But even so, we are frustrated by the general lack of Mac expertise available to us, beyond calling Apple tech support. For example, who sets up new PCs for new employees, or replacement PCs for existing employees? If those are Windows PCs, thereï¿¼s no problem finding contractors and IT service companies that can help you. If theyï¿¼re Macs ï¿¼ well, you can find help, but itï¿¼s hard. There are very few knowledgably experts around.
What about when a Mac has problems? Again, itï¿¼s easy to find IT professionals with Windows expertise, but Mac experts are rare. Microsoft ï¿¼ and the many companies like Dell, HP and IBM who make business-grade Windows desktops ï¿¼ do a great job in training and certifying their resellers and partners, and in training support people at conferences like Microsoft Tech-Ed and at Microsoft Learning. Apple doesnï¿¼t bother. And third-party training companies essentially ignore the Mac, because there's not enough demand for couses and courseware.
This even spills over to other IT disciplines. If your company has an Exchange or Sharepoint server, itï¿¼s hard to find information from either Microsoft or Apple about how to configure, maintain and troubleshoot Mac clients. Have trouble with Macs getting onto your wireless LAN? Unsure how to integrate an Xserve? Few network admins will know what to do. Developing Web applications? Few coders know how to troubleshoot problems getting sites to work properly on Safari. And so-on.
While Apple does target business customers with its sales and marketing, the company fails when it comes to creating a community of IT service and support professionals. That, sadly, truly is the Achilles heel when it comes to the running Macs in a small-business or enterprise environment.