How serious is Apple about Enterprise?

  • Posted: 28 November 2011 09:30 PM

    Spent some time with a VERY large Fortune 500 company today. I cannot say exactly who though. This company is a Blackberry shop.  They want to build an entirely new (and very exciting) capability around consumer class mobile devices.

    This company is extreme when it comes to security and there are still issues with iOS that would prevent a roll out. The interesting news for me is that Apple is working with them directly to meet their needs. This will kill RIM at that account, which apparently already meets these needs.  Still not enough to save them though. 

    In the old days, I don’t think Apple cared enough about Enterprise to do a special. Maybe the work will find its way into the standard build. But it tells me that Apple is very serious about winning in the Enterprise. This app would have huge scale, but in terms of sheer numbers it would not yet compare with what the mass consumer market would deliver.  That is not stopping Apple in this case though.

    The exciting sidebar for me was that our software may find its way into this project.  Puts me in a very good mood, and I would be buying you guys drinks right now if that could be done virtually.

         
  • Posted: 28 November 2011 10:12 PM #1

    Lstream - 29 November 2011 01:30 AM

    Spent some time with a VERY large Fortune 500 company today. I cannot say exactly who though. This company is a Blackberry shop.  They want to build an entirely new (and very exciting) capability around consumer class mobile devices.

    This company is extreme when it comes to security and there are still issues with iOS that would prevent a roll out. The interesting news for me is that Apple is working with them directly to meet their needs. This will kill RIM at that account, which apparently already meets these needs.  Still not enough to save them though. 

    In the old days, I don’t think Apple cared enough about Enterprise to do a special. Maybe the work will find its way into the standard build. But it tells me that Apple is very serious about winning in the Enterprise. This app would have huge scale, but in terms of sheer numbers it would not yet compare with what the mass consumer market would deliver.  That is not stopping Apple in this case though.

    The exciting sidebar for me was that our software may find its way into this project.  Puts me in a very good mood, and I would be buying you guys drinks right now if that could be done virtually.

    Congrats on your software.

    I think Apple has been deadly serious about the enterprise for a long time.  They just didn’t launch a direct assault on the IT gatekeepers.  Instead they did an end around using consumer/employees who want their consumer devices to access corporate networks.

    Now with so many of the Fortune 500 testing iOS devices, all Apple need do is get one or two of them to make a major deployment, and the others will get much more serious about deploying Apple product.

    It’s somewhat like death by a million pin pricks.  The bearers of the pin pricks are consumer/employees, and the death is of the IT gatekeepers.

    As a strategy I think its brilliant.  Apple puts its visible efforts converting consumers (no IT gatekeepers), and watches them take the battle to their employers.

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    Posted: 26 January 2012 07:27 AM #2

    I think that the mix between consumer and enterprise is changing already at a fast pace, with IT gatekeepers being pushed by employees (especially executives) toward iOS devices, and in a second step, to Macs.

    iPad takes 96% of tablets, iPhone 53% of phones in Good mobile enterprise study:
    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/01/25/ipad_takes_96_of_tablets_iphone_53_of_phones_in_good_mobile_enterprise_study_.html

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    Posted: 01 February 2012 06:59 AM #3

    Another interesting article on the topic

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-01/apple-invades-3-8t-workplace-market-with-ipad.html?cmpid=msnmoney

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    Posted: 01 February 2012 07:17 AM #4

    Lstream - 29 November 2011 01:30 AM

    Spent some time with a VERY large Fortune 500 company today. I cannot say exactly who though. This company is a Blackberry shop.  They want to build an entirely new (and very exciting) capability around consumer class mobile devices.

    This company is extreme when it comes to security and there are still issues with iOS that would prevent a roll out. The interesting news for me is that Apple is working with them directly to meet their needs. This will kill RIM at that account, which apparently already meets these needs.  Still not enough to save them though.

    That is awesome.  I’ve worked with some Fortune 100 companies before, and know it takes a lot of effort to change things.  It’s almost like the government, everybody’s more comfortable leaving things as is, so things never change significantly.  To hear about a change like this, means there is serious commitment from executive management to get it done.  This was RIMM’s to lose, and lose it they have.  The dominoes are falling all around them, and RIMM is still oblivious it seems.

    Congrats on your software win, and may you have many more of these in the future smile

         
  • Posted: 01 February 2012 09:24 AM #5

    Apple has always been willing to do special stuff for large enterprise. But Ford doesn’t make different cars for enterprise, and Apple won’t make different gadgets. Large enterprise needs to already be seriously considering standard Apple hardware before Apple will do special work.

    Enterprise IT also hates that Apple gives them no privileged road map. They say they can’t “plan”. And the low support requirements for Apple products. Automatic reduction of their fiefdom.

    I don’t believe any of this has changed, but workers want Apple products, and Enterprise has long since become dissatisfied with Microsoft’s schemes to lock them into cross-linked products and perpetual upgrades.

         
  • Posted: 01 February 2012 11:25 AM #6

    sleepygeek - 01 February 2012 01:24 PM

    Apple has always been willing to do special stuff for large enterprise. But Ford doesn’t make different cars for enterprise, and Apple won’t make different gadgets. Large enterprise needs to already be seriously considering standard Apple hardware before Apple will do special work.

