Apple offers Walmart "everyday low cost" in IT savings. IBM estimates a deployment of 100,...

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in macOS edited October 2017
As the world's largest retailer, Walmart is known for its "Everyday Low Prices" slogan. It's now in the planning stages of implementing 'employee choice' computing options for its associates in an effort to reap long term cost savings while enhancing the productivity of its employees.




Walmart outlined its options for employee choice at this week's Jamf Nation User Conference, the largest Apple-focused IT event in the world, now being held near Jamf's headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. [Update: article clarifies that no official employee choice plan or implementation dates have been outlined].

JNUC has previously gained attention for its previous years' presentations by IBM, where the global tech services firm detailed its own employee choice program after finding significant cost savings associated with employee migrations from Windows PCs to Macs.

IBM noted that PC users drive twice the number of support calls compared to Mac users, and that PC support tickets require desk side support by IT personnel five times as often. The company's own analysis showed that each Mac deployed saves the company $270 in support costs compared to a Windows PC.




Walmart is a very different type of company, but has already found a significant drop in support costs among its current installed base of 7,000 Mac users, managed using Jamf Pro software and Apple's Device Enrollment Program. Walmart said it "offers a diverse set of tools to create the best digital experience for our associates so they can get their jobs done effectively"

Walmart's Technical Expert Miles Leacy (speaking below with Jamf CEO Dean Hager; Martin Lang of SAP; Ryan Kremkau of Capital One and Apple's Jeremy Butcher, on the far right) reported that across a similar set of users, Windows PCs generate about 60 percent of all support issues compared to 40 percent related to Macs.

Joe Park, Walmart's Senior Director of Associate Digital Experience said the company "offers a diverse set of tools to create the best digital experience for our associates so they can get their jobs done effectively." An earlier version of this report stated that Walmart "plans to roll out an expanded Mac choice program like IBM's," but although the company has consulted with IBM on offering a similar employee choice program of its own, Park specifically noted that "at this time no program has been rolled out."

Based on IBM's projections, the retailer could potentially end up with as many as 100,000 Macs by next year. Jamf noted that Macs could even become the default choice for new employees, given Total Cost of Ownership savings. Walmart does not have specific dates, details or plans for a "default choice," but clarified that it is currently "researching a choice program."

While Apple's premium Mac hardware typically costs more upfront than comparable Windows PCs, lower support costs, less expensive licensing fees, higher user satisfaction and higher residual value for reselling used equipment at the end of its scheduled use contribute toward what Leacy called "Everyday Low Cost" for Walmart.




Beyond the potential for dramatically expanding the use of Macs internally, Walmart has long acted as a retail partner with Apple in selling iPods, iPhones and iPads. And while the two companies have also engaged in competition-- including the retailer's effort to launch Walmart Pay and its acquisition of Vudu video streaming as a competitor to iTunes Movies-- the two firms have increasingly collaborated.

Walmart executives noted last year that the company's QR Code payment app could add support for Apple Pay, and this year the company announced support for Vudu as an app for Apple TV.

Walmart can be expected to offer more details about its employee choice planning in the coming months. A series of other larger corporate users have addressed expanding employee choice programs like IBM's at JNUC, in addition to large consulting firms (including IBM and Deloitte) directly supporting the development of iOS apps for their clients.
patchythepiratelolliverRayz2016
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    A little surprised they took this long to come around to the right conclusion since they are so concerned about the bottom dollar.
    anantksundaramSolidavenRacerhomieXjeffharrispscooter63lolliverlostkiwiredgeminipajony0
  • Reply 2 of 38
    A little surprised they took this long to come around to the right conclusion since they are so concerned about the bottom dollar.
    I was just about to say the exact same thing...!
    SpamSandwichjeffharrispscooter63lolliverlostkiwijony0
  • Reply 3 of 38
    netroxnetrox Posts: 718member
    Finally Walmart comes to its sense that it is cheaper to own a Mac than a PC in the long run.
    RacerhomieXrepressthisjeffharrislostkiwijony0
  • Reply 4 of 38
    Microsoft losing accounts left and right while Belfiore posts pics of treehouse 'meeting room' on Twitter. Stupid, stupid company. No vision, focus or discipline.

    Windows Phone was the 
    catalyst. long term? Game ova.
    caliSpamSandwichRacerhomieXrepressthisjeffharrislolliverredgeminipa
  • Reply 5 of 38
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,938member
    So the enterprise is finally figuring out what TCO means?
    caliStrangeDaysSoliRacerhomieXjeffharrislolliverretrogustocoolfactorlostkiwiredgeminipa
  • Reply 6 of 38
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,938member
    Microsoft losing accounts left and right while Belfiore posts pics of treehouse 'meeting room' on Twitter. Stupid, stupid company. No vision, focus or discipline.

