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March 16, 2006

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Comments

Johannes

Pretty good article, but it presents only one side of the equation.

Enterprises, by and large, and for years now, have Apple-hostile IT cultures. Add to that the very huge continuous investments & cut-throat competition by the Mega IT Services Giants, and there's no way Apple can even imagine how to enter & compete in this arena at the moment, no matter how many tech support people they could throw at it.

Remember that enterprise IT careerists are near-100% vested in Microsoft software & commodified IT hardware (ie, never Apple & never Apple). Their skillsets, their training, their livelihood, their bosses, their staff, etc depend on Microsoft and the genericness of PC hardware.

Nothing short of an epochal event such as an outright failure of Microsoft Vista would allow Apple even a chance to enter the enterprise.

It's a Catch-22. And you provided only one of the 2's. The other 2: Enterprise IT won't give Apple the time of day and never have.

Can you blame Apple for giving up on Enterprise IT long ago??

ocracokewaves

The picture you paint is correct for some enterprise accounts. It is off base for some others.

There have plenty of enterprise accounts that have tried over the years to work very hard to make life in their environment more Apple friendly. Some of those efforts have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

I attended a CIO meeting of FFRDCs in 2002 I believe. FFRDCs are Federally Funded Research and Development Corporations. At the meeting Microsoft presented. The CIOs were very vocal about MS providing better support for Apple on their servers and mail solutions. They were much more vocal than the Apple executive in attendance at the meeting.

I also knew one federal agency which required cross platform software. There have been many doors open to Apple. One of Apple largest accounts in the world offerred Apple data that they had collected that showed that Apple products had a lower total cost of ownership than Windows PCs.

Apple was uninterested in the data.

I was at another Apple Executive Briefing where one of the largest federal customers told Apple that it they would bring Safari and Apple Mail to Windows, they would make Apple part of their standards.

The Apple executive said that would be giving away the crown jewels. Well I guess Mail might qualify as a diamond in the rough.

We had enterprise customers of all stripes make trips to Apple to tell what they needed in order to justify Apple products in their organization. I well remember one of the largest consulting firms in the world going to Apple three straight years and the CTO begging Apple to reintroduce a product like the PowerBook Duo. Apple product managers kept trotting out 6-7 pound products and telling the consulting firm that this was what they wanted. The firm kept saying if you don't give us something under five pounds, we're going to leave your platform. After three years they got tired of making the trip, and they migrated away from Apple.

Apple was tremendously successful in the enterprise and in the mid-ninties the decision was made at Apple to walk away from that business. We were told to fire the enterprise reps.

Apple got rid of many of the enterprise people. The ones that survive today are dinosaurs in a company where the climate is rapidly becoming hostile to dinosaurs.

Russ Miller

Hmmm, citing the mid-90s as a tremendous success for Apple is ignoring the fact that it almost went bankrupt in exactly that timeframe.

Trying to be all things to all people is a mistake for any company, particularly Apple, who thrives by bringing incredible focus to the products. In order to focus you must stay "no" to some things. Too bad they say "no" to what you care about, but that doesn't make them wrong, it makes them a company with a strong self-identity which you happen to disagree with.

ocracokewaves

Actually I still have to disagree with you. It wasn't the enterprise business that almost sunk Apple, it was inventory and quality problems on consumer Performa's that were the problem. In the early nineties Apple was hugely successful and that includes the enterprise.

The saying "no" to things is just another rerun of Steve Jobs ideology which really means saying "no" to what Steve doesn't want to do.

So if Apple is saying "no" to the enterprise why do they continue to hire people to sell to the enterprise while at the same time telling them that Apple is a consumer company.

We could argue this forever. How about this? Send me a note in five years, and we'll see who was right.

By then we should be able to tell if the "focus" on consumer has been the right path for Apple to be a long term success.

Jason O'Donnell

I'm an IT engineer with 15 years experience. I can tell you that as a future IT manager/CIO, when I'm making decisions in the storage space, Apple will be given equal opportunity to compete for my business with Dell and IBM.

Yes- the current IT culture in large corporations is anti-Apple. But those of us that have recently given up using Microsoft at home will be running those IT departments one day. And I'm reminded of my cool home user experience every second that I use a Windows PC at work.