    Enterprise IT also hates that Apple gives them no privileged road map. They say they can’t “plan”. And the low support requirements for Apple products. Automatic reduction of their fiefdom.

    I don’t believe any of this has changed, but workers want Apple products, and Enterprise has long since become dissatisfied with Microsoft’s schemes to lock them into cross-linked products and perpetual upgrades.

    Unfortunately for Microsoft, the lock you reference works both ways.  When a company has a number of major enterprise contracts totaling several billion dollars, they do not have the freedom to suddenly head a different direction, even if that direction is a needed path to better products. One of Microsoft’s biggest problems, a major factor in MS products being such huge pieces of bloatware, is their need to maintain a certain level of backward compatibility in order to honor their 100+ million dollar contracts with enterprise.

    Had Apple been locked in enterprise contracts, it would have been very difficult for them to decide to drop the old Mac OS in favor of a Unix based OS. In fact, it might not have happened. And the shift from PPC processors may have never taken place. Not with big enterprise contracts saying “Wait a minute! What about all the money we have invested in the old technologies? We don’t LIKE change! And we have a CONTRACT!”

    This is why Apple has always shunned locking themselves into specialty contracts with huge players.  Yes, the money would have been nice - at the time.  But it also would have put a big chain and anchor around their ability to take things a completely new direction. And while watching the employees bringing demand for Apple products into their work place has it’s good moments, I hope Apple maintains the degree of freedom they need to continue to wow us with new products that repeatedly take a consumer electronics market in new and exciting directions.

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  • Posted: 01 February 2012 11:35 AM #7

    sleepygeek - 01 February 2012 01:24 PM

    Apple has always been willing to do special stuff for large enterprise. But Ford doesn’t make different cars for enterprise, and Apple won’t make different gadgets.

    Oh yeah they do.  Avis, Hertz et al do not buy the cars you get off the lot.  They are specially configured to reduce cost in ways that aren’t noticeable to the renter.

    In Apple’s case Enterprise needs will be satisfied with software changes.  Instead of forking iOS Apple would just incorporate the changes into its “consumer” version.

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    Posted: 01 February 2012 12:28 PM #8

    I think Apple is serious about the Enterprise. Just last night I saw Picard using a 7” ipad like device….
    (I can’t believe nobody went there before now LOL)

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    Posted: 01 February 2012 03:19 PM #9

    Gah!  The iPad concept existed in the 90s!  iPad’s patents are all DOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    *ahem*

    Enterprise support started in a big way with iPhone OS 2.0 (remember when it was called that?)  The competition has been messed up ever since.

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    Posted: 03 February 2012 05:29 AM #10

    Interesting article…

    Does IBM Have the Largest Apple Deployment in the World?
    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/sybase/does-ibm-have-the-largest-apple-deployment-in-the-world/2515

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    Posted: 22 February 2012 05:37 AM #11

    News from the competition…

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-21/samsung-said-to-partner-sap-to-push-corporate-use-of-android.html?cmpid=msnmoney

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  • Posted: 22 February 2012 09:26 AM #12

    Long-time lurker, but thought I would add my two cents here. I work for a 180,000 employee global firm that has always pushed on getting updated technology into the employees’ hands. Virtually every U.S. employee has a firm-issued mobile device (your choice of carrier and 20+ devices) but we didn’t have access to the iPhone until the 4 was released due to security issues. Our understanding was that our technology team also worked directly with Apple to resolve the concerns.

    We’ve since deployed numerous enterprise apps. Sadly, they’re not just handing out iPads (yet) but you are allowed to bring your own onto the network if you agree to allow a remote wipe (through Exchange).

    It is very clear to me that most firms will go in this direction. There is no reason to lock employees into Blackberries or Android phones unless you have incompetent IT people or someone is giving you the phones for free.

    On the desktop side, it’s still a Microsoft dominated firm - Windows/Office/Exchange. I’m not sure I see that changing anytime soon because the benefits are unclear.

         
  • Posted: 22 February 2012 10:09 AM #13

    Big Al - 22 February 2012 09:37 AM

    News from the competition…

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-21/samsung-said-to-partner-sap-to-push-corporate-use-of-android.html?cmpid=msnmoney

    Idea: RIM slowly fades away. SAP takes over RIM server side assets and enterprise customer base, giving enterprise customers a viable Blackberry roadmap with choice of handset/tablet platforms going forward (including Android, IOS and WinMO.

         
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    Posted: 22 February 2012 10:29 AM #14

    sleepygeek - 22 February 2012 02:09 PM

    Idea: RIM slowly fades away. SAP takes over RIM server side assets and enterprise customer base, giving enterprise customers a viable Blackberry roadmap with choice of handset/tablet platforms going forward (including Android, IOS and WinMO.

    SAP from what I’ve read, is a very big Apple/iOS shop.

         
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    Posted: 22 February 2012 01:12 PM #15

    Welcome mgxt

    I’m glad your company pushed / worked with Apple to get the improvements.