Fruity peddler of broken iPhones, Apple has always had a dream of selling its products to the business market but other than media networks it has never quite managed it.
One of the reason that Apple has failed to get into the business market is that it is expensive, insecure, and its networking technology is not exactly bullet proof. But mostly it is because Apple does not really understand businesses.
For example, last month Apple decided to kill off its Xserve line of rack servers. Now it seems to be treating its few business clients as if they were the owners of one of its long out of date iPods.
Firstly, the outfit gave users four months to adapt, notifying them through a “transition guide” that it would no longer sell Xserves after January 31, 2011. Business upgrades are a long process involving budgets and accounting and it is damn hard to replace a hardware strategy in four months.
Next it told businesses to replace the Xserve with Mac Pros or Mac Minis. Both can run Mac OS X Server. Apple said that this is ok as the Mac Pro’s processor is faster than the Xserve’s.
While this might be true neither hardware is useful bit of business server.
Xserve might have been pretty pointless compared to a blade server but it was closer to what businesses wanted. It had redundant power supplies, remote monitoring and it screwed into a mounted rack.
Not surprisingly CNN found a large number of upset businesses Paul Chernoff, IT director at Washingtonian.com, which runs two Xserves to support a website and 72 Macs moaned that Apple had not handled this very well in terms of understanding the needs of enterprise customers.
Apple has not said anything. We guess its mentality is that if Steve Jobs tells them how to configure their business networks they should stop moaning and do it.
While that mentality works well in the consumer market which is populated by brain dead Apple drones who will buy what ever Steve tells them, it does not work in a cash strapped business framework where companies know a bit more about technology.
John Welch, IT director at the Zimmerman Agency, a digital marketing and PR firm pointed out that consumers love it when they don’t hear anything and all the sudden they get a new iPhone. For businesses that is a nightmare.
Apple did not understand that talking to businesses about IT-related things is not the same as doing it with consumers.