By Steve Reside

Blog note (added May 2, 2008)images.jpg

Yesteray an article appeared in BusinessWeek entitle "The Mac in the Gray Flannel Suit", offering more evidence of the growing trend towards the use of Macs in the Enterprise. If you're still not paying attention to the growing Mac market as a place for you to build your business, you should be.

Here's an excerpt from the article.

Soon after Michele Goins became chief information officer at Juniper Networks (JNPR) in February, she decided to respond to the growing chorus of Mac lovers among the networking company's 6,100 employees. For years, many had used Apple's (AAPL) computers at home and clamored for them in the office as well. So she launched a test, letting 600 Juniper staffers use Macs instead of the standard-issue PCs that run Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows operating system. As long as the extra support costs aren't too high, she plans to open the floodgates. "If we opened it up today, I think 25% of our employees would choose Macs," she says.

Here's the original blog posting 

Today, more than ever, the Mac has become a great platform to run a business on. But have you considered the Mac as a great platform to build a business on? If you haven't, you should.

In a recent article in InfoWorld entitled "The Mac in business: it's easier than you think", Galen Gruman discusses the growing movement of users demanding Macs in the enterprise — a trend that crosses all business areas and even the public sector.

"Once confined to marketing departments and media companies, the Mac is spilling over into a wider array of business environments, thanks to the confluence of a number of computing trends, not the least among them a rising tide of end-user affinity for the Apple experience."

Indeed, earlier this month Daniel Eran Dilger reported that IBM’s Research and Information Services group had launched an internal pilot program designed to study the possibility of moving significant numbers of employees to the Mac platform. Imagine that, the inventors of the ThinkPad "thinking different" on an Apple notebook!

According to the report, over 81% of the people in the pilot study said that the Mac offered a “better or best" experience when compared to their existing computers and 86% of the pilot users requested to keep the Mac.

Combine these observations with Apple’s record first quarter 2008 sales and revenue report and reports from Forrester that estimate Mac adoption for businesses tripled last year, and it's easy to see why many companies are looking to the Mac market to grow their business.

In January of 2007 I wrote a post that outlined how Mac’s TCO meant business to market2world communications.  It was very clear to us then that the low TCO of ownership for Macs and the growing number of companies offering great business software on them was a recipe for success.

As Creative Director at market2world it has always been easy for me to find great software to fulfill my creative responsibilities, but now it’s becoming just as easy to find great software to help me perform all my business-related work too.

"We use Macs for everything from running our phone system using PhoneValet 5.0, to managing our contacts, tasks, projects, and invoicing using Daylite Productivity Suite 3 and Billings 2. And we seamlessly exchange documents with the corporate PC world using Microsoft Office."

There are just too many great examples of Mac-based software to list them here, but if you’re not convinced that Macs could support your business or offer a viable market for your products and services, check out companies such as Xsilva and their next generation POS (point of sales) software, FileMaker and their award-winning database software, or the ever pervasive Microsoft and their just released Office Suite for the Mac.

Each of these companies is thriving in a world that is beginning to "think different" about their computer platform of choice. You could too!

(Steve Reside is Vice President and Creative Director with market2world communications inc., Ottawa, Canada's Web 2.0 tech PR and product launch agency. Steve has produced podcasts for many organizations including MADD Canada, MD Funds, and the Canadian Bar Association.)