Can Apple cuddle up to the enterprise?

Can Apple cuddle up to the enterprise?

Summary: Whether Apple can be an enterprise player has been the subject of debate for years, but one analyst thinks that the company's recent purchase of a U.K.


Whether Apple can be an enterprise player has been the subject of debate for years, but one analyst thinks that the company's recent purchase of a U.K.-firm may give it an entry.

Apple quietly acquired the technology and intellectual property of Proximity Corp. earlier this week.

The acquisition price wasn't disclosed and aside from a short statement on the Proximity site there's little information on it. Proximity makes workflow management software called Artbox for video editors and producers.

On its Web site, Proximity said:

"We are pleased to announce that all Proximity technology and intellectual property, including artbox workgroup and artbox enterprise, was recently acquired by Apple."

So what? Jonathan Hoopes, an analyst at ThinkEquity writes in a research note that the deal could give Apple more play in the enterprise space, which consists of companies with lots of creative types. Hoopes argues: "Proximity Corp. has become the industry standard for rich media asset management (RMAM) and workflow asset management (WAM) for creative professionals. We estimate that creative professionals comprise approximately 3 million to 5 million users out of Apple's 20+ million Mac OS X active user-base. It is from this creative pro user base (further bolstered by Proximity's technology) that we expect Apple to make a stronger push into the enterprise."

Meanwhile, the acquisition could ultimately spark an upgrade cycle among creative pros, which Hoopes says have been slow to upgrade to Apple's new Intel-based products. These users are waiting for complete software updates such as the Leopard OS X release in the summer of 2007.

To be sure, Apple's trial balloons in the enterprise are small potatoes compared to iPod sales and chatter about an upcoming iPhone. (Prudential is projecting 7 million iPhone units to be shipped in calendar year 2007).

But if you combine Proximity with Boot Camp, which allows users to boot Windows XP or OS X, and the Xserve server line it's clear that Apple has at least a little enterprise mojo. There's potential as long as typical Office corporate docs can be shared between PCs and Macs.

Of course, whatever Apple does in the enterprise will be overshadowed by the latest iPod, iPhone and iTV, but it's worth watching.

Topic: Apple

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  • not unless

    they give IT a server OS that will run on non Apple hardware. Companies are moving away from lock in, not toward it.
    • This is very specialized stuff

      It seems that neither the author nor the analyst quoted
      have any familiarity with Artbox, Proximity?s main
      product. It?s VERY specialized.

      It?s very high end digital asset management ? mainly for
      TV. It works with all sorts of specialized brands of
      broadcast equipment and does all sorts of fancy
      transcoding, etc. Typical storage systems for this type
      of stuff would be Avid Unity, etc. Apples XSan has been
      gaining popularity in this field, especially when bundled
      with Stornext as it?s quite a bit cheaper than some of the
      more proprietary systems in the field. Artbox works
      seamlessly with these specialized setups.

      With its high end ? strictly pro- video solutions, both
      hardware and software, Apple is really encroaching in
      areas dominated by specialized manufactures, not
      general makers like Dell or HP.

      If anyone wants to call that ?enterprise?, it?s one awfully
      specialized enterprise.
    • "Companies are moving away from lock in, not toward it.'

      Funny, IT is still willing to be locked into Microsoft warez and gets very upset that many consumers don't want MS. You must be an IT hypocrite.
  • Welcome to the Church of the Painful OS

    Welcome, welcome, welcome, ahha!
    I am your online pastor of all things digital: the reverend Ibeen A. MacFellow.
    Today's message: "Biting the Apple"
    Our text comes from the book of 2nd Fortran chapter 66:8, anda it reads thusly:
    "And IT saw that the apple was good and was pleasant to the eye and made one wise, therefore IT loathed the apple in their hearts"
    Say amen, amen, say aaaaaahhmmmen!
    Once again we are confronted by this great enterprise's hinderance, stumbling, failing, an great and ignorant evil, the beast which we can only call IT! wellll... amenah
    Our text says that this beast saw the apple, aha, they knew that it was good, aha, it was much to be desired, aha, inspired, aha, required, aha, and seeing it, welll.., they loathed it, hated it, spat upon it, in their hearts!
    They said, "we can't have something that 'just works' arround here"! they plotted, they jotted, they hated in their hearted.
    "Enterprise be D*m'd!" they said, "what we have keeps us busy, with ever increasing budgets, kill the apple!" say amen! say ahhh amen!
    Beware my friends, beware thei evil, their lies, spies, crys, their whys! They care not for your enterprise!
    viri is the beast's friend, bugs without end, blue screens are a means,
    They will never bite!
    Come out of the beast my bruddas!
    Be delivered my sistas!
    The beast devours and decieves, never relieves the enterprise.
    (organ plays softly)
    won't you come?
    (choir hums)
    won't you come?
    Reverend MacFellow
    • LOL

