Coverage of Gartner analysts at their ITxpo in Australia last week.  This report specifically focuses on Apple in the enterprise -- both from an iPhone and a Mac perspective.

Moving beyond iPhones to notebooks and desktops, Apple could start generating big bucks by exploiting the 'halo effect', which has already been cited as the reason for booming Mac sales.

"[iPhone owners] discover usability, they discover simplicity and they start to look at Mac," said Simpson.

This is unlikely to happen, claims Nick Jones, a Gartner UK analyst, specialising in mobile and wireless. According to Jones, Apple has no desire to sell into the enterprise and he believes that any enterprise considering Apple products should first consider the issues of cost and planning.

"If you start using Macs in your enterprise, you start having to play silly games like running two operating systems. So you are now paying to support two operating systems on one machine. It costs you 58 percent more to have a Macintosh in your company than it does to have a PC because of this.

"Tell me if you think you are going to get 58 percent more work out of your employees if you gave them a Mac rather than a PC," he asked. ...

Jones isn't convinced and highlights Apple's lack of a product roadmap as the final indication of the Mac's unsuitability for enterprise use.

"Enterprise vendors give you things like roadmaps - they tell you what is going to happen. If you want to find out what is going on with Apple you have to watch Steve Jobs at the next Mac conference. Not exactly a basis for solid planning, I would say.

"I don't believe Apple is an enterprise vendor, I don't think Apple has any financial incentive to become an enterprise vendor," added Jones.
I have been aggressively willing to bet on Apple as an enterprise player for the last 12-15 months.  From the outside looking in, there are definitely people at Apple who understand the enterprise; it's a question of what's in their corporate DNA.  You won't find Apple as an exhibitor at a conference like Lotusphere, targeting the enterprise -- by policy they don't have a corporate presence at anyone else's conferences.  On the other hand, will they be there, and are they demonstrating, as in the case of Snow Leopard 10.6.2, an understanding of the need to be responsive to enterprise customers?  Yes.  Time will tell whether that continues; meanwhile, I'll keep shooting for that 58% using my MacBook (which is my way of saying I don't agree with that percentage at all).

Link: ITnews Australia: Analysis: Microsoft is helping Apple crack the enterprise >

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