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View Full Version : Apple in Enterprise IT. Are Apple making their move?



iTy
5th June 2011, 03:34 PM
So my client tells me that he and a few of his contemporaries (senior govt IT execs) were invited to a private Apple do, where they were propsed/shown iOS5/Lion in enterprise (amongst other things).

I dont have any details of any specifics that was discussed, but it got me wondering if Apple are now making a major move into enterprise IT.

What are your thoughts on Apple's potential in the enterprise IT space? Which distributors would be creating the channels?

Should HP and IBM be worried? Will MS finally have a challenge?

I, for one hope so. I would love to manage a large IT rollout of 100% macs.

MissionMan
5th June 2011, 03:41 PM
Apple have recently introduced a enterprise sales force so they are definitely hitting the corporates but majority of the focus I've seen is around mobility (iPhone and iPad) where they have a lot of traction. The adoption of iOS in corporates is already happening far quicker than people expected.

iTy
5th June 2011, 04:22 PM
Mobility is where their opportunity lies and is defiitiely their strength. WinMo is a big target.

I'm starting to see RFPs for small mac only rolls outs, but these are small orgs. Hope to see more sooner rather than leater.

snark
5th June 2011, 04:29 PM
I'm not sure about HP and IBM, but RIM must be changing their corporate underpants regularly.

If Apple can convince some of the more conservative industries (law, accounting, etc.) to ditch their Blackberries for iPhones/iPads, then RIM would be exposed as the one-trick pony they are.

haydio
5th June 2011, 05:22 PM
I'm not sure about this, the fact that the Xserve was discontinued, and replaced with servers which can't be rack-mounted. Apple just don't seem to be that interested in enterprise customers anymore, that said, I hope to God at WWDC Steve comes out and announces that Lion Server will work in a ESX environment.

nibbles
5th June 2011, 05:31 PM
Maybe they will introduce some form of new xServe, well not xServer but you know some form of new server alternative. I really can't see how a Mac Pro is useful for a server environment, it'd be a pain to have 5 Mac Pros as servers maybe one could be justified but when you need large numbers their solutions just don't cut it. It'd be good to see apple take a large portion of the enterprise market but I can only see that happening with iOS devices.

MissionMan
5th June 2011, 05:39 PM
Maybe they will introduce some form of new xServe, well not xServer but you know some form of new server alternative. I really can't see how a Mac Pro is useful for a server environment, it'd be a pain to have 5 Mac Pros as servers maybe one could be justified but when you need large numbers their solutions just don't cut it. It'd be good to see apple take a large portion of the enterprise market but I can only see that happening with iOS devices.

The other option I wouldn't rule out in iPad apps running on desktops. Companies are spending a fortune developing iPad apps which are much more user friendly than some of the existing desktop applications. If these can be rollout out to corporate users (even those using Windows) it could open a new door for Apple in corporate.

On the iPhone and iPad front, I posted a video about Afaria recently. SAP bought Sybase for $5.4 Billion and one of the products they bought it for was the mobility space. Afaria is a mobile device management application and if SAP are investing that heavily (they are the largest ERP software vendor in the world), they think its going to do well because they don't mess around. BHP, BMW, Merc, Rio, Toyota, NAB etc all use SAP to run their businesses to name a few but they're basically the top 200 companies in Australia and the world. SAP have very close relations now with Apple and have 800 iOS developers on board.

YouTube - ‪Afaria Mobile Device Management, Demo‬‏ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhtMUv4mOLA)

JAP
5th June 2011, 05:50 PM
Didn't the tasmanian police force go over to Mac, end of last year? So this is an evolution not a coup

bartron
5th June 2011, 06:30 PM
Where I work we're deploying iOS (and by extension, Android and Windows mobile).

I think you will find that the push is coming from below. This isn't a case where business has decided that iPhones/iPads etc are where it's at (although that is certainly the case in some instances). What has happened is that consumers, i.e. the workforce, has decided that iPhones/iPads are where it's at and are bringing them into the workplace whether the workplace wants them to or not. Apple were slow to realise this but it's happening.

What Apple need to do in order to become enterprise friendly is step out of their 'one size fits all' approach and start making business deals that benefit the customer (as well as Apple of course) rather than dictating the terms which is what they have done in the past. If they become a little bit more enterprise friendly from a business perspective then their presence in enterprise will take off.

lavo
6th June 2011, 12:12 AM
The other option I wouldn't rule out in iPad apps running on desktops. Companies are spending a fortune developing iPad apps which are much more user friendly than some of the existing desktop applications. If these can be rollout out to corporate users (even those using Windows) it could open a new door for Apple in corporate.


Interesting......as this is exactly what HP are doing with WebOS (if they ever get around to releasing the Pre3 and Touchpad!).

Brains
6th June 2011, 07:05 AM
the workforce has decided that iPhones/iPads are where it's at and are bringing them into the workplace whether the workplace wants them to or not. Apple were slow to realise this but it's happening.

Apple weren't slow at all, this is an approach they've been using for the last three decades, starting with school sponsorships and education discounts.