Just give me a chance to implement a few xserves. But Apple had better give me some enterprise-quality support. Start by assigning customers with 1000+ employees a technical assistance manager, regardless of the amount of hardware purchased. Use that person to promote the Apple brand to the company, and to have personal ownership of cases and issues. Make sure your customer knows they have a last resort should normal avenues fail (and they do occasionally, with any vendor).

If Apple does give up on the enterprise, they'll lose business that the next generation of Apple users can offer them in 3-5 years.

brettp

I can say as a diehard Mac user who has brought Apple into my enterprise, there have been some hiccups along the way but for the most part I have had a pleasurable experience.
We are not a large scale purchaser on the size of the government but I have never had a problem getting through to support (that is the correct number to get to enterprise support btw) nor dealing with the sales team, it's been fine. From time to time, it's been a little slow on repsonses but 95% of the time, if I have a question that needs an answer from a systems engineer or I need a quote on product, I'll get a nice, fast response. Heck, I've had 3 sales guys in the past 1.5 yrs which I atribute to growth.
I have never worked at Apple so I can not say about the inside scoop but from a user and purchaser, I am satisfied.
I agree, they are a consumer company first and foremost but from where I sit, they are doing a good job in the enterprise.

Gerard

Ok, let me start off by saying I love Mac's. I have owned over 50 Mac's in my life time and still use them today. In fact, I like Apple and Mac's so much that I got their logo tattood on myself.... But enterprise support sucks big time. I made the grave mistake of placing and X-Serve with an X-Raid in my server room. A 2 year old configuration that is a pain to get extra parts for, 8 week lead time for drive modules, 4 weeks for a blownpower supply and tech support staff that can only say "gosh, that should work" when I call with a problem.

My Dell server on the other hand is very well supported by Dell. I have heard the horror stories of their consumer support but their enterprise support is spot on. Every time I called I spoke to someone who knew what they where talking about. On that Dell server I was running Debian Linux, was that a problem for their support, nope, the guys I spoke to even knew about that. I wonder how helpfull Apple's tech folks are when I call them about a Mac with Linux on it. Having worked at one of their telephone support centers for years I can tell you the answer "that is not a supported configuration, goodbye".


Robert Pritchett

So, is the Authorized Apple Business Agent program a poor attempt to get into the Enterprise?

http://agents.apple.com/

jeff

"dyed" not "died"

Frank

As a guy who used to sell Apple products to enterprise customers, I can sympathize. I think the real problem was that Apple could never decide if it wanted to fully confront MS or co-exist with MS.

The Safari/Mail problem you point out is part of this. Exchange Server is the biggest example, though. Apple provided halfhearted compatibility with Exchange and never tried to create a groupware soluton of its own.

Anonymous engineer

I'm leaving this anonymous out of self-preservation. I work for a small company that was approached by a large corporation that wanted our stuff to work on X-Serves. They convinced us that we'd have lots of customers besides them, because X-Serves were so popular in the HPC market. We spent a year moving our stuff over, only to have Apple destroy our market with the switch to Intel - because the customer's plans were thrown into disarray, and the projected market for *other* customers was thrown into utter doubt.

Not a happy experience.

Pro Green European

I agree with this post. Our company recently purchased a Xserve G5 for evaluation purposes, but getting business support for more advanced issues are nearly non-existent. Pitty it has to be this way, I really like the administration tools that MacOSX Server has on the Xserve. As I'm used to mostly Linux based non-graphical solutions, it was quite a change to use GUI tools for administration. However, the experience I've had, it not an unpleasant one, but rather a really pleasant one, as the tools are easy to use. Will we buy more Apple enterprise products? I don't think so, I've tried to be in contact with their Consultant services regarding more advanced interoperability questions, and it has been well over a month since I last emailed them regarding these interoperability questions. As to date, no response from their Consultant services team. That about says it all for the enterprise support from Apple. My suggestion, steer clear of Enterprise solutions from Apple if you want support.

Richard Brantley

Yup, you called it.

I spent several months last year examing Apple's products for our company. We went so far as to get an XServe on evaluation, and I was impressed by many things.

Apple's secrecy on their product plans was not one of them. They could have made an XSan sale, but their inability to talk about the future direction of the product shot that out of the water, and we went with a competitor that had a more expensive product but with a better feature set and a roadmap.

I have also been unable to get a firm grasp of what, exactly, the various support contracts cover.

On the other hand, the last Dell PowerEdge I bought I got gold support with. I only ever had to call on it twice in four years, and I got our problems resolved very quickly and with no 'pass the customer' games.

