Mac’s Coming to an Enterprise Near You
Post by M. Michael Acosta, Manager, EngineeringMac users everywhere are eagerly anticipating the upcoming Macworld Expo. As a prelude, this week Macworld.com published their set of predictions for 2008. One prediction in particular resonated with what I’m seeing at some of our customers and within Cisco. MacWorld senior editor Dan Frakes wrote:”A new Mac market: The debut of Leopard, along with a general dissatisfaction with Windows Vista, will open doors for the Mac in the enterprise market. In fact, we’ll see a few major U.S. companies switch to the Mac platform-some gradually, but at least a couple in a major public migration. We’ll also see a resurgence of the Mac platform in higher education.”Just a few years ago within Cisco, Macs were conspicuous mostly in their absence. Today, it is not unusual to find an increasing number of Apple logos across from me in meetings. For the first time in quite a while, Macs are again an orderable laptop option for Cisco employees.Given this, it should come as no surprise that Cisco has invested significantly in supporting the Mac in the enterprise with our products. Cisco Unified Personal Communicator, our next-generation unified communications client, was developed in parallel on both Mac and Windows. It is a fully native Mac application with a user-interface developed specifically for the platform. By the time Steve Jobs takes that stage to introduce the next insanely great Apple product, news of the release of the latest version of Personal Communicator should have hit the wires bringing full localization on both platforms and support for Leopard.Cisco also offers SSL and IPSec VPN clients for the Mac OS, as well as our MeetingPlace and WebEx web conferencing solutions. And, much to the delight of Cisco’s own Mac users, Apple has also made support for EAP-FAST a native part of OS X.These successes are valuable to Apple as a way to reinforce the use of Macs in the enterprise, but they also help Cisco by tangibly validating our cross-platform philosophy. Even if a customer has no Macs today, or the Macs are currently only in the”creative” department, it looks like there’s an increasing chance that Mac use will grow in the future. Just the possibility means that Mac support is more likely to be an important part of our customer’s needs. Much more broadly, it is in all our interests to encourage innovative and exciting devices and applications. Healthy competition is great for that. I look forward to enabling all users to communicate as richly and naturally as face-to-face -regardless of their choice of operating system, device, or platform.