Big Business Takes a [Small] Bite of the Apple

Yes, Apple products are making their way into corporate America. But the numbers are still relatively small.

1 2 3 4 5 6 Page 4
Page 4 of 6

For technical support, however, corporate IT shops still need an AppleCare Preferred or Alliance agreement. "They'll fly an engineer out to our business to get the lay of the land. But they're not stopping on your doorstep any time you have a problem," says Ben Greisler, principal at Kadimac Corp., an Apple professional services provider. Some enterprise customers work with Apple's telesales group or Apple's retail stores.

"We're seeing an expansion of business-related services across all touch points, whether it's service or sales or retail," says Reed. Taken together, he says, "it's the 'enterprization' of Apple."

Perhaps. But Apple's enterprise strategy is still immature, IT executives say. "They're most interested in selling product and not in adapting how they do business to meet the needs of the enterprise," says a vice president of IT at a Fortune 100 company that uses both Apple mobile and desktop products, who declined to be identified.

Mum's the Word

Apple's legendary secrecy -- its unwillingness to share its product road map, even under nondisclosure agreements -- makes Andy Wang's job harder. Wang is an enterprise architect at Genentech. "Part of my job is to plan 12 to 36 months out. When you don't get anything from Apple, that makes for challenging planning," he says. IT executives regularly receive such briefings from vendors like Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard.

"With HP, we know what's coming out six to 12 months from now. With Apple, you don't have a clue," says Michael Kamer, manager of technology integration services at St. Luke's Health System, a healthcare provider in the Kansas City, Mo., area that's testing a system that would let doctors access clinical apps from their own iPads.

"We're guessing which capabilities will be available when," adds Greg Schwartz, senior vice president and CIO at USAA. After the iPad 2 was released, USAA began work on a new version of an online banking app that lets iPad 2 users photograph and submit checks for deposit using the built-in camera. "We didn't know when the iPad 2 was going to be released. Otherwise, we would have had it ready," he says.

Apple's consumer-focused approach to product licensing and support also creates headaches. Although Genentech has developed its own iPhone apps and delivers them through an internal app store, it still must renew its certification for those applications with Apple every year. "That's very tedious," says enterprise architect David Lee. "We have a cordial and collaborative relationship, but enterprises are treated more like consumers."

1 2 3 4 5 6 Page 4
Page 4 of 6
Bing’s AI chatbot came to work for me. I had to fire it.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon