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1Apple Means Business Technologies for the Mac and iPhone Platforms

Distributors and VARs report that the Apple Macintosh platform has gained more momentum in business implementations in recent years. And while Apple hasn’t earned a great reputation with solution provider channel partners, VARs still sell and integrate Apple products. And other third-party companies that work with the Apple platform do offer channel programs. Here’s a selection of Apple and Apple compatible technology solutions for business.

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Apple released the most recent version of its Xserve rackmount server in April. The Intel Nehalem 2.26 GHz quad core processor-based Xserve is priced at $2,999 in its standard configuration. It offers 8 MB of fully shared L3 cache. The server’s integrated memory controller with three channels of 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC memory, which Apple says provides 2.4 the memory bandwidth of past generations.

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Drobo bills itself as an easy to administer storage solution that provides a scalable and safe option for organizations that may not have an IT person available to manage the system. Made by Data Robotics, it works with both Windows and Mac environments, providing what the company calls “BeyondRAID storage, the next generation of redundant disk protection.” The company offers an active channel program with about 700 resellers. End-user pricing for the storage array enclosure is about $400.

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Virtualization for Mac desktop and servers, the Parallels’ hypervisor and virtualization technology lets companies run non-Mac server applications on their Apple Xserves, or run both the Windows and Mac OS on the desktop. Parallels Server for Mac is priced at $1,249. Parallels Desktop for Mac is priced at $80. The company offers a reseller channel partner program.

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End customers, ISVs and vendors are creating new business applications every day for use on Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. Salesforce.com and Sybase are just two of the players that are touting their iPhone apps. While selling iPhones and apps may not be an opportunity for solution providers, creating the solution and integrating these devices into the business may be a good engagement opportunity and relationship-building opportunity for VARs. $299 to $199

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A multiplatform groupware product is very popular among business users who prefer the Apple platform and is available at a value price point starting at $499 for a 10-user license. It comes either with or without integrated security. Available from Kerio Technologies, which offers a reseller partner program.

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Available from Apple, this IT management software enables software distribution, installation of software and updates to all the computers on the network, and deployment of Apple format packages. This product also enables IT to create reports on application usage, user history and software and hardware inventory. Priced at $499 for an unlimited client license at $299 for a 10 desktop license.