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MacBytes
Apr 18, 2007, 03:16 PM
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Category: Mac OS X
Link: CIO disillusioned with windows PCs, tests macintosh computers (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20070418161650)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

jholzner
Apr 18, 2007, 03:35 PM
I sure hope Apple is paying attention. They should offer these guys all the help they need in making this switch happen.

Photek
Apr 18, 2007, 04:32 PM
They should offer these guys all the help they need in making this switch happen.

haven't you heard?

Apple dont even have enough staff to finish off Leopard.... they are all working on the iPhone :D

ddelmonte
Apr 18, 2007, 04:39 PM
In the late 80s, they had a fantastic corporate marketing force, and were making inroads into large scale operations.

Then they pulled the plug and up to now, we all know what happened.

Maybe CIOs - looking at the bottom line of cost of ownership of technology will realize that towing the Windows legacy - especially the cost of change to Vista - is so high that they will look elsewhere for product and services.

Apple will really have to get on the ball to meet that need if they choose to offer corporate solutions again.

David

PlaceofDis
Apr 18, 2007, 04:46 PM
awesome news for Apple if it ends up working out. its just good to see people looking for other solutions rather than staying with the 'same ol' same ol'' routine.

jonharris200
Apr 18, 2007, 04:56 PM
Silver said many companies allow users to bring their own PCs to work, and many of those people prefer Macs as consumers. As a consequence, some CIOs have to support Macs in their environment.

Very true. Staff who work part-time, freelance or mostly from home are a kind of Trojan horse for Apple. Including CIOs, CEOs etc. Eventually, there could be a tipping point in an increasing number of corporates due to this.

Ted Witcher
Apr 18, 2007, 05:34 PM
I don't know much about the enterprise world or whatever applications are necessary in business. But is there no software developer selling an MS-killing application? Nobody has topped Microsoft Office after all these years?

cwt1nospam
Apr 18, 2007, 06:34 PM
But is there no software developer selling an MS-killing application? Nobody has topped Microsoft Office after all these years?

Microsoft has a lock on the mundane, and Office is as mundane as you can get. It does what it does, and most people only use about 5% of the features and only some of the time. Most of the time they're using less than 2% of what it can do. How do you make an Office killer if there just isn't a demand for one?

Where MS is most vulnerable is with consumers. People not under the direct control of corporate IT are going to be increasingly difficult for them to sell to, and in the long run, that will cost them the enterprise too. It's just a matter of time.

Einherjar
Apr 18, 2007, 06:35 PM
I don't know much about the enterprise world or whatever applications are necessary in business. But is there no software developer selling an MS-killing application? Nobody has topped Microsoft Office after all these years?

Claris and Corel both tried and ultimately failed. OpenOffice is nowhere nearing acceptance in the larger scope of enterprise anytime soon, but it will be interesting to see what Google does given that they just released that PowerPoint-style app.

The main issue with the Mac is a huge lack of applications--there's no big name ERP package, no serious client management software that can match ActiveDirectory, and no major transaction server like CICS. Lame interfaces to these technologies over Java will not cut it, there needs to be enough growth (which may never happen) in order to get native versions.

OS X with some work could handle ERP and transaction server stuff off of Unix ports, but then all you're coming down to is buying Apple hardware over someone like HP, whom probably provides much better volume deals because they've been long-streamlined to do so. OS X Server and their server dev group needs to seriously mature some core technologies, otherwise all these machines are good for in a serious business is number crunching research or serving webpages.

As it stands, unless Java just absolutely explodes at every level of enterprise development and Apple scores some serious wins with WebObjects as a result, this won't happen for a very long time.

Stuff like this is a good thing. It's only an in-house solution for their internal stuff, but every little step helps. :)

Ted Witcher
Apr 18, 2007, 06:47 PM
The main issue with the Mac is a huge lack of applications--there's no big name ERP package, no serious client management software that can match ActiveDirectory, and no major transaction server like CICS. Lame interfaces to these technologies over Java will not cut it, there needs to be enough growth (which may never happen) in order to get native versions.



So why doesn't Apple just write this stuff? I mean, are they trying to grow the company or not?

Maybe someone could explain the culture of corporate IT to me. Vista requires a hardware upgrade, so you gotta buy new machines anyway. Linux/OS X is more stable. The operating experience is actually easier and less time-consuming than Windows. Forgive me for sounding ignorant, but what's the problem?

PlaceofDis
Apr 18, 2007, 06:59 PM
So why doesn't Apple just write this stuff? I mean, are they trying to grow the company or not?

