apple] is going to have to do a lot more to change business and IT decision-makers’ perceptions of its position including, I believe, potentially having a different brand for ‘business’ products. For although I am listening to my iPod while I type, my Butler Group computer is an HP notebook running Microsoft Windows,” Davis writes.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: In February, Apple displaced Dell to take the #1 spot in the western Europe education market, with15.2% share and saw a similar increase in their UK education market share rising to 12.5%. So, whatever Apple is doing is obviously working better than Davis’ article would have readers believe.
To paraphrase our “Take” on this subject back in March: IT people have been given the role of “decision makers” when they should not have that power. If CEOs and upper management in many industries want the upper hand over their competitors, they’d be smart to stop being lazy, learn about technology, investigate the Mac’s advantages, take back their rightful decision-making power, and make the best technology decisions for their companies. Or hire people who are able and willing to do so. If it means they’ll have to reduce their IT departments because Macs are less prone to trouble, so be it.
Obviously, IT “pros” will not decide to move to the Mac platform if it means their staffing levels and power within the organization will be diminished. In our travels, we’ve found that the open-minded IT person, one who will seriously consider the Apple Mac option, is an extremely rare find. Apple will have an uphill battle breaking into corporate environments unless and until the decisions are made by people focused on benefits to the entire company, not by those who are choosing technology that helps bolster their own job security and power.
Macs vastly outnumber Windows PCs in Isle of Man schools – May 12, 2006
Apple Mac is #1 in European education market, pushes Dell down into second place – February 03, 2006
Apple takes No. 1 spot in western Europe education; next step: overcome corporate IT ‘mistrust’ – March 05, 2006
Defending Windows over Mac a sign of mental illness – December 20, 2003