If Apple is going to bother to say in the enterprise game, they need a VP who reports directly to Jobs. Then they need to take the gloves off the guy, give him a budget, and let him do what is needed to grow into that space. Until they do, they will mostly just be preaching to the choir, which is not a good way to make money.

Where are our dual-core XServes? Where are our Intel XServes? What is the plan? What will the landscape look like in 6 months?

Scott Peters

I worked for a govt agency that made the switch from Mac to Windows a few years ago, and now am IT Director for a PR firm.

The secret is to NOT depend on Apple for enterprise support. Do like the big boys do: find a good consultant with server experience or Unix server experience and purchase through them and get support through them.

Here in the District, there are quite a few entities making the switch on the server side - for security if nothing else. The problem locally is that the local Apple enterprise group does not support the consultants worth a darn and does grab sales from them.

There are real frustrations with Apple. First among them for me is Mail. The docs and promotional material out there strongly IMPLY that Mail will easily talk to Open Directory for enterprise-wide email address listings, but it does not. While still under the 90 day support agreement, Apple offered to link Mail and Open Directory for $695.

I chose to spend $300 on my consultant to set up phpLDAP.

That, and the inability of Mail to request receipts are real frustrations.

Don't tie the hands of Apple Enterprise within the company and DO everything to support Apple Consultants. Don't try to make the Apple store the only retail outlet that make a profit selling the computers.

There is a real hunger out there in the enterprise to have an alternative to the MS juggernaut, particularly with the upcoming changes in licensing contemplated with Vista. Apple may never take over the world, but please, realize that the market exists, and some targeted products, like the Xserve, can be real attractive to the enterprise market. Use that as a wedge to get into the market and demonstrate workable alternatives.

You can sympathize with corporate not wanting to provide a road map, as that attracts Microsoft FUD attacks.

Richard H.

I work in a shop that is mostly Dell with about 20 macs. If a dell laptop has a problem (say a broken latch), the user can continue to use it until the next day when the dell tech arrives. When the tech arrives, the user is without his laptop for an hour, and then is back in business.

Contrast that with a broken latch on a powerbook with applecare: User brings in system, I have to prepare him a loaner. Wait a day for apple to ship a return box, wait another day for it to get to apple, another day perhaps for the repair, and another day for the return trip. My apple user has been without his system for almost a week. And even a local apple store filled with geniuses will have to ship it to Texas to fix a latch.

This is not enterprise support.

mac

I work at a Mac consultancy in a large Mac market. We sell and install Xserves all year. I agree with the above poster: Apple should not be your service company. Hire a group like ours.

Apple, however, does not put many resources out there for the enterprise. And really they have poor SMB offerings as well. Plainly Mac in business SMB or large, is not great.

Where is the MS Exchange competition? Where is the project management SW? Where is better VPN support? Where is the integration of Mail, iCal, Address book on a server level? Why can they not nurture/support their Specialists to service business clients?

All the pieces are there, and as the post mentions 8 billion dollars as well...why the hell does Apple not get out there and compete?

My guess is that Apple is scared to be embarrased. They stumbled upon the iPod/iTunes, and they know customer cache, but the business world is scary, and they have been sent home to mommy before. The business world works less on fad, more on substance...

Apple forgets that consumers are a finicky bunch, and as soon as Apple loses its cool, they'll still be stuck at 4% - and uncool to boot!

aleister

"company that could have been so much greater"

Your conception in terms of "enterprise" and "consumer" misses the point. Apple focuses on creative individuals versus serving masses of drones, and that's a very good thing.

Dave

""company that could have been so much greater"

Your conception in terms of "enterprise" and "consumer" misses the point. Apple focuses on creative individuals versus serving masses of drones, and that's a very good thing."

What a small minded and elitist comment this is! Maybe you are happy with living in a little artist commune, thinking that you are going to be the next Picasso, Mozart, Hemingway, or whoever, but the fact is, you probably aren't and neither are most people. Most people are content to feed their families and make a nestegg for their retirement. Nothing wrong with that. Apple needs to increase it's marketshare significantly, and it WILL NOT do so as long as it ignores the enterprise.

macguitarman

This is great, I am very much agreeing with what I read hear, some more than others. It's not cut and dried, shades of gray.

I too a former Apple QA Engineer in Cupertino and left Apple not so happily.

Very corporate and not that flexible.
At the end of the day it was all about business, money, and money for them.

