469,611 Members | 1,718 Online
Bytes | Developer Community
New Post

Home Posts Topics Members FAQ

Share your developer knowledge by writing an article on Bytes.

Is your company ready for the Apple Invasion?

Niheel
2,431 Expert Mod 2GB
The Apple invasion into corporate has started and I can't say if I am excited or scared. As an IT manager, I have nightmares over all the support and technical issues of integrating Apple hardware and software into our company. As an owner of ample Apple products, I'm excited about being able to use my iPhone and MacBooks at the company.

For years many of us have fought to get Apple products into our company's infrastructure. Much to our dismay, the cost involved with supporting Apple products across the whole enterprise always outweighed the benefit. It didn't help that even Steve Jobs for many years held a firm stance on being a consumer oriented company.

Things are changing. There is a whole new level of curiosity and excitement about getting Apple stamped devices ready to work with our corporate IT. There are more and more employees demanding access for their Apple hardware. Even the bosses from the top are more open. They are curious and in some cases even ready to make the changes. I'm sure their experience with other Apple products had nothing to do with it. ;-)

Take a look at these excerpts from corporate executives and CEO's in the latest Business Week magazine article "The Mac in the Gray Flannel":
    • Anthony Decanti, Vice-president for technology Werner Enterprises ($2B in sales)
      • Werner Enterprises (WERN), a trucking company based in Omaha with $2 billion in sales, decided to start letting employees use a variety of computers a few years ago. When they began to choose Macs, the company reached out to Apple. "They all but told us to take a hike," says Anthony Decanti, vice-president for technology. But Decanti persisted, and Apple eventually sent an account rep.
    • Michele Goins, Chief Information Officer at Juniper Networks
      • "If we opened it up today, I think 25% of our employees would choose Macs," she says.
    • Scott Kriens, CEO At Sunnyvale (Calif.)-based Juniper
      • One of the people with a new Mac Book laptop. "Everybody told me I should get one," he says. "It's not anything to do with negative perceptions about Microsoft. It's just that Macs are cool."
    • Mark Slaga, Chief Information Officer of Dimension Data
      • A large computer services firm based in suburban Johannesburg, says he has received 25 e-mails recently from employees who want permission to use Macs at work.



In a survey of 250 diverse companies that has yet to be released, the market research firm Yankee Group found that 87% now have at least some Apple computers in their offices, up from 48% two years ago.

Companies are stepping up for their employees and starting to support Apple in the business environment. Notable ones include:
  • IBM
  • Cisco
  • Google
Many CEO's and Leaders are already using some sort of Apple product for their professional life.
  • Dayton, Sky; CEO EarthLink Network
  • Eisner, Michael; CEO Disney Corp.
  • Gore, Al; U.S. ex Vice-President
  • Hawk, Tony; skateboarder
  • Jobs, Steve; co-founder Apple Computer
  • Lerner, Sandy; founder of Cisco Systems, Urban Decay
  • Lowe, Bill; former IBM bigwig
  • MacCready, Paul; inventor
  • Lucas, George; director/producer
  • Rao, P.V. Narashima; ex Prime Minister of India
  • Sheetrit, Meir; Minister of Justice, Israel
  • Jay-Z (Yes, HP paid me. But I use an Apple.)
  • Tigret, Isacc; founder - Hard Rock Café
  • Yeltsin, Boris; ex Soviet president
  • Larry Ellison, Chairman, CEO and Founder Oracle Corp.
  • Roy Disney, Disney Board of Directors
There are also legions of celebrity endorsers and media darlings that support and promote the Apple Invasion to consumers (our corporate employee base in most cases).

Another factor that could drive increased usage in coming years is the droves of college students who have known nothing but their Apple during their higher education coming into the workplace.
According to a survey of 1,200 undergrads by researcher Student Monitor this year, 43% of college students who intend to buy a laptop plan to buy a Mac, up from 8% in 2003.

Combine this with constant word of mouth marketing from colleagues, friends and family and there is a significant shift in usage patterns in favor of Apple in corporate environments.

All this translates into changes for many of our corporate IT policies . We have to adapt to the demand and to be open to the idea of sharing our corporate networks and resources and even support Apple devices on our own (no in-house Genius Bar).

The best advice given we've heard so far . . . keep an open mind and get ready to be Appleified.

Is your company ready for the Apple Invasion? What kind of resources are you setting up to support the influx of Apple users in your company?
May 29 '08 #1
29 43294
iam_clint
1,208 Expert 1GB
Apple used to brag about its speeds.
Apple now uses intel processors.
May 29 '08 #2
Niheel
2,431 Expert Mod 2GB
Apple used to brag about its speeds.
Apple now uses intel processors.
Previous IBM Chips are fast, look at what they are doing with Cell in the PS3.

