It's increasingly clear that managed service providers now need to support Apple Macintoshes, Mac OS and the iPhone.
I'm not suggesting that mass migrations from Windows to the Apple Mac are under way. But the latest anecdotal evidence suggests you're leaving money on the table if Apple, Macs and iPhones aren't part of your managed services portfolio. Consider the facts -- or at least the trends:
Full disclosure: I'm a Mac user myself, so I tend to believe Apple will continue to gain market share in business.
- Nearly 80 percent of large businesses have Macs in-house, which is nearly double the percentage from a year ago, according to Yankee Group. I wish the survey covered small businesses as well... but it's clear that big enterprises increasingly have pockets of Macintoshes.
- Apple hopes to sell at least 10 million iPhones in 2008, which would established Apple as "one of the major smartphone makers in less than two years since it began shipping the original iPhone," notes The New York Times.
- Progressive MSPs such as Azaleos and mindSHIFT support the iPhone, with an emphasis on Exchange Server connectivity. In fact, mindSHIFT says it now supports the "Apple Product Line" (including Macs) across small and midsize businesses.
- MSP platform providers such as Kaseya are adding Mac support to their lineup. I suspect some platform providers already offer Mac support (can anybody confirm?).
I don't think Macs represent a huge opportunity for MSPs -- but I do believe they will be a "check mark" on a list of future support requirements from SMB customers. Agree? Disagree?