That's OK, I am much better off out of Apple than I was at Apple, for myself and Apple.

I have also heard this comment recently from Apple field engineers, they were told by SJ himself, "Apple is not an Enterprise Company".

OK, admittedly, it looks weird to see that, and it makes sense in a few ways.

There is no way Apple can compete with the likes of HP, MS, IBM, Dell, Sun, and why should they. That war, that market is over, MS won it. SJ sees a new market, consumers, and he already is doing a great job in this market.

Example, I see this everyday. I have clients who love the XServe RAID, an article I just read says 40% of Xserve RAID's are to enterprise. This is good.

But the current XServe RAID is not for typical enterprise, it's not active-active, no SATA, etc.

The Apple engineers even admit, the Xserve RAID was made specifically to meet the demands of the pro video customer and it is just so happened to be attractive to certain Enterprise customers. (Also don't be disappointed, I hear a active-active (controller) with SATA Xserve RAID is coming soon). So Apple knows a good thing when it sees it.

So it is a little of "We don't do Enterprise", like the video ipod, "I don't think there is an interest in a Video iPod", and behold there is a Video iPod. Steve has always done this, he wants you to look in one hand, and he is doing something else (more meaningful) in the other hand.

I don't think Enterprise is Apple's market. the 80's 90's were Enterprise, Steve is looking for the new growth and its Consumers, thats were the growth is.

Apple should do Enterprise but in a subversive, under the radar way, like the Xserve RAID, like Xsan, these are great products and in demand. These so called cross markets, where their Pro apps and hardware cross into IT. This is Apple's market.

Heavy duty Mail client (please fix Mac OS X Mail app in Leopard to handle 10's of thousands of emails please) and server, Group-ware (HULA Project), heavy duty LDAP that can do millions of people and not crash, proper Exchange support.

I hope we see it, right now we do not see it, either it is non existent or poor. But, I think the things I mentioned above will become reality and / or get fixed.

The guys above are right: It's all about the Apple Consultants, find a good on and go with them.

Apple just does not get it in Enterprise services. Not even close. They are too new at it, and it looks like, half assed committed, (with their services, not products so much).

A client was going to install Xsan, he had 50K, no prob we can do it. I get the local Apple engineers to help us, their quote: 100 grand, what?, all these OS X Server support fees, etc. a joke.

Lesson learned, I (as a consultant can not rely on Apple, I must do it all myself). It is such an odd relationship we have with them, very cannibalistic.

I buy all the gear, install it, config it and you pay me to support it. That's the way to do it.

My client said it best, why should I pay you AND Apple all these support costs. He was right he should not. What does he do, he bags Xsan and goes with a cheap Linux SAN for 14,000 and cheaper monthly support costs, I cant blame him.

What do I do, here is what every Apple Mac consultant learns and I did to. I want to be around people who Want Apple, Macs, and Mac technology, and guess what that is, not what I call "Traditional IT", it is in the scientific and especially creative markets, and this is what I serve here in Hollywood, CA. My clients are 100 % Mac users and progressive users, who want new cool stuff and will spend.

I don't waste my time trying to convince Windows users or going to Windows shops, it is a total waste of my time for me.

I can not take the constant typical IT anti-Mac agenda, and their is an agenda, job security, 100 other things.

There are plenty of customers who want great Apple Mac engineers and are willing to pay, in fact the customers already realize this and go outside of Apple, they know all to well.

I decided several years ago, Life is too short to do what you do not want to do. So I don't do Windows, haven't for 10 plus years.

I do what I enjoy and that is being around Apple technology and customers, and yes this means for the most part: Creative, Scientific markets. Big business is rampant with MS and it's attitude of MS way or the highway, and even if they sniff an Apple they go on the warpath. Screw that. I don't fight that anymore, law of least resistance

I stay away from these organizations and attitudes. Go where you are welcomed.

NA

As an Apple Consultant, I would say that a few things are true in these threads:

1) Apple Enterprise support is not...the...best
2) Apple has no real groupware in comparison to the rest of the market
3) I've actually been recommended to wipe entire servers when various services (Mail, Netboot, etc) refused to work....ridiculous!
4) Apple hardware replacements take a LONG time...way too long

On the positive side:
1) Of all the hardware I've placed, it has the fewest problems
2) Of all the software I've used for management, its the easiest and most productive
3) Their solutions are pretty stable and pretty solid...unless some stray IT guy plays heck with it!

