bMac, or Apple Invades the Enterprise

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I've meant to start this thread for awhile, but now seems the perfect time with all the rumors of low cost 970s and low end boxes and/or reintroduced Cubes. I know we have threads on all these subjects, but I'm trying to tie it all together as to Apple's next big push: the enterpise market.



Apple needs enterprise customers for top and bottom line growth, not to mention mindshare and Wall St. mollification. They've already got the OS and the xServe, but what's missing is the inexpensive (yet still elegent) client machine to go head to head with Dell. It doesn't seem that anything in the current lineup is up to the task. eMac? Nuh-huh. iMac? Too expensive and consumer centric.



I propose the bMac. A cube or shuttle like enclosure that's small, silent, powerful, dead simple to deploy and administer, and most importantly affordable. You know, everything the old Cube should have been, but this time aimed directly at every desk in corporate America.



Would this machine be business only as the eMac was originally Edu only, or could you and I buy one too? Should it be upgradeable? If so, why and how much? If the specs are good enough maybe they could get away with a sealed box if it kept maintenance costs down enough. Corporations love to kick machines down the foodchain as they age. If the bMac is robust enough it would make more sense to move it to accounting or sales or to the secretarial pool rather than pay for hardware upgrades.



OK, AI, put on your black turtlenecks and give me your specs for the bMac. Here are mine to get started.



A small horizontally oriented cube-like box like this, but with a much nicer Ives design. Lose the PCI and AGP slots for even smaller and quieter operation.



1.2 GHz 970

80 GB HD

512 RAM (1GB Max)

Integrated ATi 9000 class graphics with 32 MB VRAM

ADC and DVI out for use with any display

Combo Drive (for viewing all the corporate training DVDs made on Power Macs in the design department )

One FW 400

One FW 800

Two USB 2

Gigabit Ethernet

Airport Extreme

Mac OS X 10.3



$599 for volume purchases
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    inkheadinkhead Posts: 155member
    Why is it that nobody including Apple gets it? Nobody in the IT business world gives two bits about the design or the outside case.



    The only thing that matters is COST and SPEED and business credit and mass buying programs. Apple lacks in all three areas.



    First if your going to be a small percentage of the market then you have to offer something to draw people away from the main market...



    What does Apple offer?



    COST ? Hahahahahah yeah right. Why don't we just buy the employee's all Porches?



    SPEED ? You must be joking right? And at prices more expensive than better faster hardware!



    Business Programs? Mass Buying? Discounts? Hardly.



    So the only advantage is OS X? Which doen't intergrate with the login stuff properly for windows on a disturbuted level?



    Oh so we can save $2,000 per employee by buying a 3x faster Dell and they'll know how to use it out of the box since it's windows?



    FANTASTIC.
  • Reply 2 of 49
    ensign pulverensign pulver Posts: 1,193member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by inkhead

    Why is it that nobody including Apple gets it? Nobody in the IT business world gives two bits about the design or the outside case.



    Maybe that's because nobody's ever given it to them before.



    Quote:

    The only thing that matters is COST and SPEED and business credit and mass buying programs. Apple lacks in all three areas.



    You are right. That's the whole point of this thread though: how does Apple change these realities and perceptions in the corporate mindset? And what machine do they use to accomplish it.



    I think a 970 based, sealed box with aggressive pricing and the unlimited seat liscense of OS X server is the way to go.
  • Reply 3 of 49
    netromacnetromac Posts: 863member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by inkhead

    What does Apple offer?



    COST ? Hahahahahah yeah right. Why don't we just buy the employee's all Porches?



    SPEED ? You must be joking right? And at prices more expensive than better faster hardware!



    Business Programs? Mass Buying? Discounts? Hardly.




    Just a thought. Why not make a "business only" machine that you *must* buy in bulk, say a minimum of ten systems. Indluding Office and some other business progs. Say you buy ten systems: price $5999, buy 50: $5499, buy 100: $4999. Make a decent 15" "office display" and sell it in packages of 5 to a decent price. Offer installation and training from Apple professionals. Include some sort of switcher tools. Give decent discounts on Xserves to bMac buyers. This would be more of a "business package", and may appeal more to businesses than any combination of products Apple has in the line right now. And I think the computers need to offer decent performance compared to PC-boxes, so Apple can't simply throw in a low-power G3. That would put a lot of people off, and Apple don't want to put off potential customers . A nice G4 or a low power 970 would be reasonable. Don't make a design bomb, but make a decent "eMac like" white cube-ish box. This box is unlikely to be upgradable.



    Lemon Bon Bon, I know you want a decent priced headless iMac/eMac, and Apple may sell this computer to consumers but at a slightly higher price, say $599-699.
  • Reply 4 of 49
    ringoringo Posts: 328member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by inkhead



    So the only advantage is OS X? Which doen't intergrate with the login stuff properly for windows on a disturbuted level?




