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Tim Cook friendlier to enterprise than Jobs, say sources

updated 01:15 pm EST, Wed November 16, 2011

Jobs had 'awkward' encounters with businesses

New Apple CEO Tim Cook is likely friendlier to corporate customers than his predecessor, Steve Jobs, suggest two former Apple workers quoted by the New York Times. Identified as having operated in business sales, the sources claim that while he was still just COO, Cook met with corporate customers more often and seemed to appreciated their needs, although he stuck with Jobs' position that Apple should focus on consumers rather than businesses. "Tim was always very good with customers," one of the sources says.

Jobs by contrast is said to have had a difficult relationship with corporate clients. The sources note that in the rare instances in which he met with corporate representatives, fellow Apple executives would brace themselves for the awkward moments created by Jobs' willingness to speak his mind. The Times notes that he referred to CIOs as "orifices" at a 2005 conference. "There are 500 men and women in the Fortune 500 -- CIOs -- that you have to go through," he stated.

One source mentions that in 2007 Jobs met with the head of a conglomerate's healthcare division; the person said his company would adopt the iPhone if Apple added several features to make it work better in enterprise. Jobs responded negatively, pointing out that sales of RIM's business-oriented BlackBerries were vastly outweighed by the overall number of cellphones sold. "Which market would you build for?" he allegedly said sarcastically.

Even before Jobs' death, though, Apple had begun to cater more to the enterprise realm. The Times points out that Apple now has deals with a number of major corporations, including Lowe's, Siemens Energy, Standard Chartered, Boston Scientific, and airlines such as Alaska and United/Continental.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Orbifold

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Don't do it Tim

    Corporate software requirements are created by analysts who can't think analytically and they are driven to put their stamp on it no matter how idiotic their ideas. The result is the kind of White Elephant that you can already squander millions on with Oracle and IBM. If Apple starts designing products for the charlatans who spend their lives in meetings and have to be humored their products will become as bad as their imitators.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not so fast orbifold

    while your comments definitely have merit, it would be foolish to simply blow off the enterprise market.

    we're entering the era where business is adopting Apple products which were designed for consumers. If Apple can tweak existing products so that they can be viable for business as well as consumers, that would be a huge win for Apple.

  1. jalb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Keeping Steve Jobs' DNA

    I just hope that Apple does not go down the slippery slope and compromise their pro-consumer stance to please corporate customers. Corporate customers will not get 5-year roadmaps, product plans, product checklists, or anything that may hurt Apple's ability to develop great products and quickly adapt to the latest technology.

    This is where I hope that the rest of Apple's executive team can influence Tim Cook (who seems to be very accommodating to suits and bean counters).

  1. prl99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    just a dream

    Tim and Steve think the same, they just might have a different approach to things. This is just a way for corporate CIOs to blame Steve for their own incompetence. IT continue to maintain that computers have to be different for them, which is a bunch of garbage. The computers are the same, it's just how you apply them that might be different. Of course, as I've said before, Apple isn't Microsoft/PC vendors so they don't have to step in line with Microsoft. Apple has, however, bent over backwards working on compatibility with Microsoft products and those of you who say they haven't, don't work in the enterprise. What Apple won't do, is become a clone of all the mistakes made by Microsoft (exchange, sharepoint, etc.). They'll do what they can to work with them. Steve had a good understanding of most CIOs and most of those haven't changed, they've just gotten scared because Apple products are coming in whether they want them there or not. Sure, Tim might talk to these people in a nicer tone but make no mistake, CIOs think they're gods and know everything but if they really knew something technical, they wouldn't have been elevated to a point where they really can't s**** things up.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The customer is always right

    That's why Tim Cook is being more friendly to corporate customers. Because there are more and more of them every day.

    I'm sure corporate clients would flock to iPad even if Tim wasn't so nice. After all, what choice do they have? Microsoft didn't even scratch the surface of the enterprise pad computing market. Even after 10 years of Gates and Ballmer waving "Windows slates" around on stage at CES every year. And now iPad has 96% of the corporate pad market.

    Reminds me of a saying:
    "Amateur hour is over."
    - BlackBerry PlayBook ad, April 2011

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    All that means is he might say "Sorry, we're not interested" instead of "go to h***".

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Don't do it Tim

    Corporate software requirements are created by analysts who can't think analytically and they are driven to put their stamp on it no matter how idiotic their ideas.

    Yeah, they're idiots. They actually want to have a site-wide standard for what their computers run so they can keep track of all their licenses and such. And then they'd want to standardize on an OS, because having people run 5 different versions of, say, OS X, can cause confusion, incompatibilities, and the like. Then they'd be real asses and assume the software and hardware they run today will run tomorrow, and expect not to have to expend huge budget amounts on upgrading software just because the OS vendor decided that PPC software is 'dead'.

    And then they get all irritated when they set up a plan to, say, upgrade their servers over the course of a year, and halfway through the vendor quietly just discontinues the products they were told they should use.

    Bunch of whining idiots, those IT folks.

  1. Orbifold

    Joined: Dec 1969


    We must have a standard!

    Open "View Source" on this web page and the header shows "Transitional" conformance to a 13 year old HTML standard. This is usually as good as it gets for Corporate web sites. CSS3 or HTML 5? Bwahahahaha! Google or Apache can mandate standards with a list of links to genuine standards. But Corporate IT has a big book of best practices that they made up.

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