Small business seems to be one of the markets that Apple intends to target with Mac OS X Leopard Server. Ryan Fass delineated Appleis advantages and Leopard improvements in the SMB market in a Computerworld opinion column on Thursday.
Leopardis new Server Preferences are specifically designed for small businesses. "In many ways, Mac OS X is an ideal platform for small businesses and offices. It is easy to install and set up, often requires little technical support to maintain, and remains free of many of the virus and malware problems that plague Windows PCs. All of this should be appealing for a business with anywhere from a handful to a few dozen employees that cannot afford full-time IT staff," Mr. Fass wrote.
One of the key indicators of Appleis success is that 3rd party developers are noticing the steady switching and adoption of Apple technologies in the SMB market. Alykhan Jetha, the CEO of Marketcircle said that 50 percent of his new customers are businesses that once used Windows. Kevin Ford, founder and CEO of Parliant described a "significant ramp up to the number of businesses" purchasing Parliantis telephony products.
Another key enabler has been the Apple switch to Intel. The ability to use Boot Camp or one of the virtualization packages has assisted small businesses with the migration to all Apple hardware.
"Perhaps the biggest misconception about the Mac in small business is that it is a computer for home users, educators and graphics/media design, and that there simply arenit any business tools available to Mac users. That might have been the case in the past, but that is certainly not true today," the well known IT consultant wrote.
The growing list of available Mac OS X SMB software has been able serve any kind of business from practice management to law to traditional business software that includes QuickBooks, MYOB, MultiLedger and Payroll software from Checkmark.
It doesnit stop there. In addition to the traditional contact tools like Daylite and Now Up To Date, there are also project management tools that have emerged. FastTrack Schedule, xTime Project, and Project X were all cited by the author in addition to exciting new telephony software.
While the emerging software for small businesses is a good sign, itis not the only attraction. Mr. Fass concluded, "...for smaller firms, the plethora of programs available -- coupled with the reliability and overall ease-of-use of the Mac OS X platform -- makes for a potent, and potentially winning, combination."