I think Apple was just being smart. Combine Intel branding machine with their ability to create chips for all products across the Apple line and you can have some cost efficiences. Also it allows them to focus in on the product and functionality itself.
May 29 '08 #3
Macs compete quite handily in a corporate environment. I think one of the biggest issues has been IT staff that have no real experience using them in their infrastructure.
I recall when a company that I was an officer of (graphics content creation) merged with a tech firm (don't ask how this happened), the IT staff were terrified of us putting our Mac and SGI systems on their network. "Macs won't work on our network" was one I heard a lot. They were amazed when I just plugged it in and got on with no configuring of control panels or setting up TCP/IP stacks.
Just recently I was comparing notes with a PC user and we had to share an Excel file, she was fascinated when I opened the file in Numbers twice as fast as she opened it in Excel, after dragging it off her USB key... "this will work on your Mac?"

JEEZ!
May 29 '08 #4
On a completely unrelated note, I had the pleasure of introducing Tony Hawk to the Mac when he came in to our store to get his Amiga repaired.
Creative Computers in Redondo was quite a happenin' place.
May 29 '08 #5
JayVee
1
Actually, for most skilled Windows & Unix Admin's the problem with allowing a multitude of Apple devices is simple: There is no granular security policy enforcement for Mac's in a windows world.

Domain administrators like to create domain policies that get pushed to users upon login to perform a variety of tasks, including: software installation & validation, security policy enforcement, password resets for system accounts, hardware audits and changes, network drive mappings and virus scanning.

None of those options are readily available on Macs.

Now, if your admin's don't want to run a scrict windows shop or you don't have the constraints of a windows network (like Exchange which still isn't supported properly by Entourage) then by all means adopt away :) Just pointing out that many windows shops or NIS unix shops have a problem integrating Mac's into their secure world of desktop and server interactions beyond the Network Shares post-login.
May 29 '08 #6
pbmods
5,821 Expert 4TB
Heya, JayVee.

Mac OS supports login and logout hooks, allowing admins to do exactly what you are describing:

Mac OS X: Creating a login hook
May 29 '08 #7
Mac OS supports login and logout hooks, allowing admins to do exactly what you are describing:
No. Show me how to deploy active directory security profiles and applications and then it can be used in a secure environment (i.e. financial institutions etc)

Its hard enough dealing with the multitude of user environments as it is without having to support unsecured macs too.
May 30 '08 #8
Just one correction Boris Yeltsin was not the ex- soviet premier but actually the first Russian Federation President who passed on the torch i believe in 2003 to President Putin.
May 30 '08 #9
Niheel
2,431 Expert Mod 2GB
Here's a larger list found on google

Famous Mac Users

I'm sure there is more, but there isn't really a "CEOs who luv Apple" facebook group for us to spy into.

Add to the list if anyone else know of other CEOs and Executives
May 30 '08 #10
No. Show me how to deploy active directory security profiles and applications and then it can be used in a secure environment (i.e. financial institutions etc)

Its hard enough dealing with the multitude of user environments as it is without having to support unsecured macs too.
Agreed.

While you can do a bit to lock down a Mac that is a member of an Open Directory domain, Apple's Workgroup Manager doesn't even scratch the surface of what AD's Group Policies can do.

I recently installed OS X 10.5 server on an XServe that was sitting around my office (it was literally sitting in the back of a closet) and while the AD/OD integration takes some pain out of having to deal with both platforms separately, I'd really like to see some more of an equivalent to AD's GPOs instead of Apple's weak Workgroup Manager.
May 30 '08 #11
A follow up to your post:
http://www.cravenet.net/2008/05/apple-in-enterprise-architecture.html
May 30 '08 #12
Steve Jobs uses a MAC? No way. I totally thought he was using a Dell! This makes the list look lame!
May 30 '08 #13
I would agree with some o the comments that the Mac isn't totally ready for the enterprise, but also at the same time, I can disagree.

For one I have worked in shops before were there has been a mixed bag environment on both the desktop and the server. Mostly Linux and Windows, but if Linux can play nice in an enterprise why can't the Mac? AD integration is awesome pushing GPOs are fine, but if you are relying on just Group Policy to protect your network, install software, etc, I say your lazy.

