If Apple Walls Garden, IT Should Demand Keys
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Sam Iam
Sam Iam,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/8/2012 | 5:28:11 AM
re: If Apple Walls Garden, IT Should Demand Keys
I can see where Apple is coming from in wanting to control their software distribution and repair business. A large portion of their value proposition is based upon taking ownership for the total experience. One of the reasons, not the only reason, for Apple's rise is that PCs were poorly made and poorly serviced. Sure, Apple could let all kinds of third parties become business partners and hope it all works out, but it is not their style. They have no interest in becoming a high-volume channel driven vendor with hit and miss quality. We have that model from a variety of vendors. Apple is going to provide you with one flavor of service, excellent, at one price, high. That is how Apple has always operated and, even though I don't buy all of their gear, I can appreciate their concerns. I don't think they operate in that manner to make a few extra dollars so much as to ensure that their reputation doesn't get tarnished by third-parties they don't control.

Apple's official response to cost vs. quality control:
User Rank: Apprentice
5/9/2012 | 11:54:58 PM
re: If Apple Walls Garden, IT Should Demand Keys
I agree. It's in Apple's genetics to be proud of their outsider status. When Mr. Jobs returned to Apple, he focused the company instead on excellence, elegance and cool factor. It's been a winning strategy over the last 15 years for sure, and a linchpin of that strategy is ease of use layered on Unix reliability/safety.

Not focusing on market share has perversely been a winning strategy for Apple. So yes, the key reason that they are so locked down is that they understand their brand. But this has brought about an evolution that can't be reversed.

iPads and iPhones are hot items in the enterprise. Enterprises are accepting this, particularly since the management tools are now mature. Users who once had a Blackberry and an iPhone can now have a single device for work and home.

As BYOD is growing users are similarly looking towards the possibility of one PC, one tablet, etc. Private/public clouds, VPN, VMWare, Citrix, Google Office/Open Office, etc. make this a very viable option at long last and Apple devices are in play here too. In other words Apple has become an insider, even if they came in through the back door.

There's a catch: As the two worlds merge, the ease of having a single device will become more and more appealing. Windows has not been standing still and Linux and Google Chrome lurk. Apple can no longer count on users suffering through Windows by day but coming home to their beloved Macs at night.

If IT departments say no to Macs because they don't play well with others, then some users will move to other platforms and Apple will not easily win them back. To me the only conclusion is that Apple needs to find a way to be Apple within the enterprise.

Mr. Feldman's suggestions are very reasonable in that regard. Give not only D&B sized companies but SMBs and power users the keys to some of the locked rooms--at their own risk. There's a EULA for that.

It's noteworthy that Apple became a commodity manufacturer without tarnishing the Apple reputation for quality, service, cool factor and sex appeal. Now they need to trust that they can bend just a little in the OS X space as well and turn it into a marketing advantage.

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