So, I recommend 4 basic actions:

1) Find a local apple expert (ACSA certification!)
2) Buy replacement hardware...up-front
3) As soon as everything is working, don't let any stray PC IT admin "play with the settings"
4) Backup

Ken Court

You're being too hard on Apple. As the boss has always said, you can't serve two masters - and right now Apple is a comsumer company. So... Pro Services will continue to do some (smaller, for now) Exchange migrations to Kerio and we'll wait. Think more about Intel and Leopard than the past. I know it might be difficult for some but its easy to be an armchair quarterback... just my 2 cents from long direct experience. Wouldn't it be more constructive to complain about Xsan and Oracle silos not dancing together well (yet)?

ocracokewaves

I'm being too hard on Apple, that's interesting. Somehow I think Apple can take care of themselves.

You're absolutely right about it being hard to serve two masters.

Steve comes to the sales conference and tells you that Apple isn't an enterprise company, yet any number of people under Steve tell you that your job is to sell to the enterprise.

The customers absolutely want Apple products but they really want the products to fit into their enterprise. Apple doesn't make it easy to meet those requirements which if they aren't met, mean that your customers aren't very happy.

Apple is about Steve, if Steve were interested in the enterprise, Apple would do as a good a job in the enterprise as they do in the consumer world.

If Apple employees weren't so afraid of retaliation from Apple, a lot of them would absolutely verify what I'm saying. Of course I'm sure you can find the real story of Apple in Apple employee blogs :).

Apple will continue to make limited progress in the enterprise, but unless it gets on Steve's radar don't expect things to change much.

There will be Apple Enterprise people, but they will not have the resources or software to do the job that the enterprise deserves.

The Unknown Admin

To a great extent, I can relate to the jist of this posting. Previously, I was in a position to recommend Apple enterprise products but as others have said, planning becomes an issue when you have no roadmap to go by. This is where Microsoft excels as you can go to a TechNet briefing and get all sorts of information including free product demo's on disc to evaluate. There is also ample opportunity to pick the brains of product engineers once the marketing spewage in the keynotes are completed; this can yield much more useful information. Of course, the whole Microsoft route is an industry onto itself with plenty of money at stake, something which Apple's enterprise effort does not have. Additionally, Apple's corporate culture of secrecy goes contrary to the enterprise so getting the same depth of info from Apple engineers is much more difficult though as once you get to any future product/feature, the standard response about not being able to discuss future products ensues. In the past (if you really got to know your support engineer), some would offer hints in a roundabout way which was okay for my own curiosity but nothing which could be used for planning or RFP purposes. The one good thing for me in getting to know my reps was it paved the way for me to become a part of the AppleSeed program.

The other thing going against Apple is a poor enterprise track record. Talk to people who bought those Apple Network Servers in the past. Myself personally, I got bitten with Mac OS X Server 1.2 (the Rhapsody based one) and making it work properly for even the most basic things like being a file server for Mac and Windows clients. That required some workarounds so that both clients would get the same view of the shared repository since AFS only worked on the HFS+ partition (the boot partition if folks will recall needed to be UFS) and Mac clients did not actually see their home directory whereas the Windows clients would actually log into their actual home directory (the irony was OS X Server 1.2 handled Windows clients better than Mac ones). Many opensource projects required lots of tweaking to compile. The ABI's were also not compatible with 10.0 (Cheetah) and the migration path to that was nill (just a small little utility to migrate the users information). Omnigroup also decided due to some licensing issues with some other vendor to not bring their awesome backup program to Cheetah Server (and back then, there was no viable backup software anywhere except for an early Retrospect beta). Early adopters of the new Mac OS X (released as a server product but was really just a rebranded Rhapsody developer release) essentially became beta testers and were left high and dry promoting a version which ended up having nothing in common with the 10.0 version (when the public beta came out). I fortunately was able to keep that server running for a few years (well after Jaguar Server had come out).

This track record of abandoning support can also be seen in the progression of Mac OS X (and Server versions) especially from between Puma to Tiger and see how quickly support ended up being dropped in an older generation. I can understand from Apple's perspective as many things were still a work in progress from the OS 9 transition but as a technical specialist, justifying to some customers why they need to drop more money to upgrade can get old after awhile. Maybe that is fine in the consumer space but from an enterprise perspective, constantly deploying the latest version would have resulted in a poor return on investment when the older version handled what they needed to do fine. Because of that, I still manage sites out there which are still running Server 10.1.5 and lots more Jaguar Server as none of those sites would gain from upgrading.