As observed, Apple are gunning for the mobile integration segment. People (employees and clients both) are wanting to use their own iDevices for work as well as for personal, so Apple will be showing enterprise what they need (and need to know) to make it happen. Apple are no longer interested in getting business to adopt OSX Server or push Macs onto corporate desks. Instead, they're saying "You've got all this wonderful equipment holding all your information but its all deskbound, we've got tricks to let you leverage what you already have from wherever you are."

---------- Post added at 07:05 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:02 AM ----------


I hope to God at WWDC Steve comes out and announces that Lion Server will work in a ESX environment.

Sorry. Ain't gonna happen.

bartron
6th June 2011, 11:40 AM
Apple weren't slow at all, this is an approach they've been using for the last three decades, starting with school sponsorships and education discounts.



Like hell they aren't slow. I've been dealing with them for the last 5 years and their enterprise 'support' or willingness (or lack thereof) to deal with enterprise markets has been borderline incompetent at times. It's only been in the last 6-12 months that apple have shown any effort to co-operate and only because the workforce is pushing for enterprise support.

Apple as a company just don't know how to handle enterprise unless it's on their terms. The rest of the world doesn't work like that and only now are apple changing their tune somewhat. So yes...they are slow.

iTy
6th June 2011, 01:26 PM
So yes...they are slow.

Maybe they were waiting for the right time. Enterprise mobility is certainly the most exciting thing that has happened to the computing industry in a long time. It would be great to get more action in this space :)

So their strategy seems to have been to backdoor and usurp Blackberry by making the execs want the iPhone. Then these execs force IT to "make it work", next thing you know, the Blackberry goes the way of the DoDo save for the most security conscious enterprises.

Apps on desktop would certainly be a great thing in enterprise. Soon there will be VMs with Apple TV like devices in every work desk running iOS apps. Can't wait!

Currawong
6th June 2011, 02:46 PM
Apple has been hopeless at enterprise for a long time. Mac OS X Server was simply a total embarrassment. Apple isn't interested in even trying to compete in the server hardware environment as there is no money in it. It's easier simply to offer OS X Server as a VM where it is wanted. I'm wouldn't be surprised if they'd made more money on Mac Mini Servers anyway, as the target for Mac OS X Server, which was mostly towards small businesses and the like are more interested in installing a small box rather than having to find space for a noise 1U machine.

As has already been said, the mobile market, including the new iPad (face it, at present, IS almost entire the) market has had gaping holes for ages. RIM is now just the laughing stock of the tech industry, with MS, only on the strength of Mango not heading to being so as well. With the stupid ease at which one can keep organised between devices without having to rely on an IT team I'm not surprised that people are beating down the doors of their IT managers demanding they use their iWhatevers for work.

snark
6th June 2011, 05:59 PM
Yep, have to agree with currawong, bartron and ity here. There is a huge opportunity for Apple to crack the corporate market by doing something in the mobile space. Users are wanting to use their iPhones & iPads at work - c'mon Apple, give corporate IT the tools to make it easy.

danielvh87
6th June 2011, 07:25 PM
We're slowly getting support at my workplace (Big4 Accounting) for iOS devices. Just last week got email/calendar/contact access on iPhones/iPads (although, we're limited to one device at the moment - I chose to get it on my iPhone). As has been previously said, the feeling I get is that it's mainly a push from below.

I just wish we could move on from ancient technology (we're still on windows XP and just upgraded to Office 2007 last year). Oh, and Lotus Notes is NOT what I call intuitive software :p

iTy
6th June 2011, 10:00 PM
Oh, and Lotus Notes is NOT what I call intuitive software :p

That's a major road block. LN sucks an I feel for any company stuck with it. Can it (lotus) even work with iOS?

Lutze
6th June 2011, 11:26 PM
The *major* elephant in the room that none of you seem to have addressed is the 1 single reason that Apple are not interested in Enterprise.

Margin.

It's not in enterprise. It's why Dell & HP and all the rest of them scrap over a few dollars and why Apple don't play.

Every major company looks at Apples profit margin on it's hardware and says "No freaking way am I paying that!". Then they go and spend $700 on a thin terminal with Windows XP embedded on it :(

snark
7th June 2011, 07:43 AM
Every major company looks at Apples profit margin on it's hardware and says "No freaking way am I paying that!". Then they go and spend $700 on a thin terminal with Windows XP embedded on it :(
That's not my point. In the mobile and tablet space, Apple is extremely price competitive. The push is coming from users, not from the top (well, some users might be at the top). But anyway, people are coming to their IT department saying 'I don't want a Blackberry, I want an iPhone', or 'I don't want to cary round an armful of files, I'd rather have them all loaded on an iPad'. I'm saying that Apple's push into the enterprise should be about giving corporate IT the tools to help users use the devices they already use at home.

<edit> this is the sort of scenario that we'll see more of: Airlines, FAA Chart New Course With iPads | Autopia | Wired.com (http://www.wired.com/autopia/2011/06/alaska-airlines-faa-ipad/)