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Apple Targeting Small Business Customers at Retail Stores

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Apr 12, 2001
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The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is rolling out a new retail store program designed to appeal to small business customers, encouraging them to adopt the company's Mac platform for their operations. The program involves the hiring of engineers at a number of the company's retail stores to work with customers on designing business-focused systems.
The consumer electronics giant responsible for the iPhone is seeking to hire engineers in as many as a dozen U.S. retail stores to put together Apple-based computer systems for small businesses, according to recent job postings on Apple's website. The employees would implement computer systems for clients and are expected to be proficient in networking hardware and server platforms.
According to the report, Apple's retail stores will allow the company to reach out to small, local businesses with the program as opposed to traditional corporate programs targeting larger companies.
The Apple employees familiar with the new position said it was a natural progression of recent initiatives. Apple maintains a team at its headquarters to handle big companies and government agencies, but it has increasingly handed responsibility for small and mid-sized business accounts to its retail stores, the people said.

Apple has put an incentive program in place to manage the growth of these new business initiatives, they said, assigning new business sales staff based on revenue targets for each store.
The very first question posed to Apple executives on the company's earnings conference call earlier this week addressed the issue of business uptake of the company's products, traditionally a weak area for Apple. Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook noted that while the iPhone and now the iPad are seeing significant uptake in at least big business, Macs continue to sell primarily to consumer and education channels. The company is, however, seeing "increasing interest" in the Mac on the part of businesses.

Article Link: Apple Targeting Small Business Customers at Retail Stores
 

backdraft

macrumors 6502
Nov 4, 2002
329
1
USA
Initiate world domination phase 2!

muahahahaha :D

This foreshadows Apple's entry into the enterprise market!
 
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bdkennedy1

Suspended
Oct 24, 2002
1,275
528
I did this at the small company that hired me. I switched everything over to Mac and OS X Server and all computer problems disappeared.
 
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PeterQVenkman

macrumors 68020
Mar 4, 2005
2,023
0
Many of my company's local competitors (all small businesses) have already switched away from macs because they need the speed and can't justify the cost of the Mac Pro.

It's great that Appls has employees dedicated to small business. Now they need the some products that appeal to the non-laptop small business market.
 
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dXTC

macrumors 68020
Oct 30, 2006
2,033
50
Up, up in my studio, studio
At long last, Apple pays attention to the sector that could get it above its oft-quoted 10% market share. The hardware infrastructure is there: Xserves for medium business, Mac mini Servers for small business, stylish, robust desktop clients in the iMac and Mac mini that compensate for their higher purchase price with reliability and acclaimed warranty/repair service. And then there's the sleekest portable business client terminal ever: the iPad.

There's one key element here that needs strengthening: availability of business software. Let's face it, the vast majority of turnkey vertical business systems is developed for Windows, with Mac OS ports being a rarity. Maybe Apple should borrow Steve Ballmer for a while to drum up interest: "Developers, developers, developers, developers!..."
 
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RMo

macrumors 65816
Aug 7, 2007
1,222
223
Iowa, USA
What is the state of how well OS X works in a business environment? I use a Mac (or two :)) at home and love it, but at work we have standardized on PCs. Is there anything like ActiveDirectory for OS X, both in terms of having some sort of domain logon (I believe LDAP or LDAP with OpenDirectory can take care of this) and something like Group Policy, SCCM, and all the other things that can be used to manage Windows environments?

For example, we have a lab of Windows PCs that we reimaged yesterday remotely via OSD (an SCCM feature). By the time we got there with the replacement machines, the old ones in the lab were imaged and ready for their new placement. Additionally, we routinely push out software updates automatically.

Are there similar solutions for OS X? (Or maybe this is why they're saying small business...)
 
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alt

macrumors regular
Feb 12, 2008
142
0
Bend, Oregon
one of my clients decided to do this with their business. If you are starting a fresh business..OKAY. It's made their lives a living hell (and mine for that matter) making that switch....including the 3 windows servers they had. Apple is not good in most existing work environments IMO.
 
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human5892

macrumors newbie
Feb 16, 2009
15
0
The small business I work for has Mac workstations for the creatives, and PCs for the account managers & admins. Guess where 95% of the office's computer issues come from?

Having the whole place on Mac would save us a ton of time and money every year in IT hassle.

PeterQVenkman and RMo: I'm not sure that you are imagining the same small businesses Apple is. I get the sense that they are talking more about replacing the typical email/Quickbooks/Office/Internet boxes in offices of only a handful of users, not high-end workstations or environments with a ton of users.
 
Comment
Aug 26, 2008
1,339
1
This would be great news if it meant they will put some attention back on making decent desktops and improving the OS.
 
Comment

KingMob1138

macrumors newbie
Jul 22, 2010
2
0
Apple Specialists have been doing this for YEARS

People tend to forget that Apple Authorized Resellers / Specialists have been catering to the small to medium business for years, providing best case installation and support for complete or partial Apple solutions. The fact that Apple Retail is now tying to compete with it's resellers (who were the only brick and mortar stores for a decade before Apple decided to join in), pushing out it's greatest supporters...

fun.
 