Maybe someone could explain the culture of corporate IT to me. Vista requires a hardware upgrade, so you gotta buy new machines anyway. Linux/OS X is more stable. The operating experience is actually easier and less time-consuming than Windows. Forgive me for sounding ignorant, but what's the problem?

couple of things.

1. IT knows MS, they don't know Linux/OS X so they don't want to deal with it.
2. transition and re-teaching everyone a new operating environment.
3. Maybe Apple doesn't want to quite tackle enterprise. Small business? yes, but enterprise is a whole 'nother world. (they don't want to be a monopoly afaik, but are rather interested in media and home usage, imo.

mkrishnan
Apr 18, 2007, 07:11 PM
So why doesn't Apple just write this stuff? I mean, are they trying to grow the company or not?

Writing an ERP package isn't really like making a photo editing application... it's a huge task. And at the core of good ERP is business process -- not software design. Apple really isn't the right company to make this. Neither is Microsoft. The companies that make ERP, CRM, etc, etc, are much different in how they are put together.

SMM
Apr 18, 2007, 07:27 PM
haven't you heard?

Apple dont even have enough staff to finish off Leopard.... they are all working on the iPhone :D

Why don't you put a cap on that, Podunk? I am tired of every bloody thread being hijacked by you MS cheap-shot artists. People cannot discuss anything on this site anymore without these stupid playground comments.

nagromme
Apr 18, 2007, 07:56 PM
haven't you heard?

Apple dont even have enough staff to finish off Leopard.... they are all working on the iPhone :D

Good one! So why was Vista 4 years late while we already have Tiger? Would the X-Box 360 be overheating and failing even MORE often if MS hadn't pulled staff off of Vista? ;)

The trolls are VERY anxious about the iPhone I think :)

Silencio
Apr 18, 2007, 08:08 PM
3. Maybe Apple doesn't want to quite tackle enterprise. Small business? yes, but enterprise is a whole 'nother world. (they don't want to be a monopoly afaik, but are rather interested in media and home usage, imo.

That's it, in a nutshell. Apple is targeting the lowest-hanging and sweetest fruit: high-end consumers/prosumers and small- to medium-sized businesses in markets that fall within their core competencies (academia, creative arts, sciences, &c.). It's just not worth it to Apple to chase after the enterprise dollar, especially when the profit margins on all those drone-level desktops are quite low and there's a lot of competition and differing needs in the server room. Also, Apple doesn't nearly have the levels of support available that enterprises demand. I'm sure Apple could whip up some sort of on-site support, 24-hour replacement program for MacBook Pros (similar to what can be bought for an Xserve) if they felt it was worth it, but so far it's not happening.

I think this particular direction comes from the very top: from Steve Jobs and, to a lesser extent, Phil Schiller. Jobs in particular has a loathing for sales and marketing, and so has not given the enterprise sales group nearly the support or backing they would need to make a greater push into larger corporations.

Again, it's probably best that Apple focuses most on the markets it can best compete in and make the most profits in. While it is gratifying to see a groundswell of interest in Mac OS X in business settings, I wouldn't count on a whole lot more support from Apple that what we've seen lately. Maybe Leopard will herald a push into new territory, but I doubt it.

Anybody interested in the subject of Apple's attitudes towards enterprise customers should read this ounstanding blog from an (admittedly rather bitter) ex-Apple sales exec:
http://viewfromthemountain.typepad.com/applepeels/

SC68Cal
Apr 19, 2007, 01:27 AM
The main issue with the Mac is a huge lack of applications--there's no big name ERP package, no serious client management software that can match ActiveDirectory, and no major transaction server like CICS. Lame interfaces to these technologies over Java will not cut it, there needs to be enough growth (which may never happen) in order to get native versions.

Excellent post, I learned a lot by looking up what you talked about.

My personal view:

1) ActiveDirectory has a bit of competition from Apple's OpenDirectory and other non-microsoft LDAP implementations, but as long as it's a windows world it'll be a windows-implementation of the LDAP specification.

2) ERP package. No idea what my University uses. I'll ask my boss (the CIO) tomorrow about that.

3)CICS is Big Blue Territory. You'll never be able to pull that away from them. Stay out of their way or you'll get stepped on.

Sayer
Apr 19, 2007, 06:04 AM
Microsoft is quick to purchase any third-party app/company that offers a solution MS doesn't already offer directly.

