Apple continues to mostly ignore the enterprise

Apple Store“For consumers, the Macintosh’s hip quotient is being hammered home with one of the largest and most memorable advertising campaigns in Apple Inc. history. But the enterprise isn’t getting any of that attention,” Darrell Dunn reports for Computerworld.

“Despite being roundly ignored, corporate America seems to be perking up its collective ears a bit to some of Apple’s newer wares. The company’s switch to x86 processors, though way too long in coming by some accounts, has opened doors to some enterprise accounts that otherwise would have remained shut. Businesses that make the switch to Apple generally begin by using Mac desktops and laptops, but many ultimately graduate to the Xserve server platform,” Dunn reports.

Dunn reports, “When it comes to Apple’s hardware and software, corporate customers report being happy campers indeed. But support and service are another story entirely.”

Dunn reports, “Charles Smulders, an analyst at Gartner Inc., said he has seen no real change in Apple’s approach to the enterprise. ‘Apple is not pursuing a broad enterprise strategy,’ he said. ‘Most IT departments remain resistant to introducing Apple because of the cost to support an extra platform. However, overall Apple usage within enterprises may have risen slightly as part of the ‘consumerization of IT’ that has seen consumers, rather than the IT department, have increasing influence over driving technology adoption in the enterprise.'”

Dunn reports, “Apple seems indifferent to its success in the enterprise and allocates most of its resources in terms of advertising dollars, executives dedicated to the market and to its highly successful consumer efforts.”

Full article here.

21 Comments

  1. Apple is actualy very healthy and the strategy of taking roots into a large private consumers soil will pay when, in a near future, Apple will start to really stretch its branches out into the enterprises galaxies.

  2. Apple is testing water. It is clear from what Leopard Server introduces that SMBs are the target, and from them the step to large business does not become so daunting.

    It is a fact that early adopters in the enterprise sector, as also one can evince from the article, reports good experience and very low needs for support wrt other solutions. The rumors already start to circulate that ‘Hey, it is actually true that Apple solutions do not break’. Perception in business is the only reality that counts. Apple is finally changing that perception match its reality.

  3. Apple’s current strategy in the consumer market is obviously very successful. There would not be much point in diluting this effort by placing emphasis on the enterprise sector at the expense of the consumer market. The back door approach and some patience will eventually open doors in the enterprise marketplace. In other words, one step at a time.

  4. ‘Most IT departments remain resistant to introducing Apple because of the cost to support an extra platform.’

    The cost that they’re worried about is that it will cost some of them their jobs. When Apple is more widely deployed in enterprise, there will be fewer people needed to support those Macs. The only people worried about that are IT departments, everybody else will be glad to reduce the scale of IT support spending.

  5. @Paul Johnson – Another reason its considerably more expensive to operate Windows in enterprise.

    I think Steve wants enterprise to beg, and if he’s [Steve] got enough time and patience I think he’ll eventually get his wish.

  6. Perhaps Apple should buy Sun to acquire their enterprise support expertise as well as their server hardware/software expertise. Not so long ago Sun was a leading vendor of server hardware, and Solaris was a highly regarded server OS. There might be some synergy in that union, with Apple picking up some good personnel in hardware and software design and enterprise development and support services.

  7. So it was the “switch to x86 processors” that made Apple a viable choice for the enterprise? What tripe! The droid running the keyboard can’t tell the difference between ‘little endian’ and ‘big endian.’ The switch to Intel just removed another of the straw-man arguments bigotted IT staff used to avoid doing any real analysis of advantages/disadvantages of using Macs.

    The real problem is the lock M$ puts on the enterprise via Windows Server and the new DRM management in Office. And through the closed minds of “IT experts” who can’t see anything that doesn’t have an M$ logo.

    MW: “expect” as in “Don’t expect this bias to change quickly.”

  8. There is a section of enterprise that always seems to be ignored by the market when creating these kind of stories.

    The phamaceutical industry has long been using Xserves, MacBook pros & G4’s in their R&D departments. The type of work done is data sensitive & highly critical to the N’th degree.

    In such an environment, they cannot cross their fingers & pray that today Windows will not crash.

    They cannot afford to have spyware stashed up their keyboards & hard drives.

    And finally ONE MORE THING.

    Imagine while waiting for experiment results analysis to be verified say by the FDA you find that you have to change your systems to Vista because your enterprise licence states that you have to, and you are asked to prove your results by the FDA because they think there is a flaw in the analysis they undertook compared to your stated outcome?

    Er…….Vista does not recognise all your peripherals. Vista does not recognise the previous software you used in the experiment because it was pre-DRM…..

    That is a tiny example of why that particular industry does not rely heavily on M$.

  9. Sales 101

    It should be noted that all though the “enterprise’ get a lot attention and sales to the “enterprise” are general enormous.

    It is in fact, a much small marketplace than say “small business” which is much harder to reach but when taken as a whole is much more rewarding.

    So guess which market Apple is selling to – you bet “Small Business”

    Job is not stupid when it comes to marketing!

  10. Once the consumers start using them at home, pressure will build to use it at work. As people at home get promoted and the old CEO’s (and their ideas) start to die off, the replacements will allow for Mac’s at work, which will then start to over take Microsoft. Right now Apple is setting up for the battle. They have given the trojan horse to Microsoft and now they just have to wait for MS to take it in and then they will take market share. It’s brilliant. I see it happening, the question is, does any one at MS see it?

  11. I believe it isn’t as easy for Apple to do so as some believe, and not all IT-departments consist of drones from ‘the other side’. I work at a 1500+ employee government agency with about 4-5 million citizens served yearly. I am not aware of any enterprise level applications on our beloved platform for datawarehousing, CRM and ERP-systems, accounting, and more like that. It’s just not there at the enterpise level…. (yet)

    Our IT-department isn’t very fond of Windows; about 15 years ago (I believe) they opted for OS/2 – which was a great OS compared to Windows 3.0 (as it was at that time I believe). But in my country some idiots at political levels made a deal with MS goverment wide. Difficult to get back out now because of the lack of enterprise level software on other platforms, but our IT-staff still absolutely dislikes Windows. But we’re locked in for the moment, factually.

    Some posters above made a good point I feel that it is best for Apple to continue to create mindshare by expanding in the consumer market. Also, their server line – X-serve – seems very good to make niche inroads into enterprises. Somewhere somehow in the future, a critical point should be traversed that would provide enough momentum to bring enterpise software to MacOS-X.
    Web based software is also a very interesting development I believe for Apple, and perhaps it woudl be a good strategy for them to make OSX (on dasktop and mobile iPhone) in optimal condition for that development. Then patience is all that would be required really.

    Again, more IT-departments are willing to go away from M$ then many here seem to think. You just can’t forego on critical software when good alternatives are absent at the moment.

    I feel Apple is doing just fine at the moment,time and patience is what is needed…

    just my €0,02…

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