If you follow technology at all, every day you hear about Apple's undeniable impact in the consumer market. Their impressive consumer run, outside of personal computers, started with the first iPod back in 2001. The iPhone has been a continued, evolving success since 2007, and the iPad is all set up to be "THE" gift for this years' holiday season. Apple is clearly rocking in the consumer space, but what about the Enterprise? What about business?
Here at xTuple I feel like we are on the front lines of Apple in business. We talk to companies every day that are looking for real Enterprise applications on the Mac. Every day they are frustrated that that there aren't more business solutions for them on the Mac. They always ask the same question: why isn't anyone speaking to the Mac business user???
Last week I went to a trade show/expo that was doing just that — speaking to Business users.
The Loop Business Expo is a traveling Apple-focused business trade show that is moving from city to city around the US, targeting the Apple business user. These shows are designed for, and are specifically catering to, business users of Apple technology. xTuple partner Mark Robbins of Mainmast Systems and I participated in their Miami show last week. We see business users every day in our community, but we don't always hear so much about them outside of our world. As the designated Apple fanboy here at xTuple, I was happy to see a great turnout at this show, despite the monsoon conditions that blew in from the warm tropical waters.
The show had vendors participating from all corners of the enterprise, including hardware vendors with products such as enterprise storage, scanning and document management. There were enterprise software vendors including transportation management software, and yes, even other ERP solution providers. From talking to attendees, I know this was a real treat for the Apple business user. That user will certainly get good attention at the local Apple Retail Store, but she's typically waiting behind three other guys buying new iThingees.
It was a diverse group of users that attended the show as well. We met Apple devotees using Macs in doctor's practices, consulting companies, insurance offices, media firms, and of course manufacturers, distributors and retailers. It looked to me like a reflection of our economy at large. Some of these businesses were all Mac, or moving fast in that direction. Others were a mix of Mac and Windows, and wondering if they could really co-exist in both worlds (to which we have an easy answer!) They were using the iPhones in the business, and pushing hard for business adoption of iPads.
Based on the success of the first show, we have signed up for the next one, in Orlando in December. We are looking forward to another exciting show there, and then it's on to Macworld in January! If you are in the Orlando area, please stop by and see us at that the Orlando Hilton Conference Center on December 8th.