      That is hilarious. Thanks for the laugh. Too true. Microsoft is like a religion with too many followers.
    • OMG wow

      That was...dare I say it...Mike Cox quality. 10/10.
    • MS Flagelation- IT scourges the body and

      mind. IT demands that you kneel to its humming whirring buzzing clunking tower of power. Stay clear of that apple that lurks on the tree of knowledge. Eat only from the MS tree and remain naked in the wilderness, vulnerable in the garden of the virii.

      Keep with the MS OS- and you will never miss the oportunity to flaglate daily. Reboot, rebuild, scan and maintain.

      Your god will love your devotion.
  • Logic in Business

    Does business have need of a stable and secure platform? Does a low TCO and
    high productivity trump hardware choice? These are questions that will be
    answered one business at a time. For the first time, a choice will be made available
    to business and IT will get off the Microsoft barrel. Choice of software will be
    added to choice of hardware, and a choice that counts will be available for the first

    The red herring that has been "free market" hardware has left us with a software
    monopoly and a dangerously top heavy tech market. Business will watch Apple
    make inroads into small and medium size companies. Apple will be cast as the
    "creative set". At some point, it will become clear that successful business, is first
    and foremost a creative endevor, and that those most successful in business are
    creative thinkers. Nothing about a business suite of apps is any more
    sophisticated that a creative suite. Quite the contrary. Enterprise will follow when
    it endorses the logic gate over the logo, and diversity over a monocuture. Indeed,
    when it stops making boad and cartoonish generalizations about the "character"
    of silicon.

    Apple has to market and sell to consumers. You guys should know better.

    In participating in this disruptive process business will help to separate logic from
    brand. The action will lie between SAP and Microsoft and Apple and Linux, but to
    fragment and rebalance the market initially, a thin end of a sharp wedge is
    required. Enter Apple. The irony of all this? The process will do more to champion
    the human computer and vault it to the primary role it always needed to play.
    Virtualization and literacy with GUI's and machine language are the hallmarks of
    an evolution.
    Harry Bardal
  • Apple lost that war back in the early 1990s

    In the early 1990s, when Macintosh had about 13% market share, lots of enterprizes were using Macs. Nortel Networks, back in the day when they were a real company, had 60,000 employees, 70% of them on Macintosh.

    I worked at Nortel when their executives met with Apple executives to pose their problem: Nortel was having a hard time getting the enterprize apps they needed for Macintosh. Apple set them straight: Apple wasn't aiming for the enterprise space.

    A year later, Nortel's tens of thousands of Macs were on their way out, and were being replaced with Windows PCs.

    Today, Apple is virtually unheard of in enterprises. Apple has a low single-digit market share that Mac fans argue in decimal points (You say 3%, but it's really 3.7%). So no, nobody in enterprizes is paying attention to the "Mac OS explosion". Simply put, Macintosh is no longer relevant to virtually to computer users*.

    *Note: 2.x% of computer users may not agree with this statement.
    • Why do you hate Apple so much?

      Seriously, what has Jobs ever done to you?
      • Hatred?

        Is it hatred or heresy to point out that Apple and Jobs have made numerous critical mistakes over the years that have cost them dearly? Apple was here before IBM, Dell, HP, and Microsoft (at least in PC terms), and by all rights should own the market rather than being the minor niche player they are today.