Am I wrong or does Thunderbird also connect to an Exchange environment? Thunderbird runs on a Mac. Mail.app is by far a better mail client than Entourage and it connects to Exchange.

I seem to recall that today when I was working on AD it gives you options to make it easier to connect your Mac to Exchange.

Least you not forget that all OS X essentially is, is UNIX wrapped in a pretty window manager.

Understandably a Mac can harbor a Windows bug and not know it, but Symantec even allows for an enterprise installation of their anti-virus software for the Mac.

I have seen alot of networks ruined because of WSUS, don't get me wrong it is useful (if setup correctly). But it isn't the end all be all for updating your Windows boxes. I agree that Patching systems is important so don't get me wrong on that.

Look as some one that has advocated Windows for so long I have seen the trouble it causes hence the reason I use a Mac at home! We could have this debate over and over, but look things up before you start throwing things out there!
May 30 '08 #14
As an Apple developer since 1989, and on my second successful company relying on Apple (well, formerly NeXT) technologies (WebObjects, XServe, Eclipse on Leopard), I would say Apple has been ready for business. From the other comments, it seems business is not ready for Apple.

But if others choose to stay in the 1990s mindset, that is their choice. They are missing out on the competitive advantages the hardware and software lends.

In the era of cloud computing (our offering, http://www.bluedog.net/workbench is a SAAS / web 2.0 app), Apple tech and tools can help differentiate.
May 30 '08 #15
Boris Yeltsin is dead.
May 30 '08 #16
Guys, I have a very important question which relates exactly to this article:

In a couple of days I'll start working at Adobe and I get to choose what kind of laptop I want. Either a MacBook Pro or some kind of Lenovo. I chose the MacBook.

Upon this, I was informed that there is almost no inhouse support for and I have to make sure things like Flex Builder and AIR SDK are running. Pretty much, I have to ensure myself that everything is running.

NOW the QUESTION: If something shouldn't run in OSX, I can just boot into Windows and get it to run there, right? A MacBook booted in Windows (through Bootcamp) behaves EXACTLY like any other PC, right? If something doesn't run there, it shouldn't run anywhere else.

I would tremendously appreciate a quick answer.
May 30 '08 #17
If you run Windows through Boot Camp on a Mac, it is no different than running Windows on a PC. In fact, PC World rated a MacBook Pro the fastest Vista notebook: http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,136649-page,3-c,notebooks/article.html

Guys, I have a very important question which relates exactly to this article:

In a couple of days I'll start working at Adobe and I get to choose what kind of laptop I want. Either a MacBook Pro or some kind of Lenovo. I chose the MacBook.

Upon this, I was informed that there is almost no inhouse support for and I have to make sure things like Flex Builder and AIR SDK are running. Pretty much, I have to ensure myself that everything is running.

NOW the QUESTION: If something shouldn't run in OSX, I can just boot into Windows and get it to run there, right? A MacBook booted in Windows (through Bootcamp) behaves EXACTLY like any other PC, right? If something doesn't run there, it shouldn't run anywhere else.

I would tremendously appreciate a quick answer.
May 30 '08 #18
You missed one significant Mac user…Steve Ballmer!

(He was caught on camera using a Mac to give a presentation recently.)
May 30 '08 #19
NeoPa
32,200 Expert Mod 16PB
There will always be users who know that things are fine (Mac works in AD environment etc) because they've seen it in various places. What is hard to explain to people that use that type of logic is that simply because there are circumstances where it doesn't have problems, is not supporting evidence for "There are no problems".

It's very rare (in my experience at least) for all facilities available (to most systems, but AD particularly) to be taken advantage of and implemented fully. This being the case, it's hardly a surprise that there are many situations where Macs are used with PCs in an AD environment without noticeable problems.

Clearly that's not a bad sign for the Macs in future, but it's not evidence that all is straightforward now.

When things don't work according to plan, it's never the ones with the bright idea of introducing the new kit that get left with the problem of making it all work. This is left to IT to sort out. Is it any wonder they would like the opportunity to be prepared for this in advance?
May 30 '08 #20
Guys, I have a very important question which relates exactly to this article:

In a couple of days I'll start working at Adobe and I get to choose what kind of laptop I want. Either a MacBook Pro or some kind of Lenovo. I chose the MacBook.

Upon this, I was informed that there is almost no inhouse support for and I have to make sure things like Flex Builder and AIR SDK are running. Pretty much, I have to ensure myself that everything is running.

NOW the QUESTION: If something shouldn't run in OSX, I can just boot into Windows and get it to run there, right? A MacBook booted in Windows (through Bootcamp) behaves EXACTLY like any other PC, right? If something doesn't run there, it shouldn't run anywhere else.