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nwcs

macrumors 68000
Sep 21, 2009
1,992
2,700
Tennessee
I think it's about time Apple did this. Working well in small business is a sure fire way to increase market penetration. More small businesses than large businesses anyway. But the other poster's comment about the server infrastructure is important. I haven't used a Mac server since the pre OS-X days but they need to have competitive features to Windows 2008 Server and some ready-made server platform software to succeed long term.
 
Comment

Vol7ron

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2009
281
189
Derry, NH
What is the state of how well OS X works in a business environment? I use a Mac (or two :)) at home and love it, but at work we have standardized on PCs. Is there anything like ActiveDirectory for OS X, both in terms of having some sort of domain logon (I believe LDAP or LDAP with OpenDirectory can take care of this) and something like Group Policy, SCCM, and all the other things that can be used to manage Windows environments?

For example, we have a lab of Windows PCs that we reimaged yesterday remotely via OSD (an SCCM feature). By the time we got there with the replacement machines, the old ones in the lab were imaged and ready for their new placement. Additionally, we routinely push out software updates automatically.

Are there similar solutions for OS X? (Or maybe this is why they're saying small business...)

mac's can already use Active Directory integration or use a combined OpenDirectory and Active Directory. Of course, like a linux box using Active Directory Auth, you don't get 100% of all features.
 
Comment

nwcs

macrumors 68000
Sep 21, 2009
1,992
2,700
Tennessee
People tend to forget that Apple Authorized Resellers / Specialists have been catering to the small to medium business for years,

You make a valid point, although in my experience the AARs around me haven't been very good -- at least by reputation. A consistent message and quality of service will help Apple succeed. And I'm sure there will still be some room left for AARs.
 
Comment

RMo

macrumors 65816
Aug 7, 2007
1,222
223
Iowa, USA
mac's can already use Active Directory integration or use a combined OpenDirectory and Active Directory. Of course, like a linux box using Active Directory Auth, you don't get 100% of all features.

I know that works for login purposes, but is there anything like Group Policy or SCCM?
 
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Bubba Satori

Suspended
Feb 15, 2008
4,726
3,753
B'ham
Targeting them with what?

Expensive, out of date hardware, slow upgrade cycles,
extemely limited model range, absurdly limited hardware options,
and completely missing new technologies?

Yeah, small business are going to be all over that. :rolleyes:
 
Comment

logandzwon

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2007
572
2
I did this at the small company that hired me. I switched everything over to Mac and OS X Server and all computer problems disappeared.

I put an office of about 20ish users on a mix of ubnutu/Mac/google apps. The sales people just needed firefox to access their webapps. The higher ups used mac notebooks and iMacs. Virtually no issues, it all just works.
 
Comment

Mal

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2002
6,249
17
Orlando
For example, we have a lab of Windows PCs that we reimaged yesterday remotely via OSD (an SCCM feature). By the time we got there with the replacement machines, the old ones in the lab were imaged and ready for their new placement. Additionally, we routinely push out software updates automatically.

Are there similar solutions for OS X? (Or maybe this is why they're saying small business...)

Remote Desktop will handle all of that. It's very capable when it comes to imaging and rolling out machines. Ditto for software updates (you can also just have each machine check with your OS X server for software updates, instead of Apple's servers, and you can choose which ones to allow for download, but let the users do it at their convenience, depending on how you want to manage everything).

jW
 
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Mattie Num Nums

macrumors 68030
Mar 5, 2009
2,834
0
USA
mac's can already use Active Directory integration or use a combined OpenDirectory and Active Directory. Of course, like a linux box using Active Directory Auth, you don't get 100% of all features.

AD binding is nice but doesn't give enough. OD integration is messy and expensive. The only real way to properly integrate is to use a mix of 3rd party products. In AD rich environments Centrify is the best. I rolled out JAMF Casper, Centrify, and ExtremeZIP at my job. We support 5000 users with it and now have full AD integration, Ability to push MCX/GPO's, Remote, Package, Image, and give 100% full AFP support to Macs while allowing SMB users simultaneous use of a share.
 
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Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,554
5,466
Canada
"The company is, however, seeing "increasing interest" in the Mac on the part of businesses. "

:D:D:D:D:D
 
Comment

dernhelm

macrumors 68000
May 20, 2002
1,649
137
middle earth
Initiate world domination phase 2!

muahahahaha :D

This foreshadows Apple's entry into the enterprise market!

I Apple wants to play in the enterprise market, they need to release product that they actually care enough to update every quarter. Nobody wants kit that is over a year old when they are buying something new for their computer room, and few people can time their purchases around Apple product lifecycles that are anywhere from 9-16 months.

Apple hasn't apparently figured out how to be profitable in that environment, so Xserve languishes. It's too bad, because from a maintenance standpoint, it is very well designed and ships with nice software. The price isn't really all that bad either if you can purchase directly after an update.
 
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