    I was under the impression that OS X integrated quite well with ActiveDirectory.
  • Reply 5 of 49
    ensign pulverensign pulver Posts: 1,193member
    NETRO, this is the type of feedback I'm talking about.



    "Business Bundles" are a great idea. Buy 'em in pallettes of 100. Office X pre-installed. Swap 'em out for the old noisy Dells, provide an hour of employee training and walk away.



    I do think a 970 is a requirement though. If Mac Whispers is right about the price there's no reason not too. The Mac hating IT guys are going to have to be sold on this whole concept anyway, and a G4 based machine won't help that arguement.
  • Reply 6 of 49
    netromacnetromac Posts: 863member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ensign Pulver

    NETRO, this is the type of feedback I'm talking about.

    I do think a 970 is a requirement though. If Mac Whispers is right about the price there's no reason not too. The Mac hating IT guys are going to have to be sold on this whole concept anyway, and a G4 based machine won't help that arguement.




    I agree. The cpu is important. Apple should not cut down to much in this area. Do the saving on other parts instead. Use a cheap but decent graphics card, take a nice low-rice low-capasity hard-drive since most corporates have files on servers anyways, 256 mb ram, few ports, say 1 FW and 2 USB, no fancy sound outputs or built in speaker (I don't think corporates needs hundred of macs starting up with a bawawawawah). Do the important things right, and loose the unimportant ones. This is not a "digital hub" mac so to speak.
  • Reply 7 of 49
    ensign pulverensign pulver Posts: 1,193member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by NETROMac

    Do the important things right, and loose the unimportant ones. This is not a "digital hub" mac so to speak.



    Exactly, and all the more reason to NOT make the bMac available to the general public. It must be built from the ground up for corporate desks, not kitchen tables.
  • Reply 8 of 49
    netromacnetromac Posts: 863member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Ensign Pulver

    Exactly, and all the more reason to NOT make the bMac available to the general public. It must be built from the ground up for corporate desks, not kitchen tables.



    Exactly. I think Apple also should make a new headless box, like the cube, for consumers. This box should have all the "bells and whistles" of a digital hub box. More power in the expansion and display area, and limited upgradability.



    One point with the bMac is that it should NOT be a replacement mac for designers or powerusers, but for corporate drones that needs a decent working tool. More than enough power for Office and other working tools. It's not like they need the 9700 or geforceFX to do work efficiently. Need more power or upgradablility/expandability, then get a powermac, powerbook, iMac or Cube2. Offer reasonable discounts on these to if purchased together with bMac packages.
  • Reply 9 of 49
    inkheadinkhead Posts: 155member
    OS X doesn't have many of the login/logout capabilities of other OSes. There is another thread here at appleinsider right now discribing them, as well as how a corporate turned down using 1,000 macs because of cross workstation logins.



    Apple pisses me off because there is no way I can convince anyone in my office to buy my department Macs. And why should they? So I can use my iPod? So my work goes slower? So we have to spend time intergrating it into our network?



    Maybe this wouldn't be so bad if there was a compelling advantage. But there really are none.



    Dell hands out business machines like they were $5 cigars. For our office:



    $590 of hardware + $120 17' monitor is on my desk:



    Pentium 4 2.0 ghz

    256 MB of RAM

    30 GB hard drive

    64MB Video Card

    Windows XP Professional

    Mouse / Keyboard



    Notice the important part SPEED & PRICE.



    Or for $1,700 I can get an iMac that looks nice and performs like crap. Maybe my company would by me one, but when they find out it's 3x the price and not any faster....





    Apple in business = joke



    If apple were serious about it they would do something. You can't tell me they don't know this already.. It's been this way forever. Don't tell me the people who work for apple haven't ever walked into any other offices down there in Silicon Valley.



    Don't get me wrong I love my mac, but apple has me DAMN irritated.
  • Reply 10 of 49
    netromacnetromac Posts: 863member
    I agree that right now Apple is not really having compelling products for enterprises, and what we are discussing here is what Apple must do to be compelling to corporate buyers.



    Apple knows this. Right now they have NO product directed against the typical office "Office-user". The iMac can be a possible solution to somebody, but I guess most companies want headless units. Some enterprises don't want to shell out for new displays every time they upgrade the hardware.



    Os X login capabities has to improve too, and we'll probably see some new features on this area with panther.



    If Apple is serious about getting inside corporates they will know by now that they need something different to appeal to them. A bMac would may be the solution to the whole Apple and enterprises problem, togheter with a more "corporate strength" OS.
  • Reply 11 of 49
    ensign pulverensign pulver Posts: 1,193member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by inkhead

    Apple in business = joke



    If apple were serious about it they would do something. You can't tell me they don't know this already.. It's been this way forever. Don't tell me the people who work for apple haven't ever walked into any other offices down there in Silicon Valley.



    Don't get me wrong I love my mac, but apple has me DAMN irritated.




