Apple should generally steer clear of the enterprise when it comes to large companies that tend to change slowly, according to Alykhan Jetha, the CEO of Marketcircle. However, smaller, more nimble companies remain fertile ground.
The biggest reason to avoid catering to large companies is that they are too slow to change their standards. "Going after the enterprise will slow Apple down and we (consumers and small businesses) will suffer from the lack of innovation over time. The reason is simple. Large enterprises are slow to change/love to standardize even if the standards are outdated," Mr. Jetha wrote.
Microsoft runs its business by catering to what Big Business wants. That cuts both ways. "Microsoft has had some good ideas, but they have often had to neuter the idea because it is not enterprise friendly," Mr. Jetha noted. "...The issue here is the same as the NeXTSTEP 4 story I mentioned in the last post. Microsoft?s enterprise customers are saying ino, we will not buy that, innovation runs counter to how we operatei."
Mr. Jetha also made the important point that small businesses, those with less than about 500 employees, are the ones creating new jobs. Those small companies added 1.86 million new jobs in 2004 while lage companies had net loss of over 181,000 jobs. Clearly, small business is where the action is.
"So once again - let Microsoft cater to the dinosaurs - they don?t know how to innovate anyways. I?m counting on Apple to help society advance forward by not catering to the enterprise," Mr. Jetha concluded.
TMO notes that Apple has healthy and growing sales to large companies and government. However, they donit let the constraints of those companies shackle their innovation for the small business and the consumer. Walking that fine line has been an art form at Apple for years.