Macworld 2010 Report

 

wtonra's picture

Macworld is the annual get together for the Apple and Mac faithful held every year in San Francisco. More than your typical technology conference, it has a long history of being THE event for Apple users (and fans), who come in from literally every corner world.  It is traditionally an Apple/Steve Jobs love show.  This year, there was a cloud hanging over the show as Apple announced last year that they would not be participating in 2010. The show has never been run by Apple, and the all-things i-Maker decided that they were no longer interested being the largest paying sponsor of the Fan-Fest.  Since the announcement, fear had gripped the Macworld regulars that if Apple bailed on the show, then the community wouldn't come out.  There was much anticipation as to how Macworld 2010 would really do.

Steve Buttgereit of Muse Systems and new partners Bob and Steve Durhke of Thompson Technology help man the booth at Macworld 2010

Well, I am back in Norfolk to report that the show for the Apple faithful seems just fine to me.  There were 30,000+ attendees, crowding around the expo hall, all lining up to see what Apple treats the various exhibitors were touting.  When you take into account that Apple's market includes computers, iPhones, and music devices, there really seemed to be something for everyone.  It WAS definitively smaller.  With a number of vendors choosing to following Apple's back-out plan, the total exhibitor count drop forced the entire show into once conference hall.  In the recent years past there were two large conference halls, with Apple taking up a HUGE portion of one of them. Even with Apple and a few others not there (Adobe absent was noticeable), the single exhibitor hall felt vibrant.

For xTuple, attending a show like Macworld may seems a little out of place, right?  Enterprise software, next to the guy who makes the iPod stickers? And new Fashion bags for the iPad?  Fortunately, that's not exactly how it goes. IDG, the group that puts the show on, does a nice job of carving off an area where people who have an interest in stuff like Accounting Software and ERP, can all mingle together.  There were a few of us there in the ERP category, and we all appreciate the "Enterprise and Business Special Interest Pavilion".  It brought those businesses types over to us, and frankly kept the iPod sticker chasers away. Sure we did have to explain "what is ERP" more than once or twice. But we had far more great conversations than bad ones.  Many attendees had "look for business software" on their show agenda. The specifically popped by our booth, and then I would seen them walk down the isle to a competitor's booth, taking notes along the way.  I gave several demo's, which is always interesting on the show floor.  We had customers and partners come by.  In the picture above Steve Buttgereit of Muse Systems, well known xTuple partner and forum participant, and to the right are new partners Bob and Stephen Duhrke of Thompson Computer Technology, a new partner in Southern California. 

One big topic of conversation for us was the availability of iTuple on the iPhone.  More and more we see the community looking for solutions that can go where they go and iTuple is the ideal solution for that environment.  iTuple extends the capabilities of the xTuple ERP CRM functionality by putting all of your customers prospects, general business contacts and to-do's in the palm of your hand.  Right in the iPhone.  Any iPhone user will immediately appreciate the way the application functions just like the iPhone address book where you can instantly call, email or map the location of any contact in your database.  You also have a full list of your personal to-do's with you at all times.  There is nothing that appeals more to Apple technology user than to be able to really USE your technology. iTuple extends the consumer content sharing benefits of the iPhone to the Enterprise. Now it's not just your movies and music, but your ERP and CRM solutions are far more accessible.  xTuple partner Paladin Logic, the authors of iTuple, had a promotion going on during the show which exponentially increased the number of iTuple downloads from iTunes. It's in the hands of even more xTuplers, today.

I am always pleasantly surprised to speak with Manufacturing companies in particular at Macworld. You may not think of Manufacturing as an Apple sweet spot, but Mac centric manufacturing companies are out there.  Many are running xTuple today. They are always thrilled to find us, and and often relay that they felt abandoned years ago when all the ERP companies fled to the Windows platform. They are happy to see us at Macworld, and happy to hear our customer stories. Similarly I was pleased to be situated in the Enterprise Pavilion next to a Mac native CAD solution! For years CAD has only existed on a Windows platform.  This company is going cross platform like xTuple, but using our same technology footprint, Qt Software.  This is more good news for the Mac in Manufacturing.

As a Mac/iPhone user myself, I am thrilled to see Apple in more Manufacturing and more businesses in general. It has been exciting for me to see the growth of our Mac customer base as enterprise users all over the world continue to discover the power and depth of xTuple ERP, and how well it runs in a Mac, or mixed environment. Our Apple user base grows every month.  That's more Apple technology in the Enterprise, and a good thing all around.  At the show I saw many signals from Apple directly and those working closely with Apple that the iKing is beginning to take notice of of the permeation of Apple technology in business, particularly in the what they call the SMB (Small Medium Businesses) market.  The SMB space has always been the place where you would be most likely to find Apple products.  As one of the key growth engines in our economy, paying attention to SMB's is crucial. It is working for xTuple. In 2010 and beyond, it looks to be working for Apple as well.