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Company Strategy and Structure - Essay Example

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Gilbert Amelio was assembling a new management team to lead Apple Computer into the next millennium. The new management team began to redesign Apples organizational structure and reallocate its resources. It was a difficult year for the company, its…
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Apple Computer Strategy and Structure Last year at this time, Dr. Gilbert Amelio was assembling a new management team to lead Apple Computer into thenext millennium. The new management team began to redesign Apples organizational structure and reallocate its resources. It was a difficult year for the company, its employees and many of its loyal customers. The people, who had witnessed the past, knew the important role that Apple Computer had played in launching the personal computer industry. They continued to buy Apples products and developers continued to create Mac-compatible applications.
In a recent report cited by the Wall Street Journal, sales of Macintosh compatible computers to businesses have risen significantly since November. [Berry] By one account, there has been more than a 40% increase from November to January in the Mac-compatible market share among business-oriented personal computer buyers. Bolstering the Mac-compatible position in the business market are the new machines recently released by Apple. The Power Book 3400 is the worlds fastest laptop computer. There is also the new series of Power Macintosh computers, including the 9600, which runs as fast as 233 MHz.
Recent surveys indicate that the Mac OS has over 50% of the market for Web authoring and CD-ROM content creation. Apples new line of computers is ideally suited for the demands of power users, such as high-end designers and Web authors who work with graphics, digital movies and sound. In addition to offering new products, Apple continues to revise its own management and structure. In order to become more efficient and nimble, additional corporate changes are necessary.
Over the past year, Apple has seen a growth in the overall Mac OS market. The decline in its own sales can be directly attributed to the success of the Macintosh clone makers. Apple can take advantage of the clone makers success by reducing the number of models it produces, focusing its marketing on high-end users and focusing hardware development on better-equipped, higher margin products.
Clone makers have become a significant factor in Apples rebirth. By competing for buyers in markets where Apple has had difficulty, clone makers allow Apple to reduce the number of models it manufactures (and its costs) because it no longer needs to "carry" the entire Mac OS market. As Apple reduces its presence in a particular market, clone makers can compete more with Wintel machines than with Apples products. As a result, Apple may choose to raise the licensing fee paid by the clone makers on each unit sold when the licensing agreements are renegotiated.
In addition to the companys decision to further reduce its work force and focus its efforts on core markets, Apple has chosen to reduce or eliminate future funding for several projects or technologies under development like open doc and cyber dog, open transport, game sprockets, pippin and Newton. The reason for these changes is simple. Where appropriate, Apple will be adopting industry-established technology standards. This will reduce staffing needs and allow the company to better allocate its research and development resources.
In recent weeks, Apple has stated that it will continue developing the WebObjects software it received in the NeXT Software acquisition. Apple will soon release a new version of WebObjects - effective software tools that help people set-up and manage sophisticated Web sites. Ironic as it sounds, the company is developing versions of the software to run on Mac OS computers.
In February and March, Apple Computer took more decisive steps toward becoming a more agile and focused company. [Baker, 2005] Today, Apple is marching forward to recapture its former glory and reestablish itself as one of the world’s most innovative and admired companies. Nobody said it would be easy. It may take some time. But make no mistake - Apple Computer has not only survived, it will soon begin to thrive.
Berry, Tim The Strategy Pyramid
Baker, Edward H The Future of Alignment 15 October 2005
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