PDA

View Full Version : Apple Should Go After the Corporate Computing Market


MacBytes
May 13, 2008, 02:21 PM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Apple Should Go After the Corporate Computing Market (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20080513152101)
Description:: When Apple sells you a computer, it comes loaded with Mac OS X -- and that's simply a very pretty version of Unix.

There are two very big and largely untapped opportunities in enterprise computing for Apple: workstations and servers. So how come Apple doesn't load up every data center and cubicle maze with Leopard-powered servers and desktops, the way Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Dell do?

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

edesignuk
May 13, 2008, 02:25 PM
Because they're over priced, and not nearly flexible enough. Apple don't stand a hope in hell in serious big business (outside of the creative industries).

yellow
May 13, 2008, 02:30 PM
I disagree with you.. but only because I want a better paying job and think that my skills would garner a nice $$$ prize if the corporate world wanted Macs. :)

Selfish? Hells yes.

NotoriousLefty
May 13, 2008, 02:42 PM
Apple should market the mac mini's to elementary schools and offices. It may be best to sell them for 99$ each when sold in bulks of 100. This does not include the monitor keyboard or mouse. I dunno how much my company got the cheap ass dell's for but i think the mac mini pre loaded with microsoft office is much better and pretty much the same with out hurting the creative image of the other products.

zombitronic
May 13, 2008, 02:45 PM
Apple should do what Apple does. When the corporate world begins to realize the ease of use Apple provides, and when bloated IT departments need to be cut back, the corporate world will go after Apple.

gkarris
May 13, 2008, 02:45 PM
Apple should market the mac mini's to elementary schools and offices. It may be best to sell them for 99$ each when sold in bulks of 100. This does not include the monitor keyboard or mouse. I dunno how much my company got the cheap ass dell's for but i think the mac mini pre loaded with microsoft office is much better and pretty much the same with out hurting the creative image of the other products.

That ain't going to happen.

It'll all pan-out, with the way the iPhone, MS, and Vista is going in the industry right now...

BenRoethig
May 13, 2008, 02:49 PM
They're actually cheaper for what you get due to consistent margins, but the lack of flexibility is the key. The one size fits all we know whats best for you approach from the consumer machines doesn't translate at all to the business world despite the major advantages of the platfrom. Apple doesn't offer entry level, blade, or 2/4U units and that's on top of a very fixed number of CPU options. They could also use a cheaper iMac for business/education.

rjohnstone
May 13, 2008, 03:47 PM
Apple should do what Apple does. When the corporate world begins to realize the ease of use Apple provides, and when bloated IT departments need to be cut back, the corporate world will go after Apple.
If only it were that simple.

Apple is simple not flexible enough to work in the corporate world.
Extremely limited options and the startup costs to swap and entire companies infrastructure and support model over to all Apple hardware would be cost prohibitive.
For the cost of ONE iMac, you could buy FOUR Dell desktops (under a corporate discount program, something Apple simply does not do).

Yvan256
May 13, 2008, 04:12 PM
For the cost of ONE iMac, you could buy FOUR Dell desktops (under a corporate discount program, something Apple simply does not do).

For businesses, the cost of downtime from computer problems added with the cost of the IT support team is much more than the cost of the hardware, especially desktop/laptop versions.

I once had a good discussion with the boss of the IT department. His own words were something along the lines of "Why would we want to ditch Windows, without it we wouldn't have much of a job, let alone the need for a team of 12 people in the support department."

Silencio
May 13, 2008, 04:19 PM
For the cost of ONE iMac, you could buy FOUR Dell desktops (under a corporate discount program, something Apple simply does not do).

What do Dell's profits look like these days? What about Apple's?

There's your answer. Why should Apple go after a market they're not necessarily great in if it won't end up being lucrative for them?

Why should Xserves line the racks in data centers? Mac OS X Server's UI is not a competitive advantage there, whereas in the SMB market it actually can make a difference.

And Apple definitely does do corporate discounts. If you're buying that many machines, talk to an Enterprise Sales rep. They have gotten me some pretty nice deals over the years, and I'm not exactly buying 100+ iMacs or a dozen Xserves on a single purchase order.

elppa
May 13, 2008, 06:10 PM
Because they're over priced, and not nearly flexible enough. Apple don't stand a hope in hell in serious big business (outside of the creative industries).

Well expensive is all relative. Buy an XServe and get unlimited client licences. That's pretty good value if you ask me.

