Apple Quietly Chases The Enterprise Customer

At last week's Macworld Expo in San Francisco, there was a strange sight in the Apple booth -- and I'm not talking about the guys wearing berets, or the woman

January 13, 2004

2 Min Read
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At last week's Macworld Expo in San Francisco, there was a strange sight in the Apple booth -- and I'm not talking about the guys wearing berets, or the woman in goth attire.

The unexpected appearance of a networking closet rack-mount display was what caught me off-guard, hidden as it was near the rear of the sprawling Apple layout. What was even more surprising was the fact that the rack-mounts were drawing their fair share of onlookers and tire-kickers, and not just because there was too long a line to play with the iPod minis.

Apparently there really are enterprise customers who are more than a little bit interested in Apple's rack-mounted servers and RAID drives, including the new versions introduced at the show. In fact, at a panel discussion about Apple's new enterprise offerings, more than half the audience claimed they had responsibility for more than 1,000 users in their networks -- a truly unscientific poll, but nonetheless impressive, especially if you're not aware that Apple innovates in areas other than music and operating systems with cool graphical interfaces.

While Network Computing's Steven J. Schuchart Jr. has favorably reviewedApple's server offerings in the past, my question is: Does Apple even stand a chance with mainstream enterprise networking purchasing departments?

Network Computing associate technology editor Michael J. DeMaria, who follows this area closely, opines that Apple will have tough sledding with enterprise IT folks. "When it comes to businesses, I'd suspect the best place for Apple would be at the departmental level and SMB market," said DeMaria.Maybe it would help if they offered the servers and RAID boxes in different colors? Let us know, by participating in this week's Voting Booth, which can be found on our home page. Also, check out our Q & A

with Apple's Tom Weyer, senior consulting engineer and a top resource on Apple's enterprise gear.

Last Week's Poll

According to our readers, IT spending is either going to rebound quickly, or not at all. Our incredibly unscientific survey about spending plans ("How soon will your firm be purchasing new IT products or services?) showed that 37 percent of respondents claim they already have a signed PO in hand, while 47 percent responded that they are broke, and have no plans to spend more money... or they simply like voting for our weekly silly reply.

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