Hi, I'm a Mac, and I'm Your Enterprise Computer
As your company brings in more Macintosh computers, you need a bit of advice to integrate the Apple systems into your existing IT infrastructure. Head off the biggest concerns with these hints from leading Mac OS X experts.
Thu, April 26, 2007
CIO — The reasons for companies to switch from Windows to Mac OS X are as personal, or unique, as is any shift in religion. For some companies, the motivation is to move away from Windows. Others are influenced by their end users' desire for the style and functionality of the Macintosh environment. But whatever the reason for the migration, the attraction must be backed by serious number-crunching and by common sense.
This isn't an article about the reasons to adopt Macintoshes in an enterprise setting. We assume that you've already decided to do so, whether because of company IT policy or user pressure. The issue, instead, is to make the transition as seamless as possible: to bring the new systems into sync with your existing IT infrastructure, to choose appropriate applications and to cope with always-finite budgets. If you are about to make a jump to Mac OS X, either partially or in toto, people who have been there have some advice.
Planning the Move, or How I Made Friends with Those Darn "Creatives"
If you are the fourth-largest advertising company in the world, your products are terabytes of content produced by graphic artists, film makers and copywriters. Their success is yours, keeping them happy is paramount, and that means giving those users Macintoshes.
"The Mac itself, the nature of the Mac, how it works and how it looks, is actually more conducive to the creative mindset. But those same things have also created a religious factor where the typical 'creative'they can't even touch a PC keyboard. I'm being actually serious," says Christian Anschuetz, executive vice president and CIO of Publicis Groupe, which is based in Paris.
In the United States, Publicis Groupe has 19,000 users, and about 25 percent to 30 percent use Macs. According to Anschuetz, managing those Macs and their software is made much easier with some advanced planning, whether you are expanding the number of Macs in your enterprise or switching completely. While this initially seems like common sense, there actually are a number of factors to consider that are not readily apparent. As always, the extent of these factors depends on your particular business case.
For Publicis Group, the Macs have higher total cost of ownership. This is because of the particular hardware configurations and the company's corporate culture, which calls for more intense support on the Mac side.
"The Macs require a greater density of field associates. Where we have 1-to-150 PC techs to users, we're somewhere down to 1-to-100 for Macs. I think that's due partly to the technology and partly due to the users. The creatives are more demanding and you have to be more responding, because those are the people that clearly create our revenue," says Anschuetz.