Apple's Zen Strategy for Business: Page 2

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The second article is more specific and comes with a bit of baggage. The baggage is that a few years ago, the CIO in question, Dale Frantz, of Auto Warehousing Co., had a Microsoft engagement manager attempt to threaten and fear-monger him into hiring a Microsoft consultant to "manage" their software licensing, even though he had detailed records and no doubts whatsoever that he was legal. So up front, Dale Frantz is not a Microsoft fan.

However, looking at how Frantz and AWC are going about this, it's obvious that this is not a personal vendetta."This is not a vengeance case," Frantz is quoted, referring to his 2006 tangle with Microsoft over threatening letters from the vendor that made allegedly false accusations about unlicensed software.

Instead, states the article, "AWC's new strategic enterprise technology plan is the direct result of proof-of-concept testing that indicates that the company can cut costs, increase system reliability and security, and provide expanded IT support services by porting a major portion of its IT infrastructure to Apple. Extricating itself from its exclusive dependence on Microsoft is simply the cherry on top." Frantz and AWC started by evaluating Linux, and while the Linux community was quite helpful, its response was "Hey cool, so how much work can you do coding to make this work for you?" which simply wasn't something that AWC was able to do in their environment. It wasn't that Linux was bad, it just wasn't right for them. So they tested Mac OS X, and realized that it was a good fit.

They decided to leave certain backend systems running Windows Server and SQL Server, because there was no business case to change that. The client software is being moved to Java (which would indicate that there were other issues with Linux beyond Java), and while that porting effort is happening, they can run the old client in Windows under Parallels.

AWC is, quite sensibly, ensuring that both general user and IT training are taken care of, so that the transition is as smooth as possible, something that trips up a lot of migrations of every stripe.

At the end of the day, AWC simply did not see a significant advantage to staying with Microsoft on the desktop or as the sole server platform. They feel, and evidently their testing bears this out, that they are going to not only not lose anything in this transition, but due to the greater flexibility of Apple hardware and Mac OS X, that they'll gain functionality that they could not get from a Windows world.

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