Apple's Latest Technology Play in the Enterprise

Every morning I hit the ground running by listening to a daily Apple news podcast to get the latest goings-on in the world of tech giant Apple. Mac OS Ken, by his own admission, eats, sleeps and breathes Apple news and news related to Apple news. I've been a faithful listener for all of his more than 10 years producing a daily Apple news show; we're both closing in on our second decade of Apple-obsession!

While I am interested in all things Apple, I keep a keen ear peeled for any news related to Apple Tech in the Enterprise, i.e., the use of Apple products and technology in business rather than the consumer market.

Recently, Ken highlighted a story on the Apple news site, AppleInsider. Launched in 1997, AppleInsider is one one the permier sources for all things Apple and includes one of the most established Apple and Macintosh forum communities on the Web.

The article, Apple in early phases of business alliance with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, caught my attention, to say the least. Wow. Apple working on a business relationship with (Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).

HPE is the non-consumer half of the original Hewlett Packard that split back in 2014. To look at this Apple-HPE pairing through 2001 eyes, you would just not believe it. Back in the early days of MacOS-X, Apple technology in businesses — of any kind — was a rarity. It seemed as if practically all business was done on Microsoft software and Microsoft oriented hardware. The Microsoft/Intel combo seemed to own the business marketplace. But those were the days when the desktop was king.

The iPhone was the real game changer. As the iPhone made its way into executive suites, it found its way into the hands of business owners of EVERY size. If the owners and executives are going to be using this phone, IT support staffs had to get on board with supporting it. Suddenly, the iPhone was everywhere. If you look at the deals that Apple has struck with not just HPE, but other large enterprise companies (IBM, Cisco, SAP, Deloitte), they are all around the iPhone and iOS devices more broadly.

With all this business clout, that little Apple logo has itself become a fashion — and status — statement. Apple and Apple technology fans have leveraged this ubiquity to gain acceptance for more Apple hardware. The Apple MacBook Pro became the standard bearer of the laptop, and in most companies, Macs are supported right along side those Windows laptops. Again, my 2001 self shakes my head in disbelief. But I do believe this change is here to stay, and that Apple, once leery of corporate board rooms, will continue to seek pathways into business.

Inventory-centric small and mid-sized business (SMB) looking for business applications that run on Apple technology have sought out operating system-agnostic xTuple since our earliest start-up days when the company was known as OpenMFG. I am an admitted Apple fan-boy. What’s been fun for me has been watching Apple in the Enterprise go from outlier to mainstream. It's a little like when you favorite band is suddenly on every radio station, playing in every store you walk into. But I do love all of Apple's products, and I like having them more accessible. Judging by the crowds in our local Apple store, so does EVERYONE else.

Follow me on Twitter, where I espouse more Apple Tech in the Enterprise, oh, and Boston sports.

Wally Tonra

Vice President Sales

Wally has been with xTuple since 2004 and in ERP sales since the mid-1990s. After all that time selling vendor-centric, proprietary enterprise software, moving to an open source, Mac-friendly ERP package was a natural evolution. Prior to xTuple, Wally spent 10 years at JD Edwards, which was eventually acquired by Peoplesoft, in various sales and sales management positions. He made the move to xTuple before Oracle took over both Peoplesoft and the former JDE. Prior to JD Edwards, Wally held sales positions at ERP software company Daly.commerce (formerly Daly and Wolcott), hardware supplier XL/Datacomp and storage vendor EMC. Wally holds a B.S. from Boston College, where the Mac fanaticism all began.