The built-in features look impressive on paper and at a brief glance but that is also about it. Once you begin deploying and utiilizing those features, that is where you begin running into the bumps. True, that is where the Apple Consultant network comes into play and where a solutions provider can offer customized assistance but try selling that idea to some shops. The truth is Apple's server solutions are closer to a basic turnkey environment; good for basic services but missing lot of pieces for anything more. It really can't compete at the same level as what Microsoft is offering with their server software products and that is really unfortunate. It also doesn't have the breadth of ISV's and solution providers which isn't surprising considering that is pure market and mindshare at play. I'm sure there are some OS X Server shops that have created awesome enterprise solutions but they seem to be a rareity.

Finally, being in AppleSeed for OS X and OS X Server has been the best way (without having to layout money like with ADC Premier/Select) in terms of getting an early sneak peak and shaping of the next version of the product. Again, great for personal insight but useless to gain any kind of traction outside that since all that information is under an NDA (and therefore, the specifics cannot be used for proposals). Ironically for me, being a part of customer seeding made me realize I would not want to propose an Apple enterprise based solution because each major seed left much to be desired. Since you end up working with it in an intimate manner, you quickly butt up against the limitations or issues. Reality sets in as to the sort of deployment problems one can run into in a production environment. Additionally in the earlier days, it was easier to get new feature requests implemented because 10.0 and 10.1 were just full of blank holes to fill. However, since at least the Jaguar Server seed, I've had only one request actually implemented. A whole bunch of other things including Finder related fixes (done through the OS X seed; so sometimes, I'm not sure if they will FTFF because at least through the Tiger seeds, some of the more wackier issues were never addressed as being of high priority) seemed to have gone into a black hole. Seeing things from that perspective is sobering and I'm sure the Apple software engineers working on their respective projects inhouse get even more of that when certain things are clearly being prioritized by form over a more bug-free functionality. Again, maybe that is fine for OS X client but not for the server product (which from my view, seems to have less engineering resources at their disposal).

Pro Beta

I think the post is basically about Apple not dealing with it's customers respectfully and I just have this comment to make: buyer beware.
Posts like these and the discussion they generate are what either make companies like this take notice or fail.
If they do not listen, they lose. If they do, we win.
Either way, buyer beware- nobody wants proprietary technology that may lose support- most of us posting are people whose job it is to understand the backend so whether or not we choose Apple products, it is becaus eof our research.
Choose wisely and let loose your (intelligent and informative) experiences.

invisible

Coming from the perspective of a "creative" company that has been an Apple customer for some time, much of the advice given above can certainly help mitigate the sting due to the lack of what many IT managers have come to expect from enterprise level support. In the majority of cases that we encounter, our in house people and backup hardware have been our best and only hope for problem resolution. Our experience with support has been spotty at best, often times attributable to the the fact that many of the departments within Apple's enterprise group scarcely are aware of each others existence. We have a wide array of Software and Apple gear and on more than one occasion, have been confronted with problems that are the result of Group X not communicating with Group Y. We have even had meetings and conference calls with Senior Apple Engineers who have indicated that these groups are often oblivious to each others projects and have no idea how a server product will interact with a pro app lets say. This lack of communication can be crippling and leave a sour taste in the mouth of decision makers as they are passed from one group to another, with no resolution to the problem in sight. I have been involved with inter-group conference calls where one person will say "well application x should be able to do this, this and this right Joe?" and Joe responds "well we have never tested it to do any of those things and we have no idea if it can". Another thing we have encountered is a real unwillingness to admit that they are wrong. No group wants to admit to another that their end of the equation might be the cause of the problem, let alone that it is an "Apple" problem at all, often citing third party products as the cause. We have even been asked on occasion why would we want the system to do that anyway when confronted with what, to us, are normal enterprise challenges.

One bright side to this however, is that as a "creative" company our work is of a profile that appeals to the consumer side of the Apple's business objectives. In some ways, we have been able to at least use that to speak with a louder voice to the upper tiers, that may be able to affect change in the long term. The filesystem needs of our industry are, in many ways, years ahead of the needs of the average enterprise client. Our environment pushes certain segments of the product line beyond Apple's expectations, forcing them to confront configurations and uses of their products that are not very "consumer" oriented, but have proved to be important to maintaining a strong presence in the creative market. Only time will tell.

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