Apple has never done the enterprise, they mainly sell to consumer and are very consumer orientated so it is hard to say. Certainly there business is not set up to do it at the moment, but as they look for ways to grow I wouldn't rule it out. “Hope in hell” is a little too strong.

twoodcc
May 13, 2008, 08:34 PM
the article was alright. i think they should enter that market also.

solvs
May 14, 2008, 12:04 AM
We use Macs and PCs at my job. We certainly do get discounts, though not great. Usually it's extras like more RAM and bigger drives at lower cost when we buy in bulk. They should have cheaper machines though. The old low end 17" iMacs were great for what they were. Just didn't make Apple enough money though I guess.

winterspan
May 14, 2008, 04:13 AM
I think Apple should consider forming a completely different division of their company for the enterprise market that could handle not only sales and marketing, but also have their own engineers. In addition, it would have a large group of support personnel that develop complete solutions for switching enterprises over to Mac workstations. They could help them work through compatibility issues with Windows and other servers and equipment. Basically, they'd be there to assist in all aspects of a Mac transition. And it would not only benefit the customers, but Apple would learn more about the needs and requirements of that market and practical issues involved with the transition to Mac.

They could create smaller, cheaper workstations that are much more flexible in terms of build-to-order components. They can also retain some of the Apple flair, but use cheaper and more conservative casing and components. Couple this with selling them in large quantities with discounts to complete with the likes of Dell, HP, and they could have a lucrative business. They don't necessarily have to sell them at bargain-basement prices; they could keep higher margins and compete on total-cost-of-ownership when they factor in service, IT support required, etc involving all these issues with MS Windows.

anim8or
May 14, 2008, 04:22 AM
Plain and Simple.... NO.

If apple enters the enterprise/corporate game then soon enough there will be a reason for hackers to create viruses.

Correct me if i'm wrong but the majority of viruses out there are created to obtain data without permission; bank details, etc.

The hackers don't concentrate their efforts on MAC OS X because there are not many financial companies that use macs as their main IT solution.

Stay away from corporate = less nasty attention form hacks/viruses!

Shivetya
May 14, 2008, 06:15 AM
Until we can deploy the exact hardware configuration we want, install the software required by SOX we want, and install the other software we want easily through the network it ain't going to happen.

The first is the real killer. Combine that with the price and there is no point in them trying to compete because Windows machines are far cheaper and just work.

That last point is key, the fact is the dell boxes we have work well enough and at such a great price point their is zero reason to spend more. Most failures are caused by people being abusive to machines

drlunanerd
May 14, 2008, 06:44 AM
Apple's support is simply not good enough for the enterprise market. AppleCare is a bad joke. Takes too long to get spare parts. Far too long to get hardware repaired. When you're dealing with hundreds or thousands of PCs you don't have time to deal with shoddy hardware support.

Another big reason is Apple's operating system policy. They rarely support anything but the latest version of their OSes on new hardware. Imagine if Microsoft simply wouldn't let you run Windows XP on a new PC but forced you to run Vista.... ;) It's the same thing with Leopard at the moment.

As others have said using Apple hardware in the average corporate IT environment is too inflexible to gain any significant traction, for these reasons.

I wish it weren't so, but as a battle hardened IT consultant I know it's the sad truth.

AlmostThere
May 14, 2008, 07:34 AM
Everything drlunanerd said, especially about forced OS upgrades.

I think our server support from Apple is next business day ... Dell offer us 4 hr on-site.

On the desktop side, I recently discovered that we stand to lose discounts if we go over a certain number of PCs :eek:

pilotError
May 14, 2008, 07:45 AM
Apple's support is simply not good enough for the enterprise market. AppleCare is a bad joke. Takes too long to get spare parts. Far too long to get hardware repaired. When you're dealing with hundreds or thousands of PCs you don't have time to deal with shoddy hardware support.


I agree. Apple keeps a very strict parts delivery for their current hardware. Try and find a non-user replaceable part for any Intel Mac and you'll see what I'm talking about. You need a part for a PC, you can go to the local Best Buy and pick it up at lunch in an emergency.

You also forgot...


Single hardware vendor lock in.
OS X being Mach based has issues and can't compete with Linux or Sun OS in the datacenter (think in-house development here).
They have no infrastructure to support large scale corporate customers.
User Training - BIG expense.
Corporate Software Support - until you see the mainstream products from Oracle, SAP, SAS, Sybase, IBM and Microsoft (and 500 others) moving OS X to a tier 1 platform, you can't even begin to make that sales call.


I do think that it is workable for small to mid-sized businesses. It really depends on the companies architecture and infrastructure. A company who relies on multi-tier web front ends would be a good fit. Anyone running Vendor supplied software would be a serious leap of faith. I don't truly believe that Fusion or Parallels is a viable long term solution.

elppa
May 23, 2008, 10:27 AM
OS X being Mach based has issues and can't compete with Linux or Sun OS in the datacenter (think in-house development here).

What's wrong with XNU specifically?

What has the Kernel choice got to do with in house development? Surely other factors would play a bigger role?

I'd like to hear more. Please could you elaborate on this point? It's an interesting thing to raise, but I just want to know more about the grounds you are using to form the basis of the comment.