    Windows Phone was the catalyst. long term? Game ova.
    Lots of companies still running Vista and Windows 7. Will they upgrade or jump ship to macOS? I think Microsoft will eventually kill its hardware division and revert to a software only company that will support a number of platforms including macOS, iOS, maybe Android, probably not Linux. The guy running Microsoft now seems to be a pragmatic type willing to see reality as it is, not as he wants it to be. Steve Ballmer, not so much.
    edited October 2017 JWSCmacky the mackylolliverRayz2016muthuk_vanalingammike1jony0
  • Reply 7 of 38
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    A little surprised they took this long to come around to the right conclusion since they are so concerned about the bottom dollar.
    That’s because these companies were buying sh** windows machines for $100 a pop thinking that cheaping out would save money. Years pass and they realize the truth.

    A lot of ATMs and medical systems run laggy Windows garbage and it sticks out like a sore thumb. I was at the ATM a few days ago and it was embarrassing watching the line build behind me because the computer was taking so damn long to process my requests. 
    zroger73chiaRacerhomieXmacky the mackypscooter63lolliverlostkiwiredgeminipajony0
  • Reply 8 of 38
    We have a $5,000 label maker at work that uses Windows CE. The hardware is fantastic. The software is atrocious.

    I wish all new cars came with a built-in iPad running iOS. Even a first-generation iPad running iOS 3.2 would work better than the garbage manufacturers have been slopping into cars for the last several years.
    calichiaRacerhomieXmacky the mackyjeffharrislolliverGeorgeBMacredgeminipachristopher126jony0
  • Reply 9 of 38
    lkrupp said:
    Microsoft losing accounts left and right while Belfiore posts pics of treehouse 'meeting room' on Twitter. Stupid, stupid company. No vision, focus or discipline.

    Windows Phone was the catalyst. long term? Game ova.
    Lots of companies still running Vista and Windows 7. Will they upgrade or jump ship to macOS?
    That's true but like I said, long term...and..maybe not that long. The future isn't Surface that's for damn sure. No mobile os? cohesive ecosystem? Health offering? Where's the Windows car lol. Toast. 
  • Reply 10 of 38
    Wow if Walmart switches to Macs, then there will be a flood of big corporate switchers following Walmart's lead. Walmart is by far away the cut cost king of corporations.
    caliboogerman2000RacerhomieXmacky the mackyjeffharrispatchythepiratelolliverjbdragonlostkiwiredgeminipa
  • Reply 11 of 38
    zroger73 said:
    We have a $5,000 label maker at work that uses Windows CE. The hardware is fantastic. The software is atrocious.

    I wish all new cars came with a built-in iPad running iOS. Even a first-generation iPad running iOS 3.2 would work better than the garbage manufacturers have been slopping into cars for the last several years.
    My 2015 Honda CR-V Touring Edition (top of the line) infotainment system is HORRIBLE. They could have hired even *decent* UI designers to at least make the most of mediocre hardware and software. But no, they apparently had a contest to see who could slap together the most inefficient, unintuitive user interface. Oh, and the infotainment software is buggy enough to reset itself whenever it wants. The response from Honda and its techs? "Duhhhh, we don't know…" And in case you think I'm picking on Honda, my previous car (2012 BMW) was no better. And they haven't improved since then, either. Your crude but practical suggestion to include a built-in iPad would be so welcome.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 12 of 38
    bellsbells Posts: 125member
    A little surprised they took this long to come around to the right conclusion since they are so concerned about the bottom dollar.
    Not me. It likely took IBM’s support to make the case. Walmart relies on IBM infrastructure, and IBM support probably made Walmart see the wisdom of the move. 
    chiaSpamSandwichRacerhomieX1STnTENDERBITSRayz2016lostkiwi
  • Reply 13 of 38
    danvmdanvm Posts: 735member
    Microsoft losing accounts left and right while Belfiore posts pics of treehouse 'meeting room' on Twitter. Stupid, stupid company. No vision, focus or discipline.

    Windows Phone was the catalyst. long term? Game ova.
    Your POV of MS maybe is right in some things, like mobile.  But the enterprise is a complete different story, where Apple is the one without vision, focus or discipline.  The MS ecosystem is miles ahead of what Apple or other companies, including IBM, offer. 

    And while Walmart, IBM and other companies went with Apple, MS are still far ahead.  Now many companies are upgrading to Windows 10, including the US Department of Defense, that will deploy Windows 10 in 4 million devices.  

    https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2016/02/17/us-department-of-defense-commits-to-upgrade-4-million-seats-to-windows-10/

    And that's a single customer.  It's good to see Macs getting in the enterprise, but it's not hard to see why MS is leading. 
    edited October 2017 airnerdairnerd
  • Reply 14 of 38
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,748member
    1) I love this article for confirming what we've been saying for many, many years.

