IBM says Macs save as much as $543 per user versus a PC

By Shawn Knight ยท 37 replies
Oct 21, 2016
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  1. During a recent speaking engagement at the Jamf Nation User Conference in Minneapolis, IBM VP of Workplace as a Service Fletcher Previn said his company is saving even more money than anticipated by trading out PCs for Macs.

    After first adopting Macs for its employees in mid-2015, IBM now has 90,000 employees using Macs and is deploying 1,300 new Macs each week. By the end of the year, IBM anticipates that 100,000 of its employees will have made the move to a Mac.

    Most assumed that using Macs would be significantly more expensive than PCs seeing as they cost more up front. That’s not the case, however, according to Previn.

    Depending on the model, he says, IBM is saving anywhere from $237 to $543 per Mac compared to a PC over a four-year lifespan. The figure represents the best pricing they’ve ever received from Microsoft, he added. Multiply that by 100,000 and you’ve got some serious savings.

    At last year’s conference, Previn said Macs require less management and setup effort than PCs even though they cost more up front. This year, he said that just 3.5 percent of employees using a Mac will reach out to the company’s help desk for assistance.

    Looking ahead, 73 percent of IBM’s employees say they want their next work computer to be a Mac.

    Permalink to story.

  2. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    "Previn said Macs require less management and setup effort than PCs even though they cost more up front."

    This is why people buy Macs, Apple haters. This and fashion.

    Sent from my Windows 10 PC.
  3. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,306   +1,401

    Right off the bat I will admit that I am an apple hater. That said I don't really understand where these numbers are coming from. Setting up all the computers in my house I essentially make one base image with the software and settings I like on one computer and then load it onto all the rest. Aside from forwarding ports in my router(which you'll have to do on mac too) set up is completed.

    Granted, this isn't in an enterprise setting, but I don't think the scale is much different. Ever since windows 7 came out I've been able to have a "set it and forget it" attitude on all the computers in my house. I sure as hell know that each one of my windows computers isn't costing me a dime each year. Most that ever happens is a cable gets snagged on something and I have to plug it back in, which is just as likely to happen on a mac than PC.

    Can someone please find a better break down of the numbers? This isn't making sense to me.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,255   +454

    Maybe if you just count the client computers only.... but I wonder if it would be the same result if they factored in all the other costs related with computers. For instance how do they manage all these computers? Like how do they manage OS and software updates? Do the have a local server to obtain updates or do all their Mac's use up their internet bandwidth? Do they just buy a lot more bandwidth, which costs money? What do they do for an email system? File services? Print services? I know the "cloud" can do a lot of this for you but that costs money too.

    So I wonder how their entire IT budget has changed over the years. Did it actually go down or did those savings get gobbled up but something else taking its place?

    Pretty big claim for such little information... sounds a lot like a politician.
  5. cartera

    cartera TS Evangelist Posts: 365   +113

    I'd like to know how far they are into the migration? I worked in a mixed mac/ pc environment and Macs were constant trouble and had a shorter lifespan than the latest pc builds(older 'pre-peddle bin look' mac pro's were unbreakable).
    If we were to poll staff on 'Would you like a PC or Mac?' I'm sure 99% would say Mac just for the Starbucks look.
  6. OneSpeed

    OneSpeed TS Addict Posts: 286   +92

    IBM is pumping Apple's tires. Sounds like a cross-marketing agreement to me.
  7. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,099   +1,273

    The title

    "IBM says Macs save as much as $543"

    is super click baity

    Any company can claim whatever savings they want. If IBM saves money by switching to mac because it suites them that's great but don't make it seem like it's going to benefit everyone. From my personal experience though training everyone and getting software to work with a transition like this was always a pain.
  8. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,306   +1,401

    Crap, I missed entirely that Shawn wrote it.
  9. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,146   +911

    In a massive Mac environment like that (I've never really supported a large amount of Macs before). How do you mass push out Anti-Virus? Or put password policies in place? Do they have something like Group Policy for Macs? What do they mean by "Less setup per machine vs a PC"?

    In environments as big as IBM's, you'd setup a Windows Deployment Server, create 4 or 5 standard Images (usually something like an image for Finance, Image for Remote Users etc...) Then use Group Policy to automatically push out pretty much everything else. Can it get much easier? Or is IBM's IT Team surprisingly terrible?
  10. CaptainTom

    CaptainTom TS Maniac Posts: 304   +132

    I think I have at least one idea as to why switching to Macs reduced problems: Unified standardization.

    I have worked at several large companies, and while everyone used "Windows PC's"; these PC's were grossly different from each other. Some people had HP, some had DELL, and some had Lenovo.

    This means that some people couldn't use certain conference rooms that required HDMI, while others couldn't use a room with displayport. These laptops had varying resolutions, HDDs or SSDs, and drivers. That opens up a ton of problems when your IT department has to program and test drivers for so many different configurations.