I would tremendously appreciate a quick answer.
DISCLAIMER: None of the product references below should be construed to be an endorsement by Cisco Systems or any of its employees.

I work at Cisco and we have several thousand Mac users all operating under self support. There are a few apps that do not run native under OSX so to address this, the majority of us run VMWare\Parallels with WinXP. Also, a few folks do run Bootcamp and with VMWare version 2, Bootcamp partitions can be accessed directly by VMWare so net-net, we have many options at our disposal.

Personally, I have over 100% functional parity because I can do whatever I could do before on my Thinkpad PLUS all of the benefits provided on the Mac. So to answer the question directly - I personally have NOT seen any difference between the virtual machine WinXP and the "real" WinXP in terms of behavior. One thing - MAKE SURE you install all of the applicable tools that come with both Fusion and Parallels - this is key.

Next,in regard to the question "Is Apple or are Macs ready for the enterprise?". This is an extremely difficult question to answer because there are so many discrete differences in the enterprise world. In some cases, depending on the functional needs & the desired support model - balanced against cost - the answer will be no; in others, it will be yes. In our environment here at Cisco - which I think most would agree is a pretty large and complex enterprise environment - we can say pretty much yes. It's not perfect - we wish there were more functionality - but if nothing changed right now, I would still, as most folks here do, have over 100% functional parity.

There are probably two macro things that Apple should do to help cement their desired place in the enterprise:

1) An answer to Exchange - either in functionality, compatibility, or replacement products;

2) LDAP, ActiveDirectory, OpenDirectory support - this has been mentioned elsewhere in this post so you all probably get the point.

IMHO, if those two things were addressed, then I think you would see a sharp increase in Mac adoption in a large number of enterprise deployments. Otherwise, we shall see...
May 30 '08 #21
What the point of putting in Macs? To reduce support costs its best to keep with one OS and brand of hardware. Why muddy it up with MACs? Graphics isnt even a good selling point for them anymore. There is not anything you cant do with a Intel box and nothing a MAC can do better so its just preference of the users.

http://www.revver.com/video/225121/mac-gamer-switch-parody/
May 30 '08 #22
Markus
6,050 Expert 4TB
I can dig it.
May 30 '08 #23
drhowarddrfine
7,435 Expert 4TB
Hmm. When I worked at Silicon Graphics (SGI) around 1990, the whole company ran on Macs networked with IRIX (Unix).
May 30 '08 #24
Thanks for the answers guys!
May 30 '08 #25
Having IT guys with current knowledge and an open mind is a huge asset.
May 31 '08 #26
danp129
321 Expert 100+
So can 1 IT guy roll out a new image to 200+ mac systems, rename them to their original name and be ready to login to a domain while he patches servers and drinks a few beers?
Jun 3 '08 #27
tharden3
916 512MB
I want to be invaded! Where do I sign up?
Dec 9 '08 #28
NeoPa
32,200 Expert Mod 16PB
@Partners in Grime
It amuses me that being aware of problems that some others simply fail to appreciate (mainly because they haven't had the experience) is assumed to be closed-mindedness.

Even without my own experience, it's clear that the concept of the Mac's readiness for being incorporated into business environments is not yet at the stage where it could be considered to be straightforward. Some of the posts in here make that quite evident.

Sure, if you ignore some of the issues, you can get it to work with little or no problems, but not everyone has the luxury of ignoring those issues. Until the capabilities in these areas are 100% compatible (without necessarily being restricted in any way - I'm happy to accept that much of what's available on a Mac is superior to the Windows alternatives) there will be problems for IT staff to integrate them into that structure.

Just because some people have no concept of the structure and why it's important, is not a sign of a problem with the IT mindset.

Having said that, of course, I have no argument with the actual statement. Those two attributes are certainly to be looked for in IT staff anywhere.
Dec 9 '08 #29
Jyoti Ballabh
115 100+
well, you would be glad to know that the net worth of companies designing iphone apps is over 16 billion USD in US alone. So, yea APPLE invasion is pretty much in vogue.
Jul 22 '10 #30

Post your reply

Sign in to post your reply or Sign up for a free account.

Similar topics

14 posts views Thread by BlackHawke | last post: by
7 posts views Thread by David Teran | last post: by
8 posts views Thread by Ron Garret | last post: by
10 posts views Thread by =?Utf-8?B?SmFtZXMgV29uZw==?= | last post: by
reply views Thread by devrayhaan | last post: by
By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.