    2) It's interesting that IBM has deployed more Macs then either iPhones or iPads. I wouldn't have guessed but I'm glad to see it.
    macky the mackyjeffharrislolliver
  • Reply 15 of 38
    A little surprised they took this long to come around to the right conclusion since they are so concerned about the bottom dollar.
    Maybe because it's not an easy calculation and many IT groups have been on the take from MS for years (first it was "you'll never get fired for choosing IBM" next it was "managers choose Microsoft"). MS products require more headcount and you can always say they have no real competitors.
    SpamSandwichmacky the mackyjeffharrislostkiwi
  • Reply 16 of 38
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,285member
    Looks like Walmart's finally figured out what I (and most others here) have known for years - Macs cost a bit more up front, but  the total cost of ownership (not to mention the frustration of ownership) is far less than Windows boxes. 

    Enterprise applications can be different because of specific software, administrative and interoperability requirements, but...."get a Mac!"
    lolliver
  • Reply 17 of 38
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,389member
    Just for some clarity (that was left out of the article): Walmart is not "switching to Macs." It is allowing some of its executives to choose to be supplied with Apple products (iPhones, iPads mostly, but yes Macs) if they prefer to use them. This is great news for Apple and great news for Walmart, which will indeed see lower support costs for those individuals who choose Apple products, BUT it is not a company-wide switchover or anything even remotely resembling that.
    jeffharris1STnTENDERBITSmuthuk_vanalingamairnerd
  • Reply 18 of 38
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,748member
    chasm said:
    Just for some clarity (that was left out of the article): Walmart is not "switching to Macs." It is allowing some of its executives to choose to be supplied with Apple products (iPhones, iPads mostly, but yes Macs) if they prefer to use them. This is great news for Apple and great news for Walmart, which will indeed see lower support costs for those individuals who choose Apple products, BUT it is not a company-wide switchover or anything even remotely resembling that.
    Sure, but it's a start.

    Anecdote: A company (which I can't name) offers smartphones to employees. The IT department wanted to only support one, the iPhone for various cost reasons that ultimately resulted in a lower overall cost. One executive wanted Samsung smartphones to be offered as well and fought hard to make it happen (Samsung is a client of theirs but Samsung wasn't the driver here). They eventually acquised and after sending out all the information only like 5 out of 600-ish people came back wanting the Samsung phone. That's less than 1% but a much higher overall cost to the company.
  • Reply 19 of 38
    dewmedewme Posts: 2,017member
    One contributor to this trend is that more large corporations have outsourced their IT support to third parties. This removes some of the internal resistance and "job security" pushback that has kept some corporations dragging along Windows for far too long. Once it comes down to a dollars & sense decision the Apple products invariably find their way into the office and labs. When employees are given a choice between a Windows PC and  Mac it seems like a majority opt for a Mac. Even in scenarios that require supporting a bigass Windows applications like Visual Studio, products like VMware open up the game for Apple to fill the needs very nicely. Heck, back when there were almost no Macs in Windows dev shops many smart devs used VMWare Workstation as their primary development machines on PCs anyway. I wouldn't have it any other way.

    I am rather curious how Apple is (or will) target its hardware and software products for supporting DevOps scenarios since DevOps is also redefining traditional IT operations in product development. With a dearth of true server products I'm not sure what Apple's footprint is in this area outside of workstations and client devices. Apple has a ton of DevOps job openings advertised, so they're riding this wave. But I'm a bit curious about how much of their own dogfood they're consuming for their own DevOps operations. Also surprised Apple doesn't try to find a way to snatch VMWare away from Dell, not for the products but for the IP and technology. Platform virtualization and cloud services seems to be one area where Apple seems like it's a little overmatched against other players like Amazon and Microsoft, at least from an outsider's perspective. I only mention this because - while 100K Mac clients seems mighty impressive, and it is, companies like Microsoft and Amazon don't seem to be as concerned too much because they appear to view the next generation of IT battles occurring at something other than the units-of-workstations shipped level. 
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 20 of 38
    Microsoft losing accounts left and right while Belfiore posts pics of treehouse 'meeting room' on Twitter. Stupid, stupid company. No vision, focus or discipline.

    Windows Phone was the catalyst. long term? Game ova.
    They are not losing this account.  Dell/Asus/HP are.  Microsoft is still selling Office and AD to the big players.   M$ knows revenue is not in OEM licenses... but in Azure/AD/O365 licenses.
    RacerhomieX1STnTENDERBITS
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