        Although my first computer was an Apple II, I have no interest in their products today. Having been involved with computers for the last almost 30 years, I have little respect left for Mr. Jobs or his company. I suspect that you will find that my attitude is not unusual among knowledgable users, which may explain why Apple has such a hard time convincing us that they are a company that should be taken seriously.
        • Perhaps...

          because Apple does not have the 'We can do ANYTHING to grow - including abuse partners, customers, laws and ethics'.

          Just because Microsoft is evil incarnate and hugely profitable does not mean other companies with ethics should follow in MS's footsteps. You know, for many hundreds of millions of people world wide money is not top priority. Microsoft is proof that money is the source of all evil.
          • If you don't base every decision you make as a business

            on making money, you deserve to go out of business.

            Business do not exist as a hobby, they don't even exist to benefit customers (this is useful for making money but not vital), they exist to grow.

            Linux users need to learn this, Apple is now slowly learning it
          • True...but when you come to the EVIL line there is no

            "but it's profitable' excuse that is exceptable and "it's only business" will be small
            comfort to your victims and with any justice and luck to the person who uttered
            those words.

            Pagan jim
        • You contradict yourself with your own words....

          You admit that Apple has been around longer than most in the PC or prersonal
          computer field and yet you don't give them props for well being on of the few the
          very few who are STILL around and regularly profitable and innovative. Huh!?!
          How else has the chops that Apple has in this industry? Who else despite their
          small size if you call a multi billion dollar company small controls their own OS
          and their destiny like Apple does? Who else garners soooo much industry
          attention and with a single product introduction can bring so much change to said

          Now why again would you not consider a Macintosh today. They can and do run
          at the very same time both Windows, Linux, and OSX and they do all very fast. I
          have people with Dell systems purchased last year who look at hte speed I run
          Windows on my MacBook with envy.

          Pagan jim
          • Defensive

            Why are you so defensive? As I said, Apple was one of the earliest players in the PC market, and by all rights should dominate that market today. I have never said that Apple does not produce some fine products (and some stinkers as well). It is the COMPANY itself that I and many others have trouble taking seriously. As you say, Apple garners a considerable amount of attention, yet still struggles to keep above 3% market share. Perhaps it is their elitists attitudes (a reflection of Jobs himself?) that turns off the rest of us, but I don't see any signs of change. Right now, if I were to move away from MS as an OS provider, I would go to Linux, not Apple, for my alternative. As for Apples hardware, it is OK, but nothing special, compared to the products already out there. Sure, you can run OSX along with Windows, but I, like many others, don't see that as an advantage. To you it is heresy, but OSX simply does not interest me, and neither does Apple's hardware.
    • I agree

      I use Apple for everything I do, but I still have to develop to suite the windows world. I agree with your statement because yes, they did make some major blunders in the early years, which basically set up Microsoft to move in and capitalise. Apple actually brought out the first spreadsheeting software and word like application way back with Lisa, but they ended up selling to Microsoft which was probably the single stupidest thing they ever did. All development of the Lisa was really just a testbed and they then got in bed with the publishing world with Macintosh and Laser writers. The rest is history. I only wish that Apple would develop more for enterprise and try to pry that sardine can open a little away from Microsoft. I think they are more interested in the consumer space, we shall have to see.
      • Visicalc

        As I recall, the first commercial spreadsheet software was Visicalc, which appeared on the market in 1979, well before the Lisa. There were also early word processors available for both the Apple II and the CP/M computers of the day. Lisa, and Apple have contributed to computer development in many ways, but even the Lisa was based on the work of earlier pioneers.
        • Visicalc still works in Windows XP

          Visicalc still works in Windows XP. Backward compatibility is one of the reasons for the success of MS in enterprise.
    • Actually now a days it's closer to 5%..give or take.

      Nortel eh? Well maybe back then Apple did not have the resources to create for
      the benefit of Nortel specific applications cause at that time Apple was NOT a
      software powerhouse that it has in large part turned into over these many years.
      Still even today Apple's largest piece of it's business is HARDWARE and Nortel
      should have asked a software house about crreating enterprise apps for the

      Hey maybe Nortel should have blanked all over MS for not creating applications
      for the Macintosh and refused to do buisness with them if they did not bend to
      Nortel's demands. Man.

      Pagan jim