    If you us a Mac, you use mini displayport (Or USB Type-C with newer ones), and that's it. All macs have snappy PCIE SSD's and far less diversity in drivers. I can easily see how this standardization leads to less problems. Furthermore most businesses use the ancient, insecure, and unoptimized Windows 7 still - leading to even more problems. Simply switching to a modern OS could have been what solved half of their problems alone.
    wastedkill, Reachable and andrewyoung like this.
  11. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 812   +371

    I have been to starbucks countless times. I have not noticed macbooks. Why do you feel that a "Starbucks look" includes a macbook?
  12. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 1,067   +427

    It's a silicon valley stereotype if there ever was one. Honestly, any upscale neighborhoods will have Starbucks with Apple products in them.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,255   +454

    Most IT shops if they are smart will stick with one brand and try to stick with as few models as possible. I will admit though drivers even across different models can cause loads of problems. So Mac may have an upper hand here.

    Now how would switching to a "modern OS" help? How is Windows 7 any less "modern"? Just because something is newer doesn't make it better. Both Windows 7 and 10 have 64 bit support and good memory management. Where I work we have a majority of Windows 7 clients but some are Windows 10. I've had a lot more problems with Windows 10.
  14. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Maniac Posts: 465   +240

    My first guess is licensing; they're saving on not paying for Win XX Enterprise updates and ditched Office.

    Otherwise if they're running Windows on the Macs then the savings would require the PC's to have twice the failure rate.

    Another guess would be a favorable leasing terms over Windows PC Vendors with Apple, part of which would be this PR. If they're buying the machines and not leasing them I don't see the savings.
    jobeard and wastedkill like this.
  15. Bigtruckseries

    Bigtruckseries TS Evangelist Posts: 583   +318

    I've managed a macintosh lab before for my employees.
    Macs, just like iPhones, are easier to update and it's really easy to manage a 50 Mac room from one admin computer.

    I currently Administer my employees Windows Desktop lab and I'm running Windows 7. It's nowhere near as easy as Mac.

    But when it comes to regular consumer computers, I choose Windows PC/ Laptop. The only exception is doing professional audio mastering or video editing - for which I choose Mac.

    I business lease our computers and I prefer Mac for offices simply because it's easier and far more efficient.
    wastedkill likes this.
  16. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 571   +181

    I am down to a 17" mac book pro being my main laptop (not main PC), but the thing has never and prob will never have Mac OS on it, just fresh installed windows on it the other night. The hardware is nice, but I see no appreciable reason to waste my time on Mac OS and never will.
  17. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,146   +911

    How does this one Admin computer Administrate the other 50? I'm genuinely interested as I honestly don't fully understand how Macs work in an environment such as this. I've always dealt with Macs one by one and not in bulk.

    My thoughts exactly. When Apple got an order for 70,000+ I bet they gave steep discounts for PR purposes.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
    wastedkill likes this.
  18. BillMacandPC

    BillMacandPC TS Rookie

    I use a Mac as a desktop. I use a PC for writing music, and that is it, as I get more power for the buck. As far as I am concerned, Macs vs PCs are like talking about different brands of toasters. They both make toast. The OS's are similar enough for me to trouble shoot a Windows 10 system without ever having touched one. Everything is Office, Gmail, and cross platform software these days.

    Since IBM made a partnership with Mac on iPad Pros, I suppose that they are getting a great price break. Sure, break down the numbers. I'm sure that they are somewhere in the ballpark. The average Joe doesn't mirror his home PCs, etc., etc. Not that I know of.

    Why does my son's school use MacBook airs or whatever? Costs more, but more reliable and easier for students to use.
  19. cartera

    cartera TS Evangelist Posts: 365   +113

    As Win7dev said, it's a stereotype. Might be a UK one but certainly well known in my circle of friends/ colleagues.
  20. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,654   +1,093

    For people asking where these savings are coming from: it's software and hardware support services.
    Essentially Apple gave IBM a super offer for its long term support services compared to what MS wanted. (we are talking about huge million dollar contracts)
  21. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    IMO, it's about Experience and Expectations. An IT Pro admin in an Enterprise will always opt for the Win/PC - - limited experience with heterogeneous systems. Once the admin masters more than one platform, then and only then can they evaluate one over the other.

    "Yeah but..." as an answer is clear indication that the expectation(s) are over ruling the objectivity.
  22. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,654   +1,093

    they still use Office, just on the mac. actually, most employees that need Office will stick to a PC instead of a MAC.
  23. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    Not at all, as the compatibility allows cross platform usage - - just save as DOC, XLS or PPT.
    IMO, the mac product suite {pages, numbers, keynote} are inferior so the Openoffice Suite is the clear winner AND is free to boot
    alabama man likes this.
  24. Amet Monegro

    Amet Monegro TS Enthusiast Posts: 62   +17

    Ibm hates Windows 10 update or someting

    When a Mac dies, they really dies, you can fix a PC but a Mac after warantty, sorry
    alabama man and DaveBG like this.
  25. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,654   +1,093

    it might be ok for the regular small company, but these people must ensure compatibility. I've had many problems opening documents in openoffice (broken tables, broken layouts, pictures not showing in the correct positions, etc). the more complicated the document is the more problems you'll find.
    and you also have to take into account the training for the employees. it takes time and money to train people.

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