Example: An ERP system called Axapta was created using MS technology (Microsoft SQL backend, NT Server, Windows app client) and was eventually purchased, company and all, by MS. So now MS can offer a hugely complex, barely-scalable ERP system that bogs down when you have more than 3 people run reports or fire off search queries.

We had our own on-site tech support guy who wandered the floor helping people with this crapware. He helpfully reconfigured my login to use a special test server to see if they could fix the problems. Of course the test server never worked properly and I resorted to logging in to different servers just to (barely) do my job.

MS owns the company I worked for now; shifting to a new backend would be nearly impossible as all of their legacy data and day-to-day activity is stuck in crappy MS software that barely works. It is truly amazing how many medium-large size businesses fail because one or two managers get some crazy idea in their head and stick with a failed technology/system against all common sense.

SPUY767
Apr 19, 2007, 07:57 AM
Well, the guy in the article could at least take solace in the fact that, if he were to buy macs and hate them, they're Vista capable.

SPUY767
Apr 19, 2007, 08:08 AM
I remember a few years back, a colleague of mine developing a VB.Net based application running on a MS SQL server. The performance was horrendous, but the guys in charge didn't really realize that. I was able to convince the guys in charge to wait a few days, and I cobbled together a Java-Based Web App that ran on a MySQL server doing the same thing. The funny thing is, the MS SQL server was running on a Dell Dual XEON server, and it had a seperate client. Just to prove my performance point, I got my friend's Mac Mini, replaced the hard drive so as not to wipe his data, installed MySQL on it, AND the apache server to run the Java Applet in. The tiny mac mini, running both the server and the app to access it, was performing transactions over 350% as fast as the XEON server running MS SQL. Needless to say, the board got the message. Amazing how the faster solution was so much cheaper and ran on a platform independent solution on much cheaper hardware. (I think his mac Mini was only 1.42 GHz.) But we could serve 20+ people fro that tiny machine. Imagine how something like that would run on the MacPro with its 4 or 8 processors that are over twice as fast.

That's a long story to make a simple point. . . But the fact is, there is always another solution, whether you want to admit it or not.

solvs
Apr 19, 2007, 04:49 PM
I was hired through Compucom to support Disney. We use a ton of Macs, and most of the other guys don't know them that well, so I get to do a lot of it with the local Mac only (or at least mostly) support staff. Not going to say they're always perfect (mostly issues with Office, Exchange - thank you MS - and some Adobe and Citrix quirks), but they're a lot better than the places I've supported that were PC only, especially when you're going directly through the vendor. Apple doesn't have to do anything but send us the machines, and even that's handled mostly though Compucom and ACS. We do all the selling, setting up, configuring, and support. We also do Dell, HP, and IBM. We're the vendor for all of them, accessories included.

Frankly I prefer this to Apple trying to do it themselves.

Einherjar
Apr 19, 2007, 06:04 PM
1) ActiveDirectory has a bit of competition from Apple's OpenDirectory and other non-microsoft LDAP implementations, but as long as it's a windows world it'll be a windows-implementation of the LDAP specification.

3)CICS is Big Blue Territory. You'll never be able to pull that away from them. Stay out of their way or you'll get stepped on.

OpenDirectory is a joke because there's no serious business-critical services to run on it that aren't already cheap and easy to implement in AD.

CICS was not mentioned as an area where Apple could compete, it named to make the point is that another crucial element of business, a volume-chugging transaction server, has absolutely zero development in OS X. It's just one of many dimensions a serious IT organization requires where OS X has no following.

There's absolutely no business critical technologies that have active development for native OS X versions. It's all Java and less popular open source solutions to existing commercial products with far more support and volume discounts keeping them at the forefront.

Einherjar
Apr 19, 2007, 06:11 PM
SQL on a Mac Mini

This is quite possibly the biggest lie/overembellishment I've ever read on the internet.

Bravo! :rolleyes:

He was either an entirely incompetent coder, or your solution was both oversimplied and aided by being local on a box with absolutely no other load.

backspinner
Apr 20, 2007, 06:37 AM
He was either an entirely incompetent coder, or your solution was both oversimplied and aided by being local on a box with absolutely no other load.

As a programmer in small firms myself, I believe him. A Mac mini is quite capable to handle hundreds of users for simple queries. And non-programmers are quite capable to program nightmare solutions in VB (or any other language).

Swarmlord
Apr 20, 2007, 09:02 AM
If you've ever spent any time installing and using MS SQL, you'd realize that it's an easy sell to migrate to MySQL and that's before you see the price difference.