Macs in the Enterprise

Happy New Year everyone. I’ve had a number of queries about my absence here on my blog lately, and I can only say I’ve been BUSY! Busy is good, but I’m hoping I can take a few weeks to revise some books that need updates, fix my OWN network, and enjoy GWAVACon in California later in the month.

Most of my friends and colleagues know that I’m a Mac user. What not everyone knows I guess is that over the past 3 years, my home has gone from no Macs, to 4 Macs. At this point, Macs at the desktop beat Windows at the desktop 4 to 1. And of course, my home network is MY Enterprise! So it’s fair to say that I have a very high adoption of Macs in my personal Enterprise. And while I have a Windows virtual machine available, I haven’t had it loaded in over 2 weeks. It’s a rarity these days for me to load Windows, and it’s almost invariably to do something “Novell” related.

Over the past 3 months, I’ve taken 4 trips by airplane (which is a bit more than typical for me). What I have noticed on these trips is what seems to me a great increase in the number of Macs I see at the airport and on planes. I even noticed a network of new Macs at the hair salon where I get my hair cut.

Perhaps more telling though is in my own business dealings. Over the past month I have been asked by a number of clients if Macs can run GroupWise, or if Macs can access OES drives. Of course, we often hear from Novell that their customers “use Windows” so that’s where the effort is placed in providing access tools to Novell services. I tend to be one of those people who looks more to the future and tries to plan for what will be needed next year, in two years, five years from now. While Mac adoption for personal use is not always an indicator of where things go in the business world, I see Macs everywhere. Three years ago, iPhones were not taken seriously by some businesses and Enterprise vendors. Some (like me) might say that Novell’s lack of an iPhone solution cost it some good will, if not actually costing it tangible business opportunities. Android devices are seeing some of the same resistance in business, but I think the iPhone actually cleared the way for “non-Blackberry” devices to be seen as viable for business use. Can we afford to ignore Macs long-term in the Novell world?

Being the curious type, I’ve created a poll (to the right here if you are viewing the blog at my site, or at if you are viewing through RSS, Facebook, or some other format that doesn’t show the full blog page). When you take the poll, try to forget any preconceived biases about why NOT to use Macs. In other words, don’t say you have no interest in Macs because there is no freely obtainable Novell Client, or you don’t think the GroupWise client is good enough, etc. Just answer from a pure “we have users who like Macs, and all else being equal, we could see a benefit in including Macs in our network” standpoint. I can say that 80% of the customers that I’ve had hands-on dealings with in the past 3 months either already have some Macs, use the GroupWise client for Mac at home, or are asking me about options for using Macs on their Novell networks. How about you?

If you are an administrator of a network, answer based on your own environment. If you are a consultant, answer based on what you see in your customer base. And if you want to leave comments explaining your answers, please feel free to do so!

2011 is obviously going to be a year of change for the Novell world.  In my opinion, this can be a hugely positive thing for GroupWise.  It would be even better if we could get a renewed commitment from Novell to support my dear Mac 😉

Happy GroupWising!



Macs in the Enterprise — 3 Comments

  1. If Macs included iPads, then I would have voted for one of the top options, but I don’t think you meant for Macs to include iPads. Strangely (or maybe not), the PHB’s have been more interested in iPads than Macs.

  2. We’re in the same boat, PTCruiserGT. No macs foreseen (although a quote for macbooks surprised the boss into admitting he ‘might consider them with windows installed later), but he (an inveterate Microphile) was willing to consider iPad use for some of our users if they pass security testing this spring.

    Primary reason PHB’s consider iPads is they are easy, secondary reason is they’re cool. The final reason is, compared to a decent laptop they’re cheap, if you can work with web content and remote control. And most people can…

  3. I should mention that one particular OS X “feature” prompted a migration off our remaining Macs, to Windows PC’s, about a year and a half ago. The old Samba libraries in OS X 10.5 don’t work with Windows DFS cluster shares, which (to be officially supported) required upgrade to 10.6… but we still had PowerPC Macs, so that meant all new Macs! PHB’s: no way!

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