Funny as they are, Apple’s current PC vs. Mac ads have a downside. They paint the Mac as the groovy and fun computer, leaving the PC in the other corner as the boring accountant type of guy. The PC is not fun, but it’s where the work happens. It’s the computer in the office. Symbolically, it “is” the office.
One of my pet peeves is how Apple seems to ignore the productivity muscle its computers provide. Perhaps because my own workflow was transformed by switching a few years ago, I feel it more keenly than I should.
John Martellaro, former Apple Senior Marketing Manager for science and technology and Federal Account Executive, has written an interesting piece on five problems that bedevil Apple’s enterprise strategy.
First, he suggests that Apple’s determination to preserve its freedom costs it business customers. Businesses want guarantees that a particular product will be around for a fixed period. Apple’s virtue is a vice here, Martellaro suggests:
Apple is a quick change artist in the consumer world, responding rapidly, inside the competition’s decision cycle. Apple’s response to business is this: here’s the product we’re selling today. Take it or leave it. But you will love it.
Apple also loses out to Microsoft by not having the right software solutions:
Microsoft’s Exchange Server is a behemoth, awkward and fitful, hard to maintain, and a disaster when it goes down, but it checks the boxes for a corporation in ways that a simple IMAP/POP server cannot. Microsoft, a software company, supplies every business tool that a company could ever need, and they make a best effort at integrating them. Often it isn’t pretty, but what they produce, in terms of raw technology is light years ahead of FileMaker, iCal and the Apple Mail app.
When I stop to think, his claims ring true. Apple only has a foothold in educational or enterprise settings (known to me anyway) where the IT people are committed evangelists, the business is small enough for a Mac fan owner to make his or her own business decisions or individuals like me are prepared to shell out for a Mac of their own and do the hard yards to interact with those on the Dark Side.
Who can tell me a happy story about Mail.app in an enterprise setting? Surely the news can’t be as bleak as John suggests.
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Tags: Apple, Apple Mail, business strategy, enterprise, iCal, mail.app, Productivity, work muscle