From Skeptic to Believer

Brad Wieland is facilities and project manager at AWC, and his first reaction to CIO Dale Frantz's Mac plan was "quite a bit of skepticism," he says.

First, there was the cost: "I had financial concerns, because one of my responsibilities at the Tacoma facility is to keep costs down," he says.

AWC had completed upgrading all of its Windows 95 machines to Windows XP machines over the previous three to four years. "My initial thought was, 'Why spend all of this money when we just upgraded to new computers?'" Wieland says. "This was not a cost savings in my mind.

"But once Dale explained to me all of the savings on the back end, it really began to make sense," he says.

Wieland also had productivity concerns, however. "I am a Windows person through and through," he says. "I know how to tweak things on a Windows machine.

"There was also a bit of fear of the unknown," Wieland admits.

But those concerns have largely abated since he began working on a Mac laptop a little more than a month ago.

It's an interim machine to replace a PC that died, he says. He will get a Mac of his own shortly. "Things are much more user-friendly on the Mac," he says of the office productivity applications.

He has also seen a demo of the company's main VIPS application running on a Mac in the warehouse. It will be up and running on his Mac laptop once he receives it. VIPS "looks almost identical, but it seems to work a lot quicker," he says. "There is not as much of a delay time when you hit the Search button."

Overall, Wieland says, he is about 75% sold on the switch to Apple, "which is a lot better than a month ago."

What would it take to make him a full-blown, true-blue Apple convert?

"Once I get a laptop that is mine and I can customize it the way that I want to," Wieland says. "I'm even kind of thinking about a Mac for my next home computer."

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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