IBM does corporate software and Apple does hardware that customers actually want to use, so an IBM-Apple partnership to bring iPhone, iPad, and Mac into the enterprise was, is, and is likely to remain a long term deal. IBM doesn’t do the kind of hardware that Apple does, and Apple doesn’t do the kind of software that IBM does.
IBM also put some money into the deal by announcing the company would switch from Windows PCs to Macs (for those who want to use a Mac; others may still use PCs, not that there’s anything wrong with that).
How’s the deal going?
At a recent conference IBM executives pointed out what Mac users have known all along. Macs do not require the same level of support as Windows PCs, which, according to IBM’s statistics, need eight times the handholding as a Mac user.
IBM is a big customer for Apple. Nearly 2,000 Macs are being installed each week, and there are more than 130,000 iPhones, iPads, and Macs in use at Big Blue. According to IBM, only 5-percent of Mac users call the 24-hour help desk for assistance, while 40-percent of Windows PC users call for help.
Whoa. Those are big numbers.
Why do Mac users require so little assistance for support from the help desk?
Part of it might be how Apple and IBM deploy the Macs. Just as Apple revolutionized how a smartphone customer can buy and provision an iPhone, IBM has made it a simple process to get a Mac installed. The Mac user can download and install the licensed software without any assistance from tech support.
An IBM executive says “Every mac that we buy is making and saving IBM money.”
To be fair about this program’s rollout, it’s likely that many of the first few tens of thousands of Mac users at IBM are early adopters who are more self sufficient or Mac aware than other employees, but the numbers speak volumes about Apple and IBM’s partnership, and about the Mac’s reputation for coming with a higher price tag but a lower total cost of ownership.
Now it’s an issue of math. How many other corporations world wide are paying attention to what Apple is doing and how much IBM benefits from the partnership?