    Hey, ink. This thread is supposed to be about prospective solutions to the issues you are so upset about. Current Apple hardware doesn't cut it on corporate desktops, we get it, OK?



    How 'bout some ideas on how to fix it instead of just complaining.
  • Reply 12 of 49
    Its strange.. How come Apple cant deliever this? We all say they can, but unfortunately, they dont!



    Why?
  • Reply 13 of 49
    netromacnetromac Posts: 863member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by T'hain Esh Kelch

    Why?



    Ahhh, finally somebody asking all the right questions
  • Reply 14 of 49
    Quote:

    Originally posted by NETROMac

    Ahhh, finally somebody asking all the right questions



    It took me several hours to figure out how to pronounce it!
  • Reply 15 of 49
    Funny ...



    Quote:

    COST ? Hahahahahah yeah right. Why don't we just buy the employee's all Porches?



    being given a porch by my employer ... how to install that mother onto a first floor apartment ...



    you didn't mean Porsche (http://www.porsche.de) ... did you?



    Sincerely Yours



    benny.design
  • Reply 16 of 49
    rickagrickag Posts: 1,626member
    -thought from the left field bleachers-



    IFApple introduces a bMac, sales could be goosed pretty good if IBM began purchasing them as their office machines. Everybody wins, IBM sells 970's to themselves, Apple finds way into the office market, IBM employees enjoy the benefits of the best operating system available.



    maybe this thought is really from the parking lot outside the left field bleachers
  • Reply 17 of 49
    kraig911kraig911 Posts: 912member
    I won't happen till apple makes more effort everything they have is for media pro's to consumers. I think they know they lost the office wars... best not to rip off that scar. Let apple do whats its good at.
  • Reply 18 of 49
    kraig911kraig911 Posts: 912member
    Also ensign there are some great corporate uses right now that people use Macs for, one being data storage, Xserves are remarkably faster in file transferring than a dell, SQL handling, and mail servers, and are easier to set up as a web server as well. I think a Bmac wouldn't have to worry about strange login issues, nobody hardly uses Active directory like they should anyhow just basic login/logout issues. Unless you're on a college campus, or in a huge corporate office that has a strong IT presence then such is the case. But 95% of all business is small-medium sized businesses that don't want to pay for an IT staff, which you don't need for a mac, and don't want to worry about viruses, windows licensing, and having to upgrade every year.

    -Craig
  • Reply 19 of 49
    gizzmonicgizzmonic Posts: 511member
    If Apple is ever to crack the business market (and this is doubtful), they will have to emphasize "no IT staff." People are a lot more expensive than equipment, and Macs generally "run themselves" and reduce the need for support staff.



    Yet it's a catch-22, because IT guys generally hate Macs for the same reason.



    I think Kraig is right, Apple has to appeal to small businesses without much IT infrastructure if they're gonna crack the business market at all.
  • Reply 20 of 49
    lemon bon bonlemon bon bon Posts: 2,383member
    First if your going to be a small percentage of the market then you have to offer something to draw people away from the main market...



    "What does Apple offer?



    COST ? Hahahahahah yeah right. Why don't we just buy the employee's all Porches?



    SPEED ? You must be joking right? And at prices more expensive than better faster hardware!



    Business Programs? Mass Buying? Discounts? Hardly.



    So the only advantage is OS X? Which doen't intergrate with the login stuff properly for windows on a disturbuted level?



    Oh so we can save $2,000 per employee by buying a 3x faster Dell and they'll know how to use it out of the box since it's windows?



    FANTASTIC."



    Ouch!!! (But he's right!!!!)



    If they want the 'HP' fatty financial insulator layer that comes from Enterprise sales then they've got to get serious.



    Luckily for Apple, the imminent arrival of the 970 and a 'headless' Mac might just give us some hope.



    Personally, I think Apple is putting the pieces in place for a run at the Enterprise market.



    But Inkhead rightly points out the current holes.



    How to address those holes?



    Well, like aforementioned.



    - Panther.

    - Headless Mac.

    - 970 ie more processing power.

    - x86 support and/or 'play more nicely Wintel stuff'.

    - Bulk discounts.

    - Maybe a 'Real PC' emulation and/or bundle...'X' already has X11, a Real PC bundled emulation app for Business who have software investments...free site licenses for Mac software... Take one Mac...it runs EVERYTHING...EVIL LAUGH!!!!

    - A proper iOffice suite.

    - Cheaper prices.

    - Business software bundles for business.

    - a business Switcher Mac bundle including 'Move to Mac!'



    - a 'for business'/enterprice slot in their stores? Or workshops on the big screen 'Mac for Business'.



    Dunno. Just ideas. But Apple needs to get into Taiwanese component pricing soon. Make all those Mac 10% cheaper and/or better performing at those each price point. Not cheapest...but cheaper.



    A headless Mac is a pre-requisite in my mind. And bundle LCD pricing with the 17 incher.



    Lemon Bon Bon
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