My Concepts To Make Apple Mac A Success Is Proven To Be Workable

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It was start in mid 2004 when I proposed a big move to my big Indonesia’s Telco client. To switch to Mac rather than using Windows and/or Linux!! Imagine… why? because it is not something that very easy to “sell” the idea on corporate level, when most of the staffs are not even aware of what Mac is. Actually my initiation started almost 2 years ago when I constantly persuade middle level management of the telco’s company to start consider Mac to be used in the office.

The reason to both moveaways (aways from Windows and Linux) is actually contradicts to what we’re doing in our company. Why? Yes, we once have a very Windows-look-a-like and working Linux distro to the client (and thinking about selling it in openmarket!), but endorsing a Mac it’s mean killing one of our own core business unit. Why? We’ve done it (version 1.0), but when I keep thinking that to be able to make it competitive enough with RedHat and/or other consumer distro, we need to pull a lot of money for R&D!! We can’t afford that one!! Yup, to run a full fledge Linux Distro company have to own big money to pay the development costs (since linux components are growings and changing almost weekly!! and it’s comprises of thousands components from opensource worlds), it’s not as easy as develop one-specific opensource application of course. We’re not even start talking about the marketing budget. Yes, we once talked to big names in Indonesia. Ex-Sr.VPs, Executives to back up our development and running costs for start as low as only US250,000 for 2 years running!! but seems none of these executives big enough to think about the market opportunity!! Nor they actually don’t have the money to pull on the table! (You see Indonesia economics turnmoil has turn the few hundreds K into monsterous number in Rupiah… Eeepp!).

Second, the reasons why we propose to moveaways from Windows to that my big Telco’s client is because Windows’ worms and sucking viruses that everydays sucking the net and bandwidth!! The cost of maintaining the network/Windows environment is already big for that client!! Hundreds thousands per year for the small division we’re working on. Imagine the nation’s wide!

I know the initiative would be someone called crazy! and not-easy!! Since when we talk about Mac, people will tend to have they eyebrow strange. What? a Mac? come on (said or unsaid). But my never ending approach to the client prove to be “working” in some ways. I just want to make the things work out for all parties (My company, The Client, and Apple). Why? Since we’re a small company. Nobody taking a granted of a small company!! But for a big company like our client, Apple should consider it seriously!!! I need to play safe and secure for all parties, I don’t want to ruin my company reputation, and I know the transition would be a serious issues for the Client.

With the recent rumor iWorks!! from Apple (Apple Office Suite that should compete with Microsoft “designed to be bloated” Office for Mac) and OpenOffice that never serious enough in Apple Mac environment (X11 everyone? :D) –actually even OpenOffice for Linux is still an option-because-they-have-none-to-the-list for corporate switcher!! iWorks proved that My Concepts to Make Apple Mac a Success is Workable!!! Why because it’s part of the things that I actually wrote in long emails to Steve Jobs and Apple management team!!

To make the long story shorts, here’s what I suggested to Apple:
1. a Barebone Mac. A Mac that costs as low as US$400 for board+processor only (no need for G5, G4 will work just fine) because corporate need to swap the old PC board and put it a Mac one. Company can’t always afford to swap the whole unit! They need to Upgrade!! With the Apple ways (to play in niche market) is not easy for switcher to start using a Mac in corporate space!! This upgrade path is actually have a tendency even to make the cost of spending bigger than the whole set buyout in a long run!! They keep upgrading!! — remember cheap headless $500 iMac rumours everyone 😀

2. Apple should talk to PC mobo manufacturers to produce Mac compatible boards that comply to Apple specification. Buy asking PC mobo manufacturers to produce Mac boards, Apple Mac will significantly increase their Market Share!! Of course this one is debatable. But asking a low fare 10-50 bundled with every copy of Mac OS X software, Apple will significantly boost its own profits as well. iPod has proven to be successful in proving Apple themselves that they can create billions out of small margin devices. Apple Mac market share need to be grows at least up to 30%, while 3% like today is definitely a joke for Consumer-OS business!! ECS (a.k.a Elite Groups www.ecs.com.tw) has proven themself being able to be a big business/company in no time, start buy producing low margin mobo, that now sells 2 millions units permonth only second to Asus!!

3. Apple should concern that Microsoft Office price is way tooo much!! In that way I said that Apple Works is a nice contender ONLY-IF-ONLY it make its ways to be competitive enough in terms of usuability and function!! — there we go iWorks 2005!!! (Apple new rumours of Office Suite).

4. I proposed a MCU (multiconference unit) chat based application (this one is consider to be project based for the telco’s company next generation corporate offering). I can make it work on Linux or Windows!, but putting it on Mac would be a nice exposure for both Apple and our company (with the PowerBook and iSight nice factor).

I sent 5 items to the proposal (long emails) including a special price of 3 PowerBooks and lend a Xserve for client to start peeking on what Mac OS X Server really is. The proposal sent to Steve Jobs himself and Phill Schiller (Sr.VP Worldwide Sales & Marketing) and I told myself. “Heck I got nothing to lose, just gave it a shot!!”. Voila.. unexpectedly I got a short email from someone on Apple notifying that my mail to some of the executives in HQ is received! He said politely “What can we do about it?” … This gentleman turn out to be the Director of Asia Pacific, Mr. Tony Ho! Wow… great response I though myself. Hmmm in the evening I even got a nice phone call from someone at Apple which I though a sales person (which surprisingly a Country Manager for Indonesia, which I didn’t know previously that Indonesia have their own Country Manager since Apple doesn’t have an office in Indonesia, and this guy is staying in Singapore!). It was a great discussion and relationship at the beginning, and I keep telling him that this one is not going to be easy! We agreed at the some point that the client need the education and I need some resolution to make it work (since we’re a small company and can’t afford to spend too much on new unproven initiative).

Well, after few long phone calls, and discussions, we agreed to proceed on how this can be done. And I believe people at HQ is know nothing about this. Funny things that the initiation is on-and-off and at some points sometimes I just shoot directly to Steve and Director APAC himself to shake what’s going on. Mr. Tony Ho proven to be showing a great way to manage the “tiny” initiative, whenever I asked him on email check out what happened, he’ll say “Ok, Adi, I’ll see what happened” Great response.

Everything changes when I got a chance to bring the Telco’s executives on visit to Singapore HQ on last August!! We gave Apple a visit and surprisingly Apple is more than IBM as I see it!! Too corporate!!! and the guy who handles us knows nothing about dealing with Indonesia person!! The manager said that how much we (the client) would spend on the new initiatives?? Something that is not common for Indonesian to talk about the budget way early before have sort of kind a “comfort-zone”!! My clients is pretty embarrased and not happy about on how Apple serves us!! How this can be?? I guess because most of initiatives will not make it to Singapore (APAC) office, since they only a reseller channel, and the whole Apple big business and movement should come from downtown Cupertino office!!

So we end up going back not happy (my clients) and some of colleagues at Singapore who’s running IT company said something like “What the heck of Apple doin’ is stupid. People come all this way to visit your office and got no special attention!!”

Well at the end, my clients purchased millions of USD of Dell machines in the late 2004 for 2005 infrastructures. They even buy twices!!!

So what’s moral of this story? Apple should be more flexible and know how they can develop they business or become nothing more than just a nice-product to be shown in ads and tv media. If we’re talking about computer it is just a tool not fancy stuffs like audio sets! So Apple should worry when they surrounded by thousands PC mobo manufacturers! Windows was nothing but look at it know it almost can not differentiate with the Mac.

And the big point of this money sucking initiatives!! (We losts almost 30K for this initiatives), it is nothing for me unless I can have lunch or golf with Steve himself!! Apple should start listening or die!!

10 Responses to “My Concepts To Make Apple Mac A Success Is Proven To Be Workable”

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