Can Apple Macs conquer the enterprise?

Apple Store Online“If Apple Inc. were a football team, the New England Patriots would have had some serious competition this year,” Robert L. Mitchell reports for Computerworld.

“The company is the undefeated king of cool in the consumer electronics and home computer markets. It is rapidly gaining yardage in the broader personal computing market and is experiencing a resurgence of popularity in traditional Macintosh niches such as education, marketing and creative departments,” Mitchell reports.

“With all of this momentum, you’d think that the Mac might be ready for a come-from-behind win in the enterprise. But on that field of play, Apple remains 1st and 10 at its own 10-yard line,” Mitchell reports.

“That’s ironic, because corporate interest in a broader role for Macs is up dramatically among IT executives, driven by changes in what the Mac has to offer, by Apple’s success in the consumer market and its other niches, and by corporate trends where, thanks to virtualization and a migration to Web-based applications, Windows’ grip on the desktop may be starting to loosen just a bit,” Mitchell reports.

“There’s just one problem. ‘Apple will tell you that they are focused on [the commercial business market], but at the end of the day, it’s not a big priority for them,” says David Daoud, an analyst at IDC,'” Mitchell reports.

“The Mac attraction is easy to understand. On the client side, the Mac’s OS X is relatively easy to use. The addition of new features in the latest Leopard release — such as the slick Time Machine backup utility and Spaces, which lets users create multiple, task-centric virtual desktops — only serves to burnish that reputation,” Mitchell reports. “And Macs are considered more stable than Windows, with fewer spyware and virus problems, which translate into fewer help desk calls.”

“But that’s not what has IT’s attention,” Mitchell reports. “The surge of interest in the Mac is a direct result of two developments from 2006: first, the evolution of more Windows-friendly, Intel X86-based Macs, and second, the introduction of Boot Camp, which allows a full Windows environment and its complement of applications to run natively in a separate hard drive partition on any Mac.”

“Although it’s common for IT to be slow to adopt a new version of Windows, a recent survey of 961 IT professionals working in small, midsize and large companies by King Research — commissioned by desktop management tool vendor KACE Networks Inc. — shows that some organizations may be considering doing what was once unthinkable, abandoning Windows altogether rather than investing the time and money into a Vista migration,” Mitchell reports. “More specifically, 44% of respondents said they would consider an alternative to a Vista migration. Of those, 28% said the Mac would be their first choice. Surprisingly, the results were similar whether respondents worked for large companies or smaller ones.”

Much more in the extensive full article here.

70 Comments

  1. Can Apple Macs conquer the enterprise?

    Yes they can, if Apple begins to listen to the needs of enterprise.

    But Apple is interested in the consumer market, leaving the enterprise to Redmond.

    Just look how shiny, eye catching and sometimes impractical their limited computer line is for the enterprise.

    Sure Apple will sell some here and there, but if they seriously want to invade Microsofts turf, they need to listen to their needs.

    For instance, Apple does not license a DRM solution, for libraries and such that are allowed to have copyrighted works on their computers, but need to protect it from being mass copied.

    Simple things like that Apple just ignores.

    So Apple only provides solutions if it makes them money selling hardware.

    They need to change that attidude to being a total solution provider.

  2. Another thing Apple fails to do is provide the best customer service.

    Sure it’s pretty good, but nowhere as good as it can be.

    For instance, unless you prove to the Apple people you traveled 400 miles to drop off your dead Mac for service. They will make you buy Pro Care just to make a appointment three days later. Because they don’t take “drop-offs”.

    What kind of Sh*t is that? Why do I gotta pay even more to fix something under warranty?

    It’s just stupid.

    Apple has very glichy and fancy stores, but there isn’t enough of them spread out enough to cover peoples needs.

    That’s a major problem.

  3. Like myself, I’m sure the IT folks suggesting such a change are still finding it difficult to convince the “company dinoczars” that think Macs belong at home and Windows is for the office. It’s even harder when the above-mentioned are family…

  4. Enterprise buys 10-20,000 to 100,000’s of computers at a time.

    They might not need to have each machine fully spec-ed out with every feature. Why have firewire when it’s just a dumb terminal? So that’s another thing that needs improvement. As well as a lot larger computer line.

    For instance, matte screens.

    Glossy is good for consumers, but pros on a machine all day overwhelmingly prefer matte. That why Apple only offers matte in the Pro lines.

    Enterprise needs top notch service and Apple doesn’t seem to be able to handle the consumer demand it has created as it is.

    Apple is green and growing, they will have to get better at a lot of things fast to meet enterprises needs.

    I wish them the best trying though.

  5. Apple & enterprise?

    that’s like asking your supermodel girlfriend to get married and she says ‘feh, maybe later’ so off you go looking for something else to take care of your needs and dang, don’t that tarted up stripper look good.

    Next thing you know, you’re knee deep in the trailer park looking across the table at a psycho bat with one black eye while half a dozen squealing brats running around with no diapers while you’re trying to figure out where your pride went to.

    Love apple? sure!
    Take care of my needs? ‘feh, maybe later’

  6. For instance, Apple does not license a DRM solution, for libraries and such that are allowed to have copyrighted works on their computers, but need to protect it from being mass copied.

    Simple things like that Apple just ignores.

    So Apple only provides solutions if it makes them money selling hardware.

    They need to change that attidude to being a total solution provider.

    What a bizarre idea! Concentrating on solutions that make money. Sounds like the death of Western civilisation as we know it.

  7. “For instance, unless you prove to the Apple people you traveled 400 miles to drop off your dead Mac for service. They will make you buy Pro Care just to make a appointment three days later. Because they don’t take “drop-offs”.

    What kind of Sh*t is that? Why do I gotta pay even more to fix something under warranty?”

    And where, exactly, do you go to drop off your Dell? Unless you live in Round Rock Texas, you are shipping your machine for repair. Get over it. Last time I checked, HP didn’t have stores to drop off machines for repair either.

  8. tough for apple to conquer the enterprise.

    secrecy around product road maps makes it relatively more difficult for IT managers to plan their investments in what is usually a very big sunk cost. the highly secretive move from PPC to intel, for example.

    apple does not yet show signs of “understanding” the enterprise, it just does not have the reach in the ways that large vendors do – things like on the ground sales teams, solutions teams etc. etc.

    that said, when Macs do arrive in an enterprise, there is usually a very big user pull to have one…

  9. For instance, unless you prove to the Apple people you traveled 400 miles to drop off your dead Mac for service. They will make you buy Pro Care just to make a appointment three days later. Because they don’t take “drop-offs”.

    What kind of Sh*t is that? Why do I gotta pay even more to fix something under warranty?

    It’s just stupid.

    Or maybe you’re just stupid. If I want to send in a dead Macintosh for service under warranty or AppleCare, I find my nearest Apple authorised service provider. In my case, that’s a massive two miles away. Why do you have to give yours into an Apple Store?

    Apple has very glichy and fancy stores, but there isn’t enough of them spread out enough to cover peoples needs.

    As opposed to all those Dell Stores or the HP Stores or the Microsoft Stores?

    Presumably when people buy HP or Dell, it’s acceptable for them to call customer support representatives several thousand miles away. And when I have a problem with some Microsoft products, my solution appears to be working out which one of the contradictory notes on TechNet I might choose to believe.

    BTW, what is glichy?

  10. @ BobWillsIsStillTheKing:
    Please stop… I can’t take it… I’m laughing so hard I can’t breath!
    I just love the analogy…

    @Glossy Hurts Me Eyes!!!

    The PCs at my enterprise are full of specs they don’t need. Didn’t stop them from shelling out hundreds of thousands on crap, and more on all the licenses they need to pay for on MS and AV software, the staffing they need to maintain Exchange and the rest of the MS server ailments, and dealing with all the inadequacies of IE. It was demonstrated to me by the head-IT honcho that they would save 2.5 million annually